New diamond, any advise for choice benefits ?

Old Dec 16, 17, 10:43 am
  #1  
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New diamond, any advise for choice benefits ?

I will be diamond soon (for the first time).

My situation:
I am base near YUL (Montreal, Canada).
Most of my flight is: with Air France (60%), with Delta (25%), other (15%).
I did not need take the Sky Club pass (all my flight include international flight (and access to lounge in the same time)).
I have very little need for regional upgrade (most of my regional flight with Delta is YUL-JFK (less than 1h), and YUL-DTW, before my international flight), and chance is very high to get upgrade anyway.

I switch from Flying Blue to Skymiles because:
#1 - Skymiles have a diamond status. (120% miles for distance flow on AF flight, vs 100% FB (and even less with the new $ base system).)
#2 - With skymiles I have access to ALL comfort+ seat (Delta) and all seat+ (AF). (Not with FB).
#3 - Choice benefits.

I want to have advise from diamond members, what choice benefits you have select ?
I will choice global upgrade for one of my 4 choice (3 D + 1 P).
At first "look" bonus miles look to be the best choice (compare to 200$ travel voucher) , 20K + 25K (x2) (for a total of 70K miles) ...

Any feedback?

Last edited by FBplatinum; Dec 16, 17 at 10:50 am
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Old Dec 16, 17, 12:30 pm
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Originally Posted by FBplatinum View Post
I will be diamond soon (for the first time).

My situation:
I am base near YUL (Montreal, Canada).
Most of my flight is: with Air France (60%), with Delta (25%), other (15%).
I did not need take the Sky Club pass (all my flight include international flight (and access to lounge in the same time)).
I have very little need for regional upgrade (most of my regional flight with Delta is YUL-JFK (less than 1h), and YUL-DTW, before my international flight), and chance is very high to get upgrade anyway.

I switch from Flying Blue to Skymiles because:
#1 - Skymiles have a diamond status. (120% miles for distance flow on AF flight, vs 100% FB (and even less with the new $ base system).)
#2 - With skymiles I have access to ALL comfort+ seat (Delta) and all seat+ (AF). (Not with FB).
#3 - Choice benefits.

I want to have advise from diamond members, what choice benefits you have select ?
I will choice global upgrade for one of my 4 choice (3 D + 1 P).
At first "look" bonus miles look to be the best choice (compare to 200$ travel voucher) , 20K + 25K (x2) (for a total of 70K miles) ...

Any feedback?
GUCs plus bonus miles appears to be the best choice. You could also gift Gold status to your SO (if applicable) if they fly but not enough for status.
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Old Dec 17, 17, 8:33 am
  #3  
 
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Don't make a rookie mistake like me a few years ago with GUC's.... don't actually select them until you know you have a flight you can attempt to use them. I got my first 4 right away after hitting DM the first time.
Then I didn't have international travel for 4 months. Then I did have something planned and waitlisted for 3 months. Then they didn't clear even at the gate... almost expired worthless.
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Old Dec 17, 17, 12:34 pm
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GUC's can be either great or miserable. I used 8 this year for 2 TATL's for my wife and myself. Our travel plans are flexible so in both instances I was able to call the DM line and work our trips into dates by giving the CSR a date range and trip duration. As bretthexum said, don't select them until you're ready to use them. The appear in your account very quickly (usually less than an hour) and if you're booking a trip that's in the future, it's unlikely that the availability will disappear in that time. If you're thinking of using them for close-in trips, I'd probably take a different choice.
I also agree with WWADS about the bonus miles and possibly gifted status. The miles are worth a minimum of $250 for 25,000 for PWM and even with devaluations I've been able to get at least $,02 cpm value for award tickets. I just booked award tickets for our kids for a family vacation, DTW-AMS-PRG-AMS-DTW in D1 Suites at $.019 CPM value, and the price was high because the dates weren't flexible. Gifted Status depends on your individual situation.
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Old Dec 17, 17, 8:12 pm
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GUCs for sure for your Diamond benefit. I believe you are able to select the same benefit. I have not done it yet, but if so, your second choice could be for the mix 2 GUCs and 2 RUC. For your third, would be a toss up between bonus miles or gifting Gold.
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Old Dec 17, 17, 9:00 pm
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Originally Posted by WWads View Post
GUCs plus bonus miles appears to be the best choice. You could also gift Gold status to your SO (if applicable) if they fly but not enough for status.



