A number of readers have been forwarding the e-mail Delta has been sending out reminding them that time is almost up to select the Delta 2016 Choice Benefits. I am really impressed Delta is doing this this year as in the past, after the 1st of February, there tends to be disappointment they forgot to spend them. Let’s be clear about WHAT choice we are talking about.
- This is the 2016 Choice Benefit (NOT the 2017 one you earned last year)
In other words, if you earned your Diamond or Platinum status last year you still have about one full year to select that Choice Benefit. We are talking about what you earned in 2015 that is the 2016 choice that you must choose by the 31st or it is gone forever. So what to pick.
Delta is smart to warn you in the e-mail sent out that if you gift status to anyone they will only have it for a few days. Don’t do that – clearly. So what are the “best” choices? That is up to you and I will not tell you what to pick. It really depends on how you will fly over the next 12 months. To me, and again this is a personal evaluation not telling you what to do, the value in order is:
- Global Upgrade certs
- Regional Upgrade certs
- Bonus SkyMiles
- Bonus $$$ voucher
- Global Entry credit
Keep in mind, if you drop to a lower elite after 1FEB (or no status even), you can still spend your GU or RU certs and they are good for one year from your selection date.
Now I have clearly left two very important choices off the list that may be very good for you. The first is upgrading Sky Club membership from individual to full or executive membership. This can have HUGE value if you fly often with a +1 or more that you need to get into the club. But if you always fly solo then there is low value to this and thus, why it is off the list.
The next one is gifting status. This could, again depending on your circumstances, be huge or not. With the new +1 upgrade on revenue tickets based on the higher status you may no longer want to gift status to anyone (again NOT the 2016 gift but we are talking 2017 or soon 2018 gift). But, say your +1 does fly solo often. Gifting them status for your 2017 choice gives them 1 year of status. If you, after 1FEB, gift them from your 2018 gift they would have the status for almost 2 full years. The latter is what I did for my wife with my 2017 choice. She was Gold all last year, has it all of this year, and it ends 1FEB19!
The next big one is an offer you really should consider. The new card bonus bonus, after huge spend, of 100,000 points for the non-Delta AMEX Platinum business card <-LINK will drop in a few days. This card is to me one of the hands down most valuable travel cards in the market – period. Think about getting 50% bonus points back on redemptions to getting free into Centurion clubs (plus your guests) to the yearly International Gogo passes, upgrades to SPG & Hilton hotel status to Gold and on an on and on! This is a card I always have in my wallet and while so much in the travel space is losing value lately this card just keeps adding more! You will be sorry if you let this amazing offer (and card) slip away.
Any questions on any of these? Please fire away in the comments below! – René