Delta Is Making Elite Status Qualification Harder In 2023 – And Why You Might Care…

Some links to products and partners on this website will earn an affiliate commission.

We don’t usually write much about US carrier Delta here on InsideFlyer UK, but I thought I’d share the following, just in case it is indicative of wider industry trends…

Basically, 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 in the USA.

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. It does present a substantial problem though if you’re a Delta loyalist who does not reside in the US…

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. That might be ok for US-based members, but a 33% increase in required spend is a real kick in the teeth for international members.

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 many airlines only exist these days in order to sell points to banks… I simply can’t figure out why people want to earn SkyMiles???

Are there any Delta loyalists out there who can explain the attraction?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *