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Elite Status Series: Delta Diamond Medallion

by on December 10, 2013 · 29 comments

in Delta, Elite Status, TPG Contributors

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TPG contributor Nick Ewen takes us through the basics of Delta Diamond Medallion status – how you can qualify for it and maximize the benefits once you earn it.

Medallion benefit cover

Being a Delta Diamond Medallion has major benefits.

In earlier posts, I covered the ins and outs of Delta’s Silver Medallion, Gold Medallion and Platinum Medallion levels of elite status. This piece is targeted at those newly minted top tier flyers on Delta: Diamond Medallion.! If you are a first-time Diamond member, I’m sure you can attest to just how much flying it took to get there! I attained this level of status back in December 2010, the first year Diamond existed (though I am sad to say that I will drop down to Platinum on March 1, 2014). I have really enjoyed my time as a Diamond Medallion member, from the high upgrade percentages to the outstanding customer service. If you just joined the ranks of Delta’s top tier, here’s everything you need to know about the next 15 months, including a breakdown of qualification levels and key benefits.

Qualification

As I already mentioned, Diamond Medallion is Delta’s highest published level of elite status (though some bloggers have reported on a higher, invite-only tier called Delta 360…see here and here). Diamond status is earned after flying 125,000 Medallion Qualification Miles or racking up 140 Medallion Qualification Segments. Another way to look at it is this: to attain Diamond, you need to earn close to 2,500 MQM’s or fly almost 3 segments every single week for an entire year. Talk about a lot of flying!

As discussed in the earlier posts, Delta recently decreased the mileage earned on certain unpublished fares and also hacked away at partner earning rates, muddying the qualification waters a bit. As always, double-check this chart to see if your partner flight will count towards status.

Medallion Qualifying Dollars

DM account activity

Diamond Medallion Account Activity

A new qualification requirement goes into effect next year: Medallion Qualification Dollars (or MQD’s). TPG discussed this new requirement when it was first announced back in January, but the basic crux is that all Medallion members will need to spend a certain amount of money on Delta in addition to hitting the mile/segment levels above (or alternately spend at least $25,000 on a Delta-branded American Express card in the calendar year).

To earn Diamond status during the 2014 year, you would need to have at least $12,500 MQD’s plus 125,000 MQM’s or 140 Medallion Qualification Segments.

Check out this post for more information on What Spending Counts Towards Medallion Qualifying Dollars.

Even though this won’t affect your current status or qualification, Delta has set up tools so you can track your current year-to-date spend through your SkyMiles profile, and when you are purchasing a flight, the confirmation page already includes details on how many MQD’s you will earn on that flight. Remember though that this year, you are only required to fly the segments or miles to earn status through February 28, 2015. The MQD requirement only goes into effect for the 2014 qualification period, during which you will earn status through February 29, 2016.

Benefits

Once you’ve earned Diamond Medallion Status (and the change is reflected in your profile online), you can begin taking advantage of numerous benefits on Delta (and certain partner airlines). A full listing is available here, but here are some additional details to help you begin navigating the sea of elite status:

1. Complimentary Upgrades: Diamond Medallion members are eligible for space-available complimentary upgrades on coach tickets in all fare classes for flights within the U.S. (excluding Hawaii), Bermuda, Canada, Central America, and Northern South America. This also extends to one companion on the same flight, and, like Gold and Platinum Medallion flyers, Diamond Medallion members can earn upgrades on both award tickets and Pay With Miles tickets (the latter is only available to holders of the Gold, Platinum or Reserve Delta-branded American Express cards).

If space is available, full Y fares will clear at time of booking, while all other classes will clear 5 days in advance (usually between 5 and 6pm six days before the actual flight date) if available. Even though this is the same window as Platinum Medallions, Diamonds are given priority, as long as they are ticketed and confirmed by the time Delta runs the upgrade sweep! Remember that Delta recently removed the ability to search this inventory on ExpertFlyer, and just because there are open seats on the seat map doesn’t mean that they will automatically upgrade medallions in advance. If, however, your upgrade doesn’t clear at the five-day window, you will automatically be added to the gate list when you check in. Diamond members should be near the top of the list.

