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Can My Wife Give Her Delta Reserve Amex MQMs to Me?

Feb. 15, 2017
4 min read
courtesy delta
Can My Wife Give Her Delta Reserve Amex MQMs to Me?
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We've upgraded our "Sunday Reader Question" series! Our new "Reader Questions" are answered three days a week — Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays — by TPG Senior Writer Julian Mark Kheel.

In today's Reader Question, which comes to us via email from Jeremy, we get a chance to explore a little-known feature of the Delta Reserve credit card...

[pullquote source="TPG Reader Jeremy"]"I got the Delta Reserve credit card after reading one of your articles about the card. I will earn 10k + 30k MQMs in short order. My wife signed up for the Delta Reserve Business card and wants to gift her 30k MQMs to me. Will I be able to get credit for both my MQMs and her MQMs?"[/pullquote]

Medallion Qualification Miles — or MQMs — are one of the main yardsticks Delta uses to determine elite status. While Delta SkyMiles are awarded based on the price of your ticket, MQMs are still determined by the distance flown. The more MQMs you have, the higher elite status you'll get, anywhere from basic Silver status to top-tier Diamond.

However, aside from flying on Delta and Delta partners, there's one other way to accumulate Delta MQMs, and that's via Delta credit cards from American Express. Both the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express and the Delta Reserve card — along with their corresponding business versions — offer bonus MQMs for high levels of annual spending. American Express calls this feature "Miles Boost" and with enough spend (i.e., a lot of spend), you can get up to 20,000 extra MQMs on the Platinum Delta and up to 30,000 extra MQMs on the Delta Reserve.

But one interesting feature of the Delta Reserve card is the ability to "gift" those bonus MQMs to another person. You'll find this option listed in the Benefit Terms of the Delta Reserve card. Take a look at this zoomed-in section and the sentence I've highlighted...

Note that this option to gift bonus MQMs does NOT exist for the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Cardonly for the Delta Reserve card. So don't apply for the wrong card if you're hoping to give someone else your MQMs.

This brings us to Jeremy's question: If he gets bonus MQMs from his own Delta Reserve card, and his wife gifts her bonus MQMs to him from her Delta Reserve card (in this case, a business card, but it could be a personal card too), will they both count?

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The answer is yes. The MQMs from both cards will stack together, even if one set was gifted from another person. And of course, they will all stack with any MQMs earned from flying on Delta or rolled over from a previous year.

It's also useful to note that if Jeremy himself had more than one Delta Amex card offering a Miles Boost (such as both a Platinum Delta and a Delta Reserve), all of those MQMs would also stack together. So between multiple Delta cards and gifts from others, with enough spend one could earn quite a high level of Delta elite status without actually ever flying on a plane. Though earning elite status and never using it would be a bit silly.

In any case, the multiple Miles Boosts can make earning Delta elite status much easier, and can even make your eventual status higher than it might have otherwise been.

Thanks for the question, Jeremy, and good luck explaining to your wife why you're sitting up in first class while she's back in coach (I'm kidding — if they travel together on the same reservation, she'll get the benefits of his elite status, so this is a pretty good strategy on Jeremy's part). If you have a question you'd like us to answer here, please tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or send an email to

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