Full Review of Delta SkyMiles Blue Amex Credit Card
Matches the rewards of the Delta SkyMiles Gold Amex in some key categories
No annual fee
More than 20 airline partners
Lacks travel perks
Small welcome offer
- Matches the Rewards of the Delta SkyMiles Gold Amex in Some Key Categories: This card offers 2 miles per dollar spent on restaurant and Delta purchases. While that's no match for the priciest Delta cards, it equals the rewards for the Delta SkyMiles Gold Amex in those categories. The Delta SkyMiles Blue Amex earns 1 mile per dollar on all other, non-bonused spending.
- No Annual Fee: As the only Delta card that charges no annual fee, the Blue Delta SkyMiles Amex lacks the perks of its siblings—in fact, it barely has any at all. But those other cards cost $99 (Delta SkyMiles Gold Amex), $250 (Delta SkyMiles Platinum Amex) and $550 (Delta SkyMiles Reserve Amex).
- More Than 20 Airline Partners: Delta has an impressive list of airline partners, numbering more than 20 and including Virgin Atlantic, Air France, and Aeromexico. You can earn miles on these flights at the same rate as for Delta ones, provided Delta issues the ticket; otherwise, you still earn miles, based on a different formula.
- Lacks Travel Benefits: As with most no-annual fee travel cards, the Delta SkyMiles Blue Amex lacks the perks common to cards that charge a fee. All other Delta cards, for example, offer a free checked bag on every Delta flight, with the pricier among them offering further extras, such as an annual companion certificate when you renew the card.
- Relatively Small One-Time Offer: This card's introductory bonus has a low spending requirement, of $500 over the first three months of account approval. But the value of the 10,000 SkyMiles points you receive are also very modest. Since Investopedia values Delta points used for most types of flights at 1.6 cents apiece, the one-time offer points are worth $160. While that value is about average for an airline card that has no annual fee, it's less generous than the better introductory offers for $0-annual-fee cards across the credit-card marketplace. (Those more lucrative offers, though, generally require spending in the thousands during the first three months in order to qualify.)
This Card is Best For
Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
Seeks the recognition and perks of branded travel partner status
Flies often for business or leisure
The Blue Delta SkyMiles Amex best fits those who prefer to keep card costs low, travel infrequently, and favor flying Delta when they do so. If you're a Delta devotee and are willing to forgo such luxury perks as priority boarding or airport-lounge access, this card could be worth considering.
The card is also a good fit for Delta fans who want to rack up miles by eating at restaurants. Spending $300 per month on restaurants for a year, and purchasing a $400 round-trip ticket annually, would earn you 8,000 miles worth $128 when redeemed for domestic Delta flights.
Blue Delta SkyMiles One-Time Offer
New cardholders earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 within the first three months of card membership. You'll get the reward in the form of a statement credit anywhere from eight to 12 weeks after you meet the minimum spending requirement.
While the offer is on par with similar airline cards, its mediocre compared to other cards in the Delta lineup. When redeemed for Delta domestic flights, it is estimated to be worth $160. The Delta Gold Amex card, on the other hand, offers 35,000 bonus miles (worth $960) after spending $1,000 within the first three months of membership, but it has an annual fee of $99, waived the first year.
Rewards Earning Details
This card offers unlimited 2 miles per dollar spent at restaurants. Purchases at nightclubs, convenience stores, grocery stores, or supermarkets also don't count towards 2 miles per dollar.
Delta purchases also earn an unlimited 2 miles per dollar spent. Eligible transactions include flights booked on Delta.com, in-flight purchases, Delta Vacations packages, seat upgrades and Sky Club membership or passes.
The card pays 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases. Delta miles never expire.
Rewards Redemption Details
Cardholders must be members of the Delta SkyMiles rewards program to redeem miles through Delta's app, website, by phone, or at the ticket counter.
SkyMiles can be redeemed for flights, seat upgrades, Delta Vacation packages, gift cards, magazines, Sky Club membership, and experiences. You can also transfer SkyMiles to friends and family or donate them to charity. We value SkyMiles at 1.6 cents per mile when redeemed for domestic Delta flights. That's about average when compared to other airlines.
