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Should I Go for Delta Diamond Medallion or Stay Platinum?

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TPG reader Ryan tweeted me to ask:

@thepointsguy– “I will be very close to Diamond Medallion elite status this year on Delta. Is it worth aiming for Diamond Medallion, or should I keep Platinum Medallion and roll over the extra miles?”

The end of the year is time to start thinking about your airline elite status. You have until December 31, 2014 in most programs to accrue enough elite miles that you qualify for elite status in 2015.

Delta makes qualifying more interesting because they allow you to roll over miles, so any elite miles you earn beyond your present tier (and before the next tier) can help you earn elite status the following year. Delta Platinum is achieved at 75,000 MQMs and Diamond at 125,000 MQMs. If you came 1,000 short of Diamond, you could roll over 49,000 MQMs to start 2015. That could make it easier to re-qualify for Platinum next year, as you would start off almost 2/3 of the way there.

If you don’t qualify for Diamond this year, your extra elite miles will roll over to 2015, making it that much easier to earn Platinum again.

So, is it better to roll over these miles or go for Diamond?

In the past I would have suggested keeping Platinum and rolling over the extra elite miles unless you strongly value the Delta SkyClub Lounge access you get for being Diamond. With Platinum you still get free award changes, and Platinum upgrades are still pretty good in general.

However, starting this year Delta gives Global Upgrades for Diamonds, which is an amazing choice benefit to have. This might be a game changer, because I feel that these Global Upgrades are extremely valuable and can motivate more people to aim for Diamond.

That being said, make sure that you can also spend the correct amount to qualify for Diamond, as Delta has increased these spend thresholds. (You can be exempt from this if you spend over $25,000 on a Delta co-branded credit card like the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express card.)

If you think you can maximize those Delta Global Upgrades, then it makes sense to aim for Diamond. Plus, Delta has been giving more and more priority to top tier flyers (which I believe will continue in the future), so it pays to get to the top of the elite status ladder.

If you have a lot of travel coming for the next year and you can get MQMs and spend enough to keep qualifying for elite status, I say go bigand aim for Diamond status.

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at info@thepointsguy.com.

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