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Rewards for foodies and Delta loyalists at a reasonable price.

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At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict editorial integrity , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for how we make money and how we rate our cards . The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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Bottom line

If you spend heavily across Delta, U.S. restaurant and U.S. supermarket purchases, the SkyMiles Gold may be the best Delta Air Lines card to start with thanks to its low cost and helpful travel perks for frequent flyers.

Image of Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards.

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Earn 40,000 Miles

Intro offer

Earn 40,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

Offer valuation

We calculate this number by multiplying the card's intro offer by Bankrate's valuation of this issuer's rewards program , showing you how much your points or miles are worth in dollars.

Rewards rate

Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at U.S. Supermarkets and at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $150.

20.99%-29.99% Variable

On This Page

  • Current offer details

Delta SkyMiles Gold pros and cons

  • Reasons to get this card
  • Reasons to skip this card

First-year value vs. ongoing value

  • Expert experience
  • Delta Gold card vs. other airline cards

Best cards to pair with the Delta SkyMiles Gold card

  • Is this card worth getting?
  • Rating methodology

Frequently asked questions

Delta skymiles® gold american express card overview.

Less-frequent Delta travelers who want to stockpile miles from their household and dining expenses will likely get the most value out of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card.

Despite its annual fee, the Delta Gold card’s unlimited rewards, welcome offer and travel benefits outweigh its no-annual-fee sibling, the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card . Considering the first checked bag free or the annual flight credit perks can cover the annual fee, the SkyMiles Gold might work well as a starter Delta card.

Travelers chasing immediate savings over luxury benefits could easily find that this card is the best Delta credit card for their occasional flights. However, the co-branded SkyMiles Gold isn’t as flexible as a general-purpose travel credit card , which may be worth it if you’re an infrequent traveler or aren’t as eager for Delta-specific perks.

  • 2X miles on restaurant (plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.)
  • 2X miles on U.S. supermarkets
  • 2X miles on Delta purchases
  • 1X miles on all other purchases

Expert Appraisal: Good See our expert analysis

Welcome offer

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first six months of card membership

Expert Appraisal : Good See our expert analysis

Rates and fees

  • Annual fee: $150 ($0 intro annual fee for the first year)
  • APR : 20.99 percent to 29.99 percent variable
  • Cash advance fee: $10 or 5 percent of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Late payment fee: Up to $40
  • Returned payment fee: Up to $40
  • Overlimit fee: None

Expert Appraisal : Typical See our expert analysis

Other cardholder perks

  • Complimentary ShopRunner membership (enrollment required)
  • Pay It Plan It
  • 20 percent statement credit on Delta in-flight purchases
  • $200 Delta flight credit (after spending $10,000 or more on your card in a calendar year)  
  • $100 Delta Stays Credit (up to $100 as a statement credit each year after booking prepaid hotels or vacation rentals with your Card through Delta Stays on delta.com).
  • First checked bag free

The $150 annual fee is $0 the first year and easy to offset afterward.

This card earns slightly elevated rewards on everyday expenses, like dining and groceries, which can help infrequent travelers stack up on rewards.

It carries several valuable travel benefits flight and hotel credits and a free first checked bag.

Lackluster redemption options and no definite award redemption value restrict the reward value of this card.

Despite its annual fee, this card doesn't offer many luxury perks, like complimentary airport lounge access.

If you are a frequent Delta customer, this card may disappoint since it doesn't offer any bonuses or status boosts to help you earn Medallion Status.

Why you might want the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card

The Delta SkyMiles Gold Amex is a solid choice for frequent Delta flyers who want to earn high-value rewards on food spending. Plus, you can easily offset your annual fee with perks and a welcome offer.

Rewards: Earns valuable miles in common categories

The Delta SkyMiles Gold offers 2X miles on Delta purchases, 2X miles at restaurants (including U.S. delivery and takeout) and U.S. supermarkets (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target) and 1X miles on all other purchases. 

It should be easy to earn rewards since dining and supermarkets are common expenses. But even if you aren’t a foodie, you’ll still rack up the miles as long as you spend frequently on Delta airfare.

Redemption: Value could potentially be worth more than base 

The value of your miles varies based on how you redeem your rewards, but Delta SkyMiles are among the more valuable airline miles. Based on Bankrate’s latest points and miles valuations , Delta SkyMiles are worth an estimated 1.2 cents each when redeemed for award flights. This valuation places Delta among the top domestic airline rewards programs.

* Based on weighted average of median point/mile values across economy and first/business class fares.

If you want to ensure you’re getting the best value, calculate the value of your miles before you book your flight. Divide the cash cost of the ticket you want to purchase by the amount of points needed.

For example, if you’re booking a flight from Boston to Miami that costs either $365 or 28,500 miles, your points would be worth 1.3 cents each ($365 / 28,500 = $0.0128 or 1.3 cents). This valuation is higher than Bankrate’s estimated value of 1.2 cents- per mile, so you’d get a great deal.

If the same $365 flight costs 54,000 miles, your miles would only be worth 0.7 cents ($365 / 54,000 = $0.0067). This number is well below our estimated valuation of 1.2 cents per mile. If possible, you’re better off searching for a different flight or paying with cash and saving your miles for another trip.

However, redemption options are limited compared to non-branded travel cards. You can't transfer miles to other loyalty programs, and options like “Pay with Miles,” where you can get $50 off every 5,000 miles redeemed, only let you book travel or upgrade seats with Delta, not any of its SkyTeam partner airlines . Non-travel redemption options are also few, and your value per point may decrease.

Perks: Convenient travel benefits for hassle-free flying

The Delta Gold card carries a host of benefits that can save you time and money when you fly with Delta:

  • $200 annual Delta flight credit after spending $10,000 in one calendar year
  • Up to $100 annually as a statement credit each year on prepaid bookings with your card through Delta Stays or delta.com.
  • 15% off when using miles to book Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app (not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees)
  • $50 off your flight cost for every 5,000 miles redeemed with Pay With Miles on delta.com
  • First checked bag is free on Delta flights
  • Zone 5 Priority Boarding
  • 20 percent statement credit back on select in-flight purchases
  • Travel protections , including baggage insurance and car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Shopping protections , including extended warranty coverage and purchase protection

These features can justify the Delta Skymiles Gold card’s annual fee and perks like priority boarding can make traveling a bit easier.

The Delta SkyMiles Gold also carries its weight with baggage insurance and car rental loss and damage insurance. But competing cards might offer more attractive perks. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card , for instance, offers trip cancellation and interruption insurance, one of the most coveted travel protections, plus bonus points on your account’s anniversary and other annual credits.

Cardholders also won't enjoy any Medallion Status Boost, limiting its value for rewards enthusiasts. While the Delta Gold card allows you to earn “Medallion Qualification” currency, achieving top Delta perks and rewards rates this way is more difficult without a premier Delta card.

Welcome offer: Good value for low spending

You can earn a welcome bonus of 40,000 miles after spending $2,000 in purchases within your first six months as a cardholder. Based on Bankrate’s latest mile valuations , we estimate this bonus can be worth around $480 in travel with Delta. But even if you only get 1 cent per mile in redemption value, you'll still enjoy $400 in Delta travel.

The welcome bonus value is pretty impressive considering the card's annual fee is $0 in the first year ($150 after that). The value of your welcome offer could help offset the cost of holding the card for your first two years or more.

Why you might want a different travel credit card

If you don’t often fly Delta you may not feel at home with this card in your wallet. But even if you do fly Delta, this card's lack of an intro APR and high fees may make a general travel rewards card a better fit. 

APR: No zero-interest periods and a high APR

This card lacks intro APR periods for purchases and balance transfers. Although this is typical for co-branded travel cards, several general travel cards have intro APR periods, giving them great short-term value for new cardholders with current card debt or new purchases on the horizon. Financing a flight, hotel, food and other purchases without interest temporarily can make visiting your dream destination a much more relaxing experience.

Also, the APR on this card can be relatively high, so you might want to look elsewhere if you tend to carry a balance on your card. You'll also face late payment fees and a penalty APR for any missed payments. 

Thanks to the card’s generous welcome offer, you'll get great first-year value. Having your annual fee $0 for the first year only sweetens the pot. And if you take advantage of the free checked bag, Delta Stays credit and Delta flight credit perks every year, you can add to the card's long-term value and offset the annual fee. With that in mind, the Delta Gold could be a good trial to see whether you may need to upgrade or downgrade your Delta card if it turns out the annual fee or absent Status Boost are deal breakers.

Here’s a look at your potential first-year and ongoing value based on our credit card rating methodology and an annual spend of around $22,000. 

We tried it: Here’s what our experts say

Frequent traveler and Bankrate writer Ryan Flanigan sees a ton of value in using the Delta SkyMiles Gold for everyday purchases. Based on his experience as the owner of a binder full of travel cards, he says maximizing everyday rewards rates can make it easy to offset card costs. 

