Delta Debit Card

Posted by CreditCardGuru

Delta SkyMiles debitQ: I got an application in the mail today for the Suntrust Delta SkyMiles debit card. What gives better rewards – the Delta debit card or their credit card?

A: There are actually three different Suntrust Delta debit cards. Here’s a brief overview of each:

Delta SkyMiles Classic Check Card (this version was discontinued in 2012)

  • 1 mile for every $2 spent (signature-based purchases only)
  • Double miles on all purchases made directly from Delta (i.e. airfare, in-flight snacks, etc.)
  • Annual fee is $20.00

Delta SkyMiles World Check Card

  • 1 mile for every $1 spent (signature-based purchases only)
  • Double miles on purchases from Delta Airlines
  • Annual fee is $75.00

Delta SkyMiles Business Check Card

  • 1 mile for every $1 spent (signature-based purchases only)
  • Double miles on Delta purchases
  • Annual fee is $120.00

Previously these were all Visa, but a couple years ago back in 2010, Suntrust switched their Delta debit to MasterCard.

The pros?

  • The rewards on the “World” and “Business” version are respectful at 1 mile per dollar

The cons?

  • The annual fees went up significantly during 2012 (from $55 to $75 for the personal, and $55 to $120 for the business version).
  • As I’m sure you are aware, the Delta credit cards (through American Express) now include a benefit that gives you the first checked bag for free. This is a very valuable benefit, considering that just one round-trip flight with one checked bag would normally cost you $50. Unfortunately I don’t see this benefit listed on the Suntrust Delta debit card.
  • You only earn the points on signature-based transactions, not PIN-based transactions (meaning you need to select “credit” instead of “debit” when paying). So in order to earn miles, you won’t have the same versatility and options you would with a normal debit card.
  • The lower cost “Classic” version has been cancelled.

Is it still worth it in 2013?
You will need to fork over at least a $75 annual fee. If you’re going to pay that much, you might as well pay $20 bucks more for the annual fee on a Delta AmEx credit card instead. Why? Because you will be getting a heck of a lot more benefits on Delta Airlines (like the first checked bag for free) plus you will be getting the American Express benefits on eligible purchases like the extended warranty, purchase protection for eligible stolen/damaged items in the first 90 days from purchase, etc. So you are definitely getting more bang for your buck by going with a Delta AmEx instead of a Delta Airlines debit card.

Delta AmEx promotion (sponsored offer)


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11 comments... read them below or add your own

  1. rebecca terry August 20, 2012 at 3:35PM

    can you get a secured credit card with delta

  2. David Havron June 2, 2012 at 3:13PM

    Suntrust is now canceling all cards if the member does not have a fee based account. The World Crd cost $75 and the Fee for the account is $144. Also the only thing that you get for upgrading from the free account is the fact that Suntrust has relieved you of $144 AND you get a discount on NSF fees. I called the Suntrust helpline yesterday and were stunned when I pointed that your to them. They have taken an awesome program and ruined it by trying to squeeze the account holders for $$$. Trying to makeup Interchange fee loss. Banks are on the GOVTs radar screen, clearly Suntrust is tone deaf

  3. Yamile May 19, 2012 at 5:16PM

    The new suntrust check card is very good in my opinion, specially because you get a welcome bonus of 30k miles for opening the checking account and setting up direct deposit, that’s a big plus for me. it does require a minimun daily balance of $3000 in combined checking, savings and money market accounts to avoid a $12 monthly fee. That’s easy if you have some savings already and it gives miles for pin and signature transactions.

    I just opened it yesterday

    • David Havron June 2, 2012 at 3:18PM

      You have tied up $3000 just to get the right to pay $75 for sky miles card. And of course you get a discount on NSF which makes no sense since you have the $3000. Might I suggest a good dividend stock for your $3000 many are paying over 20% even SunTrust’s STI is paying a decent dividend

  4. Delta customer April 5, 2012 at 4:57AM

    I tried to sign up for the Delta debit card last night. Was willing to pay the $75 annual fee until I found out that I needed to have either a $20,000 or a $5,000 average balance in my account to avoid being charged a $20 monthly fee

    No thank you!

  5. Pauline L. February 19, 2012 at 7:15AM

    Just as a warning- if you are signed up for the Classic Delta card you will be charged the annual fee if you signed up in Jan, Feb or March of last year! I was charged $20 for a program (the Classic Delta program) that will not longer exist as of March 23. I am emailing back and forth with Suntrust and they are refusing to credit my account with the $20 taken out of it.

  6. SunTrust Customer February 8, 2012 at 1:33PM

    Got a letter in the mail the other day:

    “As of March 23, 2012, SunTrust will discontinue the Delta SkyMiles Classic Check Card.”

    They have a new option, but it’s more expensive than the cards they used to have:

    “Upgrade to the Delta SkyMiles World Check Card to earn:
    -1 Mile for every dollar you spend.
    -Double miles on direct Delta purchases.
    -A special [one-time] 5,000 mile bonus.

    The annual fee will now be $75 and linked to your consumer checking account.”

    Bummer.

    • Suntrust Delta Customer February 21, 2012 at 10:25PM

      The updated program is supposedly going to include pin purchases as well. Still worth looking into!

    • Sun Trust Customer March 10, 2012 at 5:56AM

      As of March 23, 2012 the Business Sun Trust Skymiles card will go to 120.00 a year and the miles drop to 1/2 per dollar. Not wortth it in my opinion. They are increasing their fee by 220% and dropping the benefits by half.

      I for one may be looking for another bank and another airline!

      Thanks Suntrust

  7. bob November 13, 2011 at 10:24AM

    Also it seems better to have both cards if you qualify for Amex. Every little bit helps – there are times when i want to not finance a purchase – for which its better to use the debit card(as a credit purchase at the counter) – and sometimes I don’t wanna drain my checking account when I wanna purchase something larger and willing to pay it off monthly. So both get me miles. Either way – if you fly delta – this has proven to be a winning combo.

    The only thing I could ask more, of which I’m not aware of exists through any program – is a way I can get miles with writing checks, or direct withdrawals from my checking account for monthly payments that require routing/account numbers, i.e. mortgage and car payments.

  8. henry November 3, 2011 at 2:48PM

    That’s great except one little problem. What about the over 50% of American’s that don’t qualify for American Express stringent credit qualifications? this is a great alternative to those who have less than stellar credit.

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