Limited-Time Offer: How to Earn 65,000 Delta Miles (Worth up to $910 in Flights) Without an Annual Fee

Delta devotees will want this one in their wallet.


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What are travel credit cards, and how do they work?

Travel credit cards are financial products that offer various rewards and benefits geared towards frequent travelers. They typically earn you points or miles for every dollar spent on eligible purchases. These rewards can be redeemed for flights, hotel stays, car rentals, and other travel-related expenses. Travel credit cards may also include perks like travel insurance, airport lounge access, and no foreign transaction fees.

How do I choose the best travel credit card for my needs?

Choosing the best travel credit card depends on your travel habits, spending patterns, and preferences. Consider factors like the type of rewards offered (points, miles, or cash back), the card’s annual fee, sign-up bonuses, earning rates, redemption options, and additional travel perks. Analyzing these features will help you find a card that aligns with your lifestyle and offers the most value.

What are the benefits of using a travel credit card over other types of credit cards?

Travel credit cards provide unique advantages for travelers, such as earning rewards specifically tailored to travel expenses. Additionally, many travel credit cards offer travel-related perks like free checked bags, priority boarding, and travel insurance. Some cards also waive foreign transaction fees, making them ideal for international travelers.

What is a sign-up bonus, and how can I qualify for it?

A sign-up bonus is a promotional offer provided by the credit card issuer to entice new cardholders. To qualify for a sign-up bonus, you usually need to meet specific spending requirements within a certain timeframe after opening the account. The bonus can be in the form of points, miles, or cash back, and it’s a great way to jump-start your rewards earning.

Do travel credit cards charge foreign transaction fees?

Not all travel credit cards charge foreign transaction fees. Many of the top-tier travel cards waive these fees, making them ideal for international travel. However, it’s essential to read the card’s terms and conditions to confirm this before using it abroad.

How can I maximize the rewards earned with my travel credit card?

To maximize rewards, use your travel credit card for everyday expenses and large purchases. Take advantage of bonus categories and special promotions to earn more points or miles. Consider combining your travel credit card with loyalty programs to stack rewards and get even more value out of your purchases.

There’s a solid list of options for the best credit card for airline miles no annual fee, and right now, Delta is among them.

Six Delta credit cards received a major overhaul on February 1, 2024. You’ll find improved welcome bonuses, new statement credits, and (unfortunately) increased annual fees.

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is the only personal Delta credit card that allows you to reap the value of the positive changes without the negative ones. That’s because in the first year of card membership, there is a $0 introductory annual fee, and $150 thereafter (see rates and fees)—making it the best credit card for airline miles no annual fee at the moment. 

The card currently offers 65,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first six months from account opening. That’ll take you just about anywhere you want to go. 

We’ll show you how the card’s benefits and its bonus can deliver you huge value in the first year and beyond, making it a no-brainer for many travelers.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

65,000 Bonus Miles

after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 6 months

Annual Fee: $0 intro annual fee the first year, then $150  |  Terms Apply  |  Rates & Fees

How to earn the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Amex Credit Card bonus

Among the best credit card for airline miles no annual fee, the Delta SkyMiles Gold Card is a strong contender. It comes with 65,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first six months from account opening. 

This card has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $150 in the second year and beyond (see rates and fees). That means you can enjoy this bonus without any out-of-pocket cost to you. And remember that Delta miles do not expire—once they’re in your SkyMiles account, they’ll stay there, even if you no longer hold a Delta credit card.

On top of the bonus, you’ll be able to take advantage of the card’s many other money-saving benefits like an annual $100 hotel credit, $200 Delta flight credit, free checked bags, and more. 

How to use the Delta SkyMiles Gold Card’s 65,000-mile bonus

Though Delta miles can take you just about anywhere you want to go, you’ll get the best deals when redeeming for domestic US or Caribbean-bound flights. 

Something to consider when searching for the best credit card to earn airline miles is how it can be used with your preferred airline. 

Delta Airlines is one of the largest airlines in the US and around the globe, so you’ll have a plethora of options when redeeming miles for flights.

In terms of the best credit card for airline miles no annual fee, Delta miles are worth about 1.2 to 1.4 cents on average, meaning it’s fairly easy to get between $780 and $910 worth of travel from the card’s 65,000-mile bonus, whether on flights operated by Delta itself or with its 20-plus partners, such as Air France, Virgin Atlantic, and Garuda Indonesia. This is the best way to get totally wild value for your miles—though it’s also possible to get a bad value if you’re not careful.

Here are a few great ways to use your new 65,000-mile bounty:

  • Book three roundtrip flights from Denver to The Bahamas ($790+in value). 
  • Book two roundtrip flights from Los Angeles to New York ($800+ in value).
  • Book a roundtrip flight from New York to Paris ($740+ in value).
caribbean islands
You'll get great value when using the Delta miles to fly the Carribbean.

You can also use Delta miles for all kinds of stuff, including non-airfare related things like culinary experiences, magazines, and champagne at a Delta Sky Club airport lounge. You’ll often get the best return, however, when redeeming for flights—which makes this a solid contender for the best credit card to earn airline miles. 

A feature exclusive for Delta cardholders is called “Pay With Miles.” This allows you to exchange your miles for 1 cent each toward any Delta-operated flight. You must pay in increments of 5,000 miles. For example, when paying for a flight that costs $330, you’ll pay either 35,000 Delta miles or 30,000 Delta miles and $30.