Just like before, your chances of scoring the upgrade really depend on many factors, but Diamond Medallion members should see pretty high percentages. Personally, my success rates over the last three years have all been above 85% (yes, I fully recognize how nerdy it is to keep track of such a metric!), with the vast majority of misses coming on elite-heavy routes (e.g. Friday morning PDX-ATL), after flight cancellations/same-day confirmed changes, or on partner flights (e.g. only cleared 1 of 4 flights on Alaska this year). I would say that 90% would be a reasonable expectation for Diamond Medallion, but again, many other factors could raise or lower this percentage.

2. Mileage Bonus: On every paid flight, Diamond Medallion members receive a 125% mileage bonus, slightly higher than the 100% that Golds and Platinums receive. Remember that these bonus miles do not count as MQM’s but instead are additional redeemable miles that can be applied towards future award tickets. For example, a simple one-way flight between Orlando and Atlanta would earn a regular member 500 miles; that same flight would earn a Diamond Medallion member 1,125 miles.

3. Preferred Seating: Diamond Medallion members are also entitled to the same preferred Economy Class seating as Platinum Medallions: rows closer to the front of the plane, exit rows, and free Economy Comfort seats on both domestic and international flights, with additional legroom and (for long-haul Delta- and KLM-operated flights), additional recline and complimentary beer, wine, and spirits.

Economy Comfort, ATL-LHR

Economy Comfort, ATL-LHR

Let’s take a look at two examples of this:

  • Orlando to New York-LaGuardia: On a shorter flight like this, a regular SkyMiles member could purchase Economy Comfort for $49 each way; a Silver flyer would need to pay $24.50 in advance, while the same seat would be free for Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Medallion members.
  • Atlanta to London-Heathrow: Economy Comfort for this long-haul flight can be purchased by anyone for $79 each way, while a Diamond Medallion could sit in that same seat for free.

4. Baggage Fee Waiver: Diamond Medallion members enjoy the same checked bag fee waiver as Golds and Platinums: one free bag over the standard allowance on every flight as well as two free bags on domestic flights. This benefit extends to up to 8 additional travelers on the same reservation as the Medallion member. A complete breakdown of fees by destination is available here.

5. Same-Day Confirmed/Standby Fee Waiver: Diamond Medallions also enjoy the same-day confirmed/standby fee waivers that apply to Gold and Platinum travelers. If your originally booked fare class is available on another flight on the same day of your scheduled departure, Diamond Medallion members can now switch to that flight for free within 24 hours of the original flight time. Even if the fare class isn’t available, Diamond flyers can standby on the desired flight for free as well. Both of these options cost Silver Medallions and non-status flyers $50. Remember that Delta recently gutted the benefits its Same-Day Confirmed program (though they did backpedal on certain changes just a few months later); for full details, visit this page.

6. Waived Award Redposit/Reissue Fees: As a Diamond flyer, you are entitled to the same flexibility on award tickets as Platinum Medallions: unlimited changes and cancellations (as long as changes are made at least 72 hours before the first flight…Brian discussed this new policy when it was first announced back in 2011). Given how stingy Delta can be at releasing low-level (saver) award seats, this flexibility can be huge:

1)     If your desired flights are only available at the mid (standard) or high (peak) levels at the time of booking, you can get miles back for free if low (saver) seats open up closer to departure (again, as long as it’s more than 72 hours prior to your departure).

2)     If the only routing you can find with saver availability includes an early morning flight, four segments, an unwanted overnight, or is otherwise less-than-ideal, you can switch to a more direct routing for free if one becomes available after booking.

3)     If something comes up that prevents you from taking trip, you can cancel the award tickets, get the miles back into your account, and get a full refund of the taxes and fees paid…no questions asked. No need to share (or create!) a sob story in an effort to find a sympathetic phone agent to cancel the trip without fees; that’s part of the benefit.

Let’s say (for example) that you wanted to book a round-trip flight from New York to Salt Lake City using your miles. Unfortunately, your ideal flights out west and back only have “standard” award availability, which means you’d need to shell out 20,000 miles each way. Since you really want to go and have no flexibility with the times, you book the flights at 40,000 miles. One week later, your outbound flight suddenly becomes available at the saver level, so you promptly call the Platinum line. The change is made without a fee, and 7,500 SkyMiles go back into your account. Then, two weeks after that, the return flight also opens up at the saver level. Again, you call, and again you get the 7,500 miles back without any fees. Each one of those changes would cost Gold and lower flyers $150.

I have also used this flexibility to lock in award tickets right at the start of the booking window when I thought availability might disappear. Last June, at exactly 330 days prior to departure, I grabbed the only two O class tickets (business awards) on AirFrance’s direct MIA-CDG flight. The two one-way tickets set me back 100,000 miles each + taxes & fees. Then, a few days later, I added on flights to the Seychelles; since this was now a one-way flight from the US-Africa, it took another 20,000 miles per person + minimal additional taxes. Then, about two weeks later, I called back to add the return legs from Madagascar to Paris to Miami, again right at the 330 day booking window. Since Delta prices one-way awards at the same price as round-trip awards, I didn’t need to pay any additional miles, and all of these changes were completely free.

The key lesson here is that any changes after booking do not get rid of existing award flights. When I added those last flights, the MIA-CDG flight had no availability, but since I had already locked that in, the reservation “remembered” that there were two O seats initially, and it kept that part of the itinerary intact.

7. Priority check-in, Security, and Boarding: Like Gold and Platinum members, Diamond Medallion flyers are entitled to full Sky Priority benefits on all Delta flights, regardless of the class of service they have booked. This allows them to utilize Sky Priority check-in lines and access preferred security lines (where available). It also offers what’s known as “Sky Zone” boarding; this occurs after First/Business class but before Silver Medallion members and the rest of Zone 1.

8. SkyTeam Elite Plus Status: Diamond Medallion members traveling on a SkyTeam flight will automatically have their status recognized as “SkyTeam Elite Plus,” which offers valuable benefits when traveling internationally, including priority check-in, boarding, airport standby, preferred seating (when available), priority baggage handling and lounge access for them and a guest when traveling in any class of service on an international or connecting SkyTeam flight. Simply show your boarding pass with your status at the lounge entrance (though you may want to have your Diamond Medallion card in case the status isn’t reflected on the boarding pass). A complete list of accessible lounges is available here; just be sure to filter to those locations for “Delta SkyTeam Elite Plus Member” at the right-hand side. Note that these benefits may not be available on every flight or at every airport; a complete breakdown is available here.

The Sky Club.

The Sky Club.

9. Complimentary Sky Club Membership: In addition to gaining access to Sky Clubs and partner lounges when traveling internationally, Diamond Medallions also have full Sky Club membership included as part of their benefits package. The membership will be valid for as long as you maintain your Diamond status, so if you recently crossed the threshold into the realm of Diamond Medallion, your Sky Club membership would be valid until February 28th, 2015. If you then requalify again in 2014, the Sky Club membership will be extended through February 29th, 2016.

For any travelers with existing memberships, these will essentially be put “on hold” until you lose your Diamond status. For example, I had always purchased a membership to the Sky Club before I hit Diamond Medallion, and my complimentary membership will end when I drop to Platinum Medallion on March 1, 2014. However, the remaining time on my pre-Diamond paid membership will kick in then, so my Sky Club access won’t actually expire until November 8, 2015.

One other thing to keep in mind…in addition to having complimentary access to Sky Clubs during your time as a Diamond, you can also purchase a regular membership at the same discounted rates as Platinum Medallions ($350/40,000 miles for one year…other options are listed on this page). This will be useful if you attain Diamond one year but then your travel drops off significantly the following year. As long as you purchase the membership before your Diamond status expires, you still get the discounted rates.

BE seat with SWU

Get a systemwide upgrade as part of Choice Benefits.

10. Choice Benefits: Once you have obtained Diamond Medallion status with Delta, you are automatically entitled to the “Choice Benefits” program. Diamond flyers can choose two of the following: six Systemwide Upgrade Certificates (though these can only be used on K+ fares in the U.S./Canada/Caribbean/Bermuda/Mexico and M+ fares on long-haul flights), six Delta SkyClub one-day passes, 25,000 bonus miles (just redeemable, not MQM’s), a $200 voucher with Tiffany’s, a $200 voucher with Delta, or the ability to gift Gold status to a designated friend/family member. To make your selection, login to your account and then visit the Choice Benefits page listed above. Selections must be made by the end of your status year. In other words, if you qualify for Platinum in 2013 (meaning you will hold status throughout all of 2014), you have until February 28th of 2015 to make the selection.

11. Crossover Rewards with SPG: Like all other Delta elites, Diamond Medallion members can also take advantage of the new Crossover Rewards program with Starwood Preferred Guest. This allows travelers to earn one mile for every dollar of eligible spend at Starwood Properties. Diamond members also enjoy the same additional on-property benefits at Starwood properties that I discussed in the Platinum Medallion post, including elite check-in lines, late checkout, “enhanced” rooms (corner, high floor, etc.), and complimentary in-room internet access. This is basically like being Gold with SPG; remember, though, that Gold and Platinum SPG members also earn 1 Starpoint for every dollar spent on Delta flights. All of these bonuses are in addition to the regular Starpoints/SkyMiles earned for the stay/flight. Members must link their two accounts at www.delta.com/crossoverrewards to be eligible; for more details, check out TPG’s post from earlier this year.

So there you have it. Diamond Medallion is quite challenging to obtain (and then keep, as I experienced this year), so it makes sense that the benefits go even further than the generous offerings for Platinum flyers. I also love the intangibles of Diamond status, including exceptional customer service and additional “flexibility” when changing flights. I am certainly going to miss this status next year, but it’s been a good run!

Any other Diamond Medallion members out there with personal experience to share on your treatment, upgrade percentage or general thoughts on this level? Please feel free to comment below, and stay tuned for a final wrap-up post with additional considerations for earning and maintaining status with Delta.

Disclaimer: The responses below 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.

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  • paulwesterdawg

    i don’t think SWUs work on Caribbean flights anymore at the K+ level. I think they are now M+ to the Caribbean.

  • Nick Ewen

    Interesting…have you tried to use one and not been able to do so? Delta’s website still lists Caribbean flights as valid for K and higher (http://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/skymiles/about-skymiles/medallion-program/choice-benefits/systemwide-upgrade-certificates.html), and I don’t recall reading anything on FlyerTalk about the change. Of course, I don’t have any personal experience to report, so take this with a grain of salt!

  • Lark

    Did you cover rollover in your series? That seems to be a unique differentiator of DL’s elite qualification program.

    ROLLOVER MQMS

    It’s easier to earn status with the only Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) that roll right into the next year. This exclusive Medallion benefit allows you to keep MQMs earned above your qualification level at the end of the year to help qualify for Medallion status the following year.

  • Paul

    I have been a Diamond Medallion on Delta for the past 3 years and just re-qualified again for 2014. I am contemplating a switch to American Airlines for their International Upgrade Policy and SWUs. Any thoughts?

  • markj

    I am happy with my Diamond status for these reasons.

    1. I think Delta gives the best service of the Big Three airlines.
    2. 90% + on First Class upgrades this year.
    3. I will carryover 85,000 MQM’s which takes all the pressure of of requalification.
    4. I gave one of my friends Gold Status. He has a family of four so they can all travel in Economy Comfort for no charge when booked together. He and his wife share the occasional upgrades. This is a tremendous benefit to give a family.

    Skymiles sucks. When I go to Europe I will keep trying until I find a connection from one of Delta’s hubs to where I want to go. I often will find a return flight to another Delta hub. I book that online and then call the Diamond line to help with the domestic connections. It almost always works out but the Skymiles process is unbecoming of any airline that prides itself on customer service. Shame on Delta.

  • Nick Ewen

    Not yet, but that’s coming in the final wrap-up post. :-)

  • Nick Ewen

    That’s a great question. I have been contemplating doing the same thing (or at least trying to complete an Executive Platinum challenge with AA before my Diamond status runs out). I think it depends on your typical travel pattern. I travel exclusively within the U.S. for work, but if I was traveling on paid coach tickets abroad, AA would be very appealing. You also need to factor in your location. For me, flying from Orlando to Atlanta is much easier than flying from Orlando to DFW or ORD to connect, and I almost always find that Delta is the cheapest to my desired destination. I’m still up in the air, though. I really think I’d miss the customer service that Delta provides.

  • Paul

    I live in NYC. I fly out of JFK or LGA 100% of the time. Delta’s LGA hub is very convenient. I do fly to SFO and LAX quite a bit. Those 8 SWUs are very tempting plus AA’s upgrade policy is better than Delta’s M fares or higher.

  • Mark

    I was Platinum for two years and now have been Diamond for two years. I don’t really see all that much difference. I do get domestic upgrades often, but not on popular flights (there are a lot of Diamonds out there). The SWU’s are very hard to use – - not only because of the higher required fares, but because of availability. Even if I find one for a trip to Europe, there usually isn’t a second one available for my traveling partner. Probably the best perk of being Diamond is the customer service I get when something goes wrong. The phone Agents on the Diamond line are almost always helpful and accommodating (as long as you get someone with experience). The Gate Agents or Skyclub Agents are usually very helpful and have been able to get me on last available seats a few times when changing flights. But this is not always the case. I have run across some very rude Delta employees especially at check in counters and the gate at JFK. They could care less about my status. They really need to train them better there. The Atlanta Agents aren’t too much better. I imagine they deal with Platinum and Gold members all of the time, so their Customer Service skills for treating the highest ranks of fliers get numb. I guess I have a love/hate relationship with Delta and have often considering changing to UA or AA. When they are good, they are usually very good. But when things go wrong and they respond poorly, it is really really frustrating.

  • James

    Nick do you have a favorite or a couple of favorites for the choice benefits, in terms of which two for Diamond or one for Platinum you think provide the best deal? I didn’t spend a lot of time as Platinum before hitting Diamond but I think the biggest benefit between Gold and Diamond is the upgraded phone support that Mark mentioned I think the phone support for Diamond’s is substantially better than what any of the other medallions or general members are getting. I would say 9/10 times they are on the ball. The domestic upgrades are pretty nice also.

  • Nick Ewen

    I’d almost recommend flipping a coin. Both Delta and American are investing heavily on the NYC-LAX/SFO route, with Delta adding flatbeds and AA picking up the new A321. If LGA is easier for you than JFK, Delta might make more sense. I personally really like the work Delta has been doing there.

  • Nick Ewen

    You’re right that the process of redeeming SkyMiles for low level awards is much more difficult than it should be. That’s why the waived reissue/redeposit fees are such a huge benefit for Platinum and Diamond Medallions. I too love the service on Delta (especially compared to the others) and have enjoyed good upgrade percentages. Good for you for helping a friend travel in comfort! Be sure to remind him that his Gold status gets him lounge access on international flights. :-)

  • Nick Ewen

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. I too have (for the most part) felt like Delta really values their DM’s, and I’m interested to see if I notice any changes when I drop to PM come March 1. I think every airline (or company, for that matter) has it’s share of bad apples, but based on my experiences with the other airlines, Delta seems to do much better with customer service (generally speaking).

    My big issue isn’t with the front-line employees…it’s with their incredibly customer-unfriendly changes they have made to the SkyMiles program in the past few years. No single one was significant enough to warrant a switch to AA/UA/US, but think about everything we’ve been handed: changed voucher rules, 72-hour award ticket rule, changes to same-day standby/confirmed, increased mileage costs, and the list goes on.

  • Nick Ewen

    I have some thoughts that I will be sharing in my final wrap-up post later this week, but much of it depends on your specific situation. One year, I really needed the bonus miles to pad my account for a specific redemption, whereas in others, I really like getting the $200 Delta voucher for simple domestic flights to visit family in NYC, friends in ATL, etc. The one choice benefit that I always selected was gifted Gold status to my wife, which really made our domestic travel experience much more pleasant (and helped her quietly amass over 100,000 miles due to the 100% mileage bonus!).

    I too feel like their phone support for Diamond Medallion members is terrific, and I am interested to see what it is like for Platinums. Like you, I didn’t spend much time as Platinum but will revert back on March 1, an occurrence to which I am NOT looking forward!

  • Paul

    Now I am 100% switching to American Airlines. Delta finally allows upgrade certificates to work on all classes but takes away Transcon Upgrades? I have gotten upgraded 16 out or 16 transcon (JFK LAX/SFO) flights I have made this year. This is terrible.

  • Nick Ewen

    You’re absolutely right. The changes Delta just announced completely change your situation, and I think American will likely hold off on making any changes in the short-term (given how much they have their hands full with the merger). Most of these changes won’t affect me, but I still am questioning the value of sticking with Delta (as I sit at #9 on the upgrade list for ATL-PHX tomorrow morning with only 4 open seats).

  • Laren

    You didn’t mention one huge benefit for DM: switching airports in the same city. I am currently located in DC, and Baltimore is generally a cheaper airport. As Diamond, I can switch to DCA using same day confirmed without charge if there is availability. Also works for JFK/LGA, SFO/OAK, and others.

  • Confused Diamond Delta

    I am currently Diamond Delta. Its Dec. 15th and I need 4 MQS to Gold or 9,640 MQM’s to reach Gold.

    Calling the Diamond line they say I will keep my Diamond until Feb. 2014. I don’t understand the rollover stuff.

    Should I take a flight with four segments before the end of the year or just go into 2014 with where i am at????

  • CDD

    Forgot to mention I do have the platinum AMEX business card

  • Nancy

    I just receive an email about earning the mileage boast from my credit card. Would it be better for me to keep the miles which would make both myself and my husband gold, or would it be better for me to gift my miles to him so he could be platinum and I would be silver. He travels much more than I do and I also only travel when I am with him. Just wonder how that might affect our chance for upgrades.

  • Jerry

    I have been platinum for 10 years, and 2 Million miler;

    Looking at Diamond for next year, sitting at 121,000 MQM today, but have been looking over the benefits, I am not sure it is worth it. Sure as platinum we are often behind 8 diamonds for 3 seats in first class, but if you book in advance for domestic travel the difference in between full coach and first is hardly anything. Actually for HPN-ATL flights pricing is very similar, so I end up buying first class several weeks in advance and have the guaranteed seat, I actually hardly ever have to suffer in coach.

    The SUC’s are hard to use, though I was able to use 4 these last few weeks flying to Europe. Changes are nearly impossible, and non stops on the SUC’s are very hard to find.

    As far as I can tell the companion upgrade as Diamond is the only thing going for. But hardly worth buying my missing 5,000 MQM for $1.200.

    Another thought, making diamond gets me very little upside, but staying platinum get me 45,000 miles rollover, which pretty much guarantees diamond for next year.

    J

  • HelpMeRetainDiamondStatus

    Points Guy – Need your help! I will be 1,300 MQM from reaching Diamond after my last flight of 2013 tomorrow…With only 4 days left, what should I do?

  • SkyClubHelp

    I just got Diamond this week. When will I gain SkyClub access? What do I need to do to get it?

  • Amazin

    Can I pay someone to gift me gold status?

  • Scott

    I have been Diamond since the first year of launch. Although I’m quite upset about the changes Delta has made to the program (especially the JFK-LAX/SFO upgrades), I find the customer service to be amazing. I may not fly as much as many other Diamonds, but I fly to obscure places, making many stops in a short amount of time. There have been IMPOSSIBLE situations for which the Diamond desk agents have solved for me. I can’t tell you, just in 2013, how many times they completely saved me and my reputation as a professional. On the contrary, I always hear how AA and UA treats their premium members like crap. The things which I have pulled off with Delta would NEVER happen with any other airline. For that, I have been really grateful.
    In some ways i’m glad they have gotten stingy about the qualification requirements. I predict that once they make it so ONLY the people who truly devote to Delta and get rid of 50% of the diamonds, the “old” perks will come back. They just need to weed out the riffraff who got status from transferring Amex points and getting multiple cards.
    When first class is finally back to an exclusive place, Delta will come thru. Too bad for the people who bailed and went to AA/UA, their customer service will always be terrible.

  • Foo_Kurades

    too late now, but you can buy miles usually til the end of the year.

  • mike

    Having been a diamond for the past year, and flying almost exclusively the LAX-JFK-LAX route, the complementary upgrades have been a HUGE part of the Delta benefit. Eliminating this benefit is essentially an invitation to spend the next 50 weeks flying AA or Virgin. Do you have any insight into the rationale for doing this to their most loyal customers?

  • red555

    how much you want to pay?

  • Felipe

    I have a question for the points guy and diamond level people out there: What do you think it’s better: be platinum several years in a row or a one time diamond? There’s a number game that needs to be taken into account with Delta’s MQM rollover program. Let’s say you fly 50k miles on average a year. With rollover, credit card points, etc you finish the year with 126k miles. Hooray you’ve reached diamond …BUT you starting the year with ONLY 1k miles, and, assuming you have a Delta Platinum card, you wouldn’t pass gold status by much the year you’re diamond. NOW, let’s say you finish the year with 124k. the following year you’re platinum AND with a balance of 49k miles, which almost guarantees another year of platinum status. In other words, unless you’re traveling on average 75k and over, if by the end of the year you’re very close to diamond, you should practically stop flying Delta for the rest of the year! Why wouldn’t Delta at least guarantee silver or gold for the following year for those who reach diamond?

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