How to avoid Diamond (can I remove SM #)?

Old Jun 14, 18, 2:28 pm
  #1  
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How to avoid Diamond (can I remove SM #)?

Hi Folks- I have a question that is a bit of the opposite of what most people post about. Rather than looking for ways to gain more miles, I am seeking some advice on how to avoid them! (I know, it's odd).

For the past few years, I comfortably make Platinum completely thanks to rollover miles. It is just the right and consistent mileage earning level for me year after year. And I'm completely happy with Plat (the only 2 benefits I need and use are the priority phone line and the ability to redeposit award miles). I adhere to WFBF so do not depend on upgrades.

The situation I'm in this year is that I rolled over a lot of miles last year and had more European travel this year than in most years. When my Delta Amex extra award MQMs rolled in, I realized that I'm going to go into Diamond this year. But if I do, I'll have almost no rollover miles. And that probably means that I will fall short of Plat the following year. Yet all of my tickets through the end of the year are already purchased and have my SM number attached to them.

Does anyone here know if I can call Delta (or go on DL.com) and remove my sky miles numbers from my existing itineraries? Will I loose TSA pre-check for those flights? And is there any reason why I couldn't be honest with a phone agent about why I am doing this? I imagine Delta wouldn't care if someone prefers NOT earn miles, but maybe I'm missing something that they would be displeased with such a request.

Thanks for any advice!
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Old Jun 14, 18, 2:34 pm
  #2  
 
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You may want to consider opening a FlyingBlue account or something like that and having them add that number to the reservations you don't want to earn DL miles on. As long as your known traveler number stays in the record you should keep PreCheck. I think this is totally fine, you can choose what program you want to earn miles in for a given flight.
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Old Jun 14, 18, 2:37 pm
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Originally Posted by NHFL9 View Post
You may want to consider opening a FlyingBlue account or something like that and having them add that number to the reservations you don't want to earn DL miles on. As long as your known traveler number stays in the record you should keep PreCheck. I think this is totally fine, you can choose what program you want to earn miles in for a given flight.
A KTN has nothing to do with a FF number.
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Old Jun 14, 18, 2:41 pm
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Originally Posted by mnbp View Post
A KTN has nothing to do with a FF number.
Well, if you book a flight on a third party website (OAL, OTA, etc.), the KTN that's stored in your Delta.com profile wouldn't be linked with your reservation. Which is to say, be sure you enter your KTN when booking the flight.
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Old Jun 14, 18, 2:44 pm
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Will you also hit the MQD threshold? Thatís what always saves me from this situation as Iíve ended a couple of years with more than 125MQMs but was short of $15k MQDS...

I know you can remove your SM number from a reservation, but be sure youíve selected seats (C+), before doing so because they wonít recognize your status once the number is removed. I donít think youíll lose your previously selected seats.

Similarly, youíll be charged for baggage on domestic flights without your SM number attached (though a check-in agent can waive for you if you ask nicely).
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Old Jun 14, 18, 3:00 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by S_D_P View Post
Hi Folks- I have a question that is a bit of the opposite of what most people post about. Rather than looking for ways to gain more miles, I am seeking some advice on how to avoid them! (I know, it's odd).

For the past few years, I comfortably make Platinum completely thanks to rollover miles. It is just the right and consistent mileage earning level for me year after year. And I'm completely happy with Plat (the only 2 benefits I need and use are the priority phone line and the ability to redeposit award miles). I adhere to WFBF so do not depend on upgrades.

The situation I'm in this year is that I rolled over a lot of miles last year and had more European travel this year than in most years. When my Delta Amex extra award MQMs rolled in, I realized that I'm going to go into Diamond this year. But if I do, I'll have almost no rollover miles. And that probably means that I will fall short of Plat the following year. Yet all of my tickets through the end of the year are already purchased and have my SM number attached to them.

Does anyone here know if I can call Delta (or go on DL.com) and remove my sky miles numbers from my existing itineraries? Will I loose TSA pre-check for those flights? And is there any reason why I couldn't be honest with a phone agent about why I am doing this? I imagine Delta wouldn't care if someone prefers NOT earn miles, but maybe I'm missing something that they would be displeased with such a request.

Thanks for any advice!
You should easily accomplish this online on your own. Just log into your account and go to trip details and scroll down to the passenger information section. There should be a "Remove" clickable link next to the SkyMiles number. Just remember to jot down the confirmation number so that you easily track down your itinerary as you are checking in.
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Old Jun 14, 18, 3:19 pm
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It would suck to not get SOME kinda credit for your miles flown. I like the idea of booking through an ST member site and applying those mileage / dollar credits to an FB account, keeping the two distinct.

To just give them up and get ZIP seems a little extreme.

I get the rollover thing, but with Amex waivers and MQM thresholds, along with your flying, why not just begrudgingly accept Diamond status this year and, properly managed, you should be a shoe-in with waivers and whatnot for PM next year. Also, you'll get GUCs and SC access (assuming you don't already have it via other means) or add free guests if you already have it.

I know, you've already thought of all this. ;-)
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Old Jun 14, 18, 3:53 pm
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Did you already take the bonus MQMs from AMEX? You could gift them to someone else if you haven't put them in your account yet.

Other than that, I second both 1) the question of you hitting $15k MQDs and 2) credit to another SkyTeam account.
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Old Jun 14, 18, 5:12 pm
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I want to say booking on Delta and crediting to FB still gets you distance based redeemable miles multiplied by something like 25% to 150% depending on fare class. So if you normally book more expensive fare classes (and discussion over on FB board seems to indicate a sweet spot on paid Delta Comfort+ bookings) you might be pleasantly surprised at what your FB miles can be redeemed for.
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Old Jun 14, 18, 6:03 pm
  #10  
 
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Just to add one alternative voice... are you sure you don't want to qualify for Diamond? I assume you would still qualify for Gold next year, which means the only thing you are really losing is the award redeposit (Gold still has okay phone line priority - probably not materially worse than Platinum).

For making Diamond, at a minimum you will get more miles per dollar spent next year, as well as 75000 SkyMiles from Choice Benefits (assuming you do not want to use the RUC/GUCs - your upgrade chances with a RUC are high and may allow you to avoid buying F). That's anywhere from $750-$1000 worth of value - do you really do award redeposits so much that you would get more from that?
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Old Jun 14, 18, 7:53 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by TommyD2 View Post
Did you already take the bonus MQMs from AMEX? You could gift them to someone else if you haven't put them in your account yet.

Other than that, I second both 1) the question of you hitting $15k MQDs and 2) credit to another SkyTeam account.
You can only give away MQMs from a Reserve card, not from the DL AmEx Plat credit card, and in fact on the Reserve card, you can't gift the welcome MQMs, only the 15,000 MQMs you get with $30,000 spend (up to twice per year, or three times this year for targeted people).

Also, you need to log into your account and direct them elsewhere by the deadline or they'll fall into your account automatically.
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Old Jun 14, 18, 8:21 pm
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An interesting mix of good and not so good advice.

Question - If you don't keep the AMEX Award MQM's for yourself but could 'bank them' with someone who doesn't need them and who you could trust or enter into an agreement who would gift theirs to you next year, would that solve your problem? There are many DM's who'll finish the year with over 125K rollover and you'd just have to find someone who you could check out and be comfortable with.

Crediting them to another SkyMiles account such as FB is probably the same as throwing them away. You won't accumulate enough to be of any great use and they'll expire unused. The person who implievantage in terms of what's creditedd that you'd have to book with the other carrier is 100% incorrect. You can book them with DL if you want to. That can be an advantage if you have connecting flights since DL is responsible for you and if you have a problem you can either call or Skype the DM desk for help. It can be a disad

GUC's are great - IF you have scheduling flexibility. f you don't, they can be difficult to use. I use them on $400-500 RT TATL's every year.

If your SO isn't GM or above and you travel on other SkyTeam carriers in Europe, use a Choice Benefit to gift them GM for ST+ benefits such as Club admissions on Int'l itins, baggage allowances, boarding, C+ seats, etc.

Lastly, you can always do an MR next year to make up for the lack of rollover. Turning them into an unexpected long weekend can be a lot of fun. My wife tells folks about all the great F and J MR's she went on such as 3 Alaska trips, JFK-LAX-SLC-ONT for a Santa Monica Anniversary trip with an ONT-SEA-JFK return. She even contemplated doing a JFK-MEX-SCL-MEX-JFK trip on AM with me - more than the 2 hour turn, maybe 3-4 days in SCL.

You have many, many options. Just open your mind to the possibilities.

I'd recommend going to DM and worrying about next year, next year. I think that once you're there, you won't go back. If you want more detail including how to do a financial analysis of PM vs.DM, or anything else, just PM me.

I can tell you from experience that the first year after the DM is a little tough re-qualifying but after that you start to build up rollover, maybe get a second AMEX Card and soon you're in the over 125K rollover group with no pressure.

Good luck.
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Old Jun 15, 18, 7:14 am
  #13  
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Hey- I want to thank everyone for these really thoughtful and useful responses to my question- I really appreciate it.
I had not thought of applying the miles to my FB (or AZ) accounts- I fly on both regularly and can always slide my AmEx membership rewards points to those carries. That seems to be my best option.
And a few of you make a good point about just making Diamond and dealing with being Gold the following year. . .it's always fun to move up, but never pleasant sliding back!
Thanks again everyone for your time.
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Old Jun 15, 18, 11:31 am
  #14  
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I would strongly consider the earn DM/mileage run for PM next year approach. It's so hard to predict travel patterns far in advance as you have learned this year, and DM is really a big step up over PM.

You may find that you'll organically earn PM next year or be close enough to justify a mileage run. I find that with FF programs, a bird in hand is quite valuable.
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Old Jun 15, 18, 1:39 pm
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by ethernal View Post
Just to add one alternative voice... are you sure you don't want to qualify for Diamond? I assume you would still qualify for Gold next year, which means the only thing you are really losing is the award redeposit (Gold still has okay phone line priority - probably not materially worse than Platinum).
Not true. The really big difference, IMO as a GM, is not getting C+ until T-72. That's huge. Also, if you fly VS, the really good benefits are limited to PM/DM.
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