Longer Flights Could Be Possible Later This Year
With the rise in access to vaccinations, Im hopeful the ability to take longer, cross-country flights is an option in the latter part of 2021. To unlock Platinum status, it will be a price tag of at least $9,000 in MQDs, which would require paying for quite a few cross-country trips in first class. For example, a flight from NYC to Salt Lake City in July to explore some national parks would yield $1,252 MQDs and 5,968 MQMs if I flew first class. Seattle and Los Angeles flight paths offer similar MQDs for first, but they also have Delta One flights, which would help juice the MQDs a bit. But that doesnt solve the MQM portion. The MQMs are in the 7,000-plus range, but that still means Id need to fly at least six cross-country flights to come close to securing my statusand thats with my rollover.
At least one international flight is a helpful way to secure status. While international travel is technically doable to some places, its no longer simple right now given testing requirements to return to the U.S. As a last resort, I could do a miles run, or a long-haul flight that would earn the majority of the MQMs I need to secure status that wouldnt even require me to exit an airport. There are usually good options for these types of flights on Delta routes to Asia or Europe, where some countries now allow U.S. citizens as transfer passengers who don’t leave the airport.;
Delta Medallion Diamond Elite Status
This is Deltas highest tier. Youve flown with Delta a lot, and theyre happy to reward you for all that flying. Youll get everything mentioned before, and these extras:
- 11 Delta miles per dollar spent on Delta flights
- First-class upgrades Five days before departure with highest priority boarding
- 3 Choice Benefits of a Sky Club membership, four global upgrade certificates or eight regional upgrade certificates or two global and four regional upgrade certificates, 25,000 bonus miles, gift card or the ability to gift Gold elite status
- Free CLEAR membership
If youre at Diamond status, youve spent many hours on Delta planes and spent a lot of money on flights . Youll now get 11 Delta miles per dollar spent on Delta flights, the highest priority boarding every time you fly, and three Choice Benefits. Delta will even throw in a free CLEAR membership to help you get through participating airports a little faster.
What Is Delta Gold Medallion Status
Delta Gold Medallion status is Deltas lowest tier status that offers SkyTeam Elite Plus status, which gives you Sky Priority and business class lounge access. Gold Medallion status is an upgrade compared to Silver Medallion status for a more enjoyable and seamless ground experience.
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Delta Skymiles Blue American Express Card: Basic Benefits With No Annual Fee
The Blue Delta Amex is Delta’s entry-level consumer card. While this card doesn’t cost you anything to hold long term, it also doesn’t offer much in the way of benefits.
One perk that does make this card interesting is Delta’s Pay with Miles feature. This perk is available exclusively to Delta cardholdersincluding the Blue Delta Amex.
Like most frequent-flyer programs, Delta limits which flights you can book with miles. Pay with Miles lets you redeem SkyMiles for any Delta-operated flight you could buy with money. This is a handy workaround when the flight you want isn’t available as a standard award ticket. However, there are far better ways to spend SkyMiles.
- 2X Miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta
- 2X Miles per dollar at restaurants worldwide
- 1 Mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases
Going Elite With Medallion Status
If you fly Delta regularly, you may enjoy the perks that come along with Medallion Status, the airlines elite program, such as
- Complimentary upgrades
- Priority boarding
- Waived baggage fees
As you progress up to higher levels of Medallion Status, you can earn more SkyMiles per $1 spent on Delta flights. The status levels range from Silver to Diamond.
Heres what each status nets you for each $1 you spend on Delta flights.
You can earn Medallion Status by flying with Delta or partner airlines, but theyre tracked through three separate indicators: Medallion® Qualification Dollars, Medallion® Qualification Miles, and Medallion® Qualification Segments.
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The Perks Of Medallion Status
In addition to the free basic SkyMiles membership, Delta Air Lines offers four tiers of the elite membership program: Medallion status. Frequent fliers reach Medallion status not with conventional redeemable miles, however, but with Medallion Qualification Miles . MQMs are earned based on distance flown, class flown, and annual Delta spending . When frequent fliers become Medallion-level members, they can earn redeemable miles from partner hotel, car rental, and dining programs, as well as Airbnb and Lyft.
Earning Delta Elite Status With Credit Card Spending
- Ben Schlappig
One of the things that make Delta credit cards unique is how they can be used to earn elite status. Delta lets you spend your way towards status, and in theory, you could even earn top-tier status with Delta exclusively through credit card spending.
