Travel Related

Preparing for Your 2020 Delta Medallion Year. What You Must Look at RIGHT NOW!

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr
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.


I am SO not remotely ready for this!

Winter is on the way – shudder! The only thing worse that getting on a ridiculously hot CRJ200 is a bitterly cold CRJ200 with big coats and carry-on luggage that must be pink-tagged (and then dragged through the snow before being loaded under your feet).

I have to admit I am feeling kinda grumpy typing this post. So much so I think I will pause and go book a flight to somewhere warm (using points naturally)! 🙂

My natural state 😉

OK, I am back. Time to get planning for the end of this year and the start of 2020 Medallion year. There are a number of things you should start planning for right now so that your year-end is not filled with stress and what I should have done (months ago) and what do I do now kind of moments.

What is your target for 2020?

The first thing you need to decide is if you are going to push for some medallion level or simply not anymore. Is it worth it (TO YOU) to go for Silver Medallion or Gold Medallion or Platinum Medallion or even Diamond Medallion for 2020 after all the changes to the program (mostly the massive loss of upgrades). If you are going to go for whatever you should take a hard look at your numbers – all your numbers. What else?

Check your numbers – Please!!!

It simply kills me when folks wait to finish their bonus Amex MQM spend on their:

…and they are literally planning to spend just up to the last penny needed and not one penny more (and wait until the last few days of the year to do it). Oh then, after the first of the year, they are reminded the annual fee DOES NOT COUNT but per Amex it is included – so they END UP SHORT of the total spend needed for the bonus. So please, spend now, and over spend by at least the annual fee. Please!!!

Delta – YOU ARE NUTS!

Another reason for the above is because you sure do not want to find yourself the first week of December simply donating CASH to Delta to buy MQMs or MQDs at “BAT CRAZY” mind numbing prices. Delta will say it is simpler than flying. Well, maybe true. But I like to fly and rather than donate to Delta I will take a fun trip. Heck, me and 5 other frequent flyers are doing just that to end 2019 with a Delta One cheap biz round trip fun run! (#ProTip: need help? Our pal Adam is ready to assist you). OK what is next?

Please – no mistakes this year.

Study up on this NOW so you do not make a rushed mistake on or before 31JAN2020 when you must choose your Platinum and Diamond Medallion (Diamonds get both fyi) Choice Benefits that you earned in 2018! Yes, 2018, NOT the current 2019 flying year that counts toward the 2020 Medallion year – clear on this? So the status you earned in 2018 Choices Benefits must be selected by the last day of January 2020 or they go away. I am NOT telling you to pick them right now but to do research on what you want so you can make a wise choice (now or before 31st January 2020).

Well this did work to start the year!

A great many of us have either the (non-Delta) Amex Platinum card (learn more) and or the Amex Platinum Business card (learn more) for all the perks they offer. One of the perks is the annual $200 travel credits.

Yeah, I need to spend $3 more! 😉

They used to work for gift cards on Delta.com. That has died but there are other ways to burn these credits like the fee for booking award tickets and more. Just check you have spent the entire $200 credit NOW so you are not scrabbling at year end (do you see a theme here?)!

This used to come in the US Mail 🙂

It is always shocking to me how many allow their BOGO certs (See E22 post in the Essentials Tab) to expire each year from their Delta Amex Platinum or Reserve cards. The rule is simple – you have 1 year after issue to book AND to fly them. Why not check now if you have any (at Delta.com in your “My Wallet”) and check the expiration date. Remember, if you can not use them you can select ANY two people you want and they can pay with ANY Amex card (i.e. it does not have to be your card). Just don’t let these sweet certs expire!

The above is my checklist. Are there others on your list we can benefit from by applying in our lives as well? Please share them with us in the comments below. – 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.

10 Comments

  1. Frankie Morgan

    Mistake. Bat crazy prices to buy MQMs come out first week of January. Not first week of December.

  2. Not planning on remaining Diamond in 2020. Made the decision mid year in 2019. Had too many back of the planes (some by the bathrooms) or middle seats even as a Diamond level member. Going to just see where I land in terms of status for 2020. I did feel it was worth pursuing a few years ago but I have moved to Southwest so I can see the value of the miles (no hidden charts) and actually redeem the miles. more easily. They have descended to a new low for me. Delta you have pushed me out.

  3. I agree with Marcos – with the Reserve Card waiver still stuck at a quarter million dollars I’m nowhere near the spending required for MQDs or the waiver to make Diamond in 2020. I could do some mileage runs to get the MQMs but without the spend or waiver they will simply be rollover miles. (I’ve been a Diamond since they invented it – you would think that Delta would grant permanent access for those of us who are “charter members” and who hit the mileage without regard to spending, but no… Delta doesn’t care THAT much for loyalty.) I’ve also been looking at more flights from Southwest, and since my home airport (DCA) offers more non-stop flights to two of my frequent destinations (DAL and MCO) I’m looking at them more and more. I wish Delta cared more but it’s obvious that they don’t. I’ll miss the (dwindling) upgrades, and the GUCs, but the main thing I’m going to miss is the Diamond phone line… that has been more of a life-saver than anything.

  4. HuntingtonGuy

    Planning on making 1, possibly 2 mileage runs. I planned to do so anyway but now with my Reserve Bonuses received and no trips currently booked I am 20, yep, 20 MQM shy of keeping Plat.

    True “learn from my mistakes” brain fart I’ll share:
    I hold a Reserve personal card and a traditional Amex Plat. Earlier this year I took a Delta Plat because we all knew the Reserve 90,000 bonus wasn’t happening again.
    Anyway, I got the DL Plat, used it for a few purchases to work towards the Plat MQM bonus and somehow I just spaced out on having/using the card and it went unused for months. I’ll get to the MQM bonus but not as leisurely as I would have.
    Note to self: pay attention to details.

  5. @HuntingtonGuy: Don’t worry. Plenty of us have learned the hard way when it comes to points, miles, travel, money, life, etc :-). But still, yeah, I hate that feeling!

  6. ExpatInOty

    I have an Amex DL Plat and i can never find elegible fares for my BOGO cert from my tiny hometown airport. To redeem them I have to drive 3 hours away. The one time I found an elegible fare it was twice the cost of a non elegible fare. Does anyone else have this problem?

  7. @ExpatInOty: One thing to consider get the Reserve card — because you’ll probably be able to that companion cert for a BOGO first class itinerary. One first class seat (and the taxes and fees on the other) would probably end up being what’d you pay for two coach seats without the companion cert. (Make sense?)

  8. ExPatInItaly

    Thanks Chris it does make sense and I opened up a reserve 3 months ago so maybe next year I’ll be able to actually use it for the BOGO cert.

  9. I would have met the MQD Diamond amount months ago if they gave us credit fir all of the
    Taxes we pay on a ticket esp this for out of the country travel

Write A Comment

BoardingArea