I agree with WWads' first suggestion of GUC + miles. That's what I always pick. Once I posted that anyone who did not pick GUC's is insane, but I quickly got replies from lots of FT'er who said, "Don't need 'em. don't want 'em." To my surprise, there are some FT'er who's life schedules preclude international travel, and there are other FT'er who just pay for biz class outright. Some people don't want to gamble that the GUC won't clear and they have to fly coach. So, the OP has to evaluate his travel needs and tolerance of international coach travel with respect to GUC's.

I do not pick RUC's for a few reasons. First, they are not a benefit out of Delta's pocket. All they do is shift upgrade priorities among medallions who are on an upgrade list for a particular flight. Second, I'm tired of agents mis-applying them. Third, there is an opportunity cost of 5,000 redeemable miles per RUC when one is used. This assumes four RUC's are picked in lieu of a 20,000 miles redeemable Plat pick. Of course, if one like to fly any of the DeltaOne transcons, then this analysis goes out the window, and one probably should take the RUC's.

I think any of the cash-equivalent picks are losers because I have no trouble getting 2 cents per mile of value versus paying for the ticket. My best redemption this year was four coach roundtrips from San Diego to Grand Junction, Colorado for 11,000 miles each. That is one pricey ticket for a cash purchase, and Grand Junction has some amazing nature and hiking opportunities even if one's relatives don't live there.

Skyclub picks are probably dumb, because who really uses them that much. I was mad when Delta no longer allowed me to guest my Plat wife into Skyclubs. But when you get down to it, I think I only spung for three $29 Delta Amex cc admissions for her in all of 2017. It would have been a really a waste to pick an Executive Skyclub membership. But there again, I don't know OP's travel pattern and the number of travel buddies he or she has.

Picking Gold status for a spouse is a total waste if the spouse always flies with the medallion because upgrade priority goes with the higher status person when two people are ticketed together. Of course, if the spouse flies a lot by herself or himself, then that's a different matter.
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Last edited by Bowgie; Dec 17, 17 at 9:08 pm
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Old Dec 24, 17, 12:17 am
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I would advise you to seek some advice.
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Old Dec 24, 17, 7:35 am
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jascp OP is likely a Francophone/French Canadian living outside of Montreal and French (not English) is likely his native language.
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Old Dec 24, 17, 10:29 am
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Originally Posted by KissFlyGoodbye View Post
GUCs for sure for your Diamond benefit. I believe you are able to select the same benefit. I have not done it yet, but if so, your second choice could be for the mix 2 GUCs and 2 RUC. For your third, would be a toss up between bonus miles or gifting Gold.
You can't take upgrades twice.
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Old Dec 24, 17, 11:29 pm
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Unfortunately, merely a long-term PM here, and likely To remain so for the near future. However, I wish there were a way Someone could “give me” GUCs...Would so happily trade 70,000 miles for them! If international travel is part of one’s life (as it is for my partner and me) the idea of being able to upgrade from coach for those long-haul flights to Asia instead of spending several hundred thousand Miles each is incredibly attractive. .
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Old Dec 25, 17, 12:48 am
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Originally Posted by KingBraden View Post
You can't take upgrades twice.
True, but you can make your PM pick separately. So you can choose GUCs for your DM benefit and RUCs for your PM benefit.
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Old Dec 25, 17, 9:14 am
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Just qualified for first time. Have lots of flexbility around scheduling so I think it make sense to go for 4x GUC and 2x 25,000 miles. Will select both the miles now and the GUC when i have specific redemption in mind -- I can do that right?
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Old Dec 25, 17, 2:26 pm
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Originally Posted by jascp View Post
I would advise you to seek some advice.
Go easy, itís likely the OPís first language is not English.
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Old Dec 26, 17, 4:04 pm
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So the GUCs are best value IF you can use them. If you fly AF most, be really careful of the terms of use (best to by DL marketed flight on AF/KLM and if you plan significantly ahead, you can often confirm them at booking). In fact it's just best to use them at the time of booking (via an agent on the phone).

For me, I usually do the $200 vouchers since they book as cash and count towards MQDs. But since you aren't US based, MQDs don't count so the miles might be best value as noted above.
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Old Dec 27, 17, 11:15 am
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Originally Posted by NOLAnwGOLD View Post
So the GUCs are best value IF you can use them. If you fly AF most, be really careful of the terms of use (best to by DL marketed flight on AF/KLM and if you plan significantly ahead, you can often confirm them at booking). In fact it's just best to use them at the time of booking (via an agent on the phone).

For me, I usually do the $200 vouchers since they book as cash and count towards MQDs. But since you aren't US based, MQDs don't count so the miles might be best value as noted above.
IIRC on AF GUCs only upgrade the TATL segments, not flights beyond CDG (plus, of course, any DL or DeltaConnection operated domestic and transborder connecting flights with FC).
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