Delta’s annual Choice Benefits for Platinum and Diamond Medallion members are one thing Delta will never remind you to redeem.
The Systemwide Upgrades seem appealing until you read the fine print. Some that are able and willing to meet the fare class restrictions find value in them. I have never tried.
I redeem for the Gifted Medallion Status and Bonus Miles. After my parents were taken care of with 2013 Gold from my wife and I, I had a look at the 2014 Choice Benefits for which I have already qualified. I was giving Gold to a friend and he turned up in research that:
Gifting Silver or Gold Medallion Status to a Companion: Gifted complimentary Medallion status will be effective within 2 weeks and membership credentials should arrive within 3 weeks. For selections made for 2013 Choice Benefits, companion status is good through February 28, 2014; for selections made for 2014 Choice Benefits, companion status is good through February 28, 2015.
For you super-elites that are qualified for 2014, think carefully about how your farm out your gifts, taking this 2-year status into consideration.
And by the way, since elites like nothing better than to show off, I can confirm that 2015 benefits are not yet available. Those may be my last.