This card may be your best option overall if you want to earn Delta miles and enjoy valuable Delta perks. In my experience with airline cards, practical everyday bonus categories are key to earning rewards and qualifying for spend-based perks like this card’s flight credit, and I’ve found annual fees become less intimidating when you look at the potential value of perks like these, which can make it easy to offset annual fees. — Ryan Flanigan, Writer, Credit Cards

How the Delta Gold card compares to other travel rewards cards

The Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card has plenty of perks for individuals looking for an entry point into co-branded airline credit cards and offers ample opportunity to offset the annual fee. However, if you’re a frequent traveler who doesn’t mind splurging on a higher annual fee to enjoy more premium benefits, another travel card might be ideal.

Image of Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Recommended Credit Score

Image of Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels. Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets. Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.

Image of Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Earn 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening, plus receive a one-time $250 Capital One Travel credit in your first cardholder year – that’s equal to $1,000 in travel

5 Miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card vs. Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Though it poses a $350 annual fee, the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card   might be a better option if you often travel with Delta since it bumps the airline purchase rewards to 3X miles and provides a much richer suite of Delta-specific perks. 

For instance, the SkyMiles Platinum offers up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® application fees (both now available following Global Entry approval via an Authorized Enrollment Provider), annual Main Cabin round-trip companion ticket (only valid for domestic flights) stacked on top of the SkyMiles Gold card’s benefits. The SkyMiles Platinum also provides a faster means of achieving elite Medallion status with Delta through its MQD Headstart by recieving $2,500 Medallion® Qualification Dollars each Medallion Qualification Year, and offers incredible benefits like fee waivers, premium customer service and exclusive airport and airline privileges. .

This card's perks could help offset the higher annual fee, so the SkyMiles Platinum card might better suit your needs if you prefer to take advantage of more benefits. 

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card vs. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

For anyone who doesn’t have brand loyalty to Delta airlines, but still doesn’t travel enough to warrant a high-priced premium travel card, the Capital One Venture Rewards may check many boxes.

You earn a flat 2X miles for all purchases, so you can stack up plenty of miles with everyday spending. You can also earn 5X miles on hotel and rental car purchases through the Capital One Travel portal.

The annual fee for the Capital One Venture card is slightly cheaper, but you won’t get the fee waived in the first year like you do with Delta Skymiles Gold. Neither card has trip cancellation and interruption insurance, but both cards have worthwhile perks depending on your preferences. The Capital One Venture offers a credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, while the Delta SkyMiles Gold has a Delta travel credit and waives the cost of your first checked bag each way on all round-trip flights.

Capital One miles are also worth more according to Bankrate's latest valuations, at around 1.7 cents per mile. Plus, the Venture card has more redemption options, like being able to transfer your miles to one of its partner airline loyalty programs. If you're loyal to Delta, the Delta Skymiles Gold is a good pick with a reasonable annual fee and decent benefits. If you prefer luxury perks and flexibility, then you might consider the Capital One Venture card.

Other Membership Rewards-earning American Express cards can not only transfer points to Delta, but also rack up points that are more valuable when transferred to other airline partners. Also, you might pair with a general travel card to give you more flexibility. 

American Express® Green Card

The American Express® Green Card may be a great option for pairing with the Delta Gold since most reward rates overlap or outclass the Delta Gold card’s. You can earn 3X on restaurants and transit, for instance, plus enjoy lounge access through a statement credit for LoungeBuddy. However, be sure you can offset the $150 annual fee with the card's rewards or perks.  

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

A flat-rate card that earns rewards you can redeem for travel outside Delta may also be helpful, like the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card . While the rewards rate might be lower than a tiered card, you are not tied to a single airline so you can weigh your options to find the best value for your miles or points. You also don't have to worry about offsetting an annual fee as there's no cost to carrying this card.

Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

The higher-tier Delta Platinum card provides MQD Headstart, an annual companion certificate and extra travel protection features. You can make the most of the Platinum card’s benefits and use the Delta Gold card to earn more rewards on purchases outside the airline. Just ensure your total spending justifies the additional $350 annual fee.

Who is the Delta SkyMiles Gold card right for?

Co-branded cards aren’t a great fit for everyone, but Delta loyalists and frequent flyers might consider the Delta SkyMiles Gold worthwhile.

Fans of Delta

If you fly Delta regularly but not enough to justify a higher tier card, this card might be right for you. Although the Delta SkyMiles Gold lacks a status boost, it’s an affordable card for Delta customers who take a handful of trips each year. 

Frequent travelers

Using an airline credit card to book flights can help you save on the extra costs associated with flying with that airline — like checking a bag. If you fly frequently, you could save hundreds of dollars with the first checked bag free perk. Additionally, benefits like priority boarding can be an attractive feature if you travel a lot.

Bankrate’s Take — Is the Delta Gold card worth it?

Despite the annual fee after the first year, the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express card is a terrific starter with Delta. Its ample benefits and rewards on everyday purchases at restaurants and supermarkets provide great rewards for value-minded travelers who aren’t chasing elite status perks. Its free checked bag perk and annual travel credit essentially cover the annual fee, which is enough to put it over the base Delta Blue SkyMiles card.

However, unless you’re a loyal Delta traveler, it might be wise to choose a non-branded card, especially if flexible rewards for day-to-day expenses is your priority. The Delta SkyMiles Gold's rewards value and features can be stronger, especially compared to other premium travel cards. And if you are a frequent Delta flyer, a higher-caliber Delta card may be worth considering since they come with more airline-exclusive perks and Status Boost.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Gold card, please click here .

Eligibility and Benefit level varies by card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

All information about the American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.

How we rated this card

We rate credit cards using a proprietary card scoring system that ranks each card’s estimated average rewards rate, estimated annual earnings, welcome bonus value, APR, fees, perks and more against those of other cards in its primary category.

Each card feature is assigned a weighting based on how important it is to people looking for a card in a given category. These features are then scored based on how they rank relative to the features on other cards in the category. Based on these calculations, each card receives an overall rating of 1-5 stars (with 5 being the highest possible score and 1 being the lowest). 

We analyzed over 150 of the most popular rewards and cash back cards to determine where each stacked up based on their value, cost, benefits and more. Here are some of the key factors that influenced this card’s overall score and how the score influenced our review:

Rewards value

The primary criteria for a rewards or cash back card’s rating is its rewards value. This includes the card’s average rewards rate, estimated annual rewards earnings, sign-up bonus value and reward redemption value.

To estimate a card’s average annual rewards earnings, we first calculate its average rewards rate based on how much it earns in different bonus categories and how closely its categories align with the average person’s spending habits, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics . 

Based on this data, we determine a “chargeable” spend (which purchases are likely to be put on a credit card and earn rewards). This includes the following spending by category:

  • Groceries: $5,200
  • Dining out: $3,000
  • Entertainment: $2,500
  • Gas: $2,100
  • Apparel and services: $1,700

Using this data, we assign a weighting to each of a card’s bonus categories. For example, a card’s grocery rewards rate receives a 23 percent weighting based on how much of the average person’s budget is spent on groceries. We also estimate the redemption value of points or miles from various issuer, airline and hotel rewards programs.

This weighting and rewards valuation allows us to estimate a card’s average annual rewards earnings — how many points or miles you’d earn with a given card if your spending was about average and you used the card for all of your purchases, as well as what those points are worth. We also use point valuations to determine a card’s sign-up bonus value

With these calculations complete, we assign each card a score based on how its average rewards earnings, sign-up bonus value, rewards rate and redemption value stack up against other rewards cards.

We also rate cards based on how much it costs to keep them in your wallet or carry a balance. 

To start, each rewards or cash back card is scored based on whether it offers an intro APR and how its ongoing APR compares to the rates available on other rewards or cash back cards. 

We also score each card based on how its annual fee influences its overall value. 

We consider a card’s annual fee in two ways — how it ranks relative to the fees you’ll find on other cards in the category and how it impacts a card’s overall rewards value. Cards with an annual fee will always be at a slight disadvantage in our scoring system since annual fees inherently cut into your rewards value, but if a card offers terrific value via its ongoing rewards and perks, it can earn a high score even if it carries a high annual fee. 

With this in mind, we rate a card based primarily on how its ongoing rewards value and ongoing perk value (such as annual credits or bonuses) stack up against other cards in the category when you subtract its annual fee.

Flexibility

We rate each card’s flexibility based on the restrictions it imposes on earning and redeeming rewards and factor this rating into a card’s overall score. 

Flexibility factors include whether a card only allows you to earn a high rewards rate on a small amount of spending or requires you to meet a certain earning threshold before you can redeem rewards. We also examine whether your points are worth less when you redeem for some options versus others and whether a card gives you the flexibility to transfer rewards to airline and hotel partners. 

We also score each card’s set of features – its perks and benefits — against five tiers of features to provide a rating. 

