Delta makes it tougher to earn Medallion standing in 2024, provides new Alternative Profit choices

Delta Air Traces has taken maybe probably the most beneficiant method to elite standing in the course of the pandemic.

The Atlanta-based provider was the primary to increase Medallion standing again in 2020 when the world shut down. The airline’s elite ranks continued to soar into 2021 and 2022, with extra extensions for all members who earned standing method again in 2019, in addition to in 2020 and 2021.

The airline additionally made it simpler to qualify for standing, with standing accelerators and rollover Medallion Qualification Miles. The airline additionally completely added the flexibility to earn Medallion qualifying miles, {dollars} and segments from award tickets.

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However as journey demand rebounds, Delta is gearing up for the brand new yr with some large modifications to the way you earn Medallion standing and the advantages of attaining top-tier standing.

“Our view has been that to construct buyer loyalty, there are actually three ‘P’s. There are the individuals, and our individuals ship unimaginable service. There’s the product, after which there’s this system, which is lots of what we’re discussing in the present day. So while you have a look at these three components that’s actually how we’re eager about loyalty,” Delta’s senior vp of SkyMiles, Dwight James, advised TPG in an interview in regards to the modifications.

This is the most recent.

A 33% enhance in MQD thresholds

Delta will enhance MQD necessities for many elite standing ranges. ANDREW KUNESH/THE POINTS GUY

The largest change — and one which’s certain to rankle many longtime flyers — is a rise within the variety of Medallion Qualification {Dollars} required to earn standing.

Delta is elevating the MQD thresholds by 33% for all tiers excluding Silver Medallion, as proven within the desk beneath.

Tier Present thresholds for 2023 standing New thresholds for 2024 standing Internet enhance
Silver $3,000. No change. N/A.
Gold $6,000. $8,000. $2,000.
Platinum $9,000. $12,000. $3,000.
Diamond $15,000. $20,000. $5,000.

The elevated thresholds apply to these seeking to earn or requalify for standing in 2023 for the 2024 membership yr.

Delta is advertising these MQD will increase as the primary “Medallion qualification change affecting a number of tiers since 2015.”

To defend the rise, James advised TPG that the modifications are “actually a end result of lots of analysis with our clients.” Pressed additional, he added that “that is actually about investing to enhance the shopper expertise. Guaranteeing that the purchasers which are investing probably the most are additionally the purchasers that we’re investing probably the most in as nicely.”

As Delta famously stated again in 2014 when it final raised the standing thresholds, “when everybody’s an elite flyer, nobody is.” The airline has seemingly decided that the elite ranks have been bloated with too many top-tier members, making it tougher for its greatest spenders to get pleasure from the advantages of top-tier standing.

With a $5,000 MQD hole between Silver and Gold standing, I would anticipate that many lower-level elites will find yourself with Silver standing, thinning the ranks for Gold and above. This alteration will probably be greatest for individuals who will obtain Gold or Diamond standing in 2024, as these tiers will probably be the 2 which are thinned out probably the most.


Whereas the MQD requirement is growing, it is value noting that there are a number of methods to shut the hole with out spending extra money on flights.

For one, Delta’s cobranded bank card MQD waiver stays in impact and isn’t altering as a part of the information. To succeed in Platinum, Gold or Silver Medallion standing, the waiver could be achieved by spending $25,000 or extra in the course of the calendar yr with eligible Delta cobranded playing cards.

To waive the Diamond MQD requirement, you’d have to spend $250,000 or extra on eligible playing cards.

Moreover, SkyMiles award tickets now rely towards incomes standing. MQDs are earned at a fee of 1 per 100 SkyMiles redeemed. Because of this an award ticket that prices 10,000 SkyMiles would earn 100 MQDs.

Word that solely Delta-issued and -operated award tickets are eligible to earn elite standing metrics. For instance, this implies a Virgin Atlantic award ticket wouldn’t be eligible to earn elite standing.

It is also value noting that Delta is not altering the way you earn MQDs from flights with companions like Air France and Virgin Atlantic. This can proceed to be a good way to spice up your MQD steadiness if you’ll find an affordable fare.

Lastly, one of many revamped Alternative Advantages contains an MQD increase in your account — extra on that beneath.

Associated: This is the best way to earn extra Medallion Qualification {Dollars} by reserving Delta accomplice tickets

No modifications to MQM, MQS necessities

Delta will not be altering the MQD or MQS necessities. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

These new MQD thresholds are solely half of the standing equation. You may additionally have to hit both an MQM or Medallion Qualification Segments milestone to unlock elite standing.

The MQM and MQS thresholds are not altering as a part of Delta’s elevated MQD necessities. For reference, you will discover the prevailing MQM and MQS necessities within the chart beneath.

Tier Medallion Qualification Miles Medallion Qualification Segments
Silver 25,000. 30.
Gold 50,000. 60.
Platinum 75,000. 90.
Diamond 125,000. 120.

Identical to earlier than the pandemic, Delta will proceed rolling over MQMs that you just earn in a earlier qualifying yr that go above and past the brink for which you qualify for standing. So, say you earned 65,000 MQMs (and $6,000 MQDs in 2023), you will start 2024 with 15,000 MQMs in your account as you start the yr.

Requested about whether or not Delta thought of scrapping MQM and MQD metrics, James stated that “there have been inside discussions” about the potential for shifting to a mannequin like American AAdvantage or United MileagePlus, each of which now not care about flight distance within the elite standing equation.

“In the end, we selected altering MQDs as a result of we did not need to do a wholesale change to this system,” James stated.

