I posted a few weeks ago that I had earned SkyMiles Platinum Medallion status. We all know that SkyMiles is not the world’s most usable loyalty program, but from the perspective of a guy who lives in Atlanta, places a high level of value on an airline that actually operates, and values the level of care that comes with elite status, I have to say that Platinum Medallion has been a very positive experience for me. Granted, six flights doesn’t necessarily constitute a reliable sample, but I’ve upgraded on five of six, been proactively protected when delays hit, and my one call center experience was top-notch too. I need to run a few tests on award availability, but I’ll get to that in due time.

In truth, between my current flying levels, the ability to earn Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) from credit card spending, and my now being at 85,000 MQMs for the year, I have a decision to make. Right now, I will continue to focus on adding to my MQM balance, but sometime in December, I am going to have to consider something. With only 40,000 MQMs to go to Diamond Medallion status, it is entirely possible I could hit Diamond this year. Let me rephrase that. Assuming my current flying patterns continue through the remainder of the year, I will hit Diamond Medallion this year.

I’m sure I would love Diamond Medallion. If the level of care exceeds that of Platinum Medallion, and I know it does, then I would certainly get used to being Diamond. It also strikes me as one of those things that is much like being better to have never had money than to have had it and lost it. 🙂 The thing about Platinum Medallion (and elite status in general for me) is that I want it to be not only attainable, but also maintainable. I can easily maintain Platinum Medallion, but I am less enthusiastic that I can maintain Diamond Medallion beyond 2014.

The new Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD) requirements are not an issue because I receive a waiver thanks to spending $25,000 annually on my Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express. I’m just not certain I’ll be flying enough to maintain Diamond after next year. On the other hand, given one of the big benefits of Medallion status is rollover MQMs, I could stop just short of Diamond, and rollover a not so insignificant amount of MQMs towards maintaining Platinum. #FirstWorldProblems. In the end, my mind is not made up. I may just decide that it really is better to have tried something rather than never have had it all. More in December.

-MJ, September 16, 2013