Using Pay With Miles is an easy option that allows you to guarantee a value of at least $780 from the Delta SkyMiles Gold Card’s current welcome bonus. Just note that you’ll find this option at checkout when booking a paid fare (not an award flight).

Navigator Tip

⭐️ Cardmembers get an additional 15 percent off award flights! ⭐️

Want to get even more value from your SkyMiles? With the Delta Amex Gold (among other eligible cards), you can save an additional 15 percent using the TakeOff 15 benefit. The benefit offers the dazzling discount on award travel on Delta flights. 

For example, if you want to book a flight that requires 14,000 SkyMiles, it will only cost 11,900 SkyMiles with the discount.

What other benefits does the Delta SkyMiles Gold Card offer?

This card’s annual fee is now $150 ($0 the first year), which is a hike from the card’s previous $99 annual fee, but you’ll likely find that its new benefits are worth the price tag.

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • First checked bag free for you and up to eight passengers on your reservation. Checked bags cost $30 each way, so this could save you a lot if you routinely check bags. Checking a bag for just you and one travel partner on a single roundtrip flight would cost $120, but the Delta SkyMiles Gold Card would wipe that fee away.
  • Priority boarding for you and those on your reservation. You can’t buy this; it’s only reserved for those who have bought a Delta Comfort+ seat or higher.
  • 15% discount when booking Delta award flights (known as TakeOff 15). This perk effectively makes your Delta miles 15% more valuable when booking a Delta-operated award flight.
  • 20% back for inflight purchases (food and drinks).
  • No foreign transaction fees. You can swipe your card as much as you want when you’re abroad and won’t be charged for it (see rates and fees).

Delta’s also added and improved certain card benefits that can make it a keeper year after year.

First, you’ll receive a $200 Delta Flight Credit each calendar year in which you spend $10,000 on the card. Previously, the Delta SkyMiles Gold Card offered a $100 flight credit—so this perk is twice as valuable for those who manage to earn it. Spending $10,000 in a year may seem steep at first, but it works out to putting an average of $833 a month on the card.

delta air lines business class suites seats
You can use the $200 Delta flight credit towards flights in Delta economy, or Delta One business class with lie-flat seats.

Also, the card now comes with up to a $100 in Delta Stay Credit every year. You can use this to offset a prepaid hotel or vacation rental booked through Delta. Booking a hotel or vacation rental through Delta Stays is similar to booking through an online travel agency like Expedia or Priceline. You can choose from thousands of properties in the US and around the globe. Just book through Delta to get a $100 discount on a stay of your choosing.

Here’s how much value using just a few of these perks could get you: Let’s assume you and a travel partner take two roundtrip flights on Delta a year. If you use the checked bag benefit on those two flights you’ll save $240, add in the $200 Delta flight credit and $100 Delta stays credit, and from just those three perks alone, you’d extract $540 in savings!

Is the Delta SkyMiles Gold Card good for earning miles after the intro bonus?

The Delta SkyMiles Gold Card isn’t the best credit card to earn airline miles for regular spending, but it’s not bad, either. You’ll get:

  • 2X miles per dollar on Delta purchases
  • 2X miles per dollar at U.S. restaurants (including takeout and delivery)
  • 2X miles per dollar at U.S. supermarkets
  • 1X mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases

Grocery and dining tend to be two of the biggest monthly expenses for most of us, so the ability to earn 2X miles per dollar on these purchases means you could easily earn enough rewards for a modest trip or two each year. 

Or, because Delta miles don’t expire, you can amass them over a couple of years to redeem them for something more impressive.

You can use your Delta Stay credit to book hotels in the U.S. and around the world, including luxury properties like the Shangri-La Paris.

What cards compete with the Delta SkyMiles Gold Card?

For Delta flyers looking for the best credit card to earn airline miles, the cards that compete most closely with the Delta SkyMiles Gold Card are other Delta personal credit cards:

Each of these cards offer several hundred dollars in additional statement credits, including Rideshare Credit (to be used with Uber, Lyft, and other partners), Resy Credit (to be used for restaurants that participate with Resy), and Stay Credit (for prepaid hotels and vacation rentals booked via Delta).

And here’s the best part: Both of these cards also come with an annual companion certificate that allows you to take a friend or family member along for just the cost of taxes and fees when flying domestically (including to Hawaii and Alaska) or to Mexico, the Caribbean, or Central America. The certificate is only valid for flying Delta.

The biggest perk of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is the access you’ll get to Delta Sky Club airport lounges. Right now you’ll get unlimited access to Sky Club lounges, but starting 2/1/2025, Reserve cardmembers will receive 15 visits per year. To earn an unlimited number of Sky Club visits you’ll need to spend $75,000 or more in a calendar year.

Avid Delta flyers, all three of these options should be at the top of your list upon your search for the best credit card to earn airline miles. 

The point

The Delta SkyMiles Gold Card delivers great value to Delta devotees. Plus, you don’t even have to pay an annual fee until year two—making it the best credit card for airline miles no annual fee right now. That gives you plenty of time to test the card out and see if it’s a good fit for your lifestyle with no financial investment.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

65,000 Bonus Miles

after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 6 months

Annual Fee: $0 intro annual fee the first year, then $150  |  Terms Apply  |  Rates & Fees

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone. This post contains references to products from one or more of our partners and we may receive compensation when you click on links to those products.

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