Most airlines offer some sort of lifetime elite status for especially loyal flyers, though the value of the status and the qualification requirements vary by airline. I’ve written in the past about the Delta SkyMiles lifetime elite status program, which offers elite status for life plus a gift.
Delta recently revamped its gift selection for Million Milers, so in this post I wanted to take a look at Delta’s selection, as it’s quite thoughtful.
What are the benefits of Delta Million Miler status?
Delta has six published lifetime elite status recognition tiers:
- With Delta One Million Miler status you receive Silver Medallion status for life, plus a gift
- With Delta Two Million Miler status you receive Gold Medallion status for life, plus a gift
- With Delta Three Million Miler status you receive a gift
- With Delta Four Million Miler status you receive Platinum Medallion status for life, plus a gift
- With Delta Five Million Miler status you receive a gift
- With Delta Six Million Miler status you receive Diamond Medallion status for life, plus a gift
For context on qualifying for Million Miler status, Delta includes all Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) that you earn in the program toward Million Miler status. This includes MQMs earned through flying Delta, through flying eligible partner airlines, and even MQMs earned through rewards on Delta Amex Cards.
The five Delta Million Miler gift choices
Shortly after you qualify for Million Miler status with Delta, you should receive an email congratulating you on your achievement. For example, if you earn One Million Miler, you’ll be congratulated for achieving Silver Medallion status for life.
In addition to that, you’ll have the option to select a gift of your choice. You can make your selection within 90 days of achieving Million Miler, and if you don’t make a selection within that timeframe, you’ll be sent a pre-selected gift.
Back in the day you could select from items from Samsonite, Tiffany & Co., or Tumi, though in 2022 Delta revamped its gift selection for Million Miler. Someone who just qualified for One Million Miler shares the gift choices, so I figured OMAAT readers might be interested in seeing these as well. I’d say the new choices are a significant upgrade over the old choices.
So, what are the options? Here they are, in no particular order…
$1,000 Delta eGift Card
The first gift choice — and the easiest to value — is a $1,000 Delta eGift Card. I think this is pretty self explanatory, as it can used toward Delta flights, and doesn’t have an expiration date.
Delta Airbus A350 aircraft model
The next gift choice is one that avgeeks might like, and it’s a 1:100 scale Delta Airbus A350 model. This can even be customized with a plaque, displaying your name and your Million Miler tier. It’s hard to put an exact value to this without knowing who produces it, but most 1:100 scale Delta A350 models cost anywhere from $250 to $600.
Delta heritage logos
Delta really thought of avgeeks with its Million Miler gift choices, as the next option is a wall plaque featuring Delta’s heritage logos. All of Delta’s logos over the years are on a silver-finished aluminum plate, and you can even add a plaque showing your Million Miler status plus your name.
The next gift choice is a ROYCE backpack, with a design that’s exclusively for Delta. This can be customized with monogrammed initials, as well as a luggage tag depicting Delta’s widget logo. Again, it’s hard to know exactly how much this is worth since it’s customized for Delta, but it seems most comparable ROYCE backpacks go for around $500.
Delta wine & glassware
The last Million Miler gift choice is a special wine set. This includes a Delta slide top box containing an etched bottle of either cabernet or chardonnay, plus Million Miler glassware. The wine bottles (Far Niente Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon or Far Niente Napa Valley Chardonnay) seem to retail for $50-100, but of course many will appreciate the Delta customization.
Which Delta Million Miler gift is best?
There’s no right or wrong answer as to which of these gifts is the best option. I will say that in general the $1,000 Delta gift card probably has the highest cash value, as it’s worth around face value. The other gifts are going to be worth at most around half of that, but admittedly what you can’t put a price to is how nicely they’ve customized these options for avgeeks.
For example, it would probably be hard to argue that the Delta heritage logos plaque is worth over $1,000. At the same time, if you’re a big fan of the Delta brand and you’ve spent countless years flying regularly with the airline, the sentimental value of that can be huge.
Not only do Delta Million Milers receive elite status for life when qualifying for this threshold, but they can also select a gift. Delta recently overhauled the gift selection, and I have to say that the choices are pretty cool.
At a minimum, you can select a $1,000 Delta eGift Card. However, if you’d prefer a more sentimental option, you can select a cool model airplane, a plaque with heritage logos, a Delta backpack, or Delta branded wine.
What’s your take on Delta’s Million Miler gifts, and which would you choose?
I'm taking the Delta Heritage Logos wall plaque. I don't need a $1,000 e-credit or leather backpack. The other two gifts (bottle of wine & model airplane) are of zero interest.
Who came up with the choices? They should all be an equivalent value, but they clearly are not.
