Last chance: Pick your 2023 Delta Choice Benefits by Jan. 31

Delta rewards its most frequent travelers with annual Choice Benefits, which range from upgrade certificates to bonus SkyMiles. If you qualified for Platinum or Diamond Medallion status in 2022, you have until Jan. 31, 2023, to select your annual 2023 Choice Benefits. Both elite tiers are eligible for Choice Benefits: Platinum Medallions can select one …

Last chance: Pick your 2023 Delta Choice Benefits by Jan. 31

Delta rewards its most frequent travelers with annual Choice Benefits, which range from upgrade certificates to bonus SkyMiles. If you qualified for Platinum or Diamond Medallion status in 2022, you have until Jan. 31, 2023, to select your annual 2023 Choice Benefits.

Both elite tiers are eligible for Choice Benefits: Platinum Medallions can select one while Diamond Medallions can select an additional three. That said, the choices for each tier differ and vary widely in value. You will want to study the value of each option before selecting one to ensure you get the most value from your Choice Benefit. Additionally, note that Delta Choice benefits earned this year — which must be selected by Jan. 31, 2024 — will be slightly different than this year’s options.

Here’s a look at what each benefit tier offers and how to select your 2023 Delta Choice benefits. This article will focus solely on the benefits you have to pick by the end of this month, not the new benefit options that will be added for next year.

How to earn Delta Choice Benefits

delta aircraft
A Delta Air Lines aircraft at the gate at Dulles International Airport (IAD). SEAN CUDAHY/THE POINTS GUY

As mentioned, you have until Jan. 31 to select your annual Delta Choice Benefits the year after you qualify for status. So if you qualified or requalified for status in 2022 (for the 2023 membership year), you must select your Delta Choice Benefit(s) by Jan. 31, 2023. And as discussed, benefits earned for the 2024 membership year will differ slightly from what’s on offer for the 2023 membership year.

When you achieve Delta Platinum Medallion status, you can select one Choice Benefit, and once you achieve Delta Diamond Medallion status, you can select another three Choice Benefits. You may make your selections by going to this page. It’s important to note that if you forget to make your choices by Jan. 31, you cannot make choices later.

Related: Which Delta Choice Benefit should you choose?

Delta Platinum Medallion

GEORGE ROSE/GETTY IMAGES

When you earn Platinum Medallion status, you can choose your first Choice Benefit:

  • Four Regional Upgrade Certificates.
  • 20,000 bonus SkyMiles.
  • Silver Medallion status for a friend.

Although these may all seem like great choices, they range significantly in value.

4 Regional Upgrade Certificates

Delta’s Regional Upgrade Certificates can be used on all paid published Main Cabin and Delta Comfort+ fares, except E (basic economy), on the same routes as Medallion Complimentary Upgrades, including all flights with first class and the domestic Delta One experience. Upgrade certificates are valid through the end of the Medallion year, so you must use them by Jan. 31, 2024.

Two of our favorite ways to use these certificates are on flights to Hawaii and on transcontinental flights with Delta One lie-flat seats. Since paid upgrades on these routes can cost anywhere from $500 to over $1,000, the total value of four RUCs is (conservatively) in the thousands of dollars.

20,000 bonus SkyMiles

TPG values SkyMiles at 1.41 cents, meaning that 20,000 SkyMiles will generally net you around $282 in value. However, this could be more or less valuable depending on how you redeem your SkyMiles.

Silver Medallion status for a friend

You can also use your Choice Benefit to gift Delta Silver Medallion status to a friend, family member or colleague. This can give another traveler free checked bags, upgrades and other benefits. At TPG, we value this low-tier elite status at $595 per year.

At the same time, if this person frequently travels with you on the same confirmation number (or PNR), they’ll already have access to most of your Delta Platinum Medallion benefits. For example, they can be upgraded with you to Comfort+ and domestic first class with higher upgrade priority.

Additionally, many of the perks of Delta Silver Medallion status, like one free checked bag and priority boarding, are already included with the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, so we recommend you avoid this Choice Benefit if the person you plan to gift status to has this credit card.

Related: The ultimate guide to Delta Choice Benefits

Delta Diamond Medallion

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

When you earn Diamond Medallion status, you can choose a second, third and fourth Choice Benefit:

  • Delta Sky Club membership.
  • Upgrade certificates.
  • 25,000 bonus SkyMiles.
  • Gold Medallion status for a friend.

