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Delta Medallion Qualifying Dollars Now Displayed on Delta.com

by on September 9, 2013 · 15 comments

in Delta, Elite Status

Back in January, Delta announced that it would be adding a revenue-based component to elite qualification, and this morning Delta announced on Flyertalk, that Medallion Qualifying Dollars will be displayed on delta.com starting today.

If you log into your Delta account, you can now view your 2013 Medallion Qualifying Dollars on your Account Activity page and My SkyMiles page at delta.com. The Medallion Qualifying Dollars requirement won’t begin until next year, but to give you an idea on how much you’ve spent with the airline, they are making it available a few months early.

Delta MQD section now appears in your SkyMiles activity.

Delta MQD section now appears in your SkyMiles activity.

As a reminder, starting in 2014, US based Medallion members will need to buck up and either spend $25,000 dollars a year on a Delta American Express credit card or spend the following amount of money in addition to accruing regular Medallion Qualifying Miles / Segments:

MEDALLION QUALIFICATION
Silver Gold Platinum Diamond
MQDs $2,500 $5,000

$7,500

$12,500
and and and and
MQMs 25,000 50,000 75,000 125,000
or or or or
MQSs 30 60 100 140

Also see my previous post on Determining What Spending Counts Toward Medallion Qualifying Dollars to know what exactly will qualify. Going through my tickets from this year, it does look like Delta vouchers, Gift Cards, and Choice Benefit vouchers do count toward the Medallion Qualification Dollars, so if you have a lot of vouchers to use, these will count.

My Thoughts

$2,500 in spend for Silver is reasonable, but $12,500 for Diamond can be a pretty big chunk of change for those of us who don’t fly paid business class regularly. While Delta is trying to attract high-value customers, I don’t see the addition of real benefits (like valuable systemwide upgrades, for example) to actually attract those customers from other airlines.

I think the real impetus about this move is to encourage more Delta Medallions to carry a co-branded American Express credit cards so they can hit the $25,000 spend threshold to be exempted from MQDs. The exclusivity comment is also interesting, because last year Delta gave away 25,000 MQMs (enough for silver status) during several different promotions last year, so this new move to cull the elite ranks is interesting.

Clearly they’ve crunched the numbers and calculated that the increased spend (and money from American Express) will outweigh the “discount elites” that jump ship to another airline. I haven’t made a final judgement about this new set-up yet, but my feeling is that with the recent mileage requirement increases of some premium international awards, Delta is going to alienate some elites – whom it is now potentially forcing to accrue redeemable but not elite-qualifying SkyMiles via credit card – by then devaluing those miles.

I personally don’t like using an airline co-brand card, because I don’t like to put all of my miles and points in one basket. That’s why I prefer transferable points. For instance, I may fly American a lot, but I accrue tons of Chase points, which I can then redeem on United, Southwest, British Airways, Hyatt, etc. That way, I have lots of options when it comes time to redeem and I can see which partner’s award chart best suits my needs.

At least for now we’ll all have a better idea of how the new MQD system will work before it goes into place for 2014 elite qualification on Delta.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author.s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

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  • PJ

    In my experience most diamond medallions fly primarily for business. I don’t see how you could fly enough miles to qualify for diamond and not spend $12,500. Seems like an easy threshold to me.

  • Mike

    I agree, I’m only at 85,000 or so MQMs this year and am already at $14,000+ in MQDs, all coach fares, and mostly discounted economy fares.

  • CMH322

    I usually qualify for Diamond on segments while flying for business. Currently, I am at 110 MQS and $10,600 MQD. I’ll gladly take the reduced elite ranks, if this causes that, as it will allow me to clear upgrades more frequently, though, now, they’re still pretty frequent.

  • better_by_design

    Exactly. When the MQD requirement was announced, I honestly had no idea it would be so ‘controversial’ among points hobbyists… but then again, I also always underestimate the deals/lengths folks go to for said hobby.

    If you earn Medallion status through typical flying, it would be incredibly tough NOT to hit your MQD… unless you’re PURELY an outstanding mileage runner, have a ridiculous number of rollover miles, fly only Skyteam partners… and of course, don’t have/use a DL AMEX card.better

  • Beckmann

    OR you fly any of the sky team partners. One thing the points guy is missing is all the changes in what counts as an MDQ and how some primarily sky team partners like Korean aquire absolutely NO MQMs now.

