My Positive Experience With Delta Medallion Award Ticket Upgrades
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
In August, Delta officially announced that award and Pay-with-miles tickets would be eligible for Medallion upgrades. And instead of upgrading all award tickets after paid tickets like most people expected, they made the decision to upgrade award tickets at the Medallion window- which means as a Platinum, I’d get upgraded after all paid Platinums, but before paid Gold and Silver medallions. Pretty good for top tier elites, but not great news for lower tier elites, who already find it difficult enough to snag an upgrade.
Fast forward a couple months and I decided to attend the new Frequent Traveler Awards that are being held in Houston this Thursday. As a last minute ticket from JFK-IAH one night Thursday stay, the fare was pricing at $850- a little more than I’d like to pay for a domestic trip, especially since I’ve already re-qualified for my Medallion status. So I pulled up the award calendar and plenty of options at the low 25,000 coach level showed, so I decided to take a gamble and see if the award ticket upgrades would actually come through at my 5 day window.
And to my delight, they did. At my window (which actually processes 6 days out) I got email confirmations for my outbound and return that I had been upgraded on all legs.
Not too shabby for a 25,000, $5 award ticket. While SkyMiles may be hard to use in some instances, I couldn’ t be happier with this experience. No other major carrier upgrades elites on awards this generously and no other carrier has Elite Qualifying Miles rollover like Delta does. While there may be limited business class international rewards available compared to competitors, at least Delta is leading in other areas.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.