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What Is the Value of Delta Platinum Medallion Status? [2024]

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Delta’s Platinum Medallion status is the third-highest tier in the SkyMiles Medallion program. Silver is the entry-level, followed by Gold, Platinum, and Diamond.

Platinum Medallion truly opens up a wealth of benefits to the traveler and significantly increases perks over the lower Gold or Silver levels.

Among the top benefits are unlimited priority complimentary upgrades, a selection of Choice Benefits, SkyTeam Elite Plus status, and more.

Let’s examine what it takes to earn Platinum Medallion status, the benefits that come with it (and how valuable they are), and how to maximize the status.

How To Earn Platinum Medallion Status

It’s not easy to earn Platinum status on Delta — comparatively, it’s equal to American AAdvantage’s Platinum Pro status or United MileagePlus’s Platinum status, which are mostly geared towards flyers who are heavy business travelers.

As of 2024, earning Delta elite status is solely dependent on Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs). To earn Delta Platinum Medallion status, you must earn $15,000 MQDs in a calendar year.

Delta Elite Status levels 2024
The Medallion-earning tiers. Image Credit: Delta

You can earn MQDs by flying with Delta (1 MQD per dollar spent on most Delta flights), having or spending certain co-branded Delta American Express credit cards, or spending money with Delta vacations (1 MQD per dollar spent).

Your Medallion year is valid from the day you earn it until January 31 of the following year, at which point benefits reset.

The Benefits of Platinum Medallion

Choice Benefits (Up to $300 Value)

Delta One 767 Seat
You can use your Choice Benefits to help you fly Delta One. Image Credit: Delta Air Lines

One of the unique things about Platinum Medallion status is Choice Benefits, which are benefit options you can choose from to fit your travel experience. Choice Benefits are only available to those who have met the status requirements and not those who had their status extended.

Platinum members can choose one of the following:

The regional upgrades allow you to confirm an upgrade in advance on an eligible Delta-operated flight that flies a domestic or “local international” flight. When upgrade space becomes available, you can apply your Regional Upgrade certificate to confirm the seat.

Redeeming 30,000 bonus SkyMiles generally gets you a one-way economy ticket in the U.S. or, depending on mileage sales, a round-trip ticket in some scenarios.

Usually, the gift of status is the least valuable perk, especially since, in this case, it will be Silver Medallion status, which doesn’t come with too many benefits.

There are many other options to consider, so consider your travel habits and choose what’s best for your situation.

Bonus Miles ($350)

When you’re a Platinum Medallion, you earn 9 miles for every mile you fly.

If you earned all your MQDs through spending with Delta, you would need to spend $15,000 in a calendar year, which would earn 135,000 SkyMiles a year just by spending that minimum amount. Roughly, you might anticipate earning a business class ticket to Europe for this price, give or take, since Delta uses dynamic pricing.

Unlimited Complimentary Upgrades ($600)

Delta Platinum Medallions receive an unlimited number of complimentary upgrades within the U.S. and on some international routes in Canada, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Here is the Delta chart explaining which services are upgradable and when per Delta:

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Here’s how Delta prioritizes upgrades:

  1. By Medallion status, the first and most important differentiator.
  2. By fare class, with costlier fare classes receiving priority over cheaper fares.
  3. By Million Miler status, giving priority to long-term Delta fliers.
  4. By cardholders of the Delta Reserve card, with cardholders receiving priority over non-cardholders.
  5. By Delta Corporate Travelers, when you include the Corporate Ticket Designator on the ticket.
  6. By spending, based on the total Medallion Qualification Dollars earned in the current calendar year.
  7. By the date and time of the upgrade request, the last and least important indicator.

As a Platinum Medallion, you’ll always take priority over travelers who are Gold or Silver Medallions.

Delta Food Spread
Platinum Medallions receive lots of complimentary upgrades, which means you’ll get to try lots of onboard meals! Image Credit: Delta Air Lines

Even on some key routes, such as transcontinental and other flights, many Platinum Elites report a high percentage of upgrades, which for many flyers is key in deciding whether or not elite status is worth pursuing. At the Platinum level, often the discussion lies in whether to jump up to Diamond Medallion, and that will be a personal decision based on whether earning the extra MQDs will be worth it.

Keep in mind Platinum Medallions get access to Comfort+ shortly after ticketing, so most Platinum members will already be in prime economy class seats to begin with. From there, you can request an upgrade to first class.

Delta hubs like Atlanta (ATL), Detroit (DTW), Los Angeles (LAX), Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) and Seattle (SEA) are often filled with higher-tier elites, so if possible, try to avoid connecting through major hubs during peak hours. Also, to increase your odds of being upgraded, choose either larger aircraft or routings that most businesspeople will not take. Delta.com will let you route through many different cities depending on your search results.

Hot Tip:

Delta often prices its domestic first class fares very reasonably. If you’re concerned that your upgrade may not clear, look at the price to purchase up into the premium cabin — it could be very cheap. 

