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Is Delta Medallion Status Worth it Anymore? Earning & Using Delta Status

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Frequent flyers wear their airline status like a badge of honor, and Delta Medallion Status is no different. But what does it really mean for the everyday, two-or-three-times-a-year flyer? 

Odds are: Not a whole lot. No matter the airline, earning status requires a metric ton of flying each and every year, spending thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars on the airline. And while the prospect of free upgrades and other perks might seem tempting, actually getting those benefits can be hit-or-miss until you climb the ranks. So is it really worth it?

After the airline's botched overhaul of Medallion Status last year, plenty of once-diehard Delta flyers are asking themselves that question – and we're here to help you find your answer. For many flyers – especially those traveling frequently for work on their employer's dime – it may make perfect sense to chase Delta status.

But our general rule of thumb is that unless you can easily earn status with your normal flying for work or vacation, it's rarely worth it for average travelers to go far out of their way to clinch status on any airline. So as the year progresses and temptation looms, keep in mind that mileage runs or crazy spending strategies to get status may not be worth the trouble. 

Let's dive into what it takes to earn Delta Medallion Status, what it gets you, and whether it's worth it after all.

Read more: For Most Average Travelers, Delta's Status Drama is No Big Deal
 

 

The Basics of Earning Delta Medallion Status

With all the major changes Delta is making to its status program, we need to back up.

As of Jan. 1, 2024, a brand new system – based solely on how much you spend with Delta (or on select co-branded Amex credit cards) – takes effect. Gone are the days of needing to meet annual spending and flying requirements to earn Delta status. These days, it's all about how much you spend with Delta – or on your Delta credit card.

Some basics to keep in mind before we dive into the details:

  • You've got until Dec. 31 to meet these requirements. And it's not enough to simply book a flight before the deadline: You need to actually take that flight before the end of the year for it to count.
  • Once you've earned status, you've got it for the rest of the current year and the entire subsequent year – actually, a bit more. If you earn status in 2024, you'll get those benefits through the end of January of 2026.
  • But your quest to earn (or requalify for) status restarts with the calendar year. Come Jan. 1, it's back to zero.

 

delta sky club seattle
Delta's Seattle Sky Club

 

 

Those are some complicated factors. If you're lost already, odds are that you shouldn't give a lick about earning Delta Medallions status. The perks of Delta status require a lot of work (or, more accurately, a lot of spending) to unlock. And until you really climb the ladder of status, those perks don't really pay off. 

But if you're up to the challenge, keep reading.

 

Delta's Requirements for Earning Status in 2024 & Beyond

Everything changed in the New Year.

After turning some of its most loyal flyers against the airline with sweeping and painful changes to both earning Medallion Status and getting into Sky Club lounges, Delta tweaked how it will adjust those plans to soften the blow. But it's far from an outright reversal.

Read more: Delta Tweaks Medallion Status Requirements & Sky Club Policies After Uproar

Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) have officially disappeared as Delta focuses on the almighty Medallion Qualifying Dollar: All that matters for earning status in 2024 and beyond is how much you spend with Delta. And from the lowest tier to the top, you'll have to spend a lot more.

Medallion Tiers 2023 MQD Thresholds2024 MQD Thresholds
Silver3,000 MQDs5,000 MQDs
Gold8,000 MQDs10,000 MQDs
Platinum12,000 MQDs15,000 MQDs
Diamond20,000 MQDs28,000 MQDs

 

Those annual spending requirements are lower than what the airline originally proposed. But it's still a substantial increase.

Two quick caveats to keep in mind: 

For example, travelers who currently have Silver Medallion status by spending $3,000 with Delta in a calendar year will have to spend $5,000 with the airline next year. To earn top-end Delta Diamond status, you'll need to spend $28,000 in 2024.

Those increases are particularly tough to swallow for travelers who relied upon earning an MQD waiver to earn status, a popular feature that allowed cardholders to bypass annual spending requirements with Delta to earn Silver, Gold, or Platinum status by spending $25,000 on select Delta co-branded credit cards instead. Effective January 2024, that's gone.