These three Choice Benefits are in addition to the single Choice Benefit earned when requalifying for Delta Platinum Medallion status. Like with the Platinum annual Choice Benefits, the value of these ranges significantly. Note that you may only select upgrade certificates or Delta Sky Club access once, but all other benefits can be selected multiple times.

Delta Sky Club membership and guest options

Diamond Medallion members may select an individual Sky Club membership as one of their annual Choice Benefits.

Members can use one Choice Benefit for a Delta Sky Club individual membership, which includes unlimited Sky Club access. If you select this membership, you can bring up to two paid guests at a rate of $39 per guest per visit.

Alternatively, Diamond Medallions can give up two Choice Benefits for a yearlong Executive Sky Club membership. This membership allows members to bring up to two guests on every lounge visit, which can be useful for families or those who often travel with colleagues.

Alternatively, Diamond Medallion members with complimentary Delta Sky Club access from an eligible card (The Platinum Card® from American Express, Delta SkyMiles Reserve or Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card) have the option to select a Delta Sky Club guest pass. This includes unlimited Delta Sky Club access for up to two guests per visit when traveling with the cardmember.

Any of these can be a solid deal, but we recommend going with the Delta Sky Club guest pass. If you already have a credit card offering Sky Club access, this can be worth hundreds of dollars annually if you bring guests to the lounge with you regularly.

Upgrade certificates

Delta allows Diamond Medallion elite members to choose from three upgrade certificate allotments:

  • Four Global Upgrade Certificates.
  • Eight Regional Upgrade Certificates.
  • Two Global Upgrade Certificates and four Regional Upgrade Certificates.

Earning Diamond Medallion status is the only way to earn Global Upgrade Certificates, which can be worth thousands of dollars depending on how you redeem them. Even better, you can now see availability and apply upgrade certificates to new bookings online. Just note that you’ll have to call in to add to existing reservations for the time being.

Do note, however, that Delta changed how Global Upgrade Certificates work last year. Nowadays, these upgrade certificates will only let you confirm a one-cabin upgrade at booking. This means those booked in Main Cabin can only confirm an upgrade into Premium Select on three-cabin flights, and will be waitlisted for Delta One 24 hours before departure. However, those booking Premium Select can confirm an upgrade to Delta One at the time of booking so long as award space is available.

Delta upgrade chart
DELTA.COM

Additionally, Global Upgrade Certificates have last-seat access on upgrades from Main Cabin to Premium Select on international flights, and from Main Cabin to first class on domestic flights. In other words: If there’s an open seat in Premium Select or domestic first class, you can use your Global Upgrade Certificate to upgrade to it.

25,000 bonus SkyMiles

Again, TPG values SkyMiles at 1.41 cents, so 25,000 will generally give you around $352 in value. Assuming that you’ve used one choice on a batch of upgrade certificates and one on a Sky Club guest pass to pair with your eligible credit card, this is a solid bet for your third choice.

Gold Medallion status for a friend

TPG values Gold Medallion status at $1,870, and this is a great option for a close friend who doesn’t frequently travel on your itineraries. But again, if you frequently travel with your companion on the same PNR, several other perks like free checked bags and upgrades also extend to your travel companion. As a result, this option only makes sense if you gift it to someone who doesn’t usually travel with you.

Related: The ultimate guide to getting upgraded on Delta

How to select Delta Choice Benefits

You can select Delta Choice Benefits by logging in to your Delta account and heading to the Choice Benefits page. Then, click the red “Select Your Choice Benefits” link. You will then be taken to a page where you can pick your Choice Benefits for both Platinum and Diamond Medallion status.

Delta Choice Benefits page
DELTA.COM

Your Choice Benefits like upgrade certificates, Delta Sky Club memberships and bonus points will appear in your account shortly. You can view previous selections by navigating back to the Choice Benefits page.

Selecting Delta Choice benefits
DELTA.COM

Related: The ultimate guide to getting upgraded on Delta

Bottom line

You have through the end of the month to select your annual Delta Choice Benefit(s). Remember that you will lose out on this valuable perk if you do not select your Choice Benefit(s) by Jan. 31.

Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh.