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Will My Delta MQMs Roll Over to the Following Year?

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TPG reader Leon emailed to ask about earning Delta Medallion status:

“Will I lose my MQMs if I fail to reach Silver Elite status, or will Delta roll them over to the following calendar year?”

While the SkyMiles program hasn’t done itself many favors during the past few years, there are some things Delta gets right. Among them, the airline deserves praise for allowing elite flyers to roll Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) over to the next year — a feature none of the other major carriers offer.

The premise is simple: Any MQMs you earn beyond the threshold for your elite status level will carry over to help you get a head start on qualifying the next year. For example, if you start at zero and earn 65,000 MQMs this year, you’ll earn Gold Medallion status at 50,000, and the extra 15,000 will count toward your 2016 elite qualification. Rollover miles generally show up a few weeks into the new year, so you could end up starting the year off having nearly requalified for some level of elite status, depending on how many extra MQMs you have.

Unfortunately, you have to at least reach Silver status to be eligible for rollover miles. That means if you earn 24,999 MQMs this year, you’ll come up empty and have nothing to show for it in 2016. While that might seem harsh, it helps Delta keep the lower elite tiers from becoming overcrowded.

Delta puts purchasers of Y-class fares at the front of the line for upgrades regardless of Medallion status.
Delta’s rollover policy helps you maintain elite status from one year to the next, which improves your chances of scoring an upgrade.

On the positive side, MQMs roll over even if you don’t meet Medallion Qualification Dollar requirements, which is especially good news since Delta raised those thresholds for this year. However, MQDs don’t roll over, so you need to meet the revenue requirement for your elite status level each year unless you earn a waiver by spending on one of the co-branded Delta credit cards from Amex.

Pound for pound, I value elite status on Delta less than equivalent status on American or United, but the ability to roll over elite miles is uniquely generous, and gives frequent flyers incentive to continue flying even after they’ve crossed a status threshold. I’d love to see other airlines follow suit!

For more info on earning Delta Medallion status, check out these posts:

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

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