You will not get the above card. Nope! Delta has so little respect for Silver Medallions that they no longer send you any tags or such in the mail. Even your Silver Medallion SkyMiles elite card itself you must print it off the website (and then what, clear packing tape to make it real?). So does this tell us that Silver is akin to “gum on the bottom of your shoe”? Let’s take a look:
- Considering your MQM balance & strategies to consider
- Should I go for Delta Diamond Medallion Status
- Should I go for Delta Platinum Medallion Status
- Should I go for Delta Gold Medallion Status
- Should I go for Delta Silver Medallion Status
When you consider all the amazing perks of Gold, Platinum and especially Diamond Medallion status why even bother with Silver? I think there is a real argument that this bottom level Delta and Skyteam level has merit (there is SPG crossover rewards but not recognized by Skyteam). Let’s take a look why:
- Comfort+ & exit row
- Some upgrades (maybe many)
- Elite service
- Free bags & Skyteam elite perks
As I talked about before in this series I am almost a Delta million miler. One of the big perks of crossing this mark is “annual” or lifetime Silver Medallion (FO) status without having to do anything to keep the status year after year, that is, basically I will be gifted Silver every year by Delta. That is worth having to me and one of the big reasons is simply to be able to pick an exit row seat for free. On top of that, if I work it correctly, I will find myself in C+ seats many of the flights I am on with Delta. While the C+ seat is no different than the rest of coach, the experience is markedly better with free drinks, Delta Studio and more recline and leg room. That works!
Don’t “expect” to upgrade as a Delta FO. But when you do, it is all that much more special. Plus, if you really work it, you can surprisingly score a number of upgrades. Mid week, Saturday and other times and working fare class can result in a decent now and then upgrade percentage. Again, don’t plan for it but enjoy the upgrades when they happen.
You are still an elite to Delta as an FO. Sure, maybe not Diamond special but still an elite nonetheless and you will get better service. Heck, even dropping the “I am after all still a loyal Delta medallion” can win over when push comes to shove as you ARE a medallion elite flyer! Phone support, even at the Silver level, is better than just being a SkyMiles member. It can matter when you really need it and even on every day requests.
Then we have the big one depending on your travels. To have you, and up to 8 more on the same reservation get a free checked bag is a great value. Combo that with a Delta Gold, Platinum or Reserve cards <–LINK (and the same thing goes for the Delta AMEX business cards as well) and you can check two bags each with Delta. Even with Skyteam you are, under most situations, getting a free bag plus priority check-in, boarding and shots at better seats. All these little bits matter and can transform the travel from a experience to forget to one you can enjoy.
So you can see, Silver is not a “junk elite level”. No it has real value even if not as much as the ones above it.
Now on the other parts of this series I talked about why you should NOT go for the next level. When it comes to Silver it really is not about rollover but about YOU. Let’s take a look why you would not go for Silver:
- MQDs (can’t earn MQD exempt status)
- Not flying Delta next year
- Can’t get MQMs via cards or Elite Mileage Run
A short list but it really is all about cost and what you can or can’t do. The first one is really simple. For most folks spending $3000 (net not including taxes etc.) with Delta is a LOT of money. Now voucher spend does count, but then you have to have flown to get a bump to spend them so there is that. Your credit may not allow you to get a Delta AMEX card and spend your way to MQD exempt status. So if you have only spent a few hundred bucks with Delta this year there is no point in going on a spending spree just to get MQD spend up. Now if you are only a few hundred away, then sure buy a ticket and fly somewhere nice.
This one is always all important on all of these elite levels, that is, what will be your flying pattern next year? If you only have one or maybe two trips on Delta planned (or likely to take) please don’t bother pushing it. Elite status is for frequent flyers and flying once a year is not frequent. You are better off just burning points and flying business class when you do fly (or at least that is what I would do).
The last one is sorta covered and yet not. Maybe you have the MQD spend from work trips or whatever but are MQM short. Maybe your home life does not allow for you to take a day or two off for an Elite Mileage Run to pick up the final few thousand MQMs you need. Or, maybe like already touched on, your credit does not allow you to hold a Delta AMEX Platinum or Reserve card to gain MQMs via spend bonus each year. If any of this is your situation then again pushing for status, even if it would benefit you next year, may not work out. Frustrating but perhaps a reality to consider.
And that folks raps this all up. Silver Medallion status with Delta and Skyteam has real value. I will value it one day when I drop down from Diamond to Silver and enjoy all the perks this lower ranked status will afford me (in conjunction with other travel card perks that gets me lounge access and other perks as well)! – Rene