My Simple Choice for my 2019 Delta Platinum Choice Benefits Selection!

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This one really was a simple choice for my 2019 choice but first some of the basics because so many Diamonds forget about this. Each year you earn Diamond Medallion status you get not just Diamond Medallion Choice Benefits but also a Platinum Medallion choice as well. You only get 1x choice per year and you are earning your status for the following elite year. You can, once you have hit the elite qualification marks, choose the benefit early like I have i.e. choosing my 2019 choice in 2018. Or I could have waited all the way until the last day of January 2020 to select my 2019 choice had I wanted to.

Now that we are all on the same page, to me this choice was a no brainer and here is why. Delta is clearly doing all they can to sell upgrades cheap. This is a sad reflection on loyalty but at the same time it means we have to work that much harder to score an upgrade. For me any flight longer than 3 hours is an outstanding candidate to try to apply a Regional Upgrade cert on to increase your shot at sitting upfront i.e. a real upgrade since Comfort Plus or C+ does not count as a “real” upgrade.

Beyond the above are some of the shockingly truly positive changes to the medallion program this year that will allow me to link my reservation with my wife and then apply an upgrade cert to her and then, maybe, roll the dice for me to score an upgrade on my own. I have done this already once this year with a cleared upgrade for her (and I am then wait-listed for an RU).

I know many choose the $200 voucher but to me the shot at 4 upgrades to 1st class vs. a 3+ hour ride in coach is worth way more than two hundred “Delta Dollars”. Heck, depending on the route, even one upgrade cleared vs. not can be worth that much to me personally. Plus after all my years as a Platinum and Diamond Medallion I have only ever had 1 single RU cert ever go un-spent ( I get this is not always the case for everyone).

I also did consider 20,000 bonus SkyMiles since they do not expire until you die but I have so many SkyMiles that I just do not need more and am between my wife and I again nearing 1 million in our combined accounts and that is just way too many for my comfort level.

Clearly Sky Club non-“membership” is a joke since as of next year there is no more membership and holding a non-Delta Amex Platinum card or a Delta Reserve card will be for all intents and purposes the exact same as “real” club membership (i.e. you must be flying Delta to enter the club – even as a “member”)!

Bottom line for me RU or Regional Upgrade certs was the winner choice once again. What about you? Do you still value RU certs as much as I do or has the difficulty in burning them made you consider other options? – Rene



  1. @Rene -Always the RUCs! I’m excited to try one on a mixed PNR flight with my GM +1 in July. I redeemed my 2017 PM CB Jan 31 this year.

    Slightly off-topic, but the GUCs are a different story. One usually needs to get waitlisted earlier on international flights, so have to pull them out” to redeem and start the redemption clock ticking…

  2. First, I needed to use some GUC’s; so, I chose my diamond choices yesterday and was concerned they would force me to choose my platinum choice at the same time. They didn’t. My plan is to chose RUC’s but I’ve been getting upgraded on almost every flight this year; so, I’m going to wait until I have long route (like Atlanta to Seattle) that doesn’t look good to clear before choosing my platinum benefit and starting the one year clock. I’m in 100% agreement that one long upgrade can be worth $200; the chance at 4 is a no brainer for me.

  3. I always buy first class as I don’t want to play games. My nerves, stress levels and comfort are then guaranteed. Never have gotten or used RUCs. I get the GUCs and miles.

  4. I’ve flown 26 segments so far this year, upgraded on every one of them through judicial use of RUC when I’m not either pre-cleared or an obvious #1 on the list in the last 24 hours preflight. Totally agree with RUC. I’d spend all my PM and DM choices on RU/GU if that was allowed.

  5. I found the best way to use the Global Upgrades is to be flexible on your travel day id you can. I call the Diamond Line and have them find a flight that I can immediately use the upgrade. That way you don’t risk not clearing the wait list.

  6. @Joe – Agree. Even mentioning from anywhere in USA to where you are going and then piece in how to get to start city.

  7. Just want to give a shout out to my friend John at JuiceyMiles for helping me achieve 2019 Diamond status this month. He is a true artist at organizing my trips for top mqm and delta dollars. I am a leisure traveler in retirement in the Philippines so my trips are set but he finds the deals i never could! Plus Rene i need to pick benefits and im disgusted no success this year using RU or GU..i redeemed them all last year as diamond so delta new strategy is impacting me! Im seriously thinking it may not be worth the chase to diamind in 2020??
    Im a lone traveler and have left my delta companion ticket unused the last two years…what a waste? Any suggestion to use it?

  8. Kind of a lightly off topic question from me here. I just earned PM last week, does that mean I choose one for this year for achieving the goal and next year for earning the status for 2019? Never got anything from Delta on this how the choice thing works? @rene

  9. @rene ok, when reading it over again (slower) I see it now. Now to decide what I want to choose.

  10. If you have the Pay with Miles option, would there ever be a scenario to choose the $200 Delta bucks over the 20,000 miles?

  11. @Neil – Miles never expire (until you do) while voucher has 1 year to spend and a total of 2 years to fly so…

  12. Totally agree that the RUCs are by far the most valuable choice benefit. I cleared Diamond again last month for 2019 and have several flights from HNL to DCA. The RUCs if they are not cleared right away will put you on the top of the wait list right below Diamonds with GUCs. When applying an RUC and being waitlisted, I’ve been fortunate enough to get into 1st class or Delta One every time.

    As other fliers have mentioned here, if you are planning a personal trip or are able to book your own flights for work, the most guaranteed way to using your certificates is to call the Diamond desk and have them check which flights you can apply your RUCs or GUCs before paying for your coach class seat. That way you don’t have to refresh the Delta app every few minutes like I do, crossing your fingers that the upgrade will clear. 🙂 Happy flying!

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