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Last chance: Delta offering targeted status challenges up to Diamond Medallion

Oct. 31, 2020
5 min read
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Airlines are doing their best to lure travelers back on to their planes and encourage them to build loyalty.

Recently, American Airlines announced that it would be making it easier to earn elite status in 2021. Now, Delta is making it easier to earn status through an elevated status match challenge.

For a limited time, targeted SkyMiles members can enroll in a challenge to receive complimentary Delta Medallion status one tier higher than their equivalent status on another U.S. airline, up to top-tier Diamond Medallion status. Additionally, members will have more time to meet the significantly-reduced challenge requirements to extend their status throughout 2021.

But you'll have to act fast: Targeted members with status on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines or United Airlines can enroll in the challenge by Oct. 31, 2020. Targeted SkyMiles members should have received an invitation to enroll in the elevated status match challenge.

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Delta's elevated status match challenge

If eligible, you'll receive complimentary Medallion status one tier higher than your current status, up to Diamond, through March 31, 2021. Plus, you'll have the opportunity to extend that status through Jan. 31, 2022 by completing the following flight requirements during the trial period:

  • If you receive Gold Medallion status: Fly 2 qualifying round-trips or 4 one-ways
  • If you receive Platinum Medallion status: Fly 4 qualifying round-trips or 8 one-ways
  • If you receive Diamond Medallion status: Fly 6 qualifying round-trips or 12 one-ways

Related: Successfully completing a status challenge: AA Executive Platinum to Delta Platinum

Here's a look at Delta's status comparison chart for this promotion:

Current elite status with other airlinesDelta Gold MedallionDelta Platinum MedallionDelta Diamond Medallion
Alaska AirlinesMVPMVP GoldMVP Gold 75K
American AirlinesGoldPlatinumExecutive Platinum

Platinum Pro

Concierge Key

JetBlueN/AMosaicN/A
Southwest AirlinesA-ListA-List PreferredN/A
United AirlinesPremier SilverPremier GoldPremier Platinum

Premier 1K

Global Services

Note that the promotion page is publicly available, and you can access it at this link. However, the terms at the bottom of that page include the following:

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"Eligibility: Only Members who receive this communication directly from Delta Air Lines are eligible to participate in this offer."

As a result, you likely won't be eligible unless you received the email.

Is it worth it?

This is perhaps Delta's most generous status match challenge to date. Aside from the fact that major airlines usually don't match up to their top-tier of status, the requirements to maintain the statuses are much lower than Delta's usual challenge — and don't have any spending requirements.

For comparison, here's what Delta usually requires for its standard challenge offering:

  • Gold Medallion: 12,500 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) or 15 Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs) and $1,500 Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs)
  • Platinum Medallion: 18,750 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) or 25 Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs) and $2,250 Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) for Platinum.

Additionally, you usually only have three months to meet the challenge requirements, whereas this offer guarantees at least five months.

TPG values Delta Gold status at $2,140, Platinum at $3,855 and Diamond at $8,830 so this challenge can definitely be worth the effort. Regardless which of these status levels you get, you'll unlock perks like complimentary upgrades, waived baggage fees and lounge access (when traveling internationally). Note that Diamond and Platinum Medallion Choice Benefits aren't provided during the trial status period, but will be provided to those who successfully meet the challenge requirements.

Worth mentioning, Delta's status match challenge is usually only available once every three years. However, that language is not included in the terms of this offer.

Related: Choosing the best credit cards for Delta flyers

The higher your status level, the higher your chances of an upgrade. (Photo by Darren Murph/The Points Guy)

Bottom line

Understandably, not everyone feels comfortable returning to the skies yet. However, if you are flying and were targeted for this offer, then it's definitely worth taking advantage of.

Keep in mind that promotional or temporary elite status on other airlines are not eligible for matches and you should not submit photoshopped or HTML code-altered credentials. Also, note that award and basic economy tickets do not count toward the challenge requirements. Most other flights that are marketed or operated by Delta and Delta Connection, including flights purchased with Delta eCredits, should qualify.

Not targeted for this offer? Here's a list of other airline elite status match and challenge options.

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023