  • Philip Pointer

    I complete agree. I will re-qualify for Platinum this year (not even close to diamond), and I project my MQD will be around $18,500 by then, all on coach fares. And, BTW, I will qualify solely on MQS, as my MQM will be way short. Now that I see this in black and white, why not let us qualify on the greatest of the three MQ amounts? Just a thought….

  • KE Business Class

    Agreed… it looks like they stopped giving MQM for KE and MH a little early… still waiting for my last flights to show up.

  • D.C. George

    I mostly fly for work and due to company rules must select Economy. On average I fly about 10 domestic trips a year and have Delta’s AmEx card. For the last 4 years I flew Delta exclusively. Because of this reality, I never expect to get more than a silver medallion….and I am ok with that. But here is the kicker, lately United has been offering more direct flights out of my airport (IAD)…for a lower overall price. that means that I will be spending less time on layovers, less agony transferring flights, and less money. so my thoughts on MDQs:

    1. MQD’s seem to make things a little bit more complicated. But unfortunately I like simple.

    2. Either I am a loyal customer or I am not. While I understand Delta is trying to attract high-value customers, I do see myself as loyal. If delta doesn’t treat me like that, I have no problem jumping to another major carrier. overall quality of service is about the same.

    3. I am a planner. So that means of the seven flights I bought this year so far, six were purchased 30+ days before the flight day. This means tickets are cheap…thus a MQD penalty.

    Am I the kind of person Delta wants or doesn’t want to reward? I don’t know, probably not. I know that for me, “elite status” are a distant third after convenience and cost, so maybe there’s no reason for me to give them my business.

    In any case according to delta, here are my stats:

    TOTAL AVAILABLE MILES=126,000

    (MQMs)= 27,700,

    (MQSs)=28,

    (MQDs)=$4,500

  • http://redmonk.com/dberkholz Donnie Berkholz

    I generally buy LUT domestic fares and I’m above $9000 MQD for 55K miles. But yeah, could suck for international and partners beyond just the pure mileage runners.

  • Viki

    I fly Delta all the time, high fare tickets often, booked through my company. I assumed I’d be over 20K by this point, easy. Instead, it only shows around 6K MQDs, which leads me to believe they aren’t counting my tickets booked by corporate travel, just the ones I booked myself. That is really frustrating, as the tickets are often not very discounted, just refundable. I have the Delta credit card anyways, but still…..

  • http://redmonk.com/dberkholz Donnie Berkholz

    You might’ve been caught by http://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/support/faqs/skymiles/medallion-qualification-dollars-faqs.html — “Certain specialty tickets, including but not limited to unpublished, consolidator, group/tour and opaque fare products will not count toward MQDs.”

  • http://rfreeborn.blogspot.com/ rfreeborn

    The MQD requirements are so laughably low as to be virtually irrelevant…at any level. I’m about 1600 MQM shy of Platinum and have over $20k MQD for the year. I’d suggest it would be virtually impossible to make Diamond and *not* spend $12,500, though I’m sure someone @ DL has a spreadsheet with the analysis of how this will thin the ranks at each level.

  • Alex

    will it all stay the same for foreign travellers?
    I will get my 25k MQM in February, and are far from having spend enough on the fares to be at 2.500$

  • zart

    The more they can do to thin the ranks of platinums and higher, the better. remember people these rules may make it more difficult to attain higher status, but they will also clear seats in the first class cabin that you will be upgraded into. i would love to see mileage run status gone.

  • Paul J Gardner

    Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs)…

    Stupid, Stupid, Stupid. Delta, you BLEW this one.

    I REALLY, REALLY want to be a good, loyal Delta customer. But now, if I don’t drink (a lot!) on every flight, or buy a bunch of stuff I don’t need, you’ve decided to kick me out of the SkyMiles Medallion club. No alternatives. No practical workarounds, upgrades or exceptions. Just GOODBYE!

    Nice customer appreciation strategy!

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