Delta Choice Benefits: The ultimate guide to earning and choosing your benefits – The Points Guy

Many travelers believe the Delta Air Lines SkyMiles program has decreased in value over the years. In 2023, Delta announced SkyMiles changes that were so unpopular that it walked back some of the changes about one month later.

But Delta Medallion status is still extremely valuable. One particularly valuable perk available to Platinum Medallion members and higher is the Choice Benefits program. Whether you’re a newly minted elite member or a longtime Delta loyalist, here’s what you need to know about Delta Choice Benefits, including how to earn them, when to select them and which benefits are best.

How to earn Delta Choice Benefits

Flying on Delta can help you earn Choice Benefits. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

You earn Delta Choice Benefits each calendar year you qualify for Platinum or Diamond Medallion status. Specifically, you earn one Choice Benefit when you qualify for Platinum Medallion status and three additional Choice Benefits when you qualify for Diamond Medallion status.

Delta now only uses one metric — Medallion Qualification Dollars — for elite qualification. Here are the current calendar year requirements for the two tiers of Delta Medallion status that offer Choice Benefits as a perk:

You can earn MQDs on flights and other transactions with Delta and its partners, including vacation packages and spending on cobranded credit cards. Plus, starting Feb. 1, 2024, cardholders of the following premium cobranded Delta credit cards get a boost of 2,500 MQDs per card toward status qualification each year:

If you want to earn Delta Medallion status, having one or more of these premium Delta cards in your wallet could be extremely helpful.

Related: Which credit card should you use for Delta Air Lines flights?

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When to select Delta Choice Benefits

You can select Delta Choice Benefits after you earn Platinum or Diamond Medallion status based on activity within a calendar year. And you must select your Choice Benefits by the day your status would expire if you didn’t requalify. Here’s an overview of when you should select your Choice Benefits based on the calendar year during which you earned Platinum or Diamond Medallion status:

  • 2022: Select between when you qualified in 2022 and when your status expires Jan. 31, 2024
  • 2023: Select between when you qualified in 2023 and when your status expires Jan. 31, 2025
  • 2024: Select between when you qualify in 2024 and when your status expires Jan. 31, 2026.

Some Choice Benefits expire on a set date regardless of when you select the benefit. So, you’ll get the most value from some Choice Benefits by selecting the benefit as soon as you’re eligible.

2023 Medallion year Delta Choice Benefits

If you qualified for Delta Platinum or Diamond Medallion status during the 2022 calendar year, you earned status for the 2023 Medallion year and should select your Choice Benefits by Jan. 31, 2024.

You can select one Choice Benefit when you qualify for Platinum Medallion status and three additional Choice Benefits when you qualify for Diamond Medallion status. Here’s a look at your Choice Benefits options if you earned Platinum or Diamond status for the 2023 Medallion year (based on your 2022 activity):

Platinum Choice Benefits (choose 1)Diamond Choice Benefits (choose 3)
Upgrade certificates4 regional4 global

8 regional

2 global and 4 regional

Bonus miles20,00025,000
Delta Sky Club benefitsNone1 individual membership

1 guest pass

1 executive membership (requires 2 choices unless you have an individual membership valid through Jan. 31, 2024)

Delta travel voucher$200$200
Gift Delta Medallion status1 Silver Medallion1 Gold Medallion

Now, let’s take a closer look at each option and the value it might provide if you qualified for Delta Platinum or Diamond Medallion status during the 2022 calendar year.

Upgrade certificates

You could use your one Choice Benefits selection after earning Platinum Medallion status for four regional upgrade certificates. Or if you reached Diamond Medallion, each of your choices could get you four global, eight regional, or two global and four regional upgrade certificates.

These one-way upgrade certificates give higher priority than Medallion complimentary upgrade requests. You can apply these upgrade certificates to most fares except Delta basic economy for a one-class, space-available upgrade.

However, you’d need to book and fly using these certificates by the end of Jan. 31, 2024, since they would be associated with your 2023 Medallion year. As such, they may not be the best option if you are selecting your 2023 Medallion year Choice Benefit(s) now.

Bonus miles

With your Choice Benefits, you can select bonus miles for yourself, another SkyMiles member or a SkyWish charity. Platinum Medallion members can select 20,000 bonus miles, while Diamond Medallion members can select 25,000 miles per choice.

TPG’s valuations peg the value of Delta SkyMiles at 1.2 cents each. So, 20,000 bonus miles are worth about $240, while 25,000 bonus miles are worth about $300. Bonus miles are a good option if you are selecting your 2023 Medallion year Choice Benefit(s) now.

Related: How to redeem Delta SkyMiles for maximum value

Delta Sky Club benefits

Once you earn Diamond Medallion status, you could use one or more of your Choice Benefits selections for the following Delta Sky Club access benefits:

  • Individual membership: Get complimentary access to Delta Sky Club locations around the globe for yourself through Jan. 31, 2024.
  • Guest pass: Upgrade complimentary Delta Sky Club access from an eligible credit card to include complimentary access for up to two guests (or your spouse or domestic partner and children under 21) traveling with you through Jan. 31, 2024.
  • Executive membership (requires two Choice Benefits unless you already have a Delta Sky Club individual membership valid through Jan. 31, 2024): Get complimentary access to Delta Sky Club locations around the globe for yourself and up to two guests (or your spouse or domestic partner and children under 21) through Jan. 31, 2024.

You’ll only get these benefits through Jan. 31, 2024. As such, we don’t recommend this option if you are selecting your 2023 Medallion year Choice Benefit(s) now.

Delta travel voucher

You can select a Delta travel voucher worth $200 per choice. You’re the only one who can use the voucher, but you can use it toward the Delta airfare portion of a Delta Vacations package.

Vouchers are valid 12 months from issuance, which should occur within 48 hours of selection. As such, this is a decent option if you are selecting your 2023 Medallion year Choice Benefit(s) now.

Gift Delta Medallion status

Finally, you can opt to gift Delta Medallion status to someone else. Platinum Medallion members can gift Silver Medallion status, while Diamond Medallion members can gift Gold Medallion status.

Your gift recipient must have no Medallion status or a lower tier of Medallion status. However, this status will only last through Jan. 31, 2024, so we don’t recommend this option if you are selecting your 2023 Medallion year Choice Benefit(s) now.

Related: Airline and hotel loyalty programs that let you give the gift of elite status

Which Delta Choice Benefit is best for the 2023 Medallion year?

As noted previously, you must select 2023 Medallion year Choice Benefits by Jan. 31, 2024. However, many of the perks expire Jan. 31, 2024.

So, you’ll want to choose your benefits carefully. The best option for most members selecting one or more 2023 Medallion year Choice Benefits now will be bonus miles. The bonus miles should provide more value than the travel voucher, plus Delta SkyMiles don’t expire.

2024 Medallion year Delta Choice Benefits

If you qualified for Delta Platinum or Diamond Medallion status during the 2023 calendar year, you earned status for the 2024 Medallion year and should select your Choice Benefits by Jan. 31, 2025.

You can select one Choice Benefit when you qualify for Platinum Medallion status and three additional Choice Benefits when you qualify for Diamond Medallion status. Here’s a look at your options if you earned Platinum or Diamond status for the 2024 Medallion year:

Platinum Choice Benefits (choose 1)Diamond Choice Benefits (choose 3)
Upgrade certificates4 regional4 global

8 regional

2 global and 4 regional

Bonus miles20,00025,000
Delta Sky Club benefitsNone1 executive membership (requires 3 choices)
Medallion Qualification Dollars toward 2025 Medallion year5001,000
Gift Delta Medallion status2 Silver Medallion2 Gold Medallion
Delta Vacations Experience credit (can only select once per Medallion year)$400$500
Delta American Express statement credit (only available on select cards; can only select once per Medallion tier)$200$500
Delta travel voucher$250$250
Sustainable aviation fuel contribution$250$250
Starbucks Rewards Stars (can only select once per Medallion tier)4,0004,000

While some Choice Benefits are identical to previous years, others are new. So, let’s look at each option and the value they might provide if you qualified for Delta Platinum or Diamond Medallion status during the 2023 calendar year.

Upgrade certificates

After earning Platinum Medallion status based on 2023 activity, you could use your one Choice Benefits selection for four regional upgrade certificates. And if you earned Diamond Medallion status, each additional choice could give you one of the following:

  • Four global upgrade certificates
  • Eight regional upgrade certificates
  • Two global and four regional upgrade certificates

These upgrade certificates give higher priority than Medallion complimentary upgrade requests and can get you a one-class, space-available upgrade on most fares except Delta basic economy.

However, you must book and fly using these certificates by the end of Jan. 31, 2025, since they would be associated with your 2024 Medallion year.

Related: The ultimate guide to getting upgraded on Delta flights

Bonus miles

With your Choice Benefits, you can select bonus miles for yourself, another SkyMiles member or a SkyWish charity. At the Platinum Medallion tier, you could choose 20,000 bonus miles (worth $240 based on TPG’s valuations). And at the Diamond Medallion tier, you could choose 25,000 bonus miles (worth $300) per choice.

Delta Sky Club benefits

At the Delta Diamond Medallion tier, you could trade all three Choice Benefits choices for a Delta Sky Club executive membership. This membership — typically costing $1,495 or 149,500 miles — gives you and up to two guests (or your spouse or domestic partner and children under 21) unlimited complimentary Delta Sky Club access through Jan. 31, 2025.

MQDs toward the 2025 Medallion year

You can use Choice Benefits selections for MQDs for the 2025 Medallion year. You’d get 500 MQDs for your choice at the Platinum Medallion tier and 1,000 MQDs per choice at the Diamond Medallion tier.

As these Medallion Qualification Dollars will count toward your qualification in the 2024 calendar year for the 2025 Medallion year, you’ll see them in your account in January 2024.

Gift Delta Medallion status

You can use your Choice Benefits to gift Delta Medallion status to someone else. Each choice is worth two gifts, with Platinum Medallion members able to gift Silver Medallion status to a pair of travelers and Diamond Medallion members able to gift Gold Medallion status.

The gifted status will last through Jan. 31, 2025, regardless of when you select your 2024 Medallion year Choice Benefits.

Related: Delta baggage fees and how to avoid paying them

Delta Vacations Experience credit

You could use your one Choice Benefits selection after you earn Platinum Medallion status for a $400 credit toward a Delta Vacations package. Or you could wait until you earn Diamond Medallion status for a $500 credit. However, you can only select a Delta Vacations Experience credit as a Choice Benefit once per Medallion year.

The credit is valid for one year after it’s issued, and a two-night minimum stay is required.

Delta American Express statement credit

If you are the primary cardmember of the Delta Platinum Amex, Delta Platinum Business Amex, Delta Reserve Amex or Delta Reserve Business Amex, you can choose a statement credit on your card as a Choice Benefit at each Medallion status tier.

You can choose a $200 statement credit at the Platinum Medallion tier and a $500 statement credit at the Diamond Medallion tier. However, you can’t use multiple Choice Benefits to get multiple statement credits at the Diamond Medallion tier.

Related: Delta SkyMiles Reserve vs. Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business

Delta travel voucher

You can select a Delta travel voucher with your Choice Benefits, worth $250 per choice. You’re the only one who can use the voucher, but you can use it toward the Delta flight portion of a Delta Vacations package.

Vouchers are valid for 12 months from their issuance, which should occur within 48 hours of when you select the voucher.

Sustainable aviation fuel contribution

You can use your Choice Benefits to support Delta’s use of sustainable aviation fuel. Delta will apply $250 toward the incremental cost of sustainable aviation fuel instead of traditional jet fuel for each choice.

Related: How you can donate your points and miles to charity

Starbucks Rewards stars

Finally, U.S.-based SkyMiles members who are enrolled in Starbucks Rewards and have linked their accounts may choose 4,000 Starbucks Rewards stars as a Choice Benefit once at each tier. However, stars will expire six months after the calendar month they were deposited.

Related: These are the best credit cards to use at Starbucks

Which Delta Choice Benefit is best for the 2024 Medallion year?

You must select 2024 Medallion year Choice Benefits by Jan. 31, 2025. Many of the perks expire Jan. 31, 2025, but that may still leave you plenty of time to use them.

At the Platinum Medallion tier, the best option for most travelers is four regional upgrade certificates, 20,000 bonus miles or the $400 Delta Vacations Experience credit. However, the best choice for you will depend on whether you’d be able to get good value from the regional upgrade certificates and whether you plan to book a Delta Vacations Experience soon.

At the Diamond Medallion tier, some combination of upgrade certificates, 25,000 bonus miles, the $500 Delta Vacations Experience credit and the $500 Delta Amex statement credit will appeal to most Delta loyalists. The Delta Sky Club executive membership may also appeal to Diamond Medallion members who frequently travel with family members or friends. However, giving up all three choices may be too difficult.

2025 Medallion year Delta Choice Benefits

If you qualify for Delta Platinum or Diamond Medallion status during the 2024 calendar year, you’ll earn status for the 2025 Medallion year.

Delta hasn’t yet updated its Choice Benefits page for the 2025 Medallion year. But I expect you’ll still be able to select one Choice Benefit when you qualify for Platinum Medallion status and three additional Choice Benefits when you qualify for Diamond Medallion status. I also expect you’ll need to select your Choice Benefits by Jan. 31, 2026.

Delta may continue some of the 2024 Medallion year Choice Benefit options. But based on the information provided by Delta about its changes to the Delta SkyMiles program, we know the program is offering the following new or improved options for the 2025 Medallion year:

Platinum Choice BenefitsDiamond Choice Benefits
Bonus miles30,00035,000
Delta Sky Club benefitsNone1 individual membership (requires 2 choices)
MQD accelerator for the next Medallion qualification year1,0002,000
Delta travel voucher$300$350
Wheels Up flight creditUnknown amountUnknown amount

As we don’t have any additional information from Delta, we won’t go into additional detail about these Choice Benefit options now. However, we’ll update this post once the 2025 Medallion year Choice Benefits are fully unveiled.

Bottom line

There are many options when it comes to Delta Choice Benefits. These benefits can provide significant value, so making an informed choice is important — especially since some perks may expire quickly if you choose them near the end of your Medallion year.

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