A contest pitting Amex Delta Gold vs. Platinum will probably resolve in favor of Gold for most people, at least after the first year. The Platinum annual fee is $250, while the Gold card fee is: $0 intro 1st yr, $99 after.
During the first year, the difference in bonuses covers the higher fee you pay with Amex Delta Platinum. After that, it depends on how much you spend and how much you value Medallion Qualifying Miles. Medallion Qualifying Miles, or MQMs, are miles that earn you Medallion status. Medallion is Delta’s rewards program for its most loyal customers. You need at least 25,000 MQMs to qualify, and you’ll earn more of them with the Platinum card.
So, you can see exactly how the two cards compare, I’ll walk you through the differences below.
Here’s how Amex Delta Gold vs Platinum shakes out:
Initial bonus: Gold offers 70,000 bonus miles for spending $2,000 in your first 3 months, which are redeemable for $959 in Delta airfare. With Platinum, you get 90,000 bonus miles for spending $3,000 in your first 3 months.
Annual Fee: $0 for the first year and then $99 for Gold, $250 for Platinum.
Membership renewal bonus: Gold does not offer one. Platinum gives you a companion certificate for a domestic round-trip Main Cabin flight. All you may have to pay is up to $75 in taxes and fees.
Annual spending bonus: With Gold, after you spend $10,000 in purchases in a calendar year, you will receive a $100 Delta Flight Credit to inspire your next travel. Platinum offers 10,000 MQMs for spending $25,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year, up to two times per year. One of the requirements for the lowest Medallion Status level, Silver, is to earn 25,000 MQMs in a year.
Rewards earning: With Platinum, you earn 3 miles per dollar on Delta purchases, and purchases made directly with hotels, 2 miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets and 1 mile per dollar for all other purchases. With Gold, you get 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets and 1 mile per dollar for all other purchases.
Delta Sky Club access: Platinum lets you use Delta Sky Club airport lounges at a discounted rate of $39 per visit. Delta Sky Club access is no longer available to Gold.
First checked bag free: Gold and Platinum both give a free checked bag to the primary card member and up to nine guests on the same Delta reservation.
Other benefits: Both cards offer priority boarding, extended warranties, purchase protection, return protection, and rental car insurance. The Amex Delta Platinum card also offers baggage insurance.
When it comes to Amex Delta Gold vs. Platinum, Platinum only makes sense if you spend and fly enough to get Medallion status.
You need 25,000 MQMs per year to hit the lowest Medallion tier, plus $3,000 total in Delta purchases. Medallion members earn at least 7 miles for every $1 in Delta purchases, and get baggage and other fees waived.
So, if you need a few thousand MQMs to push you over the edge, and plan to spend the $25,000 a year required for the 10,000 MQM bonus, getting the Platinum card could be worth it. But for most people, the Amex Delta Gold card is the better option. You’ll earn Delta miles at a similar rate, while paying a much smaller annual fee.
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