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For better or for worse – My wife is going for Delta Diamond Medallion next year – Time to start planning now!

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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.

lisas delta skymiles totals and status for 2018 so far renespoints blog
Not much spending going on here – so far!

The above are my wife’s current Delta totals for 2017. Not exactly impressive are they, but then again she has not been flying Delta all that much recently because we have way too many nearly worthless AA points and must burn them so she has been “enjoying” AA 1st class awards (more on that later this week).

The above will grow a little this year but since I last February gifted her Gold Delta status from my 2017 Delta Choice Benefits she had it all last year and has it all of this year and it ends 1FEB18. It is always important to remember when you gift someone status you are only gifting the status itself NOT the MQMs or MQD spend numbers. Thus, if she wants to be anything more than Gold she has to start from scratch and earn it like anyone else. And that takes me to next year.


Now before I dive in to the numbers and why she / we are doing this, know that much of this is for personal reasons and I am not suggesting others follow this same course of action. However, you may, by my methodology, glean some ideas to help you if you too are chasing status with Delta. With that disclaimer we are doing this because:

  • The timing is right for us.
  • We run a blog.
  • It’s not “that” hard.
  • The perks are worth it.

And that is my short list of why. Let’s look at these one by one. I truly have no idea where Delta is going with SkyMiles and the elite Medallion program over the next many years. Right now they are making small positive changes but who knows what is next. The 20×2020 thing is driving folks away from Delta and those who have flown for years get that C+ is not worth status. But for us and the flexibility we have for travel 2018 is the right time to do this if we are ever going to both hold Diamond status at the same time. Plus, she will have Diamond status all of 2018 (once she earns it) as well as all of 2019 ending on 1FEB20.

Next up is why I do so much of what I do with Delta. I like testing and learning and seeing what works and what does not and proving or disproving whatever. It will be fun to go from ZERO to Diamond as fast as possible. Sure, she will have Gold Medallion status during January of 2018 but again, that is only the status, the points will all be from scratch on 1JAN18. My estimates are that by the end of March she will have the 125,000 MQMs (and be MQD exempt as well).

delta amex reserve personal and biz cards
Time for us each to hold one!

I say it is not “that” hard due to the fact that I hold the Delta AMEX Reserve business card and have for a long time. I can spend my way to 60k rather quickly in Q1 of 2018 and then send my 30k bonus MQMs over to her. Oh, and since she has never had the need for the personal Delta AMEX Reserve card she will get it on 1JAN18 for the 10k Bonus MQMs (and 10k bonus SkyMiles) and also spend her way to 60k spend in Q1. The results will be 75k MQMs without flying, leaving only 50k remaining to be Diamond. Considering what she already has booked and planned it will not take more than a mileage run or two to make up the difference. Nice!

two diamonds renespoints blog delta
Want more than Diamond-lite!

Lastly for us the perks are worth it. I know after yesterday’s gripe post of what I and we all want Delta to fix for us that bragging about the perks may sound strange but for me it is not. I have always been able to spend all of my GU and RU certs with a little bit of effort. I know how to get it done and it works. Plus, for all the hype about +1 upgrades taking upgrades from solo travelers we know that if 2 are waiting for 1 seat #3 on the upgrade list wins vs the 2 who are in #1 and #2 spots. I will like being able to split our reservations when we both fly as Diamonds so at least one of us wins most of the time. Also, the ability for both of us the harvest 3 Diamond Choice Benefits will be huge and I am looking forward that opportunity.

I really think this is going to be fun. It will be fun to see just how fast she can go from zeros across the board to Diamond and have that as a data point. I know it will take a lot of work to crank out about 120k in spend on our two cards and it will be interesting to see what the spending environment is Q1-2018 as well.

Bottom line is I am planning now. I have vouchers to spend for travel and I have a ton of US Bank FlexPerks points I keep getting for free from my efforts and almost free from visiting gas stations with my AMEX FlexPerks card. Not just that, but I have a nice chunk of AMEX Membership Rewards points and getting 50% of them back for my Delta tickets is sweet while earning SkyMiles and MQMs. I will have my AMEX BOGO free in 1st class and can join my wife on a run somewhere warm and nice and assign her as the primary to earn bonus MQMs and I will just be along for the fun (companion earns zero on the BOGO certs). Beyond that I am using my Barclaycard Arrival+ here and there to pay for a few trips and can pay myself back with spend on those. Either way this entire adventure should cost very little out of pocket to achieve. I can’t wait for the fun to begin! – René



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.


  1. A fun challenge — That’s for sure!

    Unfortunately for us up here in Canada, we don’t have access to credit cards that earn MQMs. The only one that existed until a year or so ago before it went away, only earned regular miles.

    Think there are just not enough of us Delta flyers to make it worth while for Amex etc to start a program. I’d be all over it should it happen.

    Until then, we fly our way up to Diamond. And as a recreational flyer, it’s quite a bit. So will likely alternate between Diamond and Platinum, depending on the year, for the foreseeable future.

  2. I must quibble with your statement that AA miles are nearly worthless. If Mrs. Renee’s Points has been using them for first class (I assume domestic) travel, they clearly have value. The really good value with AA miles is the ability to use them for international first class travel on carriers such as Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Ethiad. First class Apartments -need I say more? You’ll never get international first class travel with Stymiles.

    If you have any worthless AA miles, I’d be glad to take them off your hands. 🙂

    • @John – If it could be done for free I would in a heartbeat trade 1:1 AA-piles for SkyMiles 😉

  3. @rene – agreed on that point — I wish one could exchange AA for DL miles 1-1 easily…keep running out of DL SkyMiles, while AA is hard to redeem for all the routes I fly, so the balance barely budges!

  4. Let’s get to the point here. Is Mrs. RenesPoints going to offer something besides a BBQ run in her quest for status? Perhaps she can host us on a cajun food run to New Orleans? Or a Cuban food run to Miami? That status thing is nice and all but it’s really about the food. Wait. Maryland crab cake run!

    • @Graydon – It will be in winter so think warm. Maybe STT or Aruba or something else warm. Or skiing maybe Utah. Hum….

  5. My hubby is trying to work up to Delta Platinum or Diamond this year. He’s maxed out the bonuses on his Delta Personal Platinum. We’re thinking of getting the Business Reserve next to stack the bonuses. Is that what you would recommend?

    • @Val – Yep. Wait until you hit the 50k and get the full bonus then APPLY (do not upgrade) for a new Delta AMEX Reserve card to get the 10k+10k bonus. Then work on the the 60k spend on that next.

      • Sounds good!! (We’ll use your link!) We appreciate any Delta mileage run deals you find from MSP!

        • @Val – Will try to find some more shortly from MSP! Thanks for supporting the blog.

  6. @Rene, too bad about the fees for transferring miles or we could do the deal and both be better off.

  7. SelenePhoenix Reply

    Yay ! Winter
    Yay! Warm!
    Go Lisa go!
    It’s so wonderful being a diamond

    • @SelenePhoenix – LOL you are the best girl. Thanks for your great encouragement for my Lisa.

  8. Good luck to your wife!! Agree with Val…would ❤ some mileage runs out on MSP!

    • @Diane – Will do my best. Well for us it is looking great. I think she will go from ZERO so 125k in two months. It is looking amazing so far! 🙂

  9. dotti cahill Reply

    Hope to meet Lisa on a mileage or Food run soon… It’s all good!!!!

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