We break down these tiers as follows:

  • Tier 1 has less than standard card features (an ultra-streamlined card that offers basic utility and next to nothing in the way of ancillary benefits. 
  • Tier 2 includes the benefits you’d expect on standard Visa or Mastercard credit cards, such as free access to your credit score, car rental insurance and $0 liability for fraudulent charges. 
  • Tier 3 includes “prime card” or better-than-average card features like cellphone insurance, lost luggage insurance, concierge services and purchase protection. 
  • Tier 4 includes luxury features such as airport lounge access, elite status with an airline or hotel and credits for expedited security screening membership programs. 
  • Tier 5 includes the sort of exemplary benefits you’ll find on top-tier luxury cards, such as high-value travel credits, cardholder memberships and other unique and valuable perks.

What credit score do you need for the Delta SkyMiles Gold?

You’ll have the best approval odds if you apply for the Delta SkyMiles Gold card with a good to excellent credit score (a FICO score of 670 or higher, or a VantageScore of 661 or higher).

What are SkyMiles worth?

Delta SkyMiles are technically worth 1 cent apiece through Delta since you can get a $50 discount on airfare for 5,000 miles, but your mileage may vary since the airline uses a dynamic pricing model. Instead of a set redemption value, your miles’ value depends on factors like your destination, airfare class, travel dates (peak season or off-season) and more. Bankrate has estimated that Delta SkyMiles are worth about 1.2 cents per mile — which ranks it third among domestic airline travel rewards cards.

How do I get the most out of the Delta SkyMiles Gold?

First and foremost, using your Delta SkyMiles Gold for all of your Delta, restaurant (including U.S. delivery and takeout) and U.S. supermarket purchases is key to squeezing the most value from your card. Enrolling in the Delta SkyMiles Dining and using the Amex Offers and Delta shopping portal will also stack more rewards on top of your spending.

How many miles do you need for medallion status with Delta?

Qualifying for medallion status works a bit differently than simply earning bonus miles. You can qualify for Silver, Gold, Platinum or Diamond Medallion Status as you fly with Delta and earn these three currencies:

  • Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) : Earned from your yearly Delta and partner flight spending
  • Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) : Earned from the distance of your flights and your airfare class
  • Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs) : Earned from how many flights you take

If you’re just relying on the SkyMiles Gold, here are the requirements you’ll have to meet for each Medallion Status tier:

  • Silver Medallion Status : $3,000 MQDs + 25,000 MQMs, or 30MQSs
  • Gold Medallion Status : $8,000 MQDs + 50,000 MQMs, or 60MQSs
  • Platinum Medallion Status : $12,000 MQDs + 75,000 MQMs, or 100 MQSs
  • Diamond Medallion Status : $20,000 MQDs + 125,000 MQMs, or 140 MQSs

delta gold card trip insurance

* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, is accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.

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American Express Cards: Travel Insurance Benefits Guide [In-Depth]

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American Express Cards: Travel Insurance Benefits Guide [In-Depth]

Table of Contents

A summary of travel insurance benefits for amex cards, trip interruption and cancellation insurance, trip delay insurance, rental car insurance, lost, damaged, and stolen baggage insurance, delayed baggage insurance, premium global assist and global assist, final thoughts.

We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our  Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.

Whenever you book a segment of a trip, you’ll often see an option to purchase travel insurance to protect your adventure. That can often be a good idea, especially if you’re planning a bigger or more expensive trip (though you may be better off getting insurance from a third party instead of the travel provider).

But did you know that a lot of different credit cards come with their own travel insurance benefits? This is a great feature that’s included in the cost of your annual fee, but it’s one that many people don’t realize they have or know how to use.

In this article, we’ll look specifically at the Amex travel insurance benefits included with several of their cards, including what’s covered, what isn’t covered, and when you should consider purchasing additional insurance. Keep in mind that terms may apply and enrollment may be required, so ensure you double-check your enrollment within your American Express account.

*All information about these cards has been collected independently by Upgraded Points.

Travel Insurance

If your trip is either interrupted or canceled , you’ll probably want to look into getting reimbursed for associated expenses. With regards to American Express, you need to have booked a “covered trip” or have your flight canceled for a “covered reason.”

If you read through the actual policies of Amex, it can get quite confusing quite quickly. You’ll often see a reference to a “common carrier.” A common carrier is simply a method of air, land, or water public transportation (like an airplane, train, bus, or cruise ship).

A “covered trip” is defined as a round-trip ticket booked entirely with your eligible card. This covers more than a single round-trip ticket booked altogether in 1 reservation. You must begin your travel in the same city you return to. Also, the duration of travel can’t exceed 365 days away from the origin.

Lastly, the period of travel may consist of round-trip, one-way, or combinations of round-trip and one-way tickets with common carriers. Anecdotally, paying for taxes and fees on an award ticket and Pay With Points are “covered trips.”

A “covered reason” includes inclement weather, terrorist action, call to jury, sudden illness, or injury to you or an eligible traveler.

Which American Express Cards Offer This?

Before you think about trying to get reimbursed, you need to figure out which Amex cards offer trip cancellation and interruption insurance. Currently, these Amex cards offer trip cancellation and interruption insurance:

  • Amex Platinum card
  • Amex Business Platinum card
  • Amex Schwab Platinum card
  • Amex Corporate Platinum card
  • Delta Reserve card
  • Delta Reserve Business card
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card
  • Hilton Aspire card

Additionally, all of these cards have the same level of coverage — you are eligible for up to $10,000 of non-refundable travel expenses for up to $20,000 per account in a rolling 12-month period.

flight delay board

Trip delay insurance is designed to cover unforeseen circumstances that delay your flight but don’t merit a cancellation. To qualify, you need to have booked a “covered trip” and your flight should be delayed for a “covered reason.”

Here are examples of “covered reasons”:

  • Inclement weather, which prevents a reasonable and prudent person from traveling or continuing on a covered trip (e.g. severe weather that delays the scheduled arrival or departure of a common carrier)
  • Terrorist action or hijacking
  • A common carrier’s equipment failure, as documented by the common carrier
  • Lost or stolen passports or travel documents

Once you qualify, you’ll get reimbursed for “reasonable additional” expenses. “Reasonable additional” expenses include, but are not limited to meals, lodging, toiletries, medication, and other personal use items.

There are 2 tiers of trip delay insurance with Amex.

The first tier covers up to $500 for a delay of more than 6 hours , and these Amex cards offer this:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant cardHilton Aspire card

The second tier covers up to $300 for a delay of more than 12 hours , and these Amex cards cover this:

  • Amex Business Gold card
  • Amex Gold card
  • Amex Green card
  • Amex Business Green card
  • Delta Platinum card
  • Delta Platinum Business card

Car Rental

Rental car insurance is one of the most important considerations of vacation transportation logistics. At face value, rental car insurance sounds like a sales pitch when you’re renting a car.

However, should something happen to your rental car, which is not always in your control, you could be shelling out thousands of dollars to resolve the issue! If that doesn’t sound like fun, you should absolutely consider rental car insurance, which is also known as a car rental collision damage waiver .

Primary car rental insurance automatically kicks in, and it will cover loss or damages except for liability, damage to other cars or personal property, or personal bodily injury or to other people.

Secondary car rental insurance kicks in as a backup . You’ll have to file a claim with your personal insurance, and secondary insurance only covers whatever your personal auto insurance doesn’t.

Hot Tip: Want more cards with this coverage? Explore our guide on the best credit cards for car rental insurance.

There are currently no Amex cards that offer primary rental car insurance. However, these cards all offer secondary car rental insurance:

  • Amex Blue Business Plus card
  • Amex Blue Cash Everyday card

Lost baggage

American Express is also generous when it comes to baggage insurance .

When you have the ultra-premium Amex cards, you can get coverage for lost, damaged, or stolen baggage, which is up to $2,000 for checked luggage, with a combined maximum of $3,000 for checked and carry-on baggage per covered person . Note that there’s a total maximum limit of $10,000 for everyone on the trip combined.

When you have some premium Amex cards, you can get coverage for lost, damaged, or stolen baggage, which is up to $500 for checked luggage, with a combined maximum of $1,250 for checked and carry-on baggage per covered person . Note that there’s a total maximum limit of $10,000 for everyone on the trip combined.

As is often the case with credit card-provided insurance , you’ll need to use your Amex Platinum card to pay for the entire fare for this coverage to take effect. Remember that Pay With Points is covered under this, but not award ticket taxes and fees.

A handy benefit feature of this baggage insurance is that the primary cardholder, his or her spouse or domestic partner, and any dependent children (under 23) are all included. That means that if you’re on a family trip and something happens to everyone’s luggage, you’ll all be covered.

Hot Tip: Keep in mind that coverage applies to baggage during a trip on a common carrier, such as a plane, train, bus, ship, or other public modes of transportation. If something happens to your bags during a vacation (but not during your flights), then it won’t be covered.

Something to keep in mind is that the policy considers certain items to be “high-risk,” and caps coverage of these items at $1,000 per person for ultra-premium Amex cards and $250 per person for premium Amex cards . High-risk items include:

  • Sporting equipment
  • Cameras or photography gear
  • Computers and electronics
  • Precious metals
  • Fur clothing

The insurance policy also excludes items like cash, travel documents, and certain medical items like eyeglasses, contact lenses, or prosthetic limbs. Just about everything else, though, should be covered.