You can also use SkyMiles points on a 1:1 basis to buy flights on other airlines. Delta partners include fellow members of the SkyTeam alliance along with other carriers:
With these partners, you can book award travel on delta.com in the same way you do for Delta flights:
- Aerolineas Argentinas
- Air France
- China Eastern
- China Airlines
- China Southern
- Hawaiian Airlines
- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
- Korean Air
- Mandarin Airlines
- Middle East Airlines
- Saudia Airlines
- Shanghai Airlines
- Tarom Airlines
- Vietnam Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
- Virgin Australia
- Xiamen Airlines
For these other partners, you must contact Delta Reservations for help in booking award travel:
- Air Europa
- Air Tahiti Nui
- Czech Airlines
- Garuda Indonesia
- Kenya Airways
While you can’t directly or easily transfer Skymiles from Delta to other loyalty programs, you can transfer points from the loyalty programs of Delta’s car rental and hotel partners in order to convert them to SkyMiles. Such conversions tend to be costly, though, often requiring two or three partner points to earn one SkyMile. Delta's partners include:
- American Express
- Diners Club
- Banco De Chile
- Le Club Accor Hotels
- Radisson Rewards
- Marriott Bonvoy
- Hilton Honors
How to Maximize Your Rewards
To make the most of this card's rewards structure, make sure to use it for all of your restaurant and Delta purchases. That's where you'll earn the most—2 miles per dollar. Then use it for purchases outside of those categories to earn 1 mile per dollar. It's also important to spend enough within the first three months of membership to earn the 10,000-bonus mile one-time offer.
In order to get more for the miles you earn, check the Delta SkyMiles Deals page often. Finding discounted flights can help you maximize the value of each mile.
We estimate that an average consumer who uses this card to pay for all restaurant meals and takes one round-trip flight on Delta per year could earn more than 7,500 miles annually. Here's how the math breaks down.
The average household spends nearly $3,500 per year on food away from home, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You'd earn $7,000 miles were you to spend that amount at restaurants each year and charge it to the card. Taking that annual round-trip flight would add an additional 728 miles to your total, assuming the ticket cost the $364 average for a domestic round-trip flight, as calculated by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Together those miles are worth about $124 when redeemed for domestic Delta flights.
Our calculation doesn't include the 1 mile per dollar you would earn on purchases outside of those categories, or the 10,000-bonus mile one-time offer.
Naturally, the more you use this card for spending and trips, the larger the returns you'll accrue. For our aspirational case, let's assume that you and a partner charge two trips per year to the card at $364 each per round-trip, spend $3,500 at restaurants annually, and charge $4,500 worth of groceries to this card (about the average households spend on food at home per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).
You would earn 14,412 miles with this card worth about $231. In some cases, since Delta flights sometimes offers round-trip deals for as few as 10,000 miles, that's enough to redeem for a round-trip flight through Delta's SkyMiles Deals portal.
None of these calculations include the 1 mile per dollar you'd earn for purchases on this card outside of flights, restaurants, or groceries or the 10,000-bonus mile offer.
Blue Delta SkyMiles Outstanding Benefits
- 20% discount on in-flight purchases
- Rental car collision (secondary to your own policy)
- Global assistance hotline
- Extended warranties
- Return and purchase protection
- Access to exclusive events
- Zero fraud liability
- Year-end summary of charges
American Express ranked second and received a score of 838 in J.D. Power's 2019 credit card satisfaction survey, right behind Discover.
Customer service can be contacted by phone at 800-528-4800. Existing customers can also log into their account and use the online chat feature.
Existing customers can contact the Amex by phone and with the online chat feature. You can also tweet questions and comments to @AskAmex on Twitter.
This card comes with a number or standard security features. Amex monitors your account for suspicious transactions and sends account alerts if any abnormal activity occurs. It also offers automatic time-outs online.
Amex also offers several less-common protections with this and other cards:
- Instant card number: You can receive a virtual card number for use with any online merchant or merchants that accept digital wallets where American Express is accepted—no physical card is required. That's useful if your card is lost or stolen, since you can still use your card while you wait for a physical card in the mail.
- Personal Security Key: If you contact Amex for assistance, the company uses your personal security key to authenticate that they are indeed conducting business with you.
For infrequent travelers interested in earning Delta miles without committing to an annual fee, the Blue Delta SkyMiles Amex card can be a solid choice. Its rewards structure offers the ability to earn 2 miles per dollar at restaurants in addition to Delta purchases.
However, the one-time offer with the Blue Delta SkyMiles Amex is worth a modest $160, and the card lacks travel perks. If you fly often with Delta, you may be better off paying for an annual fee Delta card, and the Delta SkyMiles Gold Amex in particular. This sibling costs $99 and offers the same 2 miles per dollar spent for purchases from Delta and at restaurants. But the card justifies it’s annual fee with a $100 Delta flight credit (for $10,000 in annual spending) alone and offers 2-points-per-dollar-spent rewards to purchases from U.S. supermarkets, too. It also adds the Blue Delta SkyMiles Amex lacks, including a free checked bag on Delta flights.
If you're not loyal to Delta, you might be better off with a general travel card with a broader acceptance. The Wells Fargo Propel American Express card, for instance, doesn't charge an annual fee and offers 3 points per dollar on a number of categories.