Theres no airline in the United States Id rather fly consistently than Delta, and in the past, Ive often considered trying to spend my way towards status with Delta. Thats something Im considering less now than in the past, between the pandemic and all the ways that airlines have devalued frequent flyer programs. Still, I think its interesting to consider the math.
In this post, I wanted to take a close look at the current state of earning Delta status through credit card spending. For those who are currently Delta SkyMiles elite members this might not be too necessary, given that Delta has extended Medallion status for 2021.
In this post:
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Delta Gold Cards: Solid Benefits With A Low Annual Fee
The Delta Gold cards are a perfect fit for anyone who flies occasionally with Delta. The significant benefit offered by both the consumer and small business cards is a free first checked bag for the primary cardholder and up to eight companions flying on the same reservation. If you and one companion check a bag on a single domestic round trip each year, you’ll save more than the cost of the annual fee.
- 2X Miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta
- 2X miles per dollar on eligible U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
- 2X miles per dollar on eligible U.S. shipping purchases
- 2X miles per dollar on dining
- 1X miles per dollar on all other purchases
Limitations With Basic Economy
Medallion members who book basic economy tickets will not receive complimentary upgrades to First Class, Comfort+, or Preferred Seats.
But Medallion members will still receive most other benefits, including free checked bags, priority check-in, priority boarding, and Medallion mileage bonuses.
Plus, Basic Economy tickets still earn MQMs, MQSs, and MQDs towards Medallion status.;
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Flying With Delta Air Lines
Every time you fly Delta Air Lines, youll earn Delta SkyMiles. Create a free SkyMiles account to begin earning miles when you book. Enter your SkyMiles number in the reservation when you purchase the ticket for the miles to be added to your account automatically.;
On flights operated or marketed by Delta, youll earn 5 miles for every $1 you spend as a general SkyMiles member. That amount goes up with each of the four tiers of Delta elite status for frequent flyers, up to 11 miles per $1 for Diamond Medallion members.
Delta Air Lines Elite Status
As a Delta SkyMiles member, youll be able to earn Medallion status based on a few criteria. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to earn Delta Medallion status, there are few terms youll need to understand.
Medallion Qualification Miles : MQMs are based on the fare class of your ticket and the actual number of miles flown. These are different than miles earned for award travel which are based on ticket price and Medallion status level. Delta SkyMiles dont expire, but MQMs reset at the beginning of each year.
Hot Tip: All MQMs earned in 2021 will count toward 2022 Medallion status. Any MQMs earned that exceed a Medallion level threshold will be rolled over to 2022 and will count toward 2023 Medallion status levels.
Medallion Qualification Segments : MQSs are based on the number of flights you take.
Medallion Qualification Dollars : MQDs are for U.S.-based SkyMiles members only and are based on how much you spend on Delta flights and select partner airline flights. For Delta-marketed flights this includes the base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges but excludes other taxes and fees. For select partner flights, youll earn 1/5 of the redeemable miles you earn for that flight.
Qualification Period: The qualification period runs on a calendar year, so you have from January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021, to earn elite status for the 2022 Medallion year.
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Delta Offers Rollover Mqms
Delta offers rollover MQMs, so if you over qualify for a status level over the course of a year, whatever miles you earn above a particular status level roll over to the following year.
So if you end the year with 45,000 MQMs youd earn Silver status, but that only requires 25,000 MQMs. So 20,000 MQMs would roll over to the next year.
That can play into this strategy as well.
Delta Gold Medallion Vs United Premier Gold Status
There are a few differences between the two programs second tiered status.
The first difference is how early upgrades can be confirmed.;Gold Medallion upgrades can clear 72 hours prior to departure, but for Premier Gold its 48 hours prior to departure. Gold Medallions are also eligible to receive upgrades to Delta One within the 50 states, unlike Premier Gold.
Both of these dont mean youre more likely to receive an upgrade with Gold Medallion over Premier Gold; it just means your upgrade might clear sooner and have the added benefit of getting a rare upgrade for Delta One within the 50 states.
The second difference, Premier Gold members get Marriott Gold status, while Delta doesnt give any benefits or status for a hotel.
So in the end, both of these programs are very similar. The deciding factor will most likely come down to the route network. For me, Delta works for me since DTW is my base, but if I were based out of IAH than United would be better.
Daniel wrote a great article about United Premier Gold here.
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Utilize A Status Challenge
Delta has a publicly-available status challenge program, so if you currently hold status with a qualifying airline and havent done a status match or challenge with Delta in the previous three years, you can submit a request to enjoy a three-month trial of Medallion status. You then must complete a set amount of flying and spending during that three-month period to extend the status.