In its place, Delta has created a far-less rewarding system to earn additional MQDs for everyday spending on select Delta credit cards:

 

delta card upgrade

 

Let's spell this out. A traveler who previously earned Delta Gold Medallion status in part by spending $25,000 a year on a Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card would now have to spend as much as $200,000 on that same card. Even with a top-dollar Delta Reserve Card, that's as much as $100,000 in spending on a single credit card.

Those increases put even low levels of Delta status out of reach for all but the heaviest spenders. While Delta will now grant customers MQDs when they purchase packages through Delta Vacations (but not hotels or rental cars booked through Delta, as initially planned), that's not nearly enough to outweigh these negative changes.

If you ask us, it means many travelers should seriously rethink whether Delta Medallion Status is worth all the spending starting next year.

 

a delta airplane flying through the sky

 

Tips to Get Medallion Status in 2024 & Beyond

Now more than ever, most travelers shouldn't stress about earning status on Delta. For the bulk of us, it'll simply require too much extra spending for benefits that won't be worth it.

That said, there are some creative avenues you could take starting next year to ease the pain.

 

Select Cardholders Get a Boost

To ease the pain of reaching those higher spending requirements, Delta will give its top cardholders a leg up starting next year.

Delta will dole out 2,500 MQDs each to kick off 2024 (and every year after that) to travelers with the following co-branded cards:

That means a flyer with a Delta Platinum Card in their wallet at the start of the year would get $2,500 MQDs right off the bat – half of what it takes to reach Silver Medallion status. And if you've got several of these cards in your wallet (not that you should), you can stack these head-start bonuses for up to 10,000 MQDs, which gets you Gold Medallion Status.

A Delta spokesman confirmed cardholders will get this boost each and every year – it's not a one-off apology for 2024.

 

Rollover Your Way to More Years of Status

Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) are on their way out the door as Delta focuses on spending to measure status. But before they go, Delta is adding a novel way to use them to lock in status for a year … or several years.

Delta is giving Medallion members several options to roll over their excess MQMs at the start of 2024:

  • You can convert them into redeemable SkyMiles at a 2:1 rate – 100,000 MQMs would get you 50,000 SkyMiles.
  • Or you can convert them into all-important Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs) for next year, now at a 10:1 rate – a significant improvement from Delta's originally proposed 20:1 conversion. So that same 100,000 stash of MQMs would get you 10,000 MQDs, just enough to qualify for Gold Medallion Status.

But Delta is also adding an even more alluring alternative: So long as you've got at least 100,000 MQMs ready to roll over, you can instead use them to extend your current status for a year. 

 

a delta airplane flying through the sky

 

Got Gold Medallion Status and 100,000 MQMs beyond what you needed for next year? You can use them to lock in another year with Gold status. Got 500,000 extra MQMs as a Diamond Medallion? You could secure five more years with Diamond status.

And you can mix and match. For example, say you've got 350,000 MQMs left over. You could use 300,000 to lock in three years of your current status, then convert the remaining 50,000 MQMs into 25,000 SkyMiles.

To be clear, that's a lot of extra miles that few travelers might have racked up to make use of this. Delta said it'll offer these special rollover packages to members with high balances, with multi-year options to choose from. You'll need to have earned at least Silver Medallion Status to qualify for any of them.

And remember, this won't be applicable after this next status year, as you'll no longer be earning any MQMs at all.

 

Upgrade Your Flights

Just a few hundred MQDs short of that next tier of Delta status? Skip taking another trip: Just upgrade to first class or Delta Comfort Plus on an upcoming flight.

These upgrade fees count dollar-for-dollar towards your MQD count. So when I paid $439 to upgrade to first class on a flight from New York City-LaGuardia (LGA) to Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) last year, I got $439 MQDs.

 

Delta mqds

 

Book Flights with Your SkyMiles

Got a bunch of SkyMiles to burn? You can use them to close the gap for your Medallion Status.

That's because Delta counts award tickets toward earning status, meaning you can earn MQMs and MQDs even when you book with SkyMiles. You'll earn 1 MQD for every 100 SkyMiles you redeem. Book a flight for 30,000 SkyMiles and you'll get $300 MQDs.

For example, let's say you booked the insane Delta SkyMiles flash sale to New Zealand from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) later this year for 42,400 SkyMiles roundtrip. Once you get home, you'd earn $424 MQDs.

Unfortunately, booking Delta flights using miles from partners like