Delta is Making Elite Status Qualification Harder in 2023

Delta Airlines’ SkyMiles is going to make it harder to earn Medallion elite status in 2023 (for 2024 qualification).

In order to earn Delta status, you must:

  • Earn a certain number of Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) OR Medallion Qualifying Segments (MQSs)
  • Earn a certain number of Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs)

At the moment, the Medallion elite qualification hurdles are as follows:

  • Delta Silver Medallion requires 25,000 MQMs (OR 30 MQSs) AND 3,000 MQDs
  • Delta Gold Medallion requires 50,000 MQMs (OR 60 MQSs) AND 6,000 MQDs
  • Delta Platinum Medallion requires 75,000 MQMs (OR 100 MQSs) AND 9,000 MQDs
  • Delta Diamond Medallion requires 125,000 MQMs (OR 140 MQSs) AND 15,000 MQDs

Starting in 2023, you will need to spend more in order to earn status:

  • Delta Silver Medallion will require 3,000 MQDs (no change)
  • Delta Gold Medallion will require 8,000 MQDs (an increase of 33%)
  • Delta Platinum Medallion will require 12,000 MQDs (an increase of 33%)
  • Delta Diamond Medallion will require 20,000 MQDs (an increase of 33%)

A 33% Increase?!?!?!

Airfares may be higher – although that may or may not last throughout 2023 – but this change looks intended to drive Medallion elites further into the arms of Delta’s co-branded credit card partners.

Many Medallion elites do not reach the MQD targets and instead take advantage of the credit card waiver. This requires:

  • $25,000 of credit card spend for Silver, Gold and Platinum
  • $250,000 of credit card spend for Diamond

With no changes to these spend requirements, Delta’s intentions are very clear…

New Choice Benefits

Diamond and Platinum Medallion members who qualify in 2023 (for 2024 Medallion status) will be able to select from an expanded slate of Choice Benefits, such as:

  • $500 statement credits for Diamond Medallion members or a $200 statement credit for Platinum Medallion members
  • An MQD “head start” for the 2024/2025 Medallion year — a $1,000 MQD boost for Diamond Medallion members and a $500 MQD boost for Platinum Medallion members
  • 2 Gold Medallion gifts (for Diamond Medallions) and 2 Silver Medallion gifts (for Platinum Medallions)
  • $500 Delta Vacations Experience credits for Diamond Medallion members and $400 for Platinum Medallion members

Bottom Line

These changes look like a nudge (or a strong shove!) so that the vast majority of Delta Medallion members are also using a co-branded credit card.

Perhaps the only surprise is that Delta is still allowing members to earn elite status WITHOUT a co-branded credit card. After all, we know that airlines only exist these days in order to sell points to banks. I simply can’t figure out why people want to earn SkyMiles???


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