Home Credit Cards 5 Reasons You Should Have A Delta Co-Brand Credit Card

5 Reasons You Should Have A Delta Co-Brand Credit Card

by joeheg

When it comes to co-brand airline credit cards, each carrier has a target customer base. The most advertised card is the one that costs $85-$99 a year and provides some of the same benefits as those provided to those with entry-level status. If you travel with an airline a few times a year, these cards can come in handy and will pay for themselves after 1-2 trips.

With Orlando as our base, we have an interesting situation. There’s no one airline that dominates the airport. It’s not like we’re living in Atlanta, Newark or Dallas where you’re stuck with one major airline. While this has its positives, it also means we’ll never travel exclusively on a single airline. If we want to get benefits on our travels, we have to hold credit cards from several airlines. For my money, the one that saves us the most is the Delta Airlines American Express Gold Card.

Here are five reasons occasional Delta passengers should have a Gold-level co-brand AMEX card.

Free Checked Bags

Delta provides a free checked bag for the cardholder and up to eight other people traveling on the same reservation. You don’t have to pay for the ticket with your Gold Delta SkyMiles card, but the cardholder does have to have their SkyMiles number on the reservation.

I recently booked a round-trip on Delta, where we’re both going to check a bag.

I’ll save $120 on this trip with a Gold Delta AMEX card. I’m already ahead since the card only costs $99 a year. Unlike some other benefits I only use because I have them, like lounge access, I was going to check a bag regardless of whether it was free.

I didn’t have to pay for my trip with my Delta Gold AMEX to get the benefit. I paid with SkyMiles and put the taxes on my Sapphire Reserve to take advantage of the better trip delay and lost baggage insurance this card offers.

TakeOff 15

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite perks of having a Delta co-brand AMEX card. Delta SkyMiles Gold, Gold Business, Platinum, Platinum Business, Reserve and Reserve Business American Express Card Members save 15% on reservations booked with Delta SkyMiles. There are no lockout dates and it works on all Delta award tickets.

On this trip, we saved 8,600 SkyMiles. Since SkyMiles are worth at least 1 cent each, that’s at least an $86 rebate.

20% In-Flight Savings

You’ll receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit on eligible pre-purchased meals and in-flight purchases of food, alcoholic beverages, and audio headsets on Delta-operated flights. You must use the Delta SkyMiles Card to complete the in-flight purchase to receive the savings.

Priority Boarding

The primary cardmember and eight companions on the same reservation will be invited to board Delta-operated flights before general boarding. This boarding is with Main Cabin 1 that includes the following:

  • Silver Medallion Members
  • Delta Corporate Travelers
  • Gold, Platinum and Reserve Delta SkyMiles credit card members
  • Flying Blue Silver members
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Silver members
  • SkyTeam Elite
  • SkyMiles Select members
  • LATAM Pass Gold+ Elite
  • WestJet Rewards Silver Elite

It’s nice to know that you will likely not be asked to gate-check your carry-on bag regardless of your seating position.

Pay With Miles

This little-known benefit allows you to pay for part (of all) of your ticket with your SkyMiles. This will enable you to use your miles at a penny per point to pay for a cash ticket on Delta. You redeem miles in increments of 5,000 miles for $50. Since you can redeem points at 5,000-mile increments, it’s a useful way to redeem them if you’re not earning a bunch by flying or with credit card spend. To find out more about this benefit, check out the Delta website.

Final Thoughts

Between the free checked bag benefit and the 15% saving on award bookings, the Delta co-brand card pays for itself every year. The additional benefits are nice but are more challenging to assign a cash value.

As long as we’re flying on Delta a few times a year, I’ll always have one of the Delta co-brand AMEX cards in my wallet.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

1 comment

Syndy May 22, 2023 - 11:07 pm

Does the Delta amex benefits apply to international travels? Delt operated flights work better within the USA. Outside it their staff seems undedicated. I was returning to the US with Delta operated flights from Africa and I told the agent checking me in that my first bag is free and she was arguing with me that I can’t check three bags free on Delta premium select.


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