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You know what’s really STUPID to do – sell your Delta Choice Benefits!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


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eBay user “dimadasha” is choosing to sell their Delta Platinum Medallion Choice Benefit on eBay. What a really STUPID idea. Oh and it gets worse as the user tells potential buyers:

silver1 terms

Oh, humm, “bid with confidence”. I am not so sure about that. Well are they the only one selling Delta status on eBay?

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Oh look here is yet another one. User “airportrat75” also wants to sell you Silver Medallion status but at a fixed price of $500. Not sure what the bear has to do with Silver Medallion status, but whatever.

Now are both of these eBay users making such a bad choice? All we need to do is look at the Skymiles membership rules to see what Delta can do to us. It says on Delta.com:

Delta has the sole right to interpret and apply this Membership Guide and Program Rules. Please check back frequently for program updates or rule changes.

and

In the event the audit reveals discrepancies or violations, Delta may delay the processing of Award Certificates, Tickets, or other redemptions, cancel any outstanding Award Certificates, Award Tickets or other redemptions and withhold statements until the discrepancies or violations are resolved. Accounts found in violation are subject to penalty, up to and including termination of Medallion® status and closure of the SkyMiles account.

Well that is very clear in black and white. We all know we do not “own” our Skymiles. Delta can give or take them as they see fit. Our status, that we earn per the rules, is only “ours” as long as we do not violate the rules from Delta. If we do, we can lose it all – status, points and EVEN BOOKED TICKETS – even if you are mid trip! Yep, that is what it says.

So what about selling Delta things on eBay. Look what Delta further tells us about the sale of Skymiles and other related Delta things:

Sale or Barter Prohibited
Except as set forth below, the sale or barter of mileage credit, vouchers, Award Tickets, Medallion status, Pay with Miles tickets or any other benefit by SkyMiles members, or the attempt of any of the foregoing, is prohibited. Delta will terminate or deduct mileage from the account of any member who violates this rule. Award Certificates, Award Tickets, or Pay with Miles tickets obtained through prohibited sale or barter transactions are VOID, invalid for travel, and will be confiscated. Persons trying to use such tickets will not be permitted to travel unless they purchase a ticket from Delta at the applicable fare.

AH HA! There it is. The sale of “Medallion status” is against the rules. You can risk losing everything. What a stupid thing to do for a few hundred bucks.

Why am I bringing this up? This time of year many are earning their Choice Benefits or will over then next few months. Some may foolishly think about selling these perks. Please don’t. You CAN give them away to say a friend, co-worker or family member. That is fine; as you are not selling prohibited Delta items. Some have reached out to Delta to sell it with proceeds going to charity; but again, even if you are thinking of doing this, reach out and get the blessing from Delta first and get it in writing that you have their approval to do this.

I am sure you will see more and more of this type of auction over the next few months. You will even see Diamonds selling GOLD Medallion status for upwards of $1000 or more. Just remember if Delta catches the seller OR the buyer of medallion status, or other Delta related items, you may suddenly one day find your SkyMiles account closed and all your points, perks and awards – GONE! – René
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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

5 Comments

  1. Delta Flyer Reply

    You laid out the rules very clearly in your post, and obviously, it is a violation of the rules.

    The bigger and more important question is to what extent will Delta expend its people and resources to catch this? Sure, they could “buy” these items from the unsuspecting Ebay sellers in order to catch them. But this would require them to task a team with this project and for them to pay out dollars to “buy” the items.

    If the Delta RPU, is that still around?, is not buying the status in order to catch the sellers, then how do you think these folks would get caught?

    Its certainly possible a naive buyer might blurt out at the airport that they “bought” this great status, and if they said that to the wrong agent, and if the agent wanted to go through the paperwork to report it to corporate, and if corporate wanted to launch an investigation, then the buyer and seller might get busted. Maybe Delta would offer the buyer to keep the status if they reveleaed who they bought it from? But then again, these aren’t huge ticket brokers, they are essentially one off mom and pop transactions. But, its a lot of if’s that would have to line up in a perfect storm. Perhaps the seller is advising their buyers not to indicate to Delta they “bought” the status.

    It may be worth the bang for the buck for Delta to go after ticket brokers, but is it worth it to them to go after small players?

    The campus police might bust a group selling beer systematically to freshman, but they are not going to expend the resources to bust every freshman drinking a beer. The campus police, the courts, or Delta just do not have an infinet amount of resources to “bust” every violation. If they spend resources on these small players, it might be at the expense of busting major fraud.

    There used to be all sorts of “white envelopes,” sold on Ebay for FF tickets, you were buying the white envelope, and getting the ticket for “free.” ha Obviously all knew what was going on, but that is how they listed it. I’m not sure if that is still going on?

    But its important to tell people what the rules are, but also the real world battle field experience? I haven’t ben following Delta, but maybe they are spending a huge amount of resources and money to bust people? I would not put it past an airline to do something like this, but again, I don’t know that they are doing that?

    If 1,000 people sell their status choice benefit, are 998 getting caught or are 2 getting caught?

  2. Rene’, this might be a good time to re-post which is the best and worst selection for Medallion Choice Benefits.

    • @Rick – I plan to do that once the 2016 Medallion year / program is announced soon.

  3. To be honest, even if it’s against the rules I don’t know how Delta can punish people to do it unless they start buying those status themselves on the internet. I really think they have better things to do those days, especially since the new changes.
    Obviously they make written rules to prevent against massive abuses.
    But the guy just selling a benefit will be outside the radar 99,99% of the time I guess. And the subject is not about morality, not even the law, it’s just about respecting completly Delta’s rules or not. I really don’t feel like judging people doing that.

  4. John DELTA Reply

    It’s quite simple. Delta sends a letter from their legal department advising EBay that they are hosting an illegal auction and are part of the liable parties unless they provide the information to Delta of whom the seller is or alternatively eBay can contact the seller directly and terminate the auction on the wrong.

    I know this because I knew a person who was doing this previously who got status through private jet charters and had status to gift to someone but of course he attempted to sell it and was immediately shut down by eBay after DELTA airlines contacted them.

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