Delta Gold Amex vs. Delta Platinum Amex: Are more perks worth the higher annual fee? – The Points Guy

Through its partnership with American Express, Delta Air Lines offers one of the most comprehensive airline credit card portfolios on the market, which includes entry-level, mid-tier and premium cards (as well as business card versions of most).

If you decide that now is the time to apply, your next question will likely be: How do you pick which Delta credit card is right for you? With recent changes to Amex’s Delta cobranded cards, now might be a time to pick up a new card for your travels in 2024 and 2025.

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is a great choice for anyone seeking a welcome offer with a low out-of-pocket cost. However, more frequent Delta flyers should do some math to figure out whether the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card could offer them better travel benefits for its price.

Let’s do a deep dive and compare these two Delta cards so you can decide based on our analysis and your needs.

Delta Gold Amex vs. Delta Platinum Amex comparison

Benefit

Delta Gold

Delta Platinum

Welcome offer

Earn 70,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your first six months of account opening

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new card in your first six months of account opening

Annual fee

$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $150 (see rates and fees)

$350 (see rates and fees)

Earning rates

  • 2 miles per dollar on eligible purchases with Delta
  • 2 miles per dollar at restaurants worldwide
  • 2 miles per dollar at U.S. supermarkets
  • 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases
  • 3 miles per dollar on eligible purchases with Delta
  • 3 miles per dollar on purchases made directly with hotels
  • 2 miles per dollar at restaurants worldwide
  • 2 miles per dollar at U.S. supermarkets
  • 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases

Baggage

First checked bag free on Delta flights (including up to eight companions on the same reservation)

First checked bag free on Delta flights (including up to eight companions on the same reservation)

Key benefits

Priority boarding (including up to eight companions on the same reservation)

20% discount in the form of statement credits on inflight purchases

$200 Delta Flight Credit after you spend $10,000 on purchases in a calendar year

Up to $100 Delta Stays credit per calendar year

Priority boarding (including up to eight companions on the same reservation)

20% off inflight purchases in the form of statement credits

Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee credit ($100 every four years for Global Entry or up to $85 every 4½ years for TSA PreCheck)

Complimentary upgrade for cardmembers who are not SkyMiles Medallion Members for Delta One (within the 50 United States), First Class, and Delta Comfort+ after Medallion Members

Up to $120 annual Resy credit (up to $10 monthly)

Up to $120 annual ride-hailing credit (up to $10 monthly)

Up to $150 Delta Stays credit per calendar year

Hertz Five Star status (enrollment in the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program required)

Enrollment required for select benefits

Companion certificate

None

Domestic, Caribbean or Central American Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year at renewal

Status boost

None

MQD Headstart: cardmembers receive 2,500 Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) each Medallion Qualification Year

Earn 1 MQD for every $20 spent

 

Delta Gold Amex vs. Delta Platinum Amex welcome offer

The Delta Gold Amex earns 70,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases in your first six months of account opening. This bonus is worth roughly $840, based on TPG’s most recent valuations.

THE POINTS GUY

With the Delta Platinum Amex, you can earn a welcome offer of 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in purchases in your first six months of account opening. The bonus miles are worth $1,080, based on TPG’s most recent valuations.

While you’re getting more value out of the welcome offer on the Delta Platinum Amex, be sure to factor the annual fee into your equation. The Delta Platinum comes with a $350 annual fee (see rates and fees), whereas the Delta Gold comes with a more modest $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $150 annual fee (see rates and fees).

Winner: Delta Platinum Amex. Thanks to its significantly higher welcome offer.

Related: The ultimate guide to credit card application restrictions

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Delta Gold Amex vs. Delta Platinum Amex benefits

The primary long-term benefits that set the Delta Platinum Amex apart from the Delta Gold are the MQD boost and earning potential. Delta Platinum cardmembers will receive 2,500 MQDs each Medallion Qualification Year and earn 1 MQD for every $20 spent.

Both the Delta Platinum and Delta Gold offer statement credits.

The Delta Platinum has a slew of credits, including up to $120 Resy credit (up to $10 monthly), up to $120 ride-hailing credit (up to $10 monthly), and up to $150 Delta Stays credit per calendar year, in addition to Hertz Five Star status. Enrollment required for select benefits.

Meanwhile, Delta Gold cardmembers receive up to $100 Delta Stays credit per calendar year and a $200 Delta Flight Credit after spending $10,000 on purchases in a calendar year.

KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

The Delta Platinum Amex companion certificate can be put toward a second seat in Main Cabin (L, U, T, X and V fares, but not Basic Economy “E” fares) on a round-trip itinerary on Delta or Delta Connection to the 50 U.S. states, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. You just pay the taxes and fees. That can amount to huge savings if you put it toward an otherwise expensive ticket.

In addition, the Delta Platinum Amex offers a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee credit, which is available once every four to 4½ years. That benefit is somewhat offset by the potential to earn a $100 flight credit with the Delta Gold card after you spend $10,000 or more on eligible purchases each calendar year — though there’s no spending requirement associated with this perk.

Winner: Delta Platinum Amex. Thanks to its variety of statement credits and MQD boost and earning capabilities.

Earning miles on the Delta Gold Amex vs Delta Platinum Amex

The Delta Gold and Delta Platinum have identical earning rates, except the Platinum earns an additional mile per dollar on Delta purchases (3 miles per dollar as opposed to 2) and also earns 3 miles per dollar on purchases made directly with hotels (as opposed to the standard 1 mile per dollar with the Delta Gold).

CLINT HENDERSON/THE POINTS GUY

If you spend reasonable amounts with Delta and at hotels, it makes sense to go with the Platinum.

Winner: Delta Platinum Amex. The increased earning rates allow cardmembers to earn SkyMiles at a faster rate.

Redeeming miles on the Delta Gold Amex vs Delta Platinum Amex

With both the Delta Gold and Delta Platinum, the most straightforward way to redeem your miles is by booking award flights on Delta and its partners. Since Delta uses a dynamic award pricing system, though, redemption rates fluctuate widely. This means you can’t really aim for a set amount of miles to book a specific award.

That said, the Delta SkyMiles program still has some sweet spots. For example, one of the best ways to redeem Delta SkyMiles is to book a SkyMiles deal. Delta frequently has mileage flash sales with significantly discounted economy and even Delta One award flights.

KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

You can also redeem Delta SkyMiles to fly on Delta partner airlines, including SkyTeam alliance partners like Air France and Korean Air and non-alliance partners.

Furthermore, you can redeem SkyMiles for many things other than flights — including premium drinks in Delta Sky Clubs. Most of these redemptions yield a lower return than when redeeming for flights.

TPG credit cards writer Chris Nelson likes to redeem his SkyMiles for last-minute domestic flights, especially transcontinental routes from the Pacific Northwest, as you can score great deals and save 15% off the cost using the TakeOff 15 benefit of the card.

Winner: Tie.

Should I get the Delta Gold Amex or Delta Platinum Amex?

The Delta Platinum card is the more premium of the cards. Its annual fee (see rates and fees) is more than twice that of the Delta Gold card (see rates and fees)— with more benefits to match. If you can take advantage of the additional perks and benefits offered by the card, you should go with the Platinum. However, if you are keeping your costs low, the Gold is the better choice.

How to upgrade from the Delta Gold to Delta Platinum

The Delta Gold is the younger sibling of the Delta Platinum card, and it’s fairly simple to upgrade. Because both are personal cards, you can call American Express customer service and request an upgrade.

When upgrading your card, you forgo earning the welcome offer on the Delta Platinum card. Therefore, our advice would be to downgrade your Gold card and then apply for the Platinum in a new card application.

Remember that American Express has a once-per-lifetime policy for awarding welcome bonuses and has restrictions on earning welcome bonuses for cards within the same family.

Bottom line

If you fly Delta often, Delta Platinum is a great way to boost your SkyMiles account while enjoying several excellent perks, such as the annual companion certificate at each renewal and various statement credits. However, even infrequent Delta flyers will get value from the Delta Gold thanks to a solid welcome offer and basic benefits.

Despite mileage devaluations over the past several years and not publishing award charts anymore, the airline offers regular award flash sales and reasonable redemptions in domestic economy, so there are still some great ways to get value out of the program.

To learn more, check out our full card reviews of the Delta Gold and Delta Platinum.


Apply here: Delta SkyMiles Gold Amex
Apply here: Delta SkyMiles Platinum Amex


For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Platinum card, click here.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Gold card, click here.

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