The first step to file a claim is to reach out to the Amex claims processing department. Your best option is to call and have a customer service agent walk you through the process. The number is 800-645-9700 or collect from overseas at +1-303-273-6498.

Note that Amex baggage insurance coverage (like the car rental insurance) is secondary, in this case, to the common carrier’s coverage. That means that the policy will only pay after the carrier pays, so you’ll have to file a claim with the carrier first.

If that claim is denied, or if it doesn’t cover the full cost of your luggage and contents, then the Amex plan is applicable.

Bottom Line: The baggage insurance included with your Amex card can help cover the cost of lost or ruined clothing, personal items, and more. Remember that to make a claim, you’ll need to use the card to pay for your full fare.

Which Amex Cards Offer This?

As mentioned above, there are 2 tiers of lost, damaged, or stolen baggage insurance.

The first tier covers $2,000 for checked baggage, $3,000 for carry-on baggage, for a per-person total of $3,000 and a per-group total of $10,000. Lastly, there’s coverage of high-risk items of $1,000 per person.

Here are the Amex cards that offer this benefit:

The second tier covers $500 for checked baggage and $1,250 for carry-on baggage for a per-person total of $1,250 and a per-group total of $10,000. Lastly, there’s coverage of high-risk items of $250 per person.

Delayed baggage insurance covers your baggage if your bags are late to arrive after a particular flight. Usually, it covers you on a per-day basis for reimbursement of essentials while your baggage is away from you.

While some cards offer delayed baggage insurance , there are no Amex cards that offer delayed baggage insurance.

Premium Global Access

Premium Global Assist

The Premium Global Assist Hotline is a great feature that comes with several Amex cards, although the Amex Platinum card has the most extensive service.

You can call the Premium Global Assist Hotline any time you’re 100 miles or more away from home and need logistical help… big or small. This differs from the card’s concierge service , which is useful for things like shopping help, booking tickets, or getting restaurant recommendations and reservations.

It’s more for things like:

  • Help replacing a lost passport
  • Canceling lost credit cards
  • Emergency translation/interpretation services
  • Help finding a lost item
  • Help dealing with lost luggage, including staying on top of the airline until it’s found
  • Emergency legal or medical referrals
  • Emergency medical evacuation/transportation
  • Urgent message relay in the event you can’t get in touch with family or friends during an emergency

Hot Tip: You can reach the Premium Global Assist Hotline at 800-345-AMEX (2639) or collect (when calling from abroad) at +1-715-343-7979.

The hotline can also help with certain aspects of planning your trip (again, think “logistics,” not “entertainment”) such as:

  • Customs and passport information , including figuring out what visas you’ll need and how to apply, or what you can and can’t bring into the country
  • Cultural information, like questions about currency, tourist office locations, or even tipping etiquette
  • Foreign exchange rates
  • Recommendations for inoculations before traveling to certain regions
  • Weather trends and forecasts

The medical assistance is particularly valuable should there ever be a situation requiring it, such as getting sick while in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language.

If you’re traveling and fall ill or become injured, and you’re somewhere where you can’t get adequate treatment, the Global Assist Hotline’s medical team can arrange and cover expenses for transportation to definitive care closer to home.

Hot Tip: Medical transportation costs arranged by the Global Assist Hotline are covered, but a ny costs you incur that were  not arranged through the hotline won’t be reimbursed . Make sure to call ASAP before making any arrangements on your own.

This benefit applies to the cardholder, spouse/domestic partner, and dependents up to 23 years old (or 26 if a full-time student), although any beneficiaries have to be traveling on the same itinerary as the cardholder. Pre-existing conditions are excluded.

Bottom Line: The Premium Global Assistance Hotline can be a real help whether you’re trying to figure out visa requirements or need to find a local doctor while traveling. If you need emergency medical transportation to a facility back home, the hotline can arrange it and cover all expenses. As always, be sure to read the terms.

Global Assist

The Global Assist Hotline can help with a few other, less-extreme medical needs as well, including prescription medication replacement (if you lose or forget medication) and physician or dentist referral.

If your wallet is lost or stolen, the hotline will provide certain financial assistance, including wiring emergency cash to you (which will be charged to your card account) or helping you check into or out of a hotel while you don’t have your card present.

In terms of legal support, the hotline can provide a referral to a local English-speaking lawyer, help connect you to bail bond agencies that accept American Express, and connect you with the nearest consulate or embassy.

The Global Assist Hotline doesn’t offer Emergency Medical Transportation Assistance and Repatriation of Mortal Remains.

Here are the cards that offer the Premium Global Assist Hotline as a benefit:

Here are the cards that offer the Global Assist Hotline as a benefit:

Many cards offered by American Express come with great travel insurance benefits. While the more premium (and expensive) cards offer more extensive benefits, even cards like the Amex EveryDay Card offer you valuable protection during your travels.

Note that American Express cards don’t include baggage delay coverage.

If you’re seeking additional coverage for your trip, like cancellation coverage or emergency medical insurance, American Express offers a stand-alone travel insurance product you can use to supplement what your card provides.

Additionally, plenty of third-party companies offer travel insurance. If you decide that what’s included with your card isn’t enough, you can always shop around for additional coverage. Having coverage with your card is a great benefit, though, since it means whatever policy you buy can be less extensive.

If you want to learn more about general travel insurance, check out our ultimate guides to buying the best travel insurance (for your situation) and when to buy travel insurance .

All information and content provided by Upgraded Points is intended as general information and for educational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as medical advice or legal advice. For more information, see our  Medical & Legal Disclaimers .

The information regarding the American Express Platinum Card ® for Schwab was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For the car rental loss and damage insurance benefit of the American Express ® Green Card, the car rental loss and damage insurance can provide coverage up to $50,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible Card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the Commercial Car Rental Company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Geographic restrictions apply. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

The information regarding the Corporate Platinum Card ® by American Express was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. The information regarding the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. The information regarding the American Express ® Green Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. The information regarding the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card ® from American Express, click here . For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card ® from American Express, click here . For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles ® Reserve American Express Card, click here . For rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles ® Reserve Business American Express Card, click here . For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant ® American Express ® card, click here . For rates and fees of the American Express ® Business Gold Card, click here . For rates and fees of the American Express ® Gold Card, click  here . For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles ® Platinum American Express Card, click here . For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles ® Platinum Business American Express Card, click here . For rates and fees of The Blue Business ® Plus Credit Card from American Express, click here . For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday ® from American Express, click  here .

Frequently Asked Questions

What is american express travel insurance.

American Express travel insurance can refer to 2 separate things: travel insurance features that come for free with various American Express credit and charge cards, or a standalone travel insurance product sold by American Express.

Which American Express cards come with travel insurance?

The short answer: virtually all of them come with some form of benefit.

The longer answer: each card comes with different features and perks. Some cards, such as the Amex Platinum card, come with high-value baggage insurance, as well as coverage for expensive rental cars with personal injury features and emergency medical transportation coverage.

Other cards, like the Amex Everyday card, come with more limited travel insurance benefits. It’s important to read guides such as this one and check your terms and conditions to see exactly what benefits your credit or charge card includes.

Do I have to pay for the trip with my American Express card to get the travel insurance benefits?

In most cases, yes; paying the entire fare with your American Express card is required in order to activate coverage. There may be exceptions to this, but if you plan to rely on any travel insurance features included with your card, it’s best to use your card to pay for the trip.

What kinds of things does my American Express card's travel insurance cover?

Amex travel insurance features vary by card, but can include some or all of:

  • Rental car insurance
  • Baggage insurance
  • Global assistance
  • Emergency medical evacuation
  • Physician/dentist referral

Does American Express travel insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

Most medical-related coverage offered by Amex travel insurance specifically excludes pre-existing conditions. If that’s something you’re worried about, you may wish to seek supplementary travel or medical coverage.

How does American Express travel insurance define a pre-existing condition?

According to Amex: “A pre-existing condition is any sickness, illness, or injury that has manifested itself, become acute, or was being treated in the 60-day period immediately prior to the start of a trip.”

Does American Express travel insurance cover issues related to pregnancy?

Yes, as long as you are not traveling against the advice of a physician. Be sure to check with your doctor before taking a trip.

Should I get separate travel insurance in addition to what comes with my card?

You should look into the specific benefit terms of your card when deciding whether you need additional coverage or not.

American Express offers a standalone travel insurance product that can be used to supplement the insurance that comes with your card. This could be a good option if you decide you do need additional coverage.

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Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

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Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Frequent flyers of Delta Air Lines can use the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card to earn miles and take advantage of travel perks.

Credit Needed

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$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $150.

Intro Offer

Earn 40,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

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2X Miles on Delta purchases, at U.S. Supermarkets and at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S.

You can earn bonus rewards on Delta Air Lines purchases.

When you fly with Delta, you will get a free checked bag, priority boarding and 20% back as a statement credit on eligible Delta in-flight purchases.

Miles earned with this card can be redeemed for travel with Delta.

Earn $100 in credits on prepaid Delta Stays bookings.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card holders pay a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $150.

