Why Delta’s $250,000 MQD Waiver is Good, According to Some Diamond Medallions
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Delta shocked the frequent flyer world on Tuesday when it announced that it will be increasing the Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQD) waiver spending requirement for Diamond status tenfold to $250,000 instead of the current $25,000. We got plenty of emails from outraged Delta flyers immediately after the change was announced. However, as the dust settled, there were several readers of The Points Guy, along with industry experts, who expressed satisfaction at the change.
At the heart of the airline’s decision is a desire to make sure that only its most valuable customers — those who spend the most money with the airline — are the ones that most often secure complimentary upgrades to premium cabins. TPG Senior Points and Miles Contributor Richard Kerr summarized why this move is actually positive for Delta‘s most loyal Diamond Medallions: “Diamonds in 2018, who earn either the $250k waiver or $15,000 MQDs, will be [a smaller] minority and rewarded more for their monetary loyalty to Delta. Thinning the herd to reward only those that earn you more money is a right business decision.”
Many TPG readers echoed Richard’s sentiment, both in the comments section on yesterday’s post and on Facebook. Take a look at what some Delta flyers (mostly Diamond Medallion members) had to say, below. One reader pointed out that Diamond is Delta’s most exclusive level of status, and should be treated as such.
One Diamond Medallion stated that there was often a problem where Diamond members who actually met the 125,000 MQM and $15,000 MQD requirement would get passed over for upgrades in favor of Diamonds who simply met the $25,000 MQD waiver requirement with a Delta co-branded card from American Express.
Another loyal Delta flyer is happy that the new MQD waiver spend requirement for Diamond status will cause a decrease in the number of Diamond members, which should improve upgrade chances for flyers who meet the MQM and MQD requirement.
Another reader is happy that the ranks of the Diamond members will be reduced, which could perhaps lead to lesser crowds at the gate when Diamond and other Medallion members are called to board.
Note that as of January 1, 2018, flyers will still need to rack up at least 125,000 MQMs, which is no small feat. To some Diamond Medallions, this change will separate the flyers who truly deserve the status from those who get a big advantage from being able to spend $25,000 on a Delta co-branded Amex card. We don’t know how many Diamond members were able to earn the status without spending at least $15,000 on Delta flights, so it remains to be seen whether this change will actually thin out the crowd of top-tier members or not — though a group of Delta loyalists is confident that it will.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees