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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

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.