American Express SkyMiles Cards
AMEX has announced major changes coming to their Skymiles family of credit cards in 2020. For current cardholders, the changes will be automatic and no action will be required. New cardholders who apply now will also receive automatic updates to their rewards when the changes go in to effect.
American Express offers 4 personal credit cards and 3 business credit cards under the Delta umbrella. All cards will receive updates to their rewards program and benefits.
Customers and interested consumers can learn more about the at www.NewDeltaAmex.com.
Major Changes and Updates
- Select cards will receive access to The American Express Centurion® Lounges
- TSA Pre-Check will be added as an additional benefit (good every 4 years)
- Dining will earn double Miles and hotel stays will earn triple Miles
- Additional business card perks like double miles for advertising and shipping expenses
- Changes will take effect on 1/30/2020 and will be applied automatically
The primary change for cardholders will be the reward rate for earning miles. All cards will receive a big upgrade in this respect. Double miles for dining will be added to all personal cards. Additionally, Gold and Platinum Cardholders will receive double points for all supermarkets purchases.
These benefits will significantly increase the value of the Delta Cards as a daily spending credit card. Previously the only way to earn additional miles beyond 1:1 was with Delta purchases.
On the downside, some customers will see a modest increase to their annual fee. The Delta Gold Card will increase from $95 to $99 per year. The Platinum Card will increase from $195 to $250. Finally, the Reserve will increase from $450 to $550.
The increase in annual fee will mostly be offset by the additional reward potential. That said, it is never a positive to learn your credit card annual fee is going up!
Additional Travel and Airline Credit Cards
Which Personal Delta Card Is Best For You?
American Express offers four Delta Personal Cards:
- Blue Delta SkyMiles
- Gold Delta SkyMiles
- Platinum Delta SkyMiles
- The Delta Reserve Card
The Blue Delta Card is a no annual fee rewards card. Cardholders earn miles for every purchase including 2x miles for dining. The downside of this card is the new cardholder sign up bonus is severely lacking relative to the other options.
The Gold Delta Card is likely the best bet for Delta fans. The annual fee will be $99 beginning in 2020 (currently waived for the first year). However, the card offers a huge sign up bonus of 60,000 miles for new cardholders.
The Platinum and Reserve cards are designed for frequent Delta travelers looking to earn Medallion Qualifying Miles. These miles allow you to rank up through the rewards program more quickly. These cards have substantially higher fees at $250 and $550, respectively.
Overall, the Gold Card will be the best bet for most cardholders. It strikes the balance of big rewards without a big annual fee. Additional benefits of the more exclusive Platinum card includes one free companion pass each year. This may be well suited for travelers who frequently have a companion on their journey.
Which Business Delta Card Is Best For You?
Much like the personal line of Delta Credit Cards the same cards are offered for business with the exception of the Blue Card. There is no zero annual fee card available for businesses.
Similarly, the reward tiers are increased with the more exclusive cards. The Delta Gold Business Card is a great option for business owners who do not want the higher annual fee. The sign up bonus is substantial (70,000 vs 80,000 for the higher end cards).
Much like the personal cards, the Gold Card does not provide Medallion Qualifying Miles for new cardholders as part of the sign up offer.
Frequent Delta Business travelers will want to consider the higher end cards as they will allow for faster upgrades through the SkyMiles Reward Program.
Final Thoughts – 2020 Delta Upgrades
Most cardholders will find the small increase to their annual fee worth the additional benefits. The addition of categories to earn bonus miles is huge and will make the card a daily spending credit card for many Delta fans.
Travel cards with reward categories are pretty rare. Most card only allow additional points for purchases made with the airline. This is a welcome change that will hopefully begin to spread to other popular airline branded credit cards.