Delta Now Lets SkyMiles Members Earn Lifetime Diamond Status

Delta has offered up to lifetime Platinum status (’75k tier’), along with an annual gift, for million milers. Now they’ve introduced lifetime Diamond status at the 6 million mile level, including qualifying miles from all sources (including spend on premium credit cards).

  • Silver: one million lifetime qualifying miles
  • Gold: two million lifetime qualifying miles
  • Platinum: four million lifetime qualifying miles
  • Diamond six million lifetime qualifying miles

Six million is a TON. Diamond status takes 125,000 qualifying miles, so that’s 48 years of Diamond at minimum qualifying levels.

In contrast United Airlines offers the richest lifetime elite status. Despite reneging on lifetime club memberships (restricting access to travel on United even for lifetimeUnited offers up to lifetime members living in Cleveland that’s no longer a hub) and reneging on annual confirmed upgrades for lifetime elites, United lets members earn lifetime Global Services at 4 million miles. Delta’s comparable 360 status isn’t a lifetime option, and their equivalent of 1K is earned with 50% more qualifying miles (though again, credit card qualifying miles count).

This leaves an even starker difference in lifetime options between Delta and American, however. American’s lifetime elite status is the weakest.

American’s status tops out at the second level out of four (and really, five), and even lifetime Platinums are generally below current Platinums for ugprades because of prioritization based on rolling 12 month spend (what have you done for me lately?). US Airways before it only ever begrudgingly offered lifetime Silver status at 1 million flown miles. And even the passengers from US Airways flight 1549 only got elite status for the rest of that same membership year.

(HT: Eye Of The Flyer)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. As a Lifetime Platinum, I feel like AA stabbed me in the back when they watered down platinum status by adding platinum pro to the mix. I am no longer loyal to AA. For short haul I go with the cheapest ticket. For long haul I buy a premium ticket with any airline except American. 4 million miles on AA was a complete waste.

  2. This is nothing more than a PR stunt. Very few, if anyone, will achieve this. I do 200-225,000 miles a year: I would have to do that for 30 years. I doubt Delta or Sky Miles will even be here in 30 years.

  3. AA’s is weak for a reason… prior to 2011 it was relatively easy to hit Platinum for life. Now you have a bunch of people already at 2M-3M miles. The only way to do it is draw a line in the sand and say miles earned from 2012 forward count towards Plat Pro or Exp for life unless they can go back into their archives to find the “true” miles flown prior to 2011.

  4. Unfortunately, AA is not competitive at all when it comes to lifetime status. As mentioned above , lifetime Platinum holds little value with the introduction of Platinum Pro. AA really needs to offer lifetime Platinum Pro for 3 million lifetime miles . @gary – perhaps you can reach out to AA execs and get an interview regarding this subject .

  5. Wait, if I spend 6 million dollars on premium cards I’ll have lifetime Diamond status? That sounds too good to be true.

  6. You forgot to mention that UA’s qualification is based on pure BIS miles ONLY on UA metal. No class of service bonus, no other bonuses, no credit from partner-operated flights etc. Delta counts MQMs which can be earned in many other ways (including class of service bonus, partner flights etc). And this year’s Status Accelerator MQMs count as well..

  7. As mentioned already, AA devalued Lifetime Platinum with the introduction of Platinum Pro. I guess that’s loyalty is rewarded. At something like 5.6 million lifetime AA miles and no avenue to lifetime ExecPlat, I sometimes wonder why I keep flying them….

  8. As a former loyal NWA flyer, following the Delta merger I was pissed: NWA lifetime was flown miles, and at that time Delta lifetime was flown plus all bonus miles (of any type).
    My 1MM status was worth squat.
    I would not be surprised if Delta just created a shit-ton of lifetime diamonds.

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