Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card Review

Our rating

3 stars 3/5

See explanation of our ratings system

See breakdown of this card’s rating

The Blue Delta SkyMiles card from American Express (a CreditCardForum advertising partner) is an interesting addition to the Delta SkyMiles portfolio. Before its launch, there was no way to have a Delta SkyMiles-earning card without paying an annual fee (Delta previously offered a no-annual-fee card called the Delta SkyMiles Options card, but that was discontinued years ago).

So is the Blue Delta SkyMiles card (out Sept. 7, 2017) a great way to earn miles without an annual fee? Read our review to find out.

The rewards

With this card (which, again, has no annual fee):

  • Earn 2 miles per dollar at US restaurants.
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta.
  • Earn 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases.

Current sign-up bonus: Earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. This bonus is not available if you 1) have ever had the Blue Delta SkyMiles card OR the Delta SkyMiles Options card or 2) currently have a Delta SkyMiles credit card or have had one in the past 90 days.

Other perks

In addition to rewards, receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.

Missing are the perks you’ll generally find on co-branded airline cards – priority boarding, free checked bags and the like. This isn’t surprising, though, as the card doesn’t have an annual fee.

A good choice?

According to Delta’s press release about the card, the Blue Delta SkyMiles card is designed for “the new or casual traveler in mind.” Miles don’t expire (per Delta’s terms), there’s no annual fee to worry about, and you can earn bonus miles on dining purchases (not just on airfares).

We agree with that statement to some extent. At the same time, though, co-branded airline cards are best used by frequent travelers – or at least those who can be loyal to one airline. It’s nice that you can earn Delta SkyMiles on dining purchases (and avoid an annual fee), but what use to you are Delta SkyMiles if you don’t ever fly Delta?

So before getting this card, check to make sure Delta serves your local airport and has flights to a lot of destinations. Map out your future travel plans and make sure Delta is the best fit. Look at your purchasing habits and make sure you’ll amass enough Delta SkyMiles via the sign-up bonus and spending to get a free flight in a reasonable amount of time.

If you don’t live in a Delta hub, are a low spender or want to leave yourself open to other airlines, you may be better served by a generic travel rewards card that lets you earn points that can be used as cash toward any flight.

Meanwhile, if you find that you fly Delta multiple times a year and value free checked bags and priority boarding, you may be served better by the Gold Delta SkyMiles card.

Why we gave it 3 out of 5 stars

This card’s rating is based on our standards for co-branded airline cards.

Bonus-earning opportunities: This card offers a sign-up bonus, as well as the ability to earn extra points in a non-airline category (dining).
Rewards flexibility/simplicity: Delta SkyMiles do not expire and can be used with SkyTeam alliance partners.
Unique travel perks: As a no-annual-fee card, this card is short on extra travel perks
Companion benefits: This card doesn’t have any companion-ticket benefits.
Fair fees: This card has no annual fee to worry about.

 
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