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Will Delta’s New Revenue Requirements Affect My Lifetime Status?

by on January 5, 2014 · 3 comments

in Delta, Elite Status, Sunday Reader Questions, Video Blog Post

TPG Reader Marie is concerned that Delta’s new elite status spending requirements will affect her lifetime status with the airline:

“I am confused about the elite status changes on Delta. My husband is a Lifetime Gold Medallion and I am Lifetime Silver Medallion. Do we retain this status with the new changes? Since we have retired, we don’t travel as we did when we were working but when we do we always fly Delta. Thanks for any help you can give me to understand how the changes affect us.”

Marie is worried about a new facet of elite status qualification on Delta: revenue requirements. Starting this year, Delta will require flyers to spend anywhere from $2,500-$12,500 on airline tickets depending on your elite status (or $25,000 on a co-branded Delta SkyMiles Amex) within the calendar year in addition to the normal miles/segment requirements. But don’t worry just yet. Though those numbers may seem daunting, remember you have all year to requalify for elite status.

Delta's new revenue requirements.

Delta’s new revenue requirements.

Luckily for Marie and her husband, Lifetime status is not affected by these new elite requirements. You will still have that elevated status in your account, but you should note that if you do want to get up to Platinum or a higher-tier status you’re still going to need to spend and fly those amounts each year.

Unfortunately, it’s not just Delta that has instituted these revenue requirements. United also announced that it would be implementing its own set of revenue requirements as well.

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The new spending criteria break down like this:

  • Premier Silver: [25,000 PQM or 30 PQS] and $2,500 PQD
  • Premier Gold: [50,000 PQM or 60 PQS] and $5,000 PQD
  • Premier Platinum: [75,000 PQM or 90 PQS] and $7,500 PQD
  • Premier 1K: [100,000 PQM or 120 PQS] and $10,000 PQD
A minimum of at least four paid flights operated by United, United Express, or Copa Airlines will be needed to qualify for any Premier status.
In 2014, the PQD requirement is waived for Premier Silver, Premier Gold, and Premier Platinum qualification for members whose address with MileagePlus is within the 50 United States or the District of Columbia and who spend at least $25,000 in net purchases in 2014 on a MileagePlus co-branded credit card issued by Chase. These cards include Chase United Explore, Chase United Club Card. However, note that there is no PQD waiver for Premier 1K qualification.

Just keep in mind, it’s not always obvious what counts as Premier-Qualifying spending. For instance, if you book an $8,000 Lufthansa ticket on United.com, it will count as 0 dollars towards your revenue requirement if it is ticketed by Lufthansa. You must make sure your ticket has a United ticket number. This could throw a wrench in elite travel plans for certain travelers who don’t have the option to book via a partner’s website anymore and instead might have to pay extra to get that codeshare as a United or Delta ticketed flight since they don’t always price flights the same as their partners.

If you’re a United or Delta flyer and going for elite status make sure 100% understand what is and is not included in those revenue requirements and check out the links below to read past posts I’ve written about them. Note, you will also be exempt from these requirements if you are based outside of the United States.

If you have any other questions feel free to tweet me @thpointsguy!

United and Delta Elite Status Revenue Requirements Are Officially Here
Delta Officially Confirms New Elite Revenue Requirements
Determining What Spending Counts Toward Delta Medallion Qualifying Dollars
United Adding New Revenue Requirements: Premier Qualifying Dollars
Determining What Spending Counts Towards Premier-Qualifying Dollars
Elite Status Series: United MileagePlus Unique Benefits and Features
Elite Status Series: Delta SkyMiles Medallion Unique Program Elements

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  • K

    Thanks for sharing. So, account with the address outside the States will be exempt from the PQD requirements. Does this mean we don’t need to qualify the PQD requirements for both United and Delta if we do not live in the States?

    Thanks again!

  • matthewsf

    This wasn’t covered in your 7/29 posting on United spend qualification but you mentioned this above…possibly an error/typo (or not) so worth clarifying. “For instance, if you book an $8,000 Lufthansa ticket on United.com, it will count as 0 dollars towards your revenue requirement if it is ticketed by Lufthansa. You must make sure your ticket has a United ticket number.” I was under the impression that ANY ticket purchased on United.com or via the phone with an operator will issue a United 016 tix number, even any code shares? Your text implies it doesn’t. Naturally, if you book on the other carriers own website, it own be credited/earned. So is there indeed an instance that booking that $8K Lufthansa flight with united doesn’t count? And if so, why not? thanks.

  • Nicholas Kokas

    Dear Points Guy,

    I received an email today from Delta Airlines indicating they are 1. Increasing the annual membership for Delta Skyclubs and 2. There will no longer be free access from elible credit cards. My question to you is the following; I have both the American Express Platinum as well as the Delta Reserve. With all this airline consolidation my benefits are dwindling everywhere I turn. Which should I cancel? Platinum or Reserve? My hub is DTW so everything I see are Delta signs everywhere due to the lack of competition.

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