American Express won first place at the Freddie Awards this week for its Delta SkyMiles frequent flyer credit card. It won for “Best Loyalty Credit Card” in North and South America.
The Freddie Awards have been given out for about the last twenty years, and over one million ballots are cast online each year. The award ceremony was held just outside New York City on April 26 and was hosted by comedian Robert Wuhl, known for roles in 80s movies Batman and Bull Durham. They were founded by Randy Petersen of InsideFlyer magazine and recognize the best travel loyalty programs in the industry, including airline and hotel rewards programs.
The Delta SkyMiles card was called a “surprise winner” by travel rewards website MileCards.com, who said that in frequent-flyer circles, “Delta miles are viewed as one of the less attractive values because they generally require a higher number of miles for a typical ticket than other programs.”
The site went on to say that they believe the program is popular among travelers who value the ability to qualify for Elite status (something no longer available through United), the priority boarding benefit offered by Delta SkyMiles, and the fact that seats are generally widely available when customers want to redeem their miles for a plane ticket.
One Airline, Plenty of Partners
Every airline is part of an alliance, a partnership between airlines that allows frequent flyers with that airline to use their miles with other airlines. Frequent flyer miles can be redeemed with any partner in the alliance. Among these are Star Alliance, which includes United Airlines, US Airways and Lufthansa, and oneworld , which has American Airlines, British Airways and Qantas. Delta is a member of SkyTeam, which brings together 15 airlines including Aero Mexico, Air France, KLM and Korean Air.
Gold or Platinum?
There are two different American Express Delta SkyMiles cards – the Gold and the Platinum. The Gold card offers the following features that are hits with its well-traveled members:
- Annual fee of $95 is waived for the first year
- Card holders check a bag for free on every Delta flight – a $25 value
- Priority Boarding for members on all Delta flights
- Save 20 percent on all in-flight food and entertainment
Platinum card holders enjoy all of those same benefits, but pay an annual fee of $150, which is not waived for the first year. However, while Gold members are eligible for 30,000 bonus miles only after they spend $500 in their first three months of account ownership, Platinum members earn 20,000 bonus miles simply upon making their first purchase, 5,000 of which are special “Medallion Qualification Miles.”
Many Choices for Miles Rewards
Both the Delta Sky Miles cards let members earn unlimited miles by making purchases on their cards. Card holders earn two miles for every dollar on Delta purchases, and one mile per dollar on all other purchases. When using miles to pay for plane tickets, travelers can use all or just part of their miles balance, and no blackout dates apply.
If you`re looking for a frequent flyer credit card and you`d like to go with the one that the Freddie voters like best, Credit-Land.com offers the Gold Delta SkyMiles card on our site, along with many other great frequent flyer cards.