Delta Raises Medallion Requirements, Tightens Transfers

Delta Raises Medallion Requirements, Tightens Transfers

Delta changed the way members earn Medallion elite status by introducing a dollar component starting Jan. 1 of this year for 2015 Medallion status.

Now, the amounts to earn Medallion status for 2016 have been raised. For flights flown between Jan. 1 and Dec. 15, 2015, Medallion status will be reached in the following way: For Silver Medallion, members must reach $3,000 Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs), up from $2,500. Gold Medallion will be reached at $6,000 MQDs, up from $5,000. Platinum Medallion will be reached at $9,000 MQDs, up from $7,500, and Diamond Medallion will be reached at $15,000 MQDs, up from $12,500. As before, an MQD waiver is available if you spend at least $25,000 in eligible purchases on a Delta SkyMiles American Express credit card within a year.

Another change coming to the SkyMiles program starting Jan. 1, 2015, is that SkyMiles members will now have a limit of how many miles they can get when transferring from a partner currency, like American Express Membership Rewards or Starwood Preferred Guest–and this new limit applies to all partners that allow members to convert points into SkyMiles. SkyMiles members can get up to 250,000 miles per partner account per calendar year.

Bottom line: Many see the MQDs changes to be the continual move by the Delta SkyMiles program from a frequent flyer program, to one that benefits big spenders. Delta has said that fewer than five percent of its customers account for approximately one-quarter of the airline’s ticket revenue.

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