Your ultimate guide to Delta Choice Benefits

6 April 2023

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.

Delta SkyMiles have decreased in value over the years, and Delta devalued global upgrade certificates in 2021 and more recently tightened its Sky Club access policies. Yet there’s plenty to love about Delta Air Lines.

Many Delta loyalists appreciate the value of Delta status, which includes a Choice Benefits program for Platinum Medallion members and higher. If you are a newly minted elite member, selecting your Choice Benefit(s) can be challenging. 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

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

You earn Delta Choice Benefits when 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.

To earn Delta Choice Benefits, you’ll need to earn Delta elite status. Here are the qualification requirements for these two tiers of Delta Medallion status:

Platinum Medallion status: 75,000 Medallion Qualification Miles or 100 Medallion Qualification Segments, and $12,000 Medallion Qualification Dollars or a waiver.
Diamond Medallion status: 125,000 MQMs or 140 MQSs, and $20,000 MQDs or a waiver.

You’ll make progress toward status when flying with Delta and its partners. But you can also earn MQMs and even an MQD waiver by reaching specific spending thresholds on select Delta credit cards. To learn more, check out our post on earning Delta Medallion status with credit cards.

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

When to select Delta Choice Benefits

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

You can select Delta Choice Benefits after earning Platinum or Diamond Medallion status. And you must select your Choice Benefits by the day your status would expire if you didn’t requalify.

So, if you earned 2023 Platinum or Diamond Medallion status through activity in the 2022 calendar year, you could select your Choice Benefits anytime between when you qualified in 2022 and when your status expires on Jan. 31, 2024.

If you earn 2024 Platinum or Diamond Medallion status through activity in the 2023 calendar year, you can select your Choice Benefits anytime between when you qualify in 2023 and when your status expires on Jan. 31, 2025.

Some Choice Benefits, such as gifts of elite status and Delta SkyClub access, 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.

Related: Delta makes it easier to track Medallion status progress with a new account dashboard

2023 Medallion year Delta Choice Benefits

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

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 status for the 2023 Medallion year (based on your 2022 activity):

Platinum Choice Benefits (choose 1)
Diamond Choice Benefits (choose 3)

Upgrade certificates
4 regional.
4 global.

8 regional.

2 global and 4 regional.

Bonus miles
20,000.
25,000.

Delta Sky Club benefits
None.
1 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 status
1 Silver Medallion.
1 Gold Medallion.

Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these options and the value they 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. Once you earn Diamond Medallion, each choice 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 must book and fly using these certificates by the end of Jan. 31, 2024, since they would be associated with your 2023 Medallion year.

Related: How I used a Global Upgrade Certificate to fly Delta One for the price of Premium Select

Bonus miles

You can select bonus miles for yourself, another SkyMiles member or a SkyWish charity with your Choice Benefits. Platinum Medallion members can select 20,000 bonus miles, while Diamond Medallion members receive 25,000 miles.

TPG’s valuations peg the value of Delta SkyMiles at 1.41 cents each. So, 20,000 bonus miles are worth about $282, while 25,000 bonus miles are worth about $352.

Related: How to redeem Delta SkyMiles for maximum value

Delta Sky Club benefits

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

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, regardless of when you select your 2023 Medallion year Choice Benefits.

Related: Delta overhauls Sky Club access policy, makes big cuts to reduce overcrowding

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 for 12 months from issuance, which should occur within 48 hours of selection.

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, regardless of when you select your 2023 Medallion year Choice Benefits.

Related: 7 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?

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

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

So, you’ll want to choose your benefits carefully — especially if you read this guide in late 2023 or early 2024. Upgrade certificates may be the most valuable perk if you believe you can get solid value from these certificates on flights booked and flown by Jan. 31, 2024. But, some Delta loyalists may prefer Choice Benefits related to Delta Sky Club access.

If none of the options seem particularly appealing — or you’re choosing your 2023 Medallion year Delta Choice Benefits in late 2023 or January 2024 — opting for bonus miles may be the best option. After all, Delta SkyMiles don’t expire.

Related: The ultimate guide to getting upgraded on Delta

2024 Medallion year Delta Choice Benefits

If you qualify for Delta Platinum or Diamond Medallion status during the 2023 calendar year, you’ll earn 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 earn status for the 2024 Medallion year:

Platinum Choice Benefits (choose 1)
Diamond Choice Benefits (choose 3)

Upgrade certificates
4 regional.
4 global.

8 regional.

2 global and 4 regional.

Bonus miles
20,000.
25,000.

Delta Sky Club benefits
None.
1 executive membership (requires 3 choices).

Medallion Qualification Dollars toward 2025 Medallion year
500.
1,000.

Gift Delta Medallion status
2 Silver Medallion.
2 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)
4,000.
4,000.

While some are identical to previous years, others are new for 2023.

Let’s look at each option and the value they might provide if you qualify for Delta Platinum or Diamond Medallion status during the 2023 calendar year.

Upgrade certificates

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

After you earn Platinum Medallion status based on 2023 activity, you could use your one Choice Benefits selection for four regional upgrade certificates. And if you earn Diamond Medallion status, each additional choice could get 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: How not to ‘waste’ your Delta regional and global upgrade certificates

Bonus miles

You can select bonus miles for yourself, another SkyMiles member or a SkyWish charity with your Choice Benefits.

At the Platinum Medallion tier, you could choose 20,000 bonus miles (worth $282 based on TPG’s valuations). And at the Diamond Medallion tier, you could choose 25,000 bonus miles (worth $352) per choice.

Related: 6 Delta SkyMiles sweet spots worth saving up for

Delta Sky Club benefits

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

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) complimentary Delta Sky Club access through Jan. 31, 2025.

Related: Inside Delta’s stunning new Sky Club in Kansas City

Medallion Qualification Dollars toward 2025 Medallion year

You can use Choice Benefits selections for Medallion Qualification Dollars toward Medallion qualification for the 2025 Medallion year.

You’d get 500 Medallion Qualification Dollars for your choice at the Platinum Medallion tier. Meanwhile, you’d get 1,000 Medallion Qualification Dollars 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.

Related: How to earn Medallion Qualification Dollars inexpensively by booking Delta partner tickets

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

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

You could use your one Choice Benefits selection after you earn Platinum Medallion status for a $400 credit toward a Delta Vacations flight-and-hotel package. Or you could wait until you earn Diamond Medallion status for a $500 credit.

But you can only select a Delta Vacations Experience credit as a Choice Benefit once per Medallion year. The credit is only 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 on one or more of the following Delta credit cards, you can choose a statement credit on your card as a Choice Benefit at each Medallion Status tier:

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card.
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card.
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card.
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card.

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

Related: Delta SkyMiles Reserve Amex card review

Delta travel voucher

WESTEND61/GETTY IMAGES

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 air portion of a Delta Vacations package.

Vouchers are valid for 12 months from their issuance, which should occur within 48 hours of voucher selection.

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 have also enrolled in Starbucks Rewards and 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?

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

You must select 2024 Medallion year Choice Benefits by Jan. 31, 2025. Many of the perks expire on Jan. 31, 2025, but that leaves 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 in the near future.

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, but giving up all three choices may be too difficult.

Related: Chasing Diamond: Why I flew to South Africa for 3 days to requalify for Delta elite status

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.

Need Help?

Please use the contact form to get support or send an email to [email protected].