How To Earn Delta Medallion Status
Figuring out how to earn Medallion status with Delta can be confusing. First of all, you’ll need to decipher the meaning of various terms, such as MQMs, MQDs and MQSs. The airline doesn’t measure your status by one metric, either. You’ll earn Delta Medallion status through a combination of flying and spending. This can make earning status tricky for members who tend to fly on the cheapest flights, although it’s possible to skirt this requirement with an MQD waiver.
What’s more, the rules on how you earn MQMs, MQDs and MQSs only apply to Delta-operated flights flight numbers that start with the code “DL.” On partner airlines, these metrics will be calculated differently. Delta has the metrics for each partner airline posted here. So let’s dive into the requirements for Delta Medallion status, what they mean and how to meet them.
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Delta Platinum Amex Mqms For Spending
- Earn 10,000 bonus MQMs after spending $25,000
- Earn an additional 10,000 bonus MQMs after spending $50,000
- For 2021, earn an additional 2,500 MQMs at each of these thresholds
That means spending $50,000 on either of the cards would ordinarily earn you 20,000 MQMs, or 25,000 MQMs in 2021. Meanwhile, if you spent $50,000 on both of these cards youd ordinarily earn 40,000 MQMs, or 50,000 MQMs in 2021.
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Clear Is Moving Across The Nation
In 50+ of the busiest airports and other venues nationwide, CLEAR is the fastest, smartest, and friendliest way through security.
CLEAR is currently available to US citizens, legal permanent residents, and citizens of US territories, 18 and older with valid photo ID.
All SkyMiles Program Rules apply. *Preferred rate is limited to Basic Card Members with the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card, and Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card. To review the rules, please visit SkyMiles Membership Guide & Program Rules
Delta Skymiles And Delta Elite Status
Like most major airlines, Delta has an elite status program, meaning the more you fly, the more perks youll get. These perks include complimentary upgrades , waived baggage fees and even the ability to gift status to a friend or family member.
There are four elite status tiers within the Delta SkyMiles program: Silver Medallion, Gold Medallion, Platinum Medallion and Diamond Medallion. To earn status at any given tier, youll have to spend a certain amount of money and fly a certain amount of miles .
While having elite status can be a huge travel perk and help you save money while flying we dont recommend chasing after it if you arent sure you are financially able to do so. Plus, the benefits of elite status are most useful for frequent flyers who already dedicate a large portion of their annual budget to flights and travel.;
Here are the main requirements and perks you can expect at each Delta status level, from lowest to highest.
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Delta Platinum Business Amex + Delta Reserve Business Amex
If, on the other hand, you want to focus your small-business spending on earning Medallion status, consider grabbing the two business cards. The same general premise in the previous example holds here too. If you dont currently have the Reserve, you could spend your way to 100,000 MQMs in 2020 and then 80,000 MQMs in future years. Existing Reserve cardholders would be limited to 80,000 MQMs, still enough for Platinum status.
Lets say that you were a mega-spender and wanted to have both versions of the Reserve card. If you maxed out your Status Boosts on both in 2021, you would take home a total of 150,000 MQMs:
- 75,000 MQMs after spending $120,000 on one card
- 75,000 MQMs after spending $120,000 on the other card
Then, by spending another $5,000 on each card before the end of the calendar year, youd earn the MQD waiver for Diamond Medallion and enjoy top-tier Delta status through Jan. 31, 2023.
In subsequent years, youll need to spend $125,000 on each . That would put you just 5,000 MQMs away from Diamond Medallion status. However, thanks to Deltas policy of rolling over extra MQMs, the additional 25,000 MQMs above will actually be enough for five more years of Diamond status when you spend $125,000 or more on each card.
Oh, and youll still enjoy a pair of yearly companion tickets and Sky Club access whenever you fly Delta.
Complimentary Upgrades On Aeromexico
Delta owns a 49% ownership stake in Aeromexico, and their joint venture partnership makes Medallion members eligible for complimentary upgrades on Aeromexico flights.
Medallion members and one travel companion are eligible for complimentary upgrades on all intra-Mexico Aeromexico flights, as well as Aeromexico flights between Mexico and the U.S., Central America, Caribbean, Colombia, and Ecuador.
All tickets, including award tickets but excluding basic economy, are eligible for upgrades.
Upgrades to Class Premier will clear in advance based on the normal Medallion upgrade windows.
Unfortunately, Medallion members are not eligible for upgrades to Aeromexico Plus .
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