Summary - The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is one of the three Delta credit cards that are available (the others being the Platinum version and the Delta Reserve Card). Choosing which of these three cards you should get involves investigating more deeply into its features and checking if it overlaps with elite status benefits. So let's get going and go through the features of this card.
How You Earn Miles - As with most other frequent flyer cards, cardholder will be able to earn double miles for every dollar spent on Delta tickets. For all other regular stuff you put on the card, you earn one mile per dollar. New cardholders also get 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 after the first three months of your card membership. Here are some of the other perks of this card.
Other Features of this card - Every airline card (or at least the better ones, have features that make a travelers life easier. Here is what this card has to offer.
First Free Baggage - Like many of it's peers, this card offers members the ability to check in their first bag for free. Their companions (up to nine) can also check in their first bags for free.
Priority Boarding - Though this card has so called "priority boarding", we need to explain "what priority it is". The folks who will board Delta plane's first have "Sky Priority" privileges. These privileges are available to folks who fly First Class, BusinessElite/Business Class will pre-board. They will then be followed by Gold, Platinum and Diamond elite status members and SkyTeam ElitePlus customers, and Alaska Airlines® MVP® Gold members. This is then followed by Silver Medallion members and SkyTeam Elite customers.
After these folks have boarded, Delta gold and platinum card members can then board. So although, there is "priority", the folks above will still board first.
But the good thing about the priority boarding is that your companions will board with you.
Delta Gold Vs Platinum and Reserve Card
How is this card different from the Platinum and Reserve version? - Delta credit cards are one of the rare breed of airline credit cards that allow you to earn miles that qualify for elite status (in Delta's case, it is called MQMs). Both the Platinum and Reserve version allow you to earn MQMs if you meet certain spending levels. However, the gold version (ie this card) does not allow you to earn MQMs. So yes, there are differences in annual fees and some features. But the main one is the in ability to earn MQMs.
The Platinum Version allows you to earn 20,000 MQMs when you spend $50,000 on the card. Since silver elite status requires 25,000 MQMs, that means that a Platinum cardholder need only earn 5,000 more MQMs. Delta Reserve Card holders who spend $60,000 a year on the card get 30,000 MQMs which automatically qualifies them for silver status.
Gold, Platinum or Reserve?
Verdict - So should you dismiss this card just because you cannot earn MQMs? Absolutely not. What it means is that if you fly enough to qualify for elite status, and you are not too bothered about features like lounge access, concierge service etc that the other cards provide, then the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card is actually the card you should get (which is quite topsy turvy because with other airline cards, it always pays for elite members to get the higher tier card). You will save on annual fees as well, yet enjoy benefits like having your first baggage free, getting an annual $99 companion ticket certificate and the ability to pay with both points and cash.
If you fly enough to qualify for elite status, you will already get many benefits of this card like first free baggage and "priority boarding". I would say that this card will also suit those who fly Delta just a couple of times a year, fly economy, and do not fly enough to earn elite status. Then the perks like first free baggage and priority boarding will be a real benefit.