I’ve been planning for several months to earn Delta Platinum Medallion status this year by spending $25,000 on my Delta Platinum Amex card. I picked up the Delta Reserve for Business card for one year and chose to downgrade it, specifically keeping it for this purpose. With the amount of rollover MQMs I have from the past two years, I will achieve Platinum Medallion simply through spend for the MQMs and MQD waiver.

Now, as I am $4,000 into the required spend, I am having second thoughts on continuing with this plan.

Upsides of Delta Platinum Medallion

Delta Platinum Medallion would provide the following benefits:

  • 9X Delta miles per $1 spent on Delta tickets (up from 5X as a General member)
  • Unlimited rollover MQMs
  • Comfort+ and First Class upgrades, with reasonably high priority
  • Waived same-day confirmed ticket change fees
  • Priority check-in, boarding, luggage, and all that jazz
  • SkyTeam Elite Plus status
  • One Choice Benefit

One of the things that has hit me, though, is that Main Cabin award tickets can be refunded for all members. This is a pandemic policy change that has stuck around. It used to be one of the primary perks of Platinum Medallion, as I could book awards on a whim and figure out later whether the trip would work for us. Now I can do that anytime.

Platinum Medallion doesn’t affect all the Delta vouchers that I have. If there was some extension benefit, that would be nice. But there isn’t. I have three vouchers that need to be used either this year or next year.

Really, it comes down to the value I place on upgrades and one Choice perk. Without a ton of Delta travel coming up, it makes me wonder if it would be better to focus spend on other cards.

Downsides of Typing up This Much Spend

When I had the ability to do a substantial (relatively speaking) amount of manufactured spend, putting $25,000 on a single card really wasn’t that much of an hurdle. However, I no longer have an easy option to do tens of thousands of dollars per year. So…$25,000 represents quite a bit of spend. I do some reselling, and am using that to help meet this spend. But this is at an opportunity cost.

I could switch the spend to my Hyatt card, which earns points worth marginally more. The other upside to spending on the Hyatt card is that I will likely need it to requalify for Globalist status. This would be a better choice. Hyatt status is worth much more than Delta status to me.

In terms of sheer points value, if I put spend on my Citi Double Cash card instead of the Delta Platinum card, I’d come out at least $200 further ahead (valuing Delta miles at 1.2 cents each, earned at a 1X rate), if not a whole lot more. I can transfer the Cash to flexible ThankYou points and use them in a variety of ways. Delta Platinum will likely be worth at least a few hundred dollars, points value aside.

Final Thoughts

It really comes down to what I value more. If I don’t qualify for Globalist, that would be a major bummer, and much more of a loss for 2023 than qualifying for airline status.

What would you do? How would you go about making card spending choices for the coming year?