The annual percentage rate is 20.99% to 29.99% variable .

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Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card Summary

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is an airline rewards card designed for frequent Delta Air Lines flyers. You can earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S. and at U.S. supermarkets , plus earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases .

You can earn 40,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership . Each calendar year, you can earn a $100 Delta flight credit when you spend $10,000 in purchases on your card.

Travel benefits include a free checked bag on Delta flights for you and up to nine other passengers on your reservation, priority boarding, a global assistance hotline for medical or other emergencies and 20% back on in-flight purchases. You can also earn $100 in credits on prepaid Delta Stays bookings.

  • Rates and Fees
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  • Issuer Name American Express
  • Credit Needed Excellent, Good
  • Annual Fee $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $150.
  • Regular APR 20.99% - 29.99% Variable
  • Penalty APR 29.99% Variable
  • Cash Advance Fee Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
  • Foreign Transaction Fee None

On American Express' Website.

Is the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card Right for Me?

Yes, if you:

  • Frequently fly with Delta.
  • Want to redeem your rewards on Delta flights.
  • Feel comfortable with a variable 20.99% to 29.99% variable APR. ( See Rates & Fees )

Tips for Using the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

The travel benefits of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card are some of the most valuable features of the card, so you should plan to take advantage of them. Cardholders get priority boarding and a free first checked bag for you and up to nine other passengers on your reservation. Prepaid Delta Stays bookings will earn you $100 in credits. You’ll also get 20% back as a statement credit on in-flight purchases. Statement credits can go up to $300.

Editor's Take

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is Delta’s entry-level cobranded credit card. It’s a good choice if you want a Delta credit card with the lowest annual fee and are willing to earn fewer miles and not access as many benefits as other Delta cards with higher annual fees.

If you fly often with Delta Air Lines, it might make sense for you to upgrade to the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card or Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card , which offer higher rewards earning rates and more cardholder perks. The American Express® Green Card could also offer more flexibility in earning and redeeming travel rewards.

The information for the American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by U.S. News and the card is not currently available on the site. The information has not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer and it is accurate as of the date posted.

Current Welcome Offers 

New cardholders of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card earn 40,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership . Each year, you can earn up to a $200 Delta flight credit when you spend $10,000 in eligible purchases.

How to Maximize Rewards With Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

You can earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at U.S. Supermarkets and at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S. Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases .

When you open the card, you’ll earn 40,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership . Each calendar year, you can earn a $200 Delta flight credit when you spend $10,000 in purchases on your card.

Delta SkyMiles® can be used to book award flights, Delta vacation packages, Delta gift cards, seat upgrades, drinks and more. SkyMiles don’t expire.

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Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance ¹

Below you will find the Guide to Benefits of your respective card to learn more about what Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance covers. Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance is effective for round-trip purchases made entirely with your eligible Card and protects against Covered Losses (e.g. Sickness or Injury of the traveler or traveling companion). If your Card is not listed on this page or if you are an Additional Card Member, please call the number on the back of your Card to verify your benefits.

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Delta 360 status: What is it and how to earn the invite-only elite status

Benji Stawski

If you look up Delta Air Lines' elite status levels, you'll see that Diamond Medallion is its top tier — but that's not the actual top of the heap.

In addition to their published top tiers, like American Airlines' AAdvantage Executive Platinum , Delta's Diamond Medallion and United Airlines' Premier 1K , all three major U.S. carriers offer an even higher level of status reserved specifically for their biggest spenders.

Delta 360 is Delta's version of an invite-only, hyper-exclusive tier for its most loyal flyers. It compares to American Airlines' Concierge Key and United's Global Services .

Intrigued? Let's dive in and see what Delta 360 is all about.

What is Delta 360 status?

delta gold card trip insurance

According to Delta, "Delta 360° is an annual, invitation-only membership for our most loyal SkyMiles Members. A Delta 360° Membership offers Delta's most premium suite of benefits and services exclusive to our top SkyMiles Members. For 2024, entry into Delta 360° will be extended to a very small percentage of Diamond Medallion Members. Considerations include, but are not limited to: overall Delta flight activity, premium product purchases (Delta One®, Delta Premium Select, First Class) and spending on Delta SkyMiles® American Express Cards."

Delta 360 status benefits

delta gold card trip insurance

You might expect that an invitation-only, top-tier status in the Delta SkyMiles program includes all the perks of Diamond Medallion status, plus additional benefits.

Delta 360 is unique in that while it offers exclusive benefits, no regular Medallion status benefits are included. This might seem oddly restrictive, but remember that those invited to enjoy this exclusive membership tier usually spend such large amounts with the airline yearly that they are highly likely to hold Diamond Medallion status anyway.

That said, there are some benefits exclusively available to members with Delta 360 status.

Delta Sky Club Executive Membership

Delta Sky Club Executive Membership is a significant perk if you frequently travel with family, friends or colleagues or want to spontaneously invite someone into the Delta Sky Club after sparking a conversation on a flight. This membership includes unlimited lounge access for the member and up to two guests per visit.

Delta Sky Club Executive Membership usually costs $1,495 if purchased outright.

The only other way to procure this membership for free is to redeem two Choice Benefits available to Diamond Medallion members. Diamond Medallion members can only choose three Choice Benefits, so that's a steep price.

Dedicated phone line with best-in-class agents

While Delta's published elite tiers (Silver Medallion, Gold Medallion, Platinum Medallion and Diamond Medallion) receive priority phone treatment, with increasingly skilled agents assigned to higher tiers, Delta 360 members can dial up what amounts to a personal assistant. Based on feedback from current and former Delta 360 members, the dedicated VIP phone line gives them 24-hour access to the best agents available.

These agents are given extra autonomy to cut through red tape and do whatever is necessary to get Delta 360 members out of jams regarding irregular operations, such as weather-related delays. They're also more likely to bend the published rules when members need to make schedule changes or add legs to itineraries.

Related: Don't wait on hold: Here's how to reach airline customer service quickly

Greater chance of a Porsche gate-to-gate airport transfer

Delta carefully monitors the travels of its Diamond Medallion members. If it detects that a member may miss a critical connection, agents will work hard to position a Porsche at their arrival gate to expedite their transfer to the connecting gate. This service is primarily found at Delta's large hubs, such as:

  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW)
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)

However, when it comes to Delta 360 members, this monitoring is taken to entirely new heights. They are given Porsche priority when the fleet is at maximum utilization, and they are more likely to receive a courtesy Porsche transfer even when making a tight connection is unnecessary.

delta gold card trip insurance

A fancy annual gift

Delta has been known to send its Delta 360 members various high-end gifts. In the past, these have included a magnum of Louis Roederer Champagne, Tiffany & Co. flutes and Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses.

It's not a travel benefit per se, but who wouldn't be happy to receive a surprise gift in the mail?

Higher upgrade priority on Delta flights

Delta 360 offers no significant advantage over the carrier's highest published status (Diamond Medallion) regarding upgrades, but members get the same priority. That said, reports indicate that when members receive complimentary upgrades, they clear on the same day of the flight — sometimes as early as five days out.

Of course, chances are quite good that these travelers are booked into paid first class as it is, so any upgrade perks may not be applicable.

Related: Secure a better seat: The ultimate guide to getting upgraded on Delta flights

How to earn Delta 360 status

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Despite Delta 360 offering (arguably) the weakest set of perks among the three major invite-only programs, it generally requires the most dedication and spending. Invitations usually get sent out in late January or early February.

There's no set formula for how much you must spend or fly. A spate of Delta loyalists at FlyerTalk have chimed in, with one New York City-based flyer saying they previously had nearly $90,000 in spend but still lacked a Delta 360 invite. Another, based near Huntsville, Alabama, spent nearly $50,000 and is still looking in from the outside. Meanwhile, a flyer who frequents Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) previously received an invitation with 250,000 Medallion Qualification Miles, 75,000 Medallion Qualification Dollars and zero cobranded card spending.

A North Carolina-based member received Delta 360 status in 2024 while living outside of a Delta hub. They flew 343,000 MQMs and accrued 133,000 MQDs in 2023 to earn their invite.

A few added data points show that in saturated Delta markets, such as New York City and Atlanta, you will likely need to hit six figures in annual spending to be in the mix for an invitation.

A separate poster explained that Delta looks at more than overall spending, including how much control you have over corporate contracts, which could theoretically funnel vast sums of money into Delta's coffers.

How to earn Delta status with the right credit card

delta gold card trip insurance

While holding a Delta cobranded credit card and spending wildly won't automatically give you Delta 360 status, the right credit card can earn you Diamond Medallion status.

Delta now only uses MQDs as criteria for qualification each calendar year. Here are the requirements in 2024 to obtain 2025 Medallion status:

  • Silver Medallion : SkyMiles members who have earned 5,000 MQDs
  • Gold Medallion : SkyMiles members who have earned 10,000 MQDs
  • Platinum Medallion : SkyMiles members who have earned 15,000 MQDs
  • Diamond Medallion : SkyMiles members who have earned 28,000 MQDs

To make it easier to earn elite status in 2024, Delta gave eligible frequent flyers who also hold the following cobranded cards a head start on the 2024 MQD metrics, with a boost of 2,500 MQDs toward status qualification at the start of the year:

  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card

The MQD head start was awarded per card, so you should've earned more than one 2,500 MQD boost if you have multiple eligible cards.

