My Positive Experience With Delta Medallion Award Ticket Upgrades

Nov 1, 2010

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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.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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