Waived Baggage Charges ($250)

Delta Baggage Handler
Free checked bags are one of the many perks of Medallion status. Image Credit: Delta Air Lines

Platinum Medallions get baggage fees waived for members and up to 8 companions on the same reservation. Since baggage charges are $35 for the first checked bag, this is a huge savings, especially when traveling with multiple people. If you have 8 companions traveling, that’s a $280 savings.

Waived Same-Day Confirmed Fees ($300)

If used correctly, this benefit can be worth several hundreds of dollars throughout the year. Let’s say you have a meeting or other obligation that ends early, and you want to go home earlier. Using a same-day confirmed option, you can change onto this earlier flight at no additional cost as a Platinum Medallion.

Normally, this benefit costs $75, so it’s an expensive change if you don’t have elite status. As long as the same fare class is available on the new flight you want to move to, you can change at no additional cost. If you’re in first class, you can change to economy class with any fare class available.

As with most things, there are some restrictions. For example, you cannot change a flight that has a connection to one that is non-stop, as typically, non-stop flights are much more expensive than connecting ones. You also can’t change from a co-terminal. So, if you’re flying into JFK, you can’t change to LaGuardia (LGA).

Delta now provides complimentary changes to all tickets, with a change in fare difference applicable. If you aren’t able to confirm a flight using the same-day confirmed benefit, you can change your ticket without a penalty, and you only have to pay the fare difference. It’s worth keeping this in mind in case you aren’t able to use the elite benefit.

Bottom Line:

Same-day confirmed is based on availability so long as the same fare class is available within 24 hours of the new flight.

Waived Same-Day Standby Fees ($100)

Though same-day standby is now free for all passengers, you’ll have a better position on the waitlist than a non-status customer.

SkyPriority (Value Included in SkyTeam Elite Plus Benefits)

Delta Domestic First Class
The service onboard Delta is one of the best among the legacy airlines in the U.S. Image Credit: Delta Air Lines

No matter which class of service you’re traveling in, with SkyPriority, you’ll be able to move more efficiently throughout the airport process.

When you check in, you’ll have access to priority lines, which will allow you to speak with an agent faster and have your luggage checked quicker.

As you go through security at major airports, you will have priority security line access, which will allow you to access the screening process faster. Keep in mind that some smaller airports do not have this feature.

When you check a bag, it will be tagged with a priority sticker so it is among some of the first bags that come out to the luggage carousel.

Also, when you board the aircraft, you’ll receive SkyPriority boarding, which means you can board the plane after pre-boarding, Delta One, first class, Delta Premium Select, and Delta Comfort+, but before all economy class passengers.

Preferred Pricing on a CLEAR Membership ($40 Annually)

Speed through airport security with the help of CLEAR. Often, lines feeding into the TSA officer ID checkpoint can be long, especially at busy airports or during peak times.

CLEAR uses biometric technology so you can avoid the long wait to have your ID inspected. You simply walk up to the CLEAR kiosk, scan your fingerprints and boarding pass, and proceed directly into the security process by walking through the metal detector. The lines for CLEAR are almost always short, and there’s a really good chance you’ll beat out any folks walking through the traditional lines.

For Platinum Medallions, you can receive CLEAR for $149 annually, a $40 savings off of the traditional retail price. Delta has partnered with CLEAR to help make airport travel more seamless, and combined with your SkyPriority benefits, it’s one of the best airport experience combinations out there.

VIP Phone Line ($200)

As a Platinum Medallion, you can expect much faster service throughout your travels with Delta. This starts with the VIP phone line you have access to, where you can dial in and access one of Delta’s reservations agents faster than a Gold or Silver Medallion.

Being able to talk to a person is important, and in a day and age where more services are moving to apps and AI technology, having access to a human provides a personal touch. Not to mention, if your flight gets canceled or there’s some sort of other flight issue, you want to be able to get it resolved quickly. Being able to jump the queue in front of other people on the phone line is a tangible benefit you’ll appreciate.

Hot Tip:

These agents may not be able to pull any special favors or waive any mandatory fees, but there’s a fair amount of reports of that being done, so you’ll want to keep this in mind as you call in.

Priority Waitlisting ($100)

If you want to sit in the premium cabin but there are no seats available, Platinum Medallions receive priority waitlisting should a seat open up.

This is a great benefit for business travelers who are allowed to travel in business or first class, but who often may find these seats sold out at busy travel times during the year.

