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One of the perks of achieving Platinum or Diamond Medallion® is the ability to select Choice Benefits. These offer everything from upgrade certificates to travel vouchers and are earned once a status threshold is crossed. I’m working towards Diamond Medallion® this year and have been Platinum for many years (when Delta was my secondary carrier).
Those qualifying for Platinum or Diamond Medallion® status for 2024 (earned through activity this year) will have more to pick from when they select their Choice Benefits (one pick for Platinum and three for Diamond). Let’s look at each of the options in more detail:
These probably have the greatest value as they are able to be used at the time of booking to upgrade and depending on the upgrade type and route, can be used to move to First Class or Delta One®. Delta did make these more restrictive and now requires the purchase of Premium Select to upgrade directly in Delta One®, but I have found great value in the Regional Certificates and am going to be choosing both Regional and Global when I hit Diamond Medallion®. One other recent change: certificates must be booked and flown by the end of the Medallion year. For example, if you choose upgrade certificates for next year, they are valid for flights departing through the January 31, 2025.
$200 or $500 is free money if you hold one of these cards. The $500 credit would offset most of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card‘s annual fee ($550) and it would grant you access to both the Sky Clubs® and Centurion Lounges. I wouldn’t take the $200 Platinum choice, but the $500 is appealing. See rates & fees.
Starbucks® Reward Stars
I’m in Starbucks every day, but that doesn’t mean I would select this choice. My Venti Iced Lattes cost $6.45. With Starbucks recent devaluation (read more here), this benefit would provide 20 free drinks. That equals $129. No thanks.
Delta Sky Club® Executive Membership
This membership costs $1,495 and allows you to bring in two guests, but I wouldn’t choose it. You’re better off using The Platinum Card from American Express or the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Card to gain access and not burning all three Choice Benefits here.
Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQD) Earn Boost
This is another choice that I would not recommend. It’s easy enough to earn MQDs through flying (especially partner airlines in premium cabins) or through credit card spend.
Gift Medallion Status
This benefit is appealing and Delta used to only allow you to gift status to one person if you selected this as a Choice Benefit. There is real value here if you have folks in your life that fly Delta enough to benefit. A chance at upgrades, free checked bags, free seat selection, and more come with status and I can see a lot of people choosing this one.
With how much SkyMiles have been devalued, 20,000 or 25,000 miles isn’t an exciting choice or one that is worth a whole lot. Skip this one.
Delta Vacations® Experience (Flight + Hotel)
I like to plan my own travel and book hotels directly with the chains that I am loyal in order to be able to use all of my benefits. I don’t find this benefit exciting and would not select a $400 or $500 credit here.
Sustainable Aviation Fuel Contribution
It’s nice to do something good for the planet. But, skip this one and make a $250 donation. You’ll then get the tax benefits and all the good feels, too.
Delta Travel Voucher
This is like the statement credit, free money. If you’re flying Delta enough to reach Platinum or Diamond Medallion®, you’ll use this $250 voucher very quickly. A good choice for both levels.
Anthony’s Take: I love that Delta lets upper-level elite members choose the benefits that matter the most to them. I’ll be choosing upgrade certificates when I hit Platinum and Diamond Medallion® this year.
Anthony’s Credit Card Picks: I love the lounges where The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card grant access. The Platinum Card® from American Express has had a prominent place in my wallet for many years now. While it does have an annual fee of $695, it provides many travel benefits and will always be my go-to for lounge access (both Delta Sky Clubs® and Centurion Lounges) and booking airfare from the airlines to earn 5x points (up to $500,000 per calendar year). Learn more. Rates & Fees. Terms apply. If you don’t have that card and are a heavy Delta flyer, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is a great choice (it’s annual fee of $550 can be worthwhile with visits to the lounges). Learn more. Rates & Fees. Terms apply.
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