Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.
Every year the same issues and questions come up and the same questions arise so let’s address them and take a look forward to 2017 as well. First, the simple ones that so many seem to get wrong.
- Flights. If your scheduled departure anywhere in the world is before 23:59 on 31DEC it counts on this year. Later than that on next year. Don’t make this one harder than this – please!
- MQD credit. You have to fly to get credit. You cannot simply buy a ticket and expect credit.
- MQM route credit. You have to at least fly something to get route credit. If things go “wonkie” and you are rerouted you can request original route credit. However, if your ticket is reissued for a LONGER route you will get credit for that so just say thank you inside your head and enjoy.
- AMEX. If your spend posts on or before 31DEC it counts on this year, after that it counts on next year. When you purchased something or when your statement closes does not matter. It is about posting date!
- Medallion year. It ends / begins 1FEB each year. That means the current year extends into January each year. Again, don’t make this one hard. Also, once 1 FEB begins your old status is over. Sure you may “coat tail” some upgrades etc. on 1, 2, 3 FEB but if things go wrong you are the status you currently have not had.
- Choice Benefits. This one is always a contention but don’t make it hard. You only get ONE choice each year. That means if you earned status this year you get next year’s choice. You do not get two.
- Diamond Choice Benefits. If you are Diamond you get Diamond Choice. But you were, at least on paper, also Platinum so you get BOTH Platinum and Diamond Choices each Medallion year.
Next on to what to be aware of for 2017 and earning your 2018 status and perks.
- AMEX spend. Now that earning your 25k MQD waiver is a plus to help you with upgrades it is more important than ever to get this ASAP (if you like more upgrades that is). I will have on the 1st, as I have each year, what works and what does not and will test them all. I plan to have my 25k done in less that 7 days this year!
- Rollover MQMs. Delta always says it will happen before the end of January. Expect it much sooner. 10-15 is normal range.
- Earning status 2017. It is all about the current status. If you rollover a ton of MQMs you should think about crushing it fast in 2017 and earn your 2018 status. That means AMEX card bonus from spend MQMs and even starting, yes STARTING, the year with some mega mileage runs. Why? If you make say Platinum or Diamond quick you have it all of 2017 AND all of 2018 and it would not end until 1FEB19! Think hard on this.
- Choice benefits. As of 1JAN17 you are earning for your 2018 Medallion year. That means for me, who will be Diamond (with rollover and MQD exempt spending) on 1FEB17 I will be Diamond all of 2017 but also be able to select my 2018 Choice Benefits (but not AGAIN in 2018).
- Dropping in status. If you have status now that will drop down on 1FEB17 you will have to suffer that current status. If you were DM or PM and now are not you will have to pay change fees for award tickets even though you were DM or PM when you booked them. If you have a “free” C+ upgrade and something happens like an equipment change you will be booted out of the seat and have to pay to get it back. Sorry, next time take a mileage run or two! 😉
- Climbing in status. If you say start the year Silver or Gold with a bunch of rollover and book awards for this summer and then before that time hit Platinum or Diamond then yes you can make free changes to them as even though you were a lower status when you booked these awards it is the current status that matters!
These really are the main questions that seem to come up and folks are confused about. Clearly Delta has layer upon layer of rules. With the new +1 upgrade rule (ONLY on PAID TICKETS) this changes what many are doing and planning for 2017 and that is a wise choice. Really the main choice will be what type of currency you want to spend to buy tickets next year but we will save that discussion for another post! – René