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American Express announced yesterday that they’ll be eliminating the foreign transaction fees on their co-branded Delta SkyMiles credit cards as of May 1, 2014. The cards presently have a 2.7% foreign transaction fee, which more or less wipes out any rewards you’d earn from the card when traveling internationally. So this will be a nice change for sure.
This change applies to the Delta Gold, Platinum, and Reserve consumer and business cards issued in the US or PRVI. This notice should be communicated to members with their February statements.
Furthermore, American Express will also be adding EMV chip technology to all their co-branded Delta cards. After May 1, 2014, any interested cardmember can call the number on the back of their card to request a new card with chip.
Like most US chip cards this will be a chip and signature card (not a chip and PIN), so that’s not hugely advantageous for international travel.
Chase has been ahead of the game with foreign transaction fees for a while now, and doesn’t charge any on most of their “mid-range” cards. It’s tough to compete with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which has foreign transaction fees waived and EMV chip technology, plus offers double points on dining and travel.
Really the only great reason to spend money on a co-branded Delta SkyMiles credit card is if you’re trying to earn status with Delta, since you can basically earn top tier status with Delta purely through credit card spend. Also, now that Delta has a revenue requirement for status, you can get the revenue requirement waived by spending $25,000 per calendar year on one of their co-branded cards, so that’s potentially valuable as well.