BREAKING! Delta to Expand Elite Medallion Choice Benefits for 2018 with AMEX tie-in!

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skyclub membership for me

My info on for my Sky Club choices

Since after 1 FEB I will be Diamond for the 2018 year I started thinking about what choices for my Delta “Choice Benefits” I would make. The one that is not in question is the single most valuable thing Delta offers – that is, Global Upgrade certs. But then the second choice can be much less clear cut. One thing I was thinking about was upgrading my Sky Club membership to Executive or full. But something strange is happening with the dates.

my delta sky club membership

Strange – No Sky Club card!

And, when I look at my membership card on it just shows that I am a Delta Reserve card holder both Current and Upcomming (that gets me in but not needed since Delta gifts me Individual membership as a Diamond). So what is going on here?


Yep, member since 1999!

Well, with a HT to @RenesPoints twitter follower @DeltaSegmentFlyer and a boatload of information from the Delta Diamond Medallion phone reps, I have learned that for the 2018 Medallion year:

  • Diamonds will get 3 Choices to make (vs. 2 now)
  • Diamonds will no longer automatically get Individual Membership
  • Diamonds will be able to choose Individual membership as a Choice
  • Diamonds w/ Delta AMEX Reserve card can upgrade to Executive membership as a Choice

This is what I have been told so far and I have reached out to the Delta PR team for more information about what other perks may be on the way as well as any improvements for Platinum Medallions (rumor is they will get 2 choices but not confirmed) as well as if Delta plans to include Gold Medallions with any kind of choice.

I look forward to the official Delta news blast about these changes and at first glance all seem like real “enhancements” vs. cuts. Some of these have been real issues with the program and anything that will make holding the Delta AMEX Reserve card even MORE valuable is amazing and a great reason for me to keep holding the card year after year and for more than just earning bonus MQMs.

What do you think of this news so far? – René


  1. My executive sky pub membership still shows up in Fly Delta app with the 2018 expiration date. It shows reserve card and boarding pass info when I look at it on my desktop. I was just wondering what happened when I saw your update. Thanks for letting us know.

  2. I saw rumor of this and was apprehensive it was a wish. I will gladly take it and say “thanks Delta!” as I have been burning a choice for executive membership for a while as I often travel with +1 or +2. Kinda sucked holding both the Reserve and Platinum Amex and still having to use a valuable benefit to guest in people.

    This is great news!

  3. Uhm for my first Choice, I would like 4 GUC’s

    My second choice I will take 4 more GUC’s….

    and then I think I will choose 6 GUC’s (since I am an AmEx Reserve cardholder) as my LAST-but-Best Medallion Choice Benefit. Added to my 8 RUC’s (since I am an AmEx Reserve cardholder) for Platinum….that will make us happy !

    Wake Up! Wake Up….You’re Dreaming Again……
    but yes, this is great news; now waiting for the ‘other shoe to fall’ Hmmm?

  4. so I have the reserve card and did not upgrade to the exec membership (have been individual since they made the change), but this last december, i got a new skyclub card with executive status (through end of 2017). I was sort of perplexed by this, but wasn’t complaining. That said, I wonder if this new development has anything to do with it. Or it might just be a bank error in my favor. who knows, but if these changes are indeed true, thumbs up

  5. I would rather have two more regional upgrade certificates or an addition global for every 35,000 miles.

  6. This is great news! Makes much more sense than having 5 ways to get an individual membership. Wow this just makes so much sense!

  7. As a “grandfathered in” Northwest Lifetime Member at Executive level, I have no need for Diamond or Reserved AMEX access to Skyclubs. What I would like is to use all my Diamond Choices for GU certificates. RUs seem redundant since I always upgrade, Global Entry isn’t worth wasting a Choice on. Giving Gold to my spouse is no longer necessary since we can both upgrade on my Diamond status, and the $200 travel voucher is nice, but can’t be combined with other vouchers and risks going unused, especially when my airfare is nearly always reimbursed. So Triple GUs (12 in total) is definitely the way for me.

  8. @Rene, There may be one small drawback to this potential change. Skyclub members can visit any skyclub even when flying other airlines. Do Amex credit cards also permit visiting a skyclub even when flying on other airlines or must one select skyclub membership as a choice to keep this privilege? Thanks in advance.

  9. @John – No. But again, from what I have been told, you will be able to choose individual membership as a choice and they are expanding the choices from 2 to 3 so there is MORE choice for those who are domestic only but hold Reserve card. All good so far (until we learn more that is).

  10. So can you choose sky club and then choose executive on top of it as a diamond without the reserve card?

  11. @Bob – We shall see when it all comes out live but that is my understanding and that would burn 2 of your 3 choices.

  12. I’d love it if they’d make a new choice for Platinums- 2 GU instead of the 4 RU now offered. I only fly intl and it would be great for me. I have no use for RU. Please Delta, hear my pleas.

  13. That’s fine with me then. Won’t change my current situation much. I know a few diamonds that don’t ever use their choice benefits and I can see some confusion at the check in desk when they are told they don’t have access do to the lounge cause they haven’t made their choices. And thank you for the great info and all the delta tips.

  14. I have a lifetime SkyClub membership so that DM benefit is useless to me this year. Choices are good. I’m worried they will increase either the AMEX waiver amount (now $25k) or limit the impact of it like AA or UA so it’s just a partial waiver.

  15. @Glenn – Be careful, Delta will bypass you and your spouse for an upgrade if there are not two upgrades seats available at the same time.

  16. @Glenn– Another note of caution to add to the above: Your spouse needs status in order for companion upgrades to clear on award tickets or Pay With Miles if that matters to you.

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