Who has the best travel card? Not all gold cards are created equal, so get ready for the ultimate showdown: Amex Gold vs. Delta Gold.
When it comes to luxury credit cards, American Express definitely has the Midas touch. Amex is well known for its Amex Gold credit card, which offers high-level customer service and exclusive perks and benefits. Credit card shoppers might not know that Amex offers two gold cards: the standard Amex Gold and a Delta Amex Gold. Your choice will depend on your lifestyle and priorities (and, of course, if you’re a loyal Delta customer).
What makes a great travel card?
The main difference between the Amex Gold and the Amex Gold Delta lies in their names. The Amex Gold card offers the American Express signature menu of perks, while the Delta Gold Amex is focused on Delta products and services. If you’re a frequent Delta customer, then the Amex Gold Delta is your ideal card. If you’re more focused on using points for a variety of activities—flights, restaurants, hotels, grocery shopping, Uber Eats—then Amex Gold is a good option. Imagine, you can supersize your points by taking an Uber to your favorite restaurant.
When you compare Amex Gold vs. Delta Gold, the biggest difference is travel perks. We’ll look at how you earn rewards, use them, and what other benefits come with gold status.
Overview of the Amex Gold card
The popular Amex Gold card is loaded with perks. Earn points on every dollar you spend on dining, travel, and eligible purchases, with discounts on popular products and services. And, the valuable Membership Rewards points can be exchanged for travel, retail, concert and sports tickets, and more.
Sign up for the Amex Gold card, and you’ll receive 90,000 Membership Rewards points. Word of caution: Don’t count your points before they’ve hatched. To qualify for the introductory offer, you’ll have to spend $4,000 on the card in the first six months.
Amex Gold customers earn Membership Rewards points on qualified purchases in many everyday spending categories. Highlights include:
- 4x points on purchases at U.S. grocery stores up to $25,000 per year.
- 4x points on restaurants.
- 3x points on flights booked through Amex Travel or through airlines.
- 1x points on all other purchases.
The Amex Gold card is heavy on member benefits:
- Up to $120 per year in Uber Cash for ride share or Uber Eats.
- $120 annual dining credit.
- Access to American Express presales and exclusive events.
- Pay Over Time payment options.
- Hotel Collection Benefits, including a $100 credit for dining and spas.
- Use Membership Rewards for prepaid hotels and flights.
- Redeem points for sports gear, appliances, tech, experiences.
- 24/7 emergency assistance when you’re more than 100 miles from home.
Travel redemption options
The Amex Gold card lets you redeem reward points for flights, hotels, dining, and more.
- “Pay with Points” lets you use Membership Rewards to book flights and hotels through AmexTravel.com.
- Use rewards to upgrade on more than 20 partner airlines.
- 10% discount on airline fares with 40 airlines when you use points on eligible Insider Fares.
Gold membership doesn’t come cheap. The Amex Gold annual fee is $250 per year.
Overview of the Delta SkyMiles Amex Gold card
If you’re a loyal Delta customer—or you plan to become one—this card should be on your radar. Delta Amex Gold is all about airline miles, with offers for Delta SkyMiles members, including bonus miles, upgrades, and discounts.
Check out this generous introductory offer of 70,000 bonus miles. That could be enough to get you and a companion to a tropical beach or mountain retreat, maybe both. To qualify, new cardmembers need to spend at least $2,000 in the first three months.
For every dollar spent, Amex Delta Gold customers earn airline miles on Delta:
- 2x miles at American restaurants.
- 2x miles at U.S. grocery stores.
- 2x miles on purchases made directly with Delta.
- 1x miles on all other purchases.
With an Amex Delta Gold card, you’ll feel like a Delta VIP:
- First checked bag free for you and up to nine companions on the same reservation.
- $100 Delta flight credit after you spend $10,000 in a calendar year.
- 20% back in statement credit on Delta in-flight purchases.
- No blackout dates on Delta flights.
- Main Cabin Group 1 boarding status.
- 24/7 emergency assistance services when you’re more than 100 miles from home.
Travel redemption options
Earn miles with the Delta Gold Amex, and you can use them on Delta Airlines or one of its SkyAlliance partners.
- Cash in SkyMiles miles for reward tickets on Delta flights or qualifying airlines.
- Use miles to reduce ticket costs.
- Use miles to upgrade to another class of service.
The Delta Amex Gold annual fee starts at $0 for the first year and then increases to $99 per year.
Amex Gold vs. Delta SkyMiles Amex Gold: Which one makes more sense for you?
Once you’re good to go gold, pick a card: it’s Amex Gold vs. Delta Gold. They’re both stocked with perks, so it boils down to this: Are you a Delta customer? If you fly Delta frequently, then the Delta Amex Gold is a great choice. Otherwise, go with the Amex Gold and get more options for your hard-earned reward points.
After discussing this piece, my partner traded in his Delta Amex for an Amex Gold because he moved to a new city where Delta doesn’t offer many flights.