On Sept. 7, American Express and Delta Air Lines are launching a Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card with no annual fee. Delta says it’s the only no-annual-fee credit card from a U.S.-based global airline that gives two miles per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants and on “eligible Delta purchases,” and one mile per dollar spent on “all other eligible purchases.”
The card, says Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com’s senior industry analyst, “is trying to be a starter kit for those trying to get in the credit-card rewards game. It’s great that the card doesn’t have an annual fee, and if you’re a frequent Delta flyer, it’s certainly worth considering.”
Cardholders are “often willing to pay an annual fee — even a large one — to get a card that allows them to keep their rewards travel options as open as possible,” Schulz says.
The card is particularly appealing to consumers whose top expenditure is dining, the Delta vice president says. A poll conducted by American Express and Delta shows that U.S. consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 are more likely to travel for leisure in the next year than other age groups, and they dine out on a regular basis.
Accumulating Delta miles, though, may not be as advantageous as earning cash by using another airline credit card.
JPMorgan Chase and United Airlines just announced a new card that gives cash-back rewards instead of United miles, Schulz says. Like the Delta card, there is no annual fee.
“Since it is a cash-back card, it offers more flexibility as to how you spend those rewards,” he says. “It’s an interesting move by Chase and United and clearly shows that the two understand the importance of flexibility with these rewards and the power of cash back.”
Which credit card is the most advantageous for the general population?
“Most Americans just want a simple cash-back card that gives them decent rewards without forcing them to work too hard to get them,” Schulz says. “The Citi Double Cash card is about the best choice for those folks because it gives you 2% cash back on whatever you buy, whenever you buy it. The Capital One Quicksilver Rewards credit card is another good possibility.”