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Amex Centurion Delta Platinum status is downgraded for 2015

by on Wed October 29, 2014 • 4 Comments

The blows for the Centurion Card from American Express (known popularly as the ‘black’ Amex) keep coming.

It was once a great way to get airline elite status without flying, including Continental Gold, US Airways Platinum, Virgin Gold, and Delta Platinum Medallion status over the years.

Today, just US Airways Platinum and Delta Platinum status remain, and US Airways status will end on March 1, 2015.

But Cardholders have been recently notified that the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Medallion status benefit will change.

Instead of getting the full Platinum status earned by those who fly 75,000 miles a year on Delta, Centurion cardholders are being downgraded to ‘complimentary’ Platinum Elite status.

So if you have a Centurion card it means effective with the elite year that starts March 1, 2015 you will lose:

  • The Platinum Medallion bonus on miles earned by flying, which is an 80% bonus on miles earned
  • The ‘Choice Benefits’ which include a choice of 4 regional upgrade certificates, 20,000 bonus miles, 4 SkyClub passes, or the gift of Silver Medallion status. However, if you fly 8 segments on Delta you’ll be eligible to earn the Choice benefits.

These benefits are worth hundreds of dollars a year and make it harder to justify the $2,500 annual fee of the card.

In fairness, we are surprised these benefits were offered with the Platinum Medallion status to begin with, as they are meant to reward truly frequent fliers on Delta. And of course if you actually earn 75,000 qualifying miles a year by flying Delta you’ll have access to full earned status.

But combined with the coming loss of US Airways Platinum Preferred status on the same date next year thanks to the merger with American Airlines, it’s a big blow to the value proposition.

The solace for Amex is that no other card offers any kind of elite status on a major U.S. airline with no flying required.

But is watered down Delta Platinum status alone worth the price?

That’s for you to decide after reviewing other recent changes to the Centurion Card. The only real upgrade this year has been the addition of Hertz Platinum status, as well as the opening of more Centurion Lounges at airports, though those are accessible with the much cheaper $450 per year Platinum Card.


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4 thoughts on Amex Centurion Delta Platinum status is downgraded for 2015

  1. Derek

    I have been a Centurion member for 5 years and will not be renewing because of these changes. Every year like clockwork I was getting my Delta choice benefits in January, as well as earning high bonuses. Unfortunately, I will no longer be flying Delta either as their representatives literally told me over the phone that my “watered down” version of Platinum medallion was useless now because even the complimentary upgrade’s essentially NO LONGER EXIST for this kind of Platinum medallion because it now holds the same “power” as silver medallion. This means that on any semi-busy flight, I will rarely get upgraded since I am now behind all Gold/Platinum/Diamond members and behind any Silver members with higher class fare! Delta is no longer my airline.


      @Derek – Sorry to hear about that. Though strange that the complimentary upgrade priority is lower for this version of Platinum. Have you experienced that personally? If not, would call to double check because we haven’t heard reports the upgrade priority is any different. Just that you no longer receive the Choice Benefits and mileage bonus.

  2. Eric

    Even with downgrade, would you be able to spend $60k/yr on Delta Reserve Amex card and stack up 30k MQM and add 20k MQM to become qualified for Diamond at 125k MQM ?


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