Additionally, throughout the year, you'll earn bonus MQDs based on everyday spending on these cards.

Specifically, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card will accrue 1 MQD for every $10 spent. Meanwhile, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card and the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card will accrue 1 MQD for every $20 spent.

There is no limit to how many MQDs you can earn from spending on the cards.

Bottom line

One could expect that the dedicated individuals employed to help out Delta 360 members would also go above and beyond when flight plans are thwarted due to schedule changes, weather delays and irregular operations. On paper, you'll see a more robust set of exclusive perks when achieving American Airlines Concierge Key and United Global Services.

One Delta 360 member told TPG that he hasn't felt a huge difference since being elevated to Delta 360 from Diamond Medallion, which can be looked at one of two ways: Either Delta isn't doing enough to celebrate its Delta 360 members, or its top published tier (Diamond Medallion) delivers truly exceptional service, making the differentiation between the two tougher.

In some ways, this is good news to other Delta Medallion elite members who might feel like they're missing out since, in reality, top-tier Diamond Medallion members largely get similar customer service and a comparable overall experience flying Delta.

Past his prime at '84 Olympics, Rowdy Gaines hit his peak in Los Angeles

Rowdy Gaines will never forget the feeling. 

His Olympic record-breaking time of 49.08 in the 100-meter freestyle had just won him his first individual gold medal, and as he stood atop the podium he felt relief. He felt exaltation. 

“Forty years later, I remember every single detail of what that moment was like,” Gaines said of the sound of "The Star Spangled Banner" filling Los Angeles’ sun-soaked Olympic Swim Stadium. 

At 25 years old, Gaines was supposed to be past his best when 1984 rolled around. He had once been the best swimmer in the world. But that was in 1980, and he and every other U.S. Olympic athlete could not compete in the Moscow Games because of the U.S.-led boycott protesting the Soviet Union’s 1979 invasion of Afghanistan. 

“I was going to have to reinvent myself and train for another four years,” Gaines said of the boycott. “It was really hard emotionally to be able to handle that.” 

After a break from swimming post-boycott, Gaines said he “barely” made the 1984 team. 

Unable to view our graphics? Click here to see them .

“I was hanging on by the skin of my teeth,” he said. “It felt a little awkward because I was the oldest guy on the team. But I also felt a tremendous sense of peace because I was really proud of the journey I had taken.”

In Gaines’ mind, he would need magic to win the race. At the same time, he felt like he deserved it most. 

“All the guys in that final were younger,” Gaines said. “I felt like … ‘You guys don’t deserve it. You haven’t sacrificed for the last eight years … this is my one moment.’’”

The magical moment Gaines desperately wanted finally came when he leaped off the starting blocks. He led the entire race, never faltering. 

“My coach prepared me perfectly for the start. I had a perfect turn. Everything fell in place,” he recalled. “Usually you make mistakes in a race. It was mistake-free for me.” 

Gaines touched the wall and looked up. There was joy and relief on his face as he pumped his fist in the air and held his face in his hands. The gold medal that would hang around his neck cemented him in history. It absolved all the pain from the four years prior. He was at the top again. 

“I thought, this is the last moment I’m going to have in my career to be at my very best …,” Gaines said. “And I think I was blessed on that block that day.” 

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7 Best Cheap Travel Insurance Companies in July 2024

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Many, or all, of the products featured on this page are from our advertising partners who compensate us when you take certain actions on our website or click to take an action on their website. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

Finding the cheapest travel insurance is often a priority for travelers hoping to protect themselves and their finances while away from home.

But is it better to err on the side of affordable travel insurance or opt for a more comprehensive plan? That depends on your needs .

On average, a comprehensive plan that covers some combination of trip cancellation and interruption costs, medical coverage and baggage protection (and perhaps a number of other things) will cost you 5%-10% of what you paid for the trip, according to NerdWallet partner Squaremouth, a travel insurance marketplace.

That means a comprehensive policy for a trip that costs you $3,000 could run you anywhere between $150 and $300. Factors like the cost and length of your trip, the age of the travelers and how much protection you want can significantly influence what you pay for your plan.

Ultimately, Squaremouth recommends “the least expensive policy that offers the coverage [travelers] need.”

» Learn more: The best travel insurance companies right now

Factors we considered when picking cheap travel insurance plans

We considered a few factors as we looked for the most affordable travel insurance plans.

Price: If your goal is to find cheaper travel insurance, you want the price to be affordable.

Breadth of coverage: The best budget travel insurance is typically going to be a plan that offers a wide range of protections at an affordable cost, ensuring you’re protected with at least some coverage for a wide range of scenarios.

Uniqueness or customizability : While many travel insurance plans have similar protections, some stand out for particular coverage that can be helpful to certain travelers, like those needing to Cancel For Any Reason , those going on a cruise, or travelers with preexisting health conditions. We didn’t spring for the priciest plans with broad, deep coverage; instead, we picked those that meet a sort of budget "sweet spot" when it comes to cost efficiency.

» Learn more: Is travel insurance worth getting?

An overview of the best cheap travel insurance plans

We looked at travel insurance quotes for a hypothetical 10-day trip to Italy in October 2023. The traveler is a 40-year-old man living in North Carolina who spent $2,000 on the trip, including airfare.

Reliable but cheap travel insurance providers

1. axa assistance usa (silver plan: $70).

delta gold card trip insurance

Why we picked it:

The $500 missed connection benefit is great for cruise and tour participants. It covers additional transportation, accommodations and meal costs when you miss a cruise or tour departure.

Full trip cancellation and interruption coverage, along with up to $25,000 for out-of-pocket medical costs and baggage coverage.

Among the lowest prices we found.

If you’re willing to spend a bit more than AXA's $70 Silver plan, a Gold plan only costs $19 more and gets you deeper coverage amounts and up to $35,000 in collision rental car insurance.

2. Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection (ExactCare Value plan: $56)

delta gold card trip insurance

Cheapest plan we found while still offering a wide array of protections.

Includes a preexisting medical condition waiver.

Add-on rental car collision coverage optional for $10 per day. You can pick how many days you want the additional coverage — it’s not all or nothing.

At $56, this plan comes in at less than 3% of the $2,000 trip cost.

3. IMG (iTravelInsured Lite plan: $77)

delta gold card trip insurance

Treats COVID-19 like any other illness, which is to say, if your claim accepts flu, strep throat or appendicitis as an acceptable, covered condition, the coronavirus is, too.

Covers costs related to trip interruption up to 125% 

Higher than normal limits on dental expenses, at $1,000. If your teeth are your Achilles heel (or your biggest fear), this plan might be for you.

The iTravelInsured Lite plan doesn’t offer some of the bells and whistles that other plans do, like rental car coverage , Cancel For Any Reason coverage or waivers for pre-existing conditions. But you’ll have relatively solid across-the-board trip protections.

4. John Hancock (Silver plan: $93 for a mid-tier plan)

delta gold card trip insurance

Mid-level plan (as opposed to a basic plan) at an affordable price for travelers who want more coverage without paying too much.

Includes an optional Cancel For Any Reason add-on for travelers wanting flexibility. It is a bit pricey, at half the cost of the insurance ($46.50 extra for a $93 plan).

Reimburses up to $1,000 for lost baggage , far more than many basic plans.

Add-on rental car coverage for $9 per day.

At $88, John Hancock’s basic (Bronze) plan isn’t particularly affordable. But for just $4 extra, you can tap into the benefits of a mid-tier plan at still less than 5% of the total trip cost.

5. Nationwide (Essential plan: $76)

delta gold card trip insurance

Includes a preexisting conditions waiver.

Add-on rental car coverage for $90. 

Covers trip interruption at 125% of the trip cost while providing comprehensive emergency medical and baggage coverage.

6. Seven Corners (Basic plan: $75)

delta gold card trip insurance

On top of standard trip protections, it includes a relatively affordable Cancel For Any Reason option for $31.50 extra.

If you plan to rent expensive sporting equipment, you might consider paying $10 extra to cover lost, damaged, stolen or destroyed gear.

COVID-19 coverage reimburses you for costs incurred if you have to quarantine .

Rental car coverage comes in at an affordable $7 per day.

Seven Corners’ Basic plan stands out because it offers a little bit of everything, appealing to athletic travelers, those who need affordable trip protections, those who want the flexibility to cancel for any reason and those still concerned about getting quarantined due to COVID-19.

7. Travelex Insurance Services (Basic plan: $71)

delta gold card trip insurance

Straightforward: What you see is what you get. This plan’s coverage has fewer rules and caveats than many. 

While not sporting the highest coverage amounts, it offers a solid range of protections to ensure you get at least something back when your travel is disrupted or you have a medical emergency.

