Travel Related

Reminder to Medallions: Pick your Choice Benefits before Month End for the 2019 Elite Year!

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.


It is about that time Platinum and Diamond Medallions, that is, time to pick your Choice Benefits you earned for your 2019 Medallion year. First off let’s knock out some bits folks always ask — and even Delta reps sometimes get wrong.

Who gets 2019 Choice Benefits? Elites who earned Platinum or Diamond status in 2018 and flew the status in 2019. This means if you were NOT a Platinum or Diamond as of January 1st 2019 you do NOT get to pick a 2019 Choice Benefit. If you made it to Platinum or Diamond during 2019 you have earned your 2020 choice benefit NOT your 2019 one.

Next miss many Diamonds make is the fact that they get BOTH a Platinum and a Diamond Choice Benefit each year. I often pick Regional Upgrades for my Platinum Choice and then have all 3 of my Diamond choices for other bits.

Another mistake is not understanding that if you earned your 2020 status in 2019 you have until this time next year to pick those Choice Benefits so you have no rush to decide and are often wise to wait.

Now on the things you REALLY do not want to pick as your 2019 Choice Benefit(s). Do NOT, under any circumstances, pick either Silver or Gold Medallion status for someone. Why? They will ONLY have status until 1FEB2020 – yep about 2 weeks – not good. Having said that if you happened to this month earn your 2021 Medallion status then after 1FEB you can gift someone almost 2 years of either Silver or Gold Medallion status! 🙂

Another really dumb idea for your 2019 Choice Benefit is the Sky Club guest pass approved credit card add-on. Like the gifting status choice, you will only have about 2 weeks to guest folks in with you. Please do not make this mistake. Conversely, also like the above, you could have 2 years of guest pass status if you can earn and burn a 2021 Choice Benefit ASAP.

So what would I pick? That depends on you. For many Regional and Global Upgrades are two of the most lucrative choices – but ONLY if you can use them. Delta, we all should know, does not allow us to search for open space and open space is, well, shall we say, sparse to use these.

One of the things I almost always pick at least one of is bonus Sky Miles. They are worth at least a SkyPenny so I can get some locked in value that does not expire until I die (i.e. Delta DieMiles).

The last best choice I would say are travel credit vouchers. Keep in mind with this choice the clock starts ticking as to when you must use them. – Rene

Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card (learn how to apply)

The Delta Reserve Card from American ExpressLearn how to apply for this card!Welcome Offer (Expires January 29, 2020)

Receive 75,000 bonus SkyMiles and 10,000 bonus MQM after spending $5,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within the first three months of approval. Given our SkyMiles valuation, 75,000 SkyMiles equals at least $750 worth of Delta travel.

Points Earnings (Through January 29, 2020)

  • 2X SkyMiles on Delta purchases
  • 1X SkyMiles on all other purchases

Points Earnings (Effective January 30, 2020)

  • 3X SkyMiles on Delta purchases
  • 1X SkyMiles on all other purchases

Bonus MQM (Through December 31, 2019)

Enjoy 15,000 bonus MQM and 15,000 bonus redeemable SkyMiles if you spend $30,000 on your new card before December 31, 2019. Earn an additional 15,000 bonus MQM and 15,000 bonus redeemable SkyMiles if rack up another $30,000 on the card before December 31.

Status Boost (Beginning January 30, 2020)

Enjoy 15,000 bonus MQM each time you spend $30,000 during a calendar year. The most Status Boost MQM you can receive with this card is 60,000 MQM ($120,000 spend during a calendar year).

Delta Sky Club Access

Enjoy complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs when traveling on a same-day Delta Air Lines flight. (Read our reviews of Delta Sky Clubs.)

Plus — effective January 30, 2020 — receive two guest passes each year to Delta Sky Clubs. A nice perk if you’re traveling with people who don’t have Delta Sky Club access through their own Reserve card or the American Express Platinum cards.

American Express Centurion Lounge Access (Effective January 30, 2020)

You’ll have free admission (provided the club isn’t closed to overcrowding) to American Express Centurion Lounges before a same-day Delta Air Lines-operated or -marketed flight. (Read our reviews of American Express Centurion Lounges.)

Upgrade Priority for Medallion Members

Holding a Delta Reserve card serves as tie-breaker for complimentary Medallion upgrades.

Complimentary Upgrades for Non-Medallion Members (Effective January 30, 2020)

Non-elites who hold the Delta Reserve card will eligible for complimentary domestic upgrades (US 50) to Delta One, first class, and Comfort Plus — space providing, after Medallion members and their companions have been upgraded.

MQD Waiver

Spend $25,000 on this — or across any of your Delta Amexes, provided you hold a Platinum or Reserve card — and don’t worry about the MQD requirements for Silver, Gold, or Platinum Medallion.

Companion Certificate

Beginning the second year of holding the card, you’ll receive upon renewal a certificate for a free (except for taxes and fees) companion first class or coach qualifying fares on Delta. Read our Companion Certificate FAQ.

Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Fee Credit (effective January 30, 2020)

Receive a statement credit for your Global Entry application fee every four years or TSA PreCheck application fee every 4.5 years when paying with your Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card.

Delta Travel Perks

  • Free first checked bag for you and up to eight others on your itinerary/PNR
  • 20% statement credit on purchases made aboard Delta Air Lines flights (premium food, beverages, headsets, etc)
  • Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding
  • Pay with Miles eligibility

Annual Fee

$450 the first year. Then $550 beginning the second year you hold the card.

Who Should Have This Card?

Frequent Delta travelers who want lounge access — and can spend their way to status.

Learn more now about the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card.

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.

8 Comments

  1. dotti cahill

    Thanks for the reminder need to pick quick!!

  2. I’ve run into a bit of an issue, I think. I hit the $30k spend on the Reserve card before Jan 30. No mention of MQM on my statement and when I called I was told it might take up to 6 weeks to see them. Hmmmmm?

Write A Comment

BoardingArea