Ed Bastian signaled a couple of weeks ago that they realized they had gone too far with the SkyMiles Medallion program and lounge access changes. He also indicated they would walk some back – although he also did not even remotely hide that the original changes are essentially where they want to be.
So rejoice, but expect that there will be more negative changes to follow in the coming years.
In this article
The below changes come directly from the Delta Newsroom.
- They are lowering the higher MQD requirements announced previously. Note that they are still switching from MQMs to MQDs and you will still need more than in 2023 (for 2024), but they have reduced the thresholds.
- Interestingly, Amex Delta Reserve and Platinum cardholders get a leg up now – with an automatic $2,500 MQD. That means that, at a minimum, Silver Medallion should be in reach for someone with one of those cards, needing just $2,500 MQDs more.
- Unfortunately, they did not expand the activities that earn MQDs. I’d hoped they’d realize it was silly to not include dining and the shopping portal, but they did not 😉
- SkyClub visits: Recognizing that many have connections and, as written, you’d burn two out of your 10 annual visits on a Reserve card just entering before each leg of a connecting flight, a visit now encompasses a full 24 hour period. So a connecting flight with two visits will only use one “visit.” They are also upping that number from 10 previously to 15. So that’s 15 one way flights including connections. Where the Amex Platinum and Business Platinum cards were only going to get 6 visits a year, they’ll now get ten 24-hour visits.
- MQM rollover: They will now let you get extra years of your 2024 program year-earned status for 100,000 MQMs per additional year. Delta will also provide an option to convert MQM Rollover balances into MQDs at a more generous ratio of 10:1 (up from 20:1)
- Lifetime Status: 1MM now gets you Gold Medallion status instead of Silver – that’s great! But only if you are close to reaching a threshold, because remember it’s no longer based on MQMs, but miles actually flown – which means it will be much harder to collect those Million Miler miles (no MQM boosts from cards).
The full details are below!
More Accessible Medallion Status Requirements
To make the requirements for achieving 2025 Medallion Status more accessible, Delta has reduced the number of Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) for each tier:
- Diamond Medallion Status: $28,000 MQDs (down from $35,000)
- Platinum Medallion Status: $15,000 MQDs (down from $18,000)
- Gold Medallion Status: $10,000 MQDs (down from $12,000)
- Silver Medallion Status: $5,000 MQDs (down from $6,000)
Members with the Delta SkyMiles Reserve, Reserve Business, Delta SkyMiles Platinum and Platinum Business American Express Cards will also receive an MQD Headstart of $2,500 MQDs for the current Medallion Qualification Year.
Customers may earn MQDs through Delta flights, Delta Vacations packages, and purchases on the Delta SkyMiles Platinum, Platinum Business, Reserve and Reserve Business American Express Cards. Car rentals and hotel/vacation rentals booked through Delta Car Rentals and Delta Stays will not earn MQDs toward Medallion Status.1
Greater Flexibility for Delta Sky Club Access
Select Card Members will benefit from increased access to Clubs during their travel days as well as the option to purchase Club access after exhausting their allotted Club entries. Updates include:
- Redefining Club visits: A Delta Sky Club visit now includes all entries within a 24-hour period after first Club entry, including your departure city, connecting airports and arrival at your destination. If you are traveling on a same-day roundtrip and use the Club on your outbound and return flight, both would be included within the same visit.
- Adding Club visits: Delta SkyMiles Reserve and Reserve Business Card Members will now receive 15 visits per year (up from 10). Card Members with the Platinum Card® and the Business Platinum Card® from American Express will receive 10 visits (up from 6).
- As previously announced, Members can unlock unlimited Club access after spending $75,000 on their eligible Card in a calendar year and will have unlimited club access for both the remainder of the current program year and the following program year.
- Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, Delta SkyMiles Platinum and Platinum Business American Express Card Members and those customers traveling in Basic Economy, regardless of card type, will no longer be eligible for Club access.
- Additional flexibility to purchase Club access: Delta will also introduce the ability for Delta SkyMiles Reserve and Reserve Business Card Members, as well as Card Members with the Platinum Card® from American Express, to purchase Club access at a per-visit rate of $50 per person after exhausting their allotted Club visits. Medallions will also have the option of purchasing an annual individual Delta Sky Club membership for $695.
More Generous Options for High MQM Rollover Balances
Beginning in early 2024, Members will have a choice as to whether to put MQM Rollover balances toward MQDs or miles. And customers who have MQM Rollover balances over 100,000 will be given special offers to extend their earned 2024 Status—one year for each 100K Rollover MQMs. Delta will also provide an option to convert MQM Rollover balances into MQDs at a more generous ratio of 10:1 (up from 20:1). Members will also be able to convert MQMs Rollover balances to miles as a ratio of 2:1.
More Recognition and Rewards for Long-Term Loyalty
Delta is giving long-term loyalists more of the recognition they deserve. Effective January 1, 2024, the airline is moving Million Miler Status up in the hierarchy for Complimentary Upgrades. And beginning February 1, 2024, Million Milers will also receive enhanced complimentary annual Medallion Status.
- 6 million miles or more earns Delta 360o™ (previously Diamond Medallion)
- 5 million miles earns Delta 360o™ (previously Platinum Medallion)
- 4 million miles earns Diamond Medallion (previously Platinum Medallion)
- 3 million miles earns Diamond Medallion (previously Gold Medallion)
- 2 million miles earns Platinum Medallion (previously Gold Medallion)
- 1 million miles earns Gold Medallion (previously Silver Medallion)
New Choice Benefits
Delta will debut several enhanced Choice Benefits options for Diamond and Platinum Medallion Members for the 2025 Medallion Year, including: · An MQD Accelerator for the next Medallion Qualification Year: $2,000 for Diamond Medallion Members and $1,000 for Platinum Medallion Members
- Re-introducing the Delta Sky Club Individual Membership for Diamond Medallion Members, in exchange for two Choice Benefit selections
- Increased amount of bonus miles: 35,000 for Diamond Medallion Members and 30,000 for Platinum Medallion Members
- Increasing Delta travel voucher to $350 for Diamond Medallion Members and $300 for Platinum Medallion Members
- A new Wheels Up statement flight credit
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