Delta rewards its most frequent travelers with annual Choice Benefits, which range from upgrade certificates to bonus SkyMiles. If you qualified for Platinum or Diamond Medallion status in the 2022 Medallion year (based on qualifying activity during the 2021 calendar year), you have until Jan. 31, 2023, to select your annual Choice Benefits.
Both elite tiers are eligible for Choice Benefits: Platinum Medallions can select one while Diamond Medallions can select an additional three. That said, the choices for each tier differ and vary widely in value. You will want to study the value of each option before selecting one to ensure you get the most value from your Choice Benefit.
Here’s a look at what each benefit tier offers and how to select your Delta Choice Benefits. This article will focus solely on the benefits you have to pick by the end of this month, not the new benefit options that will be added for next year.
How to earn Delta Choice Benefits
As mentioned, you have until Jan. 31 to select your annual Delta Choice Benefits two years after the applicable qualifying period ended. So, if you qualified (or requalified) for Medallion status in 2021 (for the 2022 membership year), you must select your Delta Choice Benefit(s) by Jan. 31, 2023. And as discussed, benefits earned for the 2024 membership year will differ slightly from what’s on offer for the 2022 and 2023 membership years.
When you achieve Delta Platinum Medallion status, you can select one Choice Benefit, and once you achieve Delta Diamond Medallion status, you can select another three Choice Benefits. You may make your selections by going to this page. It’s important to note that if you forget to make your choices by Jan. 31, you cannot make choices later.
Delta Platinum Medallion
When you earn Platinum Medallion status, you can choose your first Choice Benefit:
- Four Regional Upgrade Certificates.
- 20,000 bonus SkyMiles.
- $200 Delta travel voucher.
- Silver Medallion status for a friend.
Although these may all seem like great choices, they range significantly in value.
4 Regional Upgrade Certificates
Delta’s Regional Upgrade Certificates can be used on all paid published Main Cabin and Delta Comfort+ fares, except E (basic economy), on the same routes as Medallion complimentary upgrades, including all flights with first class and the domestic Delta One experience. Upgrade certificates are valid through the end of the Medallion year.
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Two of our favorite ways to use these certificates are on flights to Hawaii and on transcontinental flights with Delta One lie-flat seats. Since paid upgrades on these routes can cost anywhere from $500 to over $1,000, the total value of four RUCs is (conservatively) in the thousands of dollars.
But here’s the thing: If you haven’t picked your 2022 Choice Benefits yet, these certificates will also expire by Jan. 31, 2023. So, only choose this option if you’re picking Delta Choice Benefits for the 2023 status year.
20,000 bonus SkyMiles
TPG values SkyMiles at 1.41 cents each, meaning that 20,000 SkyMiles will generally net you around $282 in value. However, this could be more or less valuable depending on how you redeem your SkyMiles. Since SkyMiles don’t expire, this could be a good option if you still haven’t selected your 2022 Choice Benefits.
$200 Delta travel voucher
You can select a $200 Delta travel voucher which is valid for 12 months from the date of issuance. This can be used toward Delta flights, just like a Delta eCredit. However, we usually recommend staying away from this option as 20,000 SkyMiles can usually be redeemed for more than $200 in flights.
Silver Medallion status for a friend
You can also use your Choice Benefit to gift Delta Silver Medallion status to a friend, family member or colleague. This can give another traveler free checked bags, upgrades and other benefits. At TPG, we value this low-tier elite status at $595 per year.
At the same time, if this person frequently travels with you on the same confirmation number (or PNR), they’ll already have access to most of your Delta Platinum Medallion benefits. For example, they can be upgraded with you to Comfort+ and domestic first class with higher upgrade priority.
Additionally, many of the perks of Delta Silver Medallion status, like one free checked bag and priority boarding, are already included with the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, so we recommend you avoid this Choice Benefit if the person you plan to gift status to has this credit card.
As a side note, this status will expire at the end of the status year associated with your Choice Benefit. So, this gives your companion relatively little time to enjoy Silver Medallion benefits if you’re selecting it for a 2022 Choice Benefit.
Delta Diamond Medallion
When you earn Diamond Medallion status, you can choose a second, third and fourth Choice Benefit:
- Delta Sky Club membership.
- Upgrade certificates.
- 25,000 bonus SkyMiles.
- $200 Delta travel voucher.
- Gold Medallion status for a friend.
These three Choice Benefits are in addition to the single Choice Benefit earned when requalifying for Delta Platinum Medallion status. Like with the Platinum annual Choice Benefits, the value of these ranges significantly. Note that you may only select upgrade certificates or Delta Sky Club access once, but all other benefits can be selected multiple times.
Delta Sky Club membership and guest options
Diamond Medallion members may select an individual Sky Club membership as one of their annual Choice Benefits.
Members can use one Choice Benefit for a Delta Sky Club individual membership, which includes unlimited Sky Club access. If you select this membership, you can bring up to two paid guests at a rate of $39 per guest per visit.
Alternatively, Diamond Medallions can give up two Choice Benefits for a yearlong Executive Sky Club membership. This membership allows members to bring up to two guests on every lounge visit, which can be useful for families or those who often travel with colleagues.
Alternatively, Diamond Medallion members with complimentary Delta Sky Club access from an eligible card (The Platinum Card® from American Express, Delta SkyMiles Reserve or Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card) have the option to select a Delta Sky Club guest pass. This includes unlimited Delta Sky Club access for up to two guests per visit when traveling with the cardmember.