SkyTeam Elite Plus Status ($400)

Delta Sky Club employee check in
As a Platinum Medallion, you can access lounges on qualifying international itineraries. Image Credit: Delta Air Lines

SkyTeam has 2 levels for its alliance-wide benefits: Elite and Elite Plus. Platinum Medallions fall into the Elite Plus category, which includes the following benefits:

  • On sold-out flights, you can get a full-fare economy class seat at least 24 hours prior to departure
  • No matter which class of service you’re flying in, you can access all other SkyTeam partner airline lounges, and you can even bring 1 guest in with you.
  • Your baggage will be tagged with a priority tag and should come out on the carousel first
  • You can check extra bags at no charge, depending on the airline

These benefits are quite valuable, but keep in mind the same perks can also be earned at the Gold Medallion level. Probably the most valuable of the SkyTeam Elite Plus perks is the ability to access all partner lounges no matter the class of service you’re flying, which makes flying even the longest of flights tolerable.

Bottom Line:

The biggest benefit of SkyTeam Elite Plus is lounge access on all international itineraries.

Hertz Status ($200)

Since airline frequent flyer program elites tend to also rent cars frequently, Delta has teamed up with Hertz to offer Platinum Medallions President’s Circle status, one of the highest tiers within the Hertz Rewards program.

Top benefits of President’s Circle include the widest selection of cars, a dedicated phone line, free additional drivers, and complimentary upgrades depending on availability.

Here are the benefits, according to Hertz:

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Delta Vacations Savings (Value Depends on How Much You Purchase)

This benefit is the same no matter which Delta elite tier you are but is exclusive to Medallion members.

When you book a Delta Vacations package, you can save up to $300 depending on how much you spend:

  • $25 savings on vacations up to $1,499
  • $75 savings on vacations of $1,500 to $3,999
  • $125 savings on vacations of $4,000 to $6,999
  • $250 savings on vacations of $7,000 or more

Luggage Tags ($10)

Delta Baggage Claim
Let your bag stand out on the carousel with a Medallion luggage tag from Delta. Image Credit: Delta Air Lines

Like all Medallion levels, you will receive luggage tags each year you qualify, which you can put on all your bags to show off your status and loyalty to Delta.

Reclaim My Status ($300)

Reclaiming your status is one of Delta’s most unique features, and depending on the situation, it can be immensely valuable.

Let’s say you’re a heavy business traveler who travels often for work, but you have a death in the family. Naturally, your travel may start to slow down and you may not be able to keep up with the requirements of status.

Delta has designed a mechanism for you to reclaim your status if you lose it, which allows you to get back to your most recent highest status while participating in a challenge.

You can participate in Reclaim My Status as long as you have some sort of valid reason for not flying as much — which could be a death in the family, a job change, pregnancy, or a host of other valid reasons. You provide proof of this circumstance for Delta to review and approve. Assuming everything checks out, you’re then given status for a trial period and have to fly enough to continue to earn status.

For Platinum Medallions, you need to earn $3,750 MQDs during your 3-month probationary period.

Once you complete this challenge, your status continues for the remainder of the status year. You can then get back on track and continue to earn Medallion status for years to come, even though you may have had an interruption due to a life event.

Final Thoughts

Delta’s Platinum Medallion is where you really start to feel like an upper-tier elite in the Delta SkyMiles program. Your upgrades will clear a sizable chunk of the time, you’ll have a Choice Benefit to choose from, and you’ll be able to access lounges through the SkyTeam Elite Plus program, among other benefits.

Using most benefits would result in approximately $3,110 worth of value a year.

When you add in the SkyTeam alliance benefits, such as lounge access, Platinum is a worthwhile status to go along with Delta’s very reliable operations and strong network.

For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Delta Platinum Medallion?

Delta Platinum Medallion is the second-highest tier in Delta’s Medallion elite program. It’s considered an upper-tier status level, which includes various perks and benefits for those who earn $15,000 Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) but do not meet the $28,000-MQD threshold for top-tier Diamond status.

What are the benefits of Delta Platinum?

There are a lot of benefits to Platinum Medallion, including:

  • A Choice Benefit that can be miles, regional upgrades, gifting Silver status, a travel voucher
  • Unlimited complimentary upgrades
  • Waived baggage fees
  • Same-day change fees waived
  • Same-day standby fees waived
  • SkyPriority
  • Exclusive CLEAR pricing
  • VIP phone line
  • Priority waitlisting
  • SkyTeam Elite Plus
  • Hertz President’s Circle
  • Luggage tags

Does Delta Platinum Medallion get lounge access?

Delta Platinum Medallion comes with Sky Team Elite Plus, which grants lounge access on all international itineraries. If you’re flying out of the U.S. to an international destination (other than Mexico, Canada, and other select local countries), you can receive lounge access at any SkyTeam lounge or Delta Sky Club. If you’re traveling internationally from abroad, you can also access any SkyTeam lounge or Delta Sky Club.

What is Delta Platinum worth?

In our estimation, combining all of the benefits, perks, and fee waivers, we believe you can get approximately $3,110 worth of value every year. Of course, if you tend not to utilize all perks, you can expect less value, and if you fly a lot, especially on long international trips, you’ll get value out of Platinum status.

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About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.

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