Offers add-on rental car coverage for $10 per day.

At $71, the Travelex Basic plan’s cost is just over 3% of the $2,000 trip’s cost.

If you want to get travel insurance at the cheapest possible rate, here’s a trick. Put $0 as your trip cost, Stan Stanberg, co-founder of comparison site Travelinsurance.com said in an email.

“When excluding trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage the cost of a travel insurance plan goes down significantly,” Stanberg said.

That means you won’t get reimbursed if you need to cancel your trip or if it gets interrupted. But you may still have access to the plan’s medical, trip delay , missed connection, baggage and other protections.

You’ll often find comprehensive travel insurance plans cost 5%-10% of your total trip cost, according to Squaremouth. This will often get you full trip cancellation and trip protection, baggage protection, emergency medical coverage and often other benefits.

Typically, the more you pay, the broader and deeper the coverage.

For many plans, you can purchase travel insurance up until you depart. However, to get access to the most protections possible, booking two days to two weeks after making your initial deposit is the best rule of thumb.

That means you won’t get reimbursed if you need to cancel your trip or if it gets interrupted. But you may still have access to the plan’s medical,

, missed connection, baggage and other protections.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024 :

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

on Chase's website

1x-10x Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

60,000 Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

1x-5x 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

60,000 Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

1x-2x Earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services, and select streaming. Earn 1X points on all other purchases.

50,000 Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

delta gold card trip insurance

  • Amex credit cards
  • Transfer partners
  • How to transfer Amex points

American Express Transfer Partners: A Comprehensive Guide for 2024

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The information for the following product(s) has been collected independently by Business Insider: American Express® Green Card, Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card. The details for these products have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer.

  • American Express Membership Rewards points are some the most valuable card rewards you can earn. 
  • You can get maximum value from Amex points by transferring them to airline and hotel partners.
  • Strategic airline partners like Delta and Air Canada can help you score first-class award flights. 
  • Read Business Insider's guide to the best travel rewards credit cards .

Introduction to Amex transfer partners

When it comes to transferable credit card rewards points , you might automatically think of Chase Ultimate Rewards ® or Capital One miles . But the American Express Membership Rewards program was one of the first points currencies that allowed folks with associated credit cards to convert their hard-earned rewards into miles and points with various airline and hotel partners.

History and overview of the Amex Membership Rewards program

The Amex Membership Rewards program debuted way back in 1991 with just seven U.S. airline partners. Today, Membership Rewards works with 17 frequent flyer programs and three hotel loyalty programs. Those numbers are impressive in and of themselves – consider, Chase has just 14 partners total, and Citi ThankYou Rewards has 16.

What sets Amex apart even more, however, is the excellent quality of its partners, and the myriad redemption opportunities they represent. There are many benefits of transferring points to these airline and hotel partners, which we'll explore in more detail below. 

In this comprehensive guide, we'll show you how to transfer American Express points for travel, and teach you our best tips for maximizing value for Amex Membership Rewards transfers. We'll also walk you through Amex points transfer ratios and policies, point out the best Amex airline transfer partners, and walk you through transferring Amex points to hotel loyalty programs. 

The best cards for earning American Express Membership Rewards

American Express The Platinum Card® from American Express

Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 per calendar year) and on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Earn 1X Points on other purchases.

See Pay Over Time APR

Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points

Good to Excellent

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Long list of travel benefits, including airport lounge access and complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott (enrollment required)
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Annual statement credits with Saks and Uber
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. Bonus categories leave something to be desired
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. One of the highest annual fees among premium travel cards

If you want as many premium travel perks as possible, The Platinum Card® from American Express could be the right card for you. The annual fee is high, but you get a long list of benefits such as airport lounge access, travel statement credits, complimentary hotel elite status, and more.

  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market. As of 03/2023.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Save on eligible delivery fees, shipping, and more with a Walmart+ membership. Use your Platinum Card® to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership and get up to $12.95 plus applicable taxes back on one membership (excluding Plus Ups) each month.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only. Terms Apply.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: CLEAR® Plus helps to get you to your gate faster at 50+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Card. CLEARLanes are available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues.
  • Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 year period for TSA PreCheck® application fee for a 5-year plan only (through a TSA PreCheck® official enrollment provider), when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Before you can redeem Amex points, you've actually got to earn them. Only a handful of Amex cards – both business and personal – rack up Membership Rewards points. Other Amex rewards cards earn either cash back, hotel points with programs including Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy , or airline miles with programs such as Delta SkyMiles .

The following personal American Express cards earn Membership Rewards points: 

And the following business cards earn Amex Membership Rewards points:

List of airline and hotel transfer partners

Now for a quick rundown of the current lineup of Amex Membership Rewards transfer partners.

You can transfer your Amex points to the airline and hotel partners listed below. Points transfer to many of these instantaneously, though some transactions might take a few business days to process.

Most transfer ratios are 1 Membership Rewards point to 1 airline mile or hotel point, but those that vary have been noted.

How to transfer Membership Rewards points

Once you start looking into booking awards using partner miles or points, your next step will be to actually transfer your Amex points to a partner program.

Step-by-step guide

First, log in to your Amex account online. Click on the "Rewards" tab, and you should see your points balance and various options including one with an arrow that says, "Transfer Points." You will be redirected to a page that lists the various partner programs and the current conversion ratios.

Before you can initiate a transfer, you must link your Membership Rewards account to your various frequent flyer and hotel accounts. Doing so is as simple as clicking on the partner you want to use, then entering your credit card's security code and four-digit ID as well as your account number with the partner. Once you link accounts, you should be able to transfer whenever you like.

One thing to keep in mind: American Express also periodically offers transfer bonuses that tend to range from 20% to 40% to various partners. It's worth checking on available transfer bonuses from time to time, or taking advantage of ones you come across in order to get even more value from your points.

Strategic use of the best Amex Membership Rewards transfer partners

Before you get too overwhelmed with the number of transfer partners and all the points possibilities, here are the nine that deserve the most attention, with some examples of what makes them such fantastic options.

Transfer ratios and minimums

Just a quick note on some of the numbers, airlines, flight cabins, and routes cited here: These are accurate as of the time of publication, but are subject to any fleet and network changes individual airlines make, as well as government-imposed travel restrictions.

Air Canada Aeroplan

Air Canada Aeroplan has had a few ups and downs in recent years, including being spun off then reacquired by Air Canada. In late 2020, the airline introduced several major changes, but its award charts have not changed much, so its points have largely retained their value. Thus, Aeroplan remains one of the best frequent flyer programs for those who want to redeem their Amex points for flights on Star Alliance carriers such as United, Lufthansa, SWISS, and EVA Air.

Aeroplan's new award formula includes 10 distance-based charts for travel within and between four regions: North America, Atlantic, Pacific, South America.

Yes, it's a bit convoluted. In general, though, economy flight redemptions are a solid bet, and you should keep your eye out for specific premium award opportunities – especially in light of the fact that Aeroplan has eliminated fuel surcharges that used to range into the thousands of dollars.

Here are three possibilities based on both the distances of specific routes and the partner airlines you can fly:

  • You only need 55,000 points each way for business class on ANA from either Vancouver or Seattle to Tokyo Haneda. For comparison, United would charge you 88,000 MileagePlus miles.
  • Likewise, business class on Lufthansa or SWISS between Europe and several airports in the eastern US should cost just 60,000 Aeroplan points but would require 77,000 United miles.
  • Finally, thanks to that same distance-based formula, you can book coach tickets between the West Coast of the US and Canada and Hawaii starting at 12,500 points each way versus 22,500 United miles – that's nearly twice as many miles!

Air France-KLM Flying Blue

Flying Blue is the mileage program of numerous airlines including not only Air France and KLM, but also carriers like Kenya Airways and TAROM. Members can also redeem their miles for flights on SkyTeam partners like Delta, Aeromexico, and Korean Air, among other partners.

Though Flying Blue levies hundreds of dollars in fuel surcharges for flights to and from Europe, there are still a couple of reasons to recommend the program.

First, it offers monthly rotating "Promo Rewards" with discounts of 20% to 50% off award pricing between certain cities and regions. In real terms, that means rewards for under 11,000 miles each way between North America and Europe in economy, or 28,750 miles in business class — if you can find them. Those numbers are hard to beat.

But even on a regular basis, Flying Blue members seem to have a lot more access to premium awards on both Air France and KLM than they would with other programs, such as Delta SkyMiles.

ANA Mileage Club

Getting back to Star Alliance for a moment, you can find some phenomenal possibilities by transferring your miles to All Nippon Airways' underrated frequent flyer program.

Without getting too bogged down in the details, Mileage Club does have a few important restrictions. Awards must be booked round-trip, though there's some flexibility thanks to open-jaw and stopover allowances. But the real beauty of the program is just how few miles you need even for the most premium experiences in the skies.

For example, you would need just 88,000 miles round-trip to fly business class on airlines like SAS and TAP Portugal between North America and Europe. Want to bump it up to first class on an airline like Lufthansa? That'll cost you 165,000 miles round-trip. Sure, that's still a lot of miles, but it's a far cry from the 242,000 miles United would charge you.