Associated: Your full information to the Delta SkyMiles program

Delta overhauls Alternative Advantages bundle

Whenever you qualify for Platinum or Diamond standing with Delta, you obtain a decide (or three) from a bundle of Alternative Advantages. Platinum Medallions get one alternative from the bundle, whereas Diamond Medallions get the Platinum decide and three extra ones when attaining Diamond.


Whereas these advantages have traditionally included issues like improve certificates, Sky Membership memberships and bonus miles, Delta is including a number of extra selections and upgrading some present ones to sweeten the deal.

Starting Feb. 1, 2023, Delta will roll out six new advantages to the alternatives with out eradicating any of the prevailing selections. These selections will probably be out there to these qualifying or requalifying for Delta elite standing in 2023 for the 2024 standing yr and won’t have an effect on members incomes elite standing for the 2023 standing yr.

The brand new advantages embody:

  • A press release credit score for a cobranded Delta American Specific card.

The worth of the credit score will probably be $500 for Diamond and $200 for Platinum.

You have to maintain both the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Specific Card, Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Specific Card, Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Enterprise American Specific Card or Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Enterprise American Specific Card to be eligible for this decide.

Extra phrases and situations will probably be made out there when this alternative launches.

  • Expanded standing present program.

Beforehand, Diamonds might use a decide to present a good friend or member of the family Gold standing, and Platinums might present Silver standing. Going ahead, every decide will permit a Diamond or Platinum Medallion to present two buddies or members of the family a yr of complimentary standing.

  • A Delta Holidays low cost, valued at $500 for Diamond and $400 for Platinum.

After all, Diamonds who’re cobranded bank card holders would probably choose receiving an announcement credit score than a Delta Holidays low cost.

As a Diamond, you’ll decide a $1,000 MQD increase for the following qualifying yr. Platinums can choose a $500 MQD increase for the next qualifying yr.

This could make it simpler for individuals who are simply on the cusp to requalify for elite standing. After all, selecting this present will come on the expense of selecting one thing else, like an improve or Sky Membership membership.

  • A $250 Delta journey voucher.

This represents a $50 enhance from the prevailing $200 journey voucher that is at present out there as a Alternative Profit.

  • A $250 sustainable aviation gasoline contribution to assist towards decarbonizing.

Whereas it is nice to see Delta rolling out new advantages, a lot of them probably will not be fashionable with Diamond Medallions. As an illustration, selecting a Delta Holidays low cost or a journey voucher signify worse values than simply selecting an announcement credit score (should you’re a cobranded card member).

That stated, the MQD head begin will definitely be appreciated by those that can use it to assist shut the hole when requalifying. Plus, the expanded standing present program will probably be good for individuals who need to present elite perks to others.

Associated: The final word information to Delta Alternative Advantages

Redeem improve certificates on-line

This one is large.

In March 2021, Delta rolled out the flexibility to see if there’s confirmable improve area utilizing a worldwide or regional improve certificates on-line whereas trying to find a flight. Beforehand, members wanted to name in and await an agent to manually go flight by flight to search out availability.

Whereas this new characteristic is an enormous enchancment, making use of improve certificates nonetheless requires a telephone name.

Fortunately, that is altering early subsequent yr when Delta rolls out the flexibility to use improve certificates on It is possible for you to to substantiate an improve on-line in the course of the reserving course of and thru the My Journeys web page.

This could undoubtedly assist alleviate among the wait to talk to a telephone consultant for different flight points, and can clear up a serious ache level for top-tier Medallion members.

Associated: All the guidelines and methods it is advisable to use Delta Improve Certificates

Use your miles for baggage (or do not)

Final month, Delta revealed that it might quickly allow you to redeem miles for bag charges on many extra flights.

That performance is now reside at most home airports, Delta stated Thursday. The usual cost for the primary checked bag is $30 — or 3,000 SkyMiles with this new possibility.


Delta first trialed this providing again in late 2019 for flights departing from Columbus, Ohio, and Greensboro, North Carolina; nonetheless, it put this system on pause for a lot of the pandemic. Now, the airline is able to broaden the providing nationwide.

In comparison with the money value of $30, it is probably not value redeeming your miles nicely beneath TPG’s valuation of 1.41 cents per mile.

And naturally, it is value noting that every one Medallion members get pleasure from waived checked bag charges, although Delta is saying this new performance as a part of a press launch targeted on modifications to elite standing.

Associated: Delta baggage charges and the best way to keep away from paying them

Backside line

There are not any two methods about it. Incomes Medallion elite standing in 2024 and past goes to be significantly tougher for these aiming to hit Gold and above.

This transfer will nearly actually assist Delta redistribute flyers throughout the 4 elite tiers, and it will (hopefully) make it simpler for top-tier members to get pleasure from standing advantages like complimentary upgrades extra regularly.

It should not carry a lot of a change for individuals who put a ton of spending on their cobranded bank card, however for everybody else, Delta is becoming a member of the likes of American and United in making it tougher to realize standing.

When you do cross the thresholds, you will be rewarded with a number of extra picks from the Alternative Advantages bundle. However total, many flyers will probably be disillusioned with Delta’s newest transfer.

Maybe unsurprisingly, Delta does not assume the modifications are so unfavourable. “It isn’t nearly a rise in MQDs,” James stated.

“I believe if we have a look at it that method, I believe it could possibly be a one-sided view. I believe we now have to take a look at it holistically and have a look at all the opposite investments that lots of the purchasers will obtain from this,” he added.

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