It is NOT lifetime status for any of the levels. It is complimentary annual status.
I really liked my Tiffany necklace as a 1 million mile flier. The only gift noted here of interest to me would be the $1,000 credit
I hit 1MM on Aug 2020. About a year later I received a plastic tchotchke and a $200 e credit I would have liked a different option.
They forced me into a Covid bullshit $250 gift certificate for 1 million miler accomplishment and didn’t even save it in my app wallet in an apparent effort for you to lose tract of it and fail to use it. Great job Delta!
Just crossed 4MM in March. Gifts are disappointing. The one upgrade we will say is the delta gift card is for $1750.00. I miss the Tiffany and high end gifts for this and the choice rewards. The choice rewards are all Delta stuff.
I ended up with the plaque...the reason is that I hit 1 million during the pandemic and they suspended the program before I could order luggage option. Then when the re-instated the program I had to reach out to ask them to re-activate my option. They did...BUT they only allowed me the choice of the plaque or cheap wine & glasses. I would absolutely have selected the GC had I been able to pick anything.
To me as a 2MM now retired road warrior the most disappointing part of lifetime gold is that to get to a year of platinum I start at zero. Would be nice to start at 50k as a gold. So for me I end up as a free agent. I get the same benefit for flying Delta for 0-74999 MQM each year. Better to be gold equivalent at two airlines rather than one. Definitely a what have you done for me lately feel from Delta.
Sadly Delta is leading the way on devaluing Gold status.
Disappearing Elite Plus benefit like this, within 10 years Gold is the new Silver.
It’s like the prize at the bottom of Cracker Jack boxes. Just better.
I went with the Tim Dunn bobblehead and pom poms.
I recently picked my 2MM reward. It included the same choices minus the $1000 gift card - go figure!
When I achieved my MM in 1996, my thank you gift was a small Tiffany analog alarm clock. For whatever reason it stopped working a few months later. Nevertheless it still sits on my night table next to my 50 year old working digital alarm clock.
I have to say those gifts seem pretty cheap for a MM. Does the gift increase in value the higher MM are flown.
I got the Tumi rolling bag back in 2017 when I reached 1MM. It’s held up very well. I’m expecting 2MM by early-mid 2024 so i’ll be happy to take the $1000.
Hey Ben. I just passed three million miles in late 2022 (I estimate) and did not even notice until was over 3.1 million. I did not hear from Delta and never received an automatic gift (since I clearly surpassed the thirty day limit). Previous cycles include a Tiffany necklace for my wife and Hartmann spinner carryon luggage (these were two of 4 choices). This time, not a peep from the airlines. So much for recognition and gratitude.
Became a Million Miler in fall 2022 and received a $250 Delta gift card in the mail with a small glass sculpture and two luggage tags. No choice was offered. Would love to had a $1000 option.
Personally to me, I would prefer my million miler gift to be a memory of the milestone, since there isn't anything to look forward with a lifetime status that can get devalued anytime.
Something like a framed last published 'award chart' would be a nice reminder of my loyalty.
Who cares about heritage logos, I'm PMNW Pepsi. Not those ATL Coke suckers.
I got status years ago and can't even recall what I got. Obviously forgettable. Of the current choices, only an idiot would choose anything but the gift card if they continue to fly Delta.
I reached a million during the pandemic. 9 months later, after asking, received a gift card. No idea of the value until redeemed. Can't be loaded into sky miles account. Not what I would have chosen but I was given no choice
Struggling to choose between all the Million Miler gift options might be the biggest First World Problem ever
When I achieved Million Miler status about 10 years ago, there was no choice, they sent you a Hartmann roll aboard bag. It was high quality, I just recently had to have one of the wheels replaced after 10 years or so of heavy usage. So I’ve been happy with it. Of the current gift choices, I’d go for the 1000$ gift card.
You have the calculation on how much I would need to spend on Delta's card's to get lifetime status?
With a Delta Reserve AMEX, you get 15k MQMs for every 30k spend. So you need 1M MQMs for Million Miler obviously, so you'd need to spend 30k 66.67 times, which would be just slightly over $2,000,000 in spending.
With a Delta Reserve AMEX, you get 15k MQMs for every 30k spend. So you need 1M MQMs for Million Miler obviously, so you'd need to spend 30k 66.67 (67) times, which would be just slightly over $2,000,000 ($2,010,000) in spending.
Keep in mind that the personal and business Delta Reserve AMEX MQM spending bonus caps out at $120,000 or 60,000 MQMs per year. Assuming that you have both cards and spend $120,000 on each for a total of $240,000, you could earn at most 120,000 MQMs per calendar year. That would take you 8 1/3 years to reach 1 million.