You could fly from North America to most of Asia for 85,000 to 95,000 miles round-trip in business class on Star Alliance carriers like Asiana or EVA, or 150,000 to 180,000 in first class. Yes, that's a lot of miles, but is still around half what other airlines' frequent flyer programs would charge.

Interested in taking either United's new services between Newark and either Cape Town or Johannesburg? You would need just 104,000 miles round-trip in business class with ANA, versus 176,000 United miles, or 170,000 Aeroplan miles.

British Airways Executive Club

Thanks to a distance-based award formula that can result in exorbitant pricing for long-haul flights in premium cabins, some folks might shy away from transferring Amex points to British Airways . However, Executive Club has offered some of the most frequent transfer bonuses of any Amex partner, and is still an excellent choice for certain short-haul awards (flights that are about three hours or less).

Flying from the West Coast of the US to Hawaii will only cost you 13,000 Avios each way in economy on either American Airlines or Alaska Airlines, versus 15,000 to 22,500 using either of those carriers' miles. Likewise, using Avios to book shorter flights within Asia on Cathay Pacific, within Australia on Qantas, or from Miami or Dallas to the Caribbean on American Airlines can be a good way to save money on routes that can be expensive to book using cash.

You can also get from Los Angeles or San Francisco to Tokyo for just 27,750 miles each way in economy on JAL, or from Boston to Dublin on Aer Lingus for just 13,000 miles each way at off-peak times. Keep in mind that you can transfer Avios between British Airways Executive Club, Aer Lingus AerClub, and Iberia Plus for even more options, including some with lower surcharges on flights to and from Europe.

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

While this Hong Kong-based airline's award chart won't be for everyone, if you're positively raking in the Amex points thanks to bonuses and spending, you might want to splurge with a few redemptions.

Like American Airlines AAdvantage , Asia Miles will charge you 70,000 miles each way in business class or 110,000 miles in first between the West Coast of the US (and Canada) and Hong Kong. The reason you might want to use Asia Miles instead of AAdvantage (or Alaska Mileage Plan miles, for that matter), is that it's easier to come by award space using the airline's own frequent flyer program rather than a partner, and unlike American and Alaska, you can transfer points from Amex as well as other card programs.

Another great premium possibility is to use 75,000 Asia Miles each way for Qatar Airways' outstanding business class between its hub at Doha and certain destinations within the US, including Boston, Chicago, New York-JFK, and Philadelphia.

Delta SkyMiles

Although Delta has made drastic changes to its award program over the past decade, it's still one of Amex's standout transfer partners for a number of reasons. First, it's the largest US carrier on the list, it's part of SkyTeam, and it also boasts non-alliance partners like Virgin Atlantic, so you can use Delta SkyMiles in a variety of ways.

That said, Delta has done its best lately to peg the value of SkyMiles to about 1 cent each, especially for awards on Delta itself. So use your Amex points for cheaper economy tickets that can cost as little as 5,000 miles each, or simply to top up your account with a few thousand miles here and there for specific tickets you are certain you will need to book in the near future (especially if that bumps you up from economy to business class).

Etihad Guest

Due to a clunky online interface and the fact that you have to call customer service to book awards on partner airlines, you might want to avoid Etihad Guest in general, unless you can pinpoint a few specific awards.

However, the carrier has a lot of interesting airline partners, including American Airlines, Air New Zealand, ANA, Korean Air, and Royal Air Maroc, among others. The airline also offers occasional award sales, bringing the price of some tickets down even further.

In general, though, here are two great awards you could consider transferring Amex points for:

  • First, you can snag a one-way, one-segment business-class ticket on Royal Air Maroc, including between the US and Morocco, for just 44,000 miles.
  • Second, Etihad makes first-class award space much more easily available to its own mileage program members than those of partners, including American Airlines AAdvantage. So if you want a shot at one of Etihad's fabulous first-class suites between Abu Dhabi and either the US or Europe, you'll probably want to start hoarding Amex points for a transfer to Etihad Guest.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Singapore Airlines partners with several of the other major transferable points programs, including Chase Ultimate Rewards,   Citi ThankYou Rewards , and Capital One , so before you transfer Amex points, consider what other options you have. That said, there are a few redemption sweet spots to be aware of.

Economy awards between North America and Hawaii on either United or Air Canada are priced at a reasonable 19,500 miles each way, while flying business class within North America on either of those carriers is 26,000 miles each way.

But the real reason you might want to transfer Amex points to KrisFlyer is to redeem them for business- or first-class flights on Singapore Airlines itself, since the airline is very stingy with releasing award space to partners.

Sure, flights cost a lot of miles – flying business class on the world's current longest flight from Newark to Singapore will set you back 111,500 miles each way, or first class from New York-JFK to Frankfurt will require 97,000 miles — but spending some time in the lap of luxury could well be worth it.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points are useful for partner award flights, some of which you can book for fewer points compared to other programs. The program will soon become more useful, as Virgin Atlantic will join the SkyTeam alliance in 2023 .

Among the best examples are using just 50,000 miles to fly Delta One Suites between the US and Europe (except the UK), or 60,000 miles between the US and Asia – a bargain considering you'd need at least 85,000 Delta SkyMiles for either option. You might also want to use 90,000 to 95,000 of them to fly ANA's gorgeous new business-class suites round-trip between the US or Europe and Japan, or 110,000 to 120,000 miles to fly first class.

Other options

Now that we've gotten the best partners out of the way, here are the details on the rest and why might or might not want to transfer your hard-earned Amex points to them.

Aer Lingus AerClub: In reality, Aer Lingus AerClub is linked to British Airways Executive Club, so it's relatively easy to transfer your Avios between accounts, but why add another layer of complexity to your rewards strategy? Aeromexico Club Premier: Although the transfer ratio to Aeromexico might seem favorable, and there are sometimes transfer bonuses, the Club Premier award chart lacks any truly great redemption opportunities. Avianca LifeMiles: While this program offers some fabulous award opportunities on Avianca's Star Alliance partners, its booking engine is not the most reliable, and its customer service reps can be hard to reach.  Emirates Skywards: Emirates reduced the sky-high fuel surcharges it once tacked onto its award tickets, but mileage prices are still astronomical, especially for sought-after seats in first and business class. Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles: While this program can come in handy specifically for tickets within Hawaii and between the islands and the US mainland, you might be better off simply getting one of Hawaiian Airlines' co-branded credit cards to enjoy extra earnings and perks. Iberia Plus: Another partner linked to British Airways Avios, Iberia's mileage program is a great way to save on fuel surcharges, and does have some excellent award options between the US and Europe, including certain business-class tickets that cost as few as 34,000 Avios. However, its search engine can be hard to use, and customer service is almost non-existent, so do your homework before transferring Amex points here. JetBlue TrueBlue: Folks can get a lot of value from TrueBlue points for flights on JetBlue, but the conversion ratio of 5 Amex points to 4 TrueBlue points takes it out of the running as a truly great transfer partner. Qantas Frequent Flyer: You might find some good deals redeeming Qantas miles for expensive flights on the airline's own metal within Australia and the South Pacific, but award prices for flights beyond that are jaw-droppingly high for the most part.

Choice Privileges: Booking some budget stays in the near future? Choice points could come in handy, but are unlikely to be a frequent transfer option for more aspirational travelers. Hilton Honors: Amex points convert to Hilton Honors points at a 1:2 ratio, which is great on the surface. But if you're interested in Hilton stays and perks, you should probably apply for a co-branded Hilton card instead . For instance, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is currently offering 175,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $6,000 in purchases on the card within your first six months of card membership (offer ends 7/31/2024), and it confers automatic top-tier Hilton Honors Diamond elite status , statement credits at Hilton Resorts and on certain eligible stays at Waldorf Astoria and Conrad properties, plus a free night reward each account year. Marriott Bonvoy: Considering the paltry 1:1 conversion ratio and Marriott's excellent stable of co-branded credit cards , you might want to avoid Amex transfers and instead apply for a product like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card . It's currently offering new cardholders three Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from your account opening, plus benefits like automatic Gold elite status, 6 points per dollar on eligible Marriott purchases, 3 points per dollar on dining, gas, and groceries (on up to $6,000 in combined purchases each year), and 2 points per dollar on other eligible purchases.

What to know about transferring Amex points to partners

American Express Membership Rewards points are among the most valuable and versatile travel rewards out there. That's thanks not only to the sheer number of airline and hotel loyalty programs cardholders can transfer their points to, but also to the variety of excellent redemption opportunities available.

The key to optimizing Membership Rewards points is to pick a credit card that will earn the most of them on the things you tend to purchase most frequently. And then, on the other side of the travel rewards equation, you will want to focus on just a few of the transfer partners with the best redemption opportunities for your needs and goals.

Once you pinpoint the right card and the right partners, you should be able to make strategic transfers and enjoy excellent award flights and hotel stays.

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For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Read our editorial standards .

Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they're subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.

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