Delta Frequent Flyer: Stay At Delta Platinum vs Going For Diamond

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Delta frequent flyers love accruing airline status. Yet every year you have to fly the miles to maintain those upgraded benefits. It would seem a no-brainer to go from Delta Platinum to Delta Diamond. Yet, in this video, Jenny Rae explains why she purposely levels off at Delta Platinum vs going for the top tier of Delta Diamond. If you are a Delta frequent flyer at the Delta Platinum tier, pay special attention as this might make sense for you as well!

Delta Frequent Flyer: Stay At Delta Platinum vs Going For Diamond YouTube Transcription

Hi, I’m Namaan, this is Jenny Rae for Management Consulted. Delta Platinum vs DiamondI’m here today to talk about why Jenny Rae made a crazy travel decision regarding her perks and status. Are you ready to share with us why you leveled off at Delta Platinum instead of bumping up to Delta Diamond?

So Delta introduced the Medallion tier of Diamond after I was a frequent flyer. For a number of years I’ve been a Delta Platinum, since 2005. So in 2018 we’re filming this video. That’s 13 years so far and I have no plans to stop anytime soon.

Delta Platinum Benefits

So number one, I understood the perks of Delta Platinum. They were really clear to me. It made sense, and also I felt like there was a tremendous amount of value there. I also felt like there was a huge differentiating factor between going from Gold, to Platinum. Mainly the couple things that really matter to me, are that:

At the Platinum level you get one choice benefit, which is partly recouping some of your spend, or some of your features of what you’re doing, you have better upgrade availability which I think is noticeable between the two tiers. But the two things that are really most important to me.

  1. For Delta platinum you’re able to re-Bank mileage tickets. So I book a lot of tickets very early in the process, which is actually become more valuable over time as tickets have gone more to a per dollar rate, as opposed to just a flat rate for the route.
  2. I’m able to get what I think is a really important difference which is the Platinum Line. So I’m able to get a basically direct line to somebody at Delta, at any time of the day or night. And I use that a lot. And so going from Gold to Platinum, those were always easy choices.

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Delta Diamond Benefits

Going from Platinum to Diamond, you have a lot of very similar differences in the perks. But the differences are still incremental. So the choice ends up becoming, do you go for Delta Diamond, which is an extra 50,000 MQM’s flown miles. And usually I’m using my card spend MQM’s toward the Platinum in the first place. So that’s really thinking about flying the extra 50,000 miles. And often I will level off somewhere in the 100,000 to the 125,000 range.

In general, at the end of the year I will book miles tickets instead of paid tickets to keep myself from going diamond for this reason alone. Take notes, because the one thing that you get when you’re at status for Delta is the ability to roll over any excess MQM’s.

The Dilemma

So my choice ends up not just becoming, do I want to become Diamond or not, but do I want to become Diamond this year, and potentially not even make Platinum in the following year? So I usually will accrue at least 25,000 MQM’s before the end of the year, so that I have a 25,000 MQM head start for the following year.

Increasing Airline Route Flexibility

So my preference has been to maintain Platinum, to give myself a little flexibility to fly when it makes sense for international trips, to fly a direct route instead of flying Delta, or to fly on routes in the US for example, we do a lot of work in Chicago with Chicago schools, and Delta has terrible service from the West Coast to Chicago. So, I want to be able to just fly on United or American or even Southwest, directly to Chicago when I’m going there. And I don’t want to feel like I’m forced, every time just to accrue miles to get there. So that 25,000-ish mile cushion every year gives me the freedom to do that.

That’s the main reason why I choose to level off at Platinum, instead of going Diamond. There you have it, why she stayed at Platinum instead of Diamond. If you have amazing stories about your frequent flyer pursuits, how you did a crazy mileage run, or which status you’re pursuing on which airline, it’s really fun to talk about it. So please share your stories with us at

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