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There Can Only Be One – Delta Amex Changes & My Clear Winner

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Delta Gold Business Amex

All information about the Delta SkyMiles® American Express Gold, Gold Business, Platinum, Platinum Business, Reserve, Reserve Business, and Blue cards has been collected independently by Miles to Memories. 

Delta Gold Business Amex

They’re at it again. Amex and Delta have revamped their co-branded cards, adding benefits of varying value along with, ahem, annual fee hikes.  You can check out all the changes in DDG’s post.  Not surprisingly, the boatload of changes came all at once across their entire suite of cards (except the Delta Blue), perhaps in an attempt to overwhelm many of us.  Plenty of existing customers will just TLDR it and keep paying the higher annual fees while ignoring many of the benefits.  Others may make the wrong card application choice based on TMI.  But beyond all the muck, I’ve found my path forward with one unnecessarily-long-named card, the Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card, which I’ll truncate to Delta Gold Business Amex today.  Here’s why I’m sticking with that one, but first, a caveat.


I’m not taking into account card signup bonuses, as I’ve previously held a variety of Delta SkyMiles cards.  I probably won’t get the signup bonus, anyway, on most Delta cards.  Sure, no lifetime language offers may eventually appear, and I may change path based on those.  But even if they show up, it’s not necessarily on my timeframe.  Regardless, the way things are trending with Amex, I don’t expect Delta NLL offers any time soon.  And Amex could eventually institute their family rule on Delta Business cards, anyway (only consumer versions of Delta cards are currently subject to this rule).  Beyond this, I’m considering a long term hold strategy for a Delta card in the event referral bonuses dry up – who knows, it could happen.  This further tempers the outsized value of a signup bonus.

Why The Delta Gold Business Amex Is Best For Me

Minor Annual Fee Increase

Of course, an annual fee increase alone shouldn’t be considered a card improvement.  But the annual fee for the Gold cards (consumer and business) each increase from $99 to $150.  A $51 increase is relatively small compared to the $100 hikes on the variety of Delta Platinum and Reserve cards.  So, given the increase, what perks make the Delta Gold Business Amex right for me?

Superior Delta Stays Credit

The Delta Gold Business Amex provides cardholders a $150 annual statement credit for bookings through Delta Stays.  Interestingly, this is a higher credit than the Delta Gold consumer card, which only sports a $100 credit on the same annual fee amount.

Cheapest Entry to TakeOff 15

All Delta Amex cards except the Blue provide the TakeOff 15 benefit, one of the sneakiest-good/-manipulative benefits out there, in my view.  These primary cardholders automatically receive a 15% discount on flights booked with SkyMiles.  Overnight, I felt that it would be overpaying to book SkyMiles redemptions without this benefit.  The Delta Gold cards are the cheapest option for unlocking TakeOff 15.


Delta Gold Business Amex

Everything Else Is Noise…

…to me, at least.  I generally enjoy Delta, particularly their SkyClubs.  But I’m nowhere near a Delta hub and have no need for their elite status.  Anyway, it costs more for me to achieve and isn’t as rewarding as others, in my view.

Let’s get back to the cards.  The additional benefits of the Delta Platinum and Reserve cards don’t do anything big for me.  Plus, ongoing spend on Delta cards is a bad move for me (and most of you, probably), especially since I don’t care about Delta status.  So bonus spend categories from Delta cards doesn’t matter in my situation.  I have plenty of access to SkyClubs via Amex Platinum and Business Platinum cards, so the Reserves aren’t useful to me there.

I probably won’t even bother with $10k spend for the $200 Delta flight credit.  That’s a great new perk for many, but like some of you, I have plenty of ways to book Delta with various existing mileage balances.


I could go on, but it really comes down to this.  The Delta Gold Business Amex is the lowest-maintenance, cheapest Delta card with a few benefits that matter to me most.  Many will do much better with other Delta cards, but I prefer to focus elsewhere.  I know my Delta limits, and I encourage you to reflect on your relationship with the carrier, as well.  I’ve found a nuanced approach in our points and travel hobby works out best, and so it is with the Delta Gold Business Amex.

What’s your take on the Delta Amex card changes?  How are you adapting your strategy?

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
Benjy Harmon
Benjy Harmon
Benjy focuses on the intersection of points, travel, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently roams throughout the USA close to expense-free. Benjy enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. It’s crazy to me that Amex raising the annual fee on the Hilton Surpass and now the Delta Gold may be the beginning of the end for the $95 annual fee credit card…


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