Monday, September 13, 2010

Delta SkyMiles® World MasterCard® from Capital One Review

This is the review in full as it appears on the main Rewards Canada site.
This post was amended on April 18, 2013 to reflect changes Capital One has made to the product
The latest travel rewards credit card to be released in Canada is the Delta SkyMiles® World MasterCard® from Capital One. Delta has been looking to release a credit card in Canada over the past couple years, initial reports had BMO being the card partner but now we all know that Capital One is the banking partner for Delta. This card is the first airline card for the SkyTeam alliance in Canada and Delta is only the fourth US airline to have a dedicated card in Canada after Alaska, American and United. It is primarily targeted to existing SkyMiles members in Canada but Capital One and Delta are also looking to potentially move some people away from other frequent flyer programs in Canada to their offering.

Seeing that the Delta SkyMiles® World MasterCard® from Capital One comes with MasterCard's 'World' branding, therefore it provides an excellent insurance and benefit package that is similar to Capital One's Aspire World MasterCard. The card features a good earning ratio that eclipses other airline cards like RBC's British Airways and Cathay Pacific Visas in that you technically get triple miles when you book with the airline. It has a decent sign up bonus, and allows you to add an authorized user for $0.

The Delta SkyMiles® World MasterCard® from Capital One comes with a standard $120 primary card annual fee that you will find on most premium cards that offer similar rewards and benefits. Get a welcome bonus of up to 25,000 Delta miles. Depending on time, season and availability, the sign up offer could be worth upwards of $500-$600 in equivalent flight costs.  The interest rate on the card is 19.8% placing it right in the middle of the pack of competitors. Please Note: A requirement of this card is a minimum personal income of $60,000 or household income of $100,000.

The Delta SkyMiles® World MasterCard® from Capital One earns 3 Delta miles for every $1 you spend on Delta purchases. Earn 2 Delta miles per $1 on all other net purchases. The card features a 10,000 bonus Delta miles on your account anniversary if you spend at least $25,000 in net purchases each membership year.

See Application for Details

Features and Benefits
As stated above the Delta SkyMiles® World MasterCard® from Capital One comes with an insurance package that competes with all the other high end cards. The card features Trip Cancellation Insurance which is only offered as a standard feature on five other travel rewards cards and Travel Medical insurance which only comes standard on about 50% of the cards in the market.

What is good about this card
For the loyal Delta/SkyMiles traveler or frequent flyer, this card is a perfect fit to add many more miles to their SkyMiles account. The sign up bonus of 25,000 miles is higher then most other airline cards in Canada. The ability to redeem for business or first class seats at a good rate of return (these premium class redemptions can sometimes give as high as a 10% return on your spending) is always a plus feature to card like this. The airlines partnered with Delta, in particular the SkyTeam airlines, means you don't always have to transit the U.S. on your reward flights as some partners fly directly from Canada to Asia and Europe. Add the whole host of insurance and benefits including the trip cancellation and Travel Emergency Medical and you have a decent offering for an airline credit card.

What is not so good about this card
As with virtually every frequent flyer program, the biggest drawback continues to be award availability, particularly at the lowest redemption levels that a program has. Delta SkyMiles is not immune to this as we mentioned above although unlike some frequent flyer programs you at least have access to all seats and not select few per flight even if it may cost you more miles. The additional taxes and fees on reward flights can also be seen as a drawback compared to the many travel points cards in Canada that allow you to use points towards the taxes and fees. Finally, flight redemptions via SkyMiles cannot be used for flights within Canada as Delta does not have a domestic partner, all flights would have to go via the U.S. and have to be booked as separate one way or multi-segment trips.

While the Delta SkyMiles® World MasterCard® from Capital One won't stir up the Canadian market like Capital One's Aspire card did earlier this year it does present a viable option for a dedicated airline credit card in Canada. Having a nice sign up bonus, a good insurance package and being part of the second largest airline alliance serving Canada, the card will be attractive to frequent travelers whose primary travels take them outside of Canada. It will not make a big dent in Aeroplan's or AIR MILES' customer bases but it will definitely keep many of the current SkyMiles members from defecting to another program if they have been considering a move.

We would like to hear your thoughts on the new Delta SkyMiles® World MasterCard® from Capital One by commenting below!

Related Links:
Delta SkyMiles® World MasterCard® from Capital One on 

“The interest rates, fees, rewards details, benefits and other details of the Capital One product(s) described in the article may have changed since the time of publication. Please consult the product information pages on the Capital One website for accurate product details. In the event of any conflict between the product details in this article and the Capital One website, the details on the Capital One website shall prevail.”


  1. I cashed in Aeroplan miles for a flight on Air Canada to London and I had to pay $418 in taxes for one person. Twice that for the two of us.

    I just checked the taxes for cashing 60,000 miles on my Delta Skymiles plan and the taxes were $96 only for a roundtrip flight to Madrid, Spain.

    For anybody who flies and charges a lot, they would be inane if they stick with CIBC's Aeroplan Infinite Visa for the same $120 annual fee.

    1. It would be interesting to know if the Delta Skymiles is a non stop flight operating from a Canadian departure. Most of the Delta skymiles are from US departure points and do not include the high level of airport/government fees that Air Canada Aeroplan must charge.

    2. Delta offers many direct flights out of Canada to the U.S. and you can redeem SkyMiles for direct flights on their SkyTeam partners like Air France, KLM and Korean who all fly to Canada as well

  2. You have to make sure you compare the same routes before saying one program is worse then the other. All reward tickets (doesn't matter the program) will be more to the U.K. due to the huge taxes levied by the U.K. government. So you cannot compare a reward ticket to Madrid versus a reward ticket to London.

    I just did an Aeroplan search for Toronto-Madrid and it was 60,000 Aeroplan miles + C$100.80 for taxes, pretty much the same as the Delta example you posted.

    For London, on Delta it is 60,000 miles + 211.30 in taxes, while Aeroplan (using the Star Alliance United option) is 60,000 miles + 213.71 in taxes. So once again pretty much the same when comparing apples to apples (including flying via the U.S. for both options)

    However a Toronto-London direct flight with Air Canada would be more as AC charges a fuel surcharge on their own flights (that is why you paid over $400)

  3. Actually the least expensive way to use aeroplan points for flights is to book the flights without flying Air Canada. Air Canada charges a hefty fuel surcharge on aeroplan flights. The surcharge is more than those charged when actually paying for a flight.

    In the London example you could have booked a connecting flight thru Chicago, Newark, Frankfurt and it would not have been as much flying united, continental or lufthansa. The London airport tax is based on distance and is around $100 for Toronto. If you used all non Air Canada flights it would have costed you less than $100 for that flight. Keep in mind that you will have to call aeroplan to book a non Air Canada flight. Normally there is a charge for phone booking but they may wavier that charge as it is not listed on the aeroplan website.

    Using the Madrid flight again if you used Air Canada flights that flight would jump up to $500.

  4. If this card offered priority boarding on Delta Flights ( like AMEX - only available in USA )
    I would be the first of many to sign up


  5. I want to know:

    will i get triple points not only for Delta flights but also for flights booked with Air France

    can i use the points to book AIr France instead of Delta flights

    1. You will only get the Triple Miles if you book an Air France flight on (so it would be a Delta Coded code share flight operated by Air France)

      Yes you can use the points to book Air France flights as they are a full SkyTeam partner of Delta.