The right way to earn Medallion Qualification {Dollars} inexpensively by reserving Delta companion tickets

It’s no secret that Delta elite standing doesn’t come low cost. In any case, along with 125,000 Medallion Qualification Miles or 140 Medallion Qualification Segments, top-tier Diamond Medallion standing requires incomes $15,000 Medallion Qualification {Dollars}. Worse but, this can rise to $20,000 for the 2024 standing yr.

Which means you will need to spend $15,000 ($1 equals 1 MQD, minus taxes) this yr on Delta Air Traces to qualify and retain your Diamond Medallion standing. Nonetheless, by maximizing your MQD earnings on Delta’s companions, you’ll be able to earn 15,000 MQDs whereas spending lower than $7,500 — and it isn’t as laborious as you would possibly suppose.

SkyMiles members can earn MQDs with any SkyTeam member, and so they’re accrued primarily based on fare class and flight distance. So this implies a $1,000 long-haul business-class ticket booked instantly with KLM might accrue 2,000 MQDs or extra, relying on how lengthy the combat is.

Let’s have a look at incomes MQDs on companion flights and the way it might make incomes Delta’s Medallion elite standing a lot inexpensive.

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Some background on incomes MQDs with companions


As with most carriers these days, Delta largely awards elite standing to members with excessive annual spending — not less than whenever you earn standing on Delta’s personal flights. Whereas Medallion Qualification Miles are earned primarily based on the space you fly, you’ll additionally want Medallion Qualification {Dollars} to qualify for standing on Delta-ticketed flights, until you’re eligible for the MQD waiver by way of bank card spending.

You earn roughly 1 MQD for every greenback spent on Delta’s personal flights, excluding taxes. For instance, on a Delta flight from John F. Kennedy Worldwide Airport (JFK) to Los Angeles Worldwide Airport (LAX) for $348.60, you’d earn 311 MQDs. This info is offered throughout the reserving course of on

Associated: What’s Delta Air Traces elite standing value in 2022?

The fundamentals of incomes Delta elite standing with companions

China Jap Airways enterprise class is likely one of the candy spots for incomes Delta companion MQDs. ETHAN STEINBERG/THE POINTS GUY

With Delta’s SkyTeam companions, you earn MQDs primarily based on 4 elements: whether or not or not you booked your ticket with Delta instantly, the size of your flight, the fare class and the airline that operates your flight.

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1. Do you have to ebook your ticket with Delta instantly?

If you ebook a ticket with Delta instantly, you earn MQDs primarily based in your ticket value, whatever the working provider. This implies if you happen to ebook an Air France ticket on, you’ll nonetheless earn MQDs primarily based on the ticket’s value.

Nonetheless, whenever you ebook a ticket instantly with a companion airline, you’ll earn MQDs primarily based on the space you fly and the companion charge set by Delta.

Let’s have a look at a round-trip business-class Air France flight from Seattle-Tacoma Worldwide Airport (SEA) to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). When reserving with Delta and Air France, the flight is similar value at $3,678.18.

The Delta earnings are indicated throughout the reserving course of on As you’ll be able to see, by reserving this ticket instantly with Delta, you’d earn 3,500 MQDs.


The Delta earnings would require some digging and math when reserving the ticket with Air France. In response to the Air France SkyMiles companion chart, Air France flights within the Z and I fare class (like this one) earn MQDs on a 40% foundation.


We have now to multiply the overall flight distance by 40% (0.4) to calculate what number of MQDs you’d earn.

In response to Nice Circle Mapper, this itinerary clocks in at a complete of 10,033 miles — 10,033 instances 0.4 equals 4,013.20. So by reserving with Air France, you’d earn 4,013 MQDs.


On this case, however not all, you’d earn extra MQDs by reserving your ticket with Air France as an alternative of with Delta.

2. That are one of the best companion airways for incomes MQDs?

On the companion airline incomes web page, Delta gives the incomes charges for all of its airline companions. There are Core World Airline Companions and (non-core) World Airline Companions. Core airways earn extra MQDs, MQMs and redeemable miles throughout the board.

Delta’s Core World Airline Companions are:

  • Aeromexico.
  • Air France.
  • China Jap Airways.
  • KLM.
  • Korean Airways.
  • LATAM.
  • Virgin Atlantic.

Delta’s (non-core) World Airline Companions that earn MQDs are:

  • Aerolineas Argentinas.
  • Air Europa.
  • Cape Air.
  • China Airways.
  • China Southern Airways.
  • CZA (Czech Airways).
  • Guarda Indonesia.
  • Hawaiian Airways (inter-island flights solely).
  • ITA Airways.
  • Kenya Airways.
  • MEA (Center Jap Airways).
  • Saudia.
  • TAROM.
  • Vietnam Airways.
  • WestJet.
  • Xiamen Airways.

3. How do you see what fare class you’re booked in?

Generally, there’s no straightforward approach to inform what fare class you’re reserving. Within the final instance, I needed to name Air France to find out what fare class the flight is being bought in.

That stated, some airways will present you your reserving class on-line. For instance, Virgin Atlantic will present your fare class on the checkout display screen subsequent to your class of service.


Expedia additionally reveals what fare class you’re reserving on the checkout display screen. For instance, on this round-trip Korean Airways business-class flight from Daniel Ok. Inouye Worldwide Airport (HNL) to Incheon Worldwide Airport (ICN), I used to be in a position to choose “Present particulars” on the Expedia evaluate web page. Nonetheless, you must nonetheless verify the ticketing airline with Expedia if you happen to’re reserving an itinerary operated by a number of airways.


Instance Delta companion bookings

A KLM Airbus A330-300 on the gate in Dulles Worldwide Airport (IAD). KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

Now that you know the way to calculate the variety of MQDs you’ll earn on a companion award ticket, listed here are some examples of incomes MQDs with Delta’s companions. These have been discovered when scripting this story and will now not be accessible, however they’re right here to function inspiration for locating your personal companion itineraries to maximise MQD-earning.

Economic system: Madrid with Air France — 3.19 MQDs per greenback


This round-trip Air France and KLM ticket within the E fare class (10% MQD accrual foundation) prices $397, so it could earn the next:

  • Los Angeles to Paris: 5,670 base miles, 567 MQDs.
  • Paris to Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD): 660 miles, 66 MQDs.
  • Madrid to Paris: 660 base miles, 66 MQDs.
  • Paris to Madrid: 5,670 base miles, 567 MQDs.
  • Whole: 12,660 miles flown, 1,266 MQDs.

Associated: French Connection: A evaluate of Air France economic system on the 777 from Paris to New York

Economic system: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with Saudia — 3.45 MQDs per greenback


Despite the fact that Saudia isn’t a core companion, its long-haul and discounted flights could make it interesting for incomes MQDs. This itinerary is within the L fare class and earns MQDs on a ten% foundation.

  • New York to King Abdulaziz Worldwide Airport (JED): 6,365 miles, 637 MQDs.
  • King Abdulaziz Worldwide Airport to Kuala Lumpur Worldwide Airport (KUL): 4,394 miles, 439 MQDs.
  • Kuala Lumpur Worldwide Airport to King Abdulaziz Worldwide Airport: 4,394 miles, 439 MQDs.
  • King Abdulaziz Worldwide Airport to New York: 6,365 miles, 637 MQDs.
  • Whole: 21,517 miles flown, 2,152 MQDs.

Associated: JFK to Dubai with out the bling: Saudia’s disappointing enterprise class by way of Riyadh

Economic system: London with Virgin Atlantic — 1.47 MQDs per greenback


Virgin Atlantic will likely be becoming a member of SkyTeam in early 2023. Within the meantime, SkyMiles members can earn and redeem miles on Virgin Atlantic. This itinerary is operated within the E fare class, so it earns MQDs on a ten% foundation.

  • JFK to Heathrow Airport (LHR): 3,451 miles, 345 MQDs.
  • Heathrow to JFK: 3,451 miles, 345 MQDs.
  • Whole: 6,903 miles flown, 690 MQDs.

Economic system: Lima, Peru, with Aeromexico — 1.67 MQDs per greenback


Aeromexico is one other Delta core companion. This round-trip itinerary, which is ticketed within the R fare class (10% MQD accrual foundation), prices $463 and would earn the next:

  • Miami Worldwide Airport (MIA) to Mexico Metropolis Worldwide Airport (MEX): 1,276 miles, 128 MQDs.
  • Mexico Metropolis to Lima’s Jorge Chávez Worldwide Airport (LIM): 2,629 miles, 263 MQDs.
  • Lima to Mexico Metropolis: 2,629 miles, 263 MQDs.
  • Mexico Metropolis to Miami: 1,276 miles, 128 MQDs.
  • Whole: 7,810 base miles and 781 MQDs.

Associated: Your final information to Aeromexico Membership Premier

Premium economic system: Budapest, Hungary, with Air France — 3.03 MQDs per greenback


Air France is a core companion of Delta. This premium economic system round-trip ticket prices $1,246 and is booked within the W/Y fare courses (30%/25% accrual foundation). It could earn the next:

  • Los Angeles to Paris: 5,670 miles, 1,701 MQDs.
  • Paris to Budapest Airport (BUD): 777 miles, 194 MQDs.
  • Budapest to Paris: 777 miles, 194 MQDs.
  • Paris to Los Angeles: 5,670 miles, 1,701 MQDs.
  • Whole: 12,894 miles flown and three,780 MQDs.

Associated: Nothing premium right here: Evaluation of Air France premium economic system on the A380

Enterprise: Mumbai, India, with KLM — 1.72 MQDs per greenback


This spherical journey prices $4,397 and is ticketed within the Z fare class (40% accrual foundation). It could earn:

  • San Francisco Worldwide Airport (SFO) to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS): 5,473 miles, 2,190 MQDs.
  • Amsterdam to Delhi Indira Gandhi Worldwide Airport (DEL): 3,962 miles, 1,585 MQDs.
  • Delhi to Amsterdam: 3,962 miles, 1,585 MQDs.
  • Amsterdam to San Francisco: 5,473 miles, 2,190 MQDs.
  • Whole: 18,870 miles flown, 7,550 MQDs.

Associated: Chaos at Amsterdam mars an in any other case implausible business-class flight on KLM’s Dreamliner

Enterprise: Lima with Aeromexico — 3.88 MQDs per greenback


Aeromexico is one other core companion of Delta. This round-trip business-class ticket prices $1,048 and is ticketed within the D fare class (40% accrual foundation). It earns:

  • Vancouver Worldwide Airport (YVR) to Mexico Metropolis: 2,449 miles, 980 MQDs.
  • Mexico Metropolis to Lima: 2,629 miles 1,052 MQDs.
  • Lima to Mexico Metropolis: 2,449 miles, 980 MQDs.
  • Mexico Metropolis to Vancouver: 2,449 miles, 980 MQDs.
  • Whole: 10,156 miles flown, 4,062 MQDs.

Associated: Viva Mexico! A evaluate of Aeromexico’s enterprise class on the 787-9 from Mexico Metropolis to Buenos Aires

Backside line

Irrespective of which cabin you journey in, every of those examples permits you to earn considerably greater than the 1 MQD per greenback you’d earn on Delta-operated flights. Even if you happen to’re ranging from scratch, you’ll be able to earn a wholesome inventory of each MQDs and SkyMiles miles on companion flights.

As you’ll be able to see, you’ll be able to generally earn north of three.5 MQDs per greenback spent, so that you would possibly be capable of earn 15,000 MQDs by spending simply over $4,000 if you happen to do it strategically. That’s a far cry from the $15,000 you would want to spend on Delta-operated flights to earn 15,000 MQDs.

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