How Can I Keep Delta Medallion Status If I’m Short MQDs?

by on August 31, 2014 · 2 comments

in American Express, Credit Cards, Delta, Elite Status, Sunday Reader Questions, United, Video Blog Post

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TPG reader Julie tweeted me to ask:

@thepointsguy “Any ideas for someone who has enough Delta MQMs but is about $1500 short on MQDs? I want to maintain Silver Medallion Elite status and I have an Amex Platinum Delta card.”

For United and Delta flyers, the elite status game got a little bit harder in 2014. Starting this year, it’s not just about accruing a certain number of elite qualifying miles or segments, it’s also about how much you spend. Both airlines now require certain spend amounts on ticketed flights in order to get or maintain elite status, which is just one more hoop to jump through. Additionally, not all expenses on tickets count towards elite status spend.

TPG reader Julie tweeted me asking for ideas on how to get more MQD’s, as she is $1500 short  for maintaining her Silver Medallion status. She also has the Amex Platinum Delta credit card.

No one wants to lose their elite status benefits, like lounge access or upgrades. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

No one wants to lose their elite status benefits, like lounge access or upgrades. (Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

The easiest way to not worry about these spend requirements would be to spend $25,000 on your Delta co-branded card. If you do so, Delta will waive that revenue requirement for all four levels of elite status.

That being said, the Delta cards aren’t that great for everyday earning compared to other cards. For example, on gas you’ll earn one Delta mile per $1 spent versus plenty of other cards like the Amex Premier Rewards Gold card, which will give you 2 points per $1 spent and let you then transfer those points to Delta or a number of other partners. In spending $25,000 on the Delta Amex card, you could lose a lot of value by not putting that spend on other cards.

Another possibility, though rather unethical, would be to change your address to one outside of the United States. These revenue requirements are only for US residents. So, if for some reason you were to “move abroad” by entering a non-US address into your frequent flyer account, Delta will exempt you from the MQD requirement (you’ll have to upload some kind of documentation as proof). However, keep in mind that doing this is a violation of the rules and there could be consequences if you’re caught.

Also note that United does offer an exemption for their spend requirement to everyone but 1K flyers. So for 1K flyers who live in the US, you’ll need to have at least $10,000 of eligible spend in order to obtain Elite status.

Thanks to these new spend requirements, I think 2015 will see a drop off of Elite status flyers, especially at that United 1K level.

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at [email protected]

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Steve |

    For myself, I think this last year is the final one I would a hefty bit of spending on my Delta card. Spent 25k to waive the requirement and solidify another full year in 2016 as a gold. But after that its hard to justify spending 25 grand on a 1x earning card.

  • philip pleasants

    Hi TPG – I have been purchasing through Chase UR and just now realized that I haven’t been getting credit for MQDs. I called and was told by a SkyMiles rep that I have to purchase directly through Delta in order to receive MQD. This doesn’t sound right to me. Am I crazy or does this sound in correct?

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