Delta Choice Benefits: The ultimate guide to earning and choosing your benefits

The Delta Air Lines SkyMiles program has long been a favorite among frequent travelers. However, in recent years, many travelers have expressed their dissatisfaction with the program, claiming that it has decreased in value. In 2023, Delta announced changes to the SkyMiles program that were met with widespread criticism. The changes were so unpopular that Delta was forced to walk back some of them just one month later.

Despite the negative perception of the SkyMiles program, Delta Medallion status continues to be highly valuable. One particularly valuable perk available to Platinum Medallion members and higher is the Choice Benefits program. This program allows elite members to select certain benefits based on their status level.

To earn Delta Choice Benefits, you must qualify for Platinum or Diamond Medallion status each calendar year. Platinum Medallion members earn one Choice Benefit, while Diamond Medallion members earn three additional Choice Benefits. Delta now uses Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) as the sole metric for elite qualification. The current calendar year requirements for Platinum and Diamond Medallion status are 15,000 MQDs and 28,000 MQDs, respectively.

You can earn MQDs by flying on Delta and its partners, as well as through other transactions such as vacation packages and spending on co-branded credit cards. Starting February 1, 2024, cardholders of premium co-branded Delta credit cards will receive a boost of 2,500 MQDs per card towards status qualification each year.

Once you qualify for Platinum or Diamond Medallion status, you can select your Choice Benefits based on your activity within a calendar year. You must select your Choice Benefits by the day your status would expire if you didn’t requalify. This means that the selection window varies depending on the calendar year during which you earned your status.

In the 2023 Medallion year, if you qualified for Platinum or Diamond Medallion status in 2022, you should select your Choice Benefits by January 31, 2024. Platinum Medallion members can choose one benefit, while Diamond Medallion members can choose three benefits. The options include upgrade certificates, bonus miles, Delta Sky Club benefits, Delta travel vouchers, and the ability to gift Delta Medallion status.

Each of these benefits offers its own unique value. Upgrade certificates provide higher priority for upgrades on Delta flights, bonus miles can be used for future travel or donated to charity, Delta Sky Club benefits offer access to Delta lounges, travel vouchers can be used towards Delta airfare, and gifting Medallion status allows you to share the perks of elite status with someone else.

When choosing among the Delta Choice Benefits, it’s important to consider the expiration dates of each benefit. Some benefits expire on a set date regardless of when you select them, so it’s best to choose those benefits as soon as you’re eligible. For the 2023 Medallion year, bonus miles may be the best choice as they provide value and do not expire.

For the 2024 Medallion year, if you qualified for Platinum or Diamond Medallion status in 2023, you should select your Choice Benefits by January 31, 2025. The options for this year include upgrade certificates, bonus miles, Delta Sky Club benefits, Medallion Qualification Dollars towards the next Medallion year, gifting Medallion status, Delta Vacations Experience credits, Delta American Express statement credits, Delta travel vouchers, sustainable aviation fuel contributions, and Starbucks Rewards Stars.

Again, it’s important to carefully consider the expiration dates and values of each benefit before making your selection. The best choice will depend on your individual travel preferences and needs.

In conclusion, while the Delta Air Lines SkyMiles program may have faced criticism in recent years, Delta Medallion status and the Choice Benefits program continue to offer valuable perks to loyal travelers. Whether you’re a newly minted elite member or a longtime Delta loyalist, understanding how to earn and select Delta Choice Benefits can enhance your travel experience and make your loyalty to Delta even more rewarding.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *