Is the Delta AMEX Gold card “good enough”?

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I get a bunch of comments and e-mails that I focus a bit too much on medallions. OK I admit it, guilty as charged. Why? The perks, even at the lowest level, are nice and when you toss in the Delta Platinum card on top of Silver Medallion status  you are able to travel very comfortably with Delta Air Lines.

But I am doing it AGAIN! Yes I am – sorry. Many readers are saying the Delta AMEX Gold card  (American Express is a advertiser)  is good enough for my travel needs and the much lower annual fee makes the card worth having. I agree, but not always. First the pros:

  • 30,000 Bonus Miles
  • $50 Statement credit w/Delta purchase
  • Free bag
  • Discounted Skyclub access
  • Zone 1 boarding
  • 2x Buying Delta tickets
  • Can use PWM
  • 20% On-board discounts

When you break it down, if you only fly a few times a year with Delta, that is a lot of value. 30k points is worth $300 minimum and since you can use PWM that is Pay With Miles with the Delta Gold AMEX card  (American Express is a advertiser)  you can spend those points on ANY ticket for 1 cent each. The $50 statement credit is a nice perk for new cards and no one wants to pay for bags and this card takes care of that. Zone 1 gets you the SAME boarding perk as a Silver Medallion so your bag will make it on-board 99% of the time. Nice to get bonus points when buying a Delta ticket and in a pinch or with a long layover paying for Skyclub is nice. Lastly getting food/drinks cheaper on-board works.

So I agree, in many cases, it is good enough. When is it NOT enough? If you want to make any medallion level (here he goes again). No wait, hang on. As we talked about on the 1st of what counts toward MQD exemption, the Delta Platinum AMEX card  (American Express is a advertiser)  with 50k spend can net you 20,000 MQMs. That is Silver status without flying. Again, I can understand the viewpoint that it is not worth the current $150/yr fee and after 1MAY2014 $195/yr fee if you don’t fly all that much and don’t care about status. I hear you and agree.

One thing is for sure, if you are going to fly Delta, a little or a lot, it is good to have some kind of Delta card to make the trip an enjoyable one! – René

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  1. Could you clarify “the Delta Platinum AMEX card with 50k spend can net you 25,000 MQMs”
    I presume you mean in the first year, when you sign up and also get the 5k signup bonus.
    This is not a year after year benefit of having the card as you get 2x 10k MQM per 25k spending (total of 20k MQM).

  2. I agree with your thoughts in regards to having a AMEX Delta card. I started out with a Gold, then went to Platinum now I have the Reserve card. While I understand folks may think the $450 yearly fee is high, and seems even higher now that I can no longer take my wife and kids for free to the Delta Sky lounge crown room in the coming months, I can’t help but feel that having a Sliver Medallion status (Living in ATL with very limited options) when flying an avg of 3 to 5 times a year max is not a terrible deal.
    So when I do fly it’s nice to be treated just a bit better with Silver Medallion status. However in the past 3 years have I Never once received 1st class upgrade, I have though had free Economy Comfort upgrades via 24 hrs. check-in before my flight which for free is nice. No to mentioned the 80k to 100k miles I earn a year from normal spend with again only flying a handful of times.
    If I did not live in a major Delta Hub city, I most likely would use “regular” AMEX card VS. a Delta branded card per se.

  3. I’m confused about which Delta Amex cards provide B1G1 certificate(s) after the first year’s annual fee is paid. (Also, is it issued before your anniversary or after?) Can you do a detailed post on this, or at least a detailed response?


  4. Unfortunately, all of Delta’s devaluations have pushed them to second tier for me. What with lounge access only for the Amex plat cardmember (really, you want me to leave the wife and kid in the hallway)and the new Centurion lounges, I’ve moved 95% of my air spend to Southwest.

    Now I receive a notice that the Amex Delta Gold will be $95.00/ year instead of $55.00 – pass. Just canceled my Delta Amex Gold.

    Hopefully sooner rather than later Delta will realize that the devaluations are having more of a negative impact then their computer algorithms first anticipated.

  5. This card doesn’t have the B1G1 anymore. I received an email several months ago. I had already redeemed it so canceled next churn. (This was my wife’s card and I have the two Reservers so not a huge deal).

  6. Hi,
    I just got the Delta AE Gold Card. There will be a statement credit if I make a “Delta Purchase”. I’m not flying Delta for a while. Do you know if buying one day pass or gift certificate from is considered as one?
    I tried to research it online but couldn’t find much information.

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