TIME RUNNING OUT: 100,000 Point Offer, Delta Choice Benefits 2016, Buy MQMs and more!

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choice benefits reminder from delta

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 warning about gifting status

WARNING – Don’t do this for 2016 choice!

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.

mqmThe last one I loath to talk about. You would not believe the heartbreaking e-mails I have been getting from readers telling me they have ended up a few MQMs or MQDs or MQSs short of whatever status they were shooting for this year. They were “SO” close but then something went wonky and they are now not where they want to be. Some have reached out to Delta for a soft landing but have been turned down. Ugg! I feel your pain. Keep in mind you have a few more weeks, at just bat crazy prices, to buy what you need from Delta. I am sorry the prices are so high but please take this as a learning experience and don’t make the same mistake again. Get a Delta Platinum or Reserve card NOW! Get the spend done (I will have my 60k spend done by end of next month). Enjoy MQD exemption and bonus MQMs. Or, consider NOW a custom mileage run with help from ADAM and his team. If you book now, the price is dirt cheap as there is all year to find a sweet run.

Any questions on any of these? Please fire away in the comments below! – René




  1. I have a question about the Amex “once per lifetime” rule I’m hoping someone can help me with. About 8 years ago I had the Amex Business Platinum card. However, at the time I wasn’t into the points game at all. Just got it for the benefits so I didn’t meet the spend requirements for the sign up bonus. After about 3 years I closed the account since I wasn’t traveling as much. Since I didn’t get the bonus back then am I eligible for this bonus or am I disqualified since I already had the card?

  2. @Rene – have you had any issues with redeeming Choice benefits on the last day (tomorrow 1/31) — I usually do it on D-1 (today), but one year I had to let an RUC expire since I redeemed on D-1 but could have used it on the last day of the same month the following year year 🙂 The reason for D-1 is that I’ve been burnt by Jetblue (in the old program when points expired, or was it AA Bizxtraa? can’t recall) expiring stuff the day before the deadline (or at 00:01am as they clarified!)… so redeem by 1/31 meant redeem before 1/31 begins!)…

  3. @skdelta – I spend mine mostly on day 1 so… but with all the DL CPU meltdown issues noting would shock me. Call if you need help at this point!

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