Any of these can be a solid deal, but we recommend going with the Delta Sky Club guest pass. If you already have a credit card offering Sky Club access, this can be worth hundreds of dollars annually if you bring guests to the lounge with you regularly. Your status pass will be valid through the end of the status year associated with your Choice Benefit.
However, note that lounge access expires at the end of the Medallion year, meaning Jan. 31, 2023, for those selecting 2022 Choice Benefits.
Delta allows Diamond Medallion elite members to choose from three upgrade certificate allotments:
- Four Global Upgrade Certificates.
- Eight Regional Upgrade Certificates.
- Two Global Upgrade Certificates and four Regional Upgrade Certificates.
Earning Diamond Medallion status is the only way to earn Global Upgrade Certificates, which can be worth thousands of dollars depending on how you redeem them. Even better, you can now see availability and apply upgrade certificates to new bookings online. Just note that you’ll have to call in to add to existing reservations for the time being.
Do note, however, that Delta changed how Global Upgrade Certificates work last year. Nowadays, these upgrade certificates will only let you confirm a one-cabin upgrade at booking. This means those booked in Main Cabin can only confirm an upgrade into Premium Select on three-cabin flights, and will be waitlisted for Delta One 24 hours before departure. However, those booking Premium Select can confirm an upgrade to Delta One at the time of booking so long as award space is available.
Additionally, Global Upgrade Certificates have last-seat access on upgrades from Main Cabin to Premium Select on international flights, and from Main Cabin to first class on domestic flights. In other words: If there’s an open seat in Premium Select or domestic first class, you can use your Global Upgrade Certificate to upgrade to it.
But again, like RUCs earned at the Platinum Medallion level, any upgrade certificates you select here will expire at the end of the Medallion year they’re associated with. So if you select them for your 2022 Choice Benefits, you’ll need to use them quickly as they expire Jan. 31, 2023.
25,000 bonus SkyMiles
Again, TPG values SkyMiles at 1.41 cents, so 25,000 will generally give you around $352 in value. Assuming that you’ve used one choice on a batch of upgrade certificates and one on a Sky Club guest pass to pair with your eligible credit card, this is a solid bet for your third choice. You can select this benefit multiple times for up to 75,000 bonus SkyMiles per year at the Diamond Medallion level.
$200 Delta travel voucher
This is the same benefit offered at the Platinum Medallion level. We recommend not selecting this option as 25,000 SkyMiles is almost always worth more than $200 if you redeem for award travel on Delta.
Gold Medallion status for a friend
TPG values Gold Medallion status at $1,870, and this is a great option for a close friend who doesn’t frequently travel on your itineraries. But again, if you frequently travel with your companion on the same PNR, several other perks like free checked bags and upgrades also extend to your travel companion. As a result, this option only makes sense if you gift it to someone who doesn’t usually travel with you.
Like Silver Medallion gifted at the Platinum level, gifted status is valid through the end of the Medallion year associated with the Choice Benefit.
What should you choose if you’re selecting 2022 Choice Benefits?
As noted throughout the article, many of these benefits are only valid through the end of the Medallion year associated with your Choice Benefit package. So, upgrade certificates selected for the 2022 Medallion year expire on Jan. 31, 2023. Meanwhile, benefits selected for the 2023 status year expire Jan. 31, 2024.
With that in mind, you may want to steer clear of selecting lounge access, upgrade certificates or gifted status if you’re selecting your 2022 Choice Benefits now. Instead, consider picking benefits that don’t expire, like miles or Delta travel vouchers.
Here’s a breakdown of the 2022 Choice Benefits you can select now and enjoy past Jan. 31:
- 20,000 SkyMiles: SkyMiles never expire, so you can redeem these whenever you’d like.
- $200 Delta travel voucher: Valid 12 months from the date of issuance.
- 25,000 SkyMiles: SkyMiles never expire, so you can redeem these whenever you’d like.
- $200 Delta travel voucher: Valid 12 months from the date of issuance.
You can select these benefits more than once at the Diamond level. In most cases, I recommend readers opt for SkyMiles over a Delta travel voucher, as you can often get over 1 cent per point in value, making them worth more than the travel voucher out of the gate. Plus, if you have a Delta cobranded credit card, you can use Pay with Miles to redeem SkyMiles at 1 cent per point toward paid flights, giving you more flexibility and value than the travel voucher.
How to select Delta Choice Benefits
You can select Delta Choice Benefits by logging in to your Delta account and heading to the Choice Benefits page. Then, click the red “Select Your Choice Benefits” link. You will then be taken to a page where you can pick your Choice Benefits for both Platinum and Diamond Medallion status.
Your Choice Benefits like upgrade certificates, Delta Sky Club memberships and bonus points will appear in your account shortly. You can view previous selections by navigating back to the Choice Benefits page.
If you earned Medallion status with Delta Air Lines for the 2022 membership year, you have through the end of the month to select your annual Delta Choice Benefit(s). Remember that you will lose out on this valuable perk if you do not select your Choice Benefit(s) by Jan. 31.
Remember that this only applies to last year’s Choice Benefit selections — which were based on qualifying activity during the 2021 calendar year. If you earned status with Delta in 2022, that counts as the 2023 membership year, and you thus have until Jan. 31, 2024, to make those picks.
Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh.