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TPG reader Ryan sent me a message on Facebook to ask:
“I will achieve Platinum status on Delta this year. Which is the best option of the choice benefits?”
We’re more than halfway through October at this point, which means there’s not much time left before the end of the year. If you’re going for elite status, you’ve got until December 31, 2014 (in most programs) to lock it in.
If you’ve managed to reach, or will soon reach Delta Platinum status, you can choose between six different Choice benefits listed below. Keep in mind the benefits are different for Diamond status.
- Four Regional Upgrade Certificates: Regional Upgrades are available on the same routes as Medallion Complimentary Upgrades, but have a higher priority. Both can be used on all paid published Economy Class fares except for E fares on Delta-operated flights.
- One ($100) Global Entry Application Voucher: Global Entry will help you save time re-entering the U.S. after being abroad or going through security. This credit covers the cost of your application.
- Four Delta Sky Club One-Day Passes: With these, you can access nearly 50 Sky Clubs worldwide. The passes are valid for up to one year from the date of issuance.
- 20,000 Bonus SkyMiles: You can add these miles to your account or donate them to a SkyWish charity of your choice.
- One Travel/Retail Gift Card: You can choose either a $200 Delta Travel Voucher valid for 12 months from the date of issuance, or a $200 Tiffany & Co. Gift Card.
- Give Silver Medallion Status: You can give Silver Medallion status to one person of your choosing, including unlimited complimentary upgrades, priority check-in, priority boarding and more.
My pick would be to go with the 20,000 miles. I know Delta isn’t at to the top of the chart in my monthly valuations, but I would value 20,000 miles at about $300. So, I’d rather have that than the $200 travel voucher or gift card, which would be my second choice. You can also give Silver Medallion to one person, but Silver status has really been watered down, especially since Delta announced that the lowest fare class is no longer eligible for Medallion upgrades. If your friend is traveling with you, your Platinum benefits would cover most of what Silver status would offer them anyway.
You might want to consider the upgrades if you want to secure an upgrade in advance for a domestic route, like going to Hawaii from Los Angeles (LAX) on an older plane. In the end, though, I would take the miles with the gift certificate or voucher as a close second.
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
|Intro APR||Regular APR||Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Credit Rating|
|None||15.99%-24.99% Variable||$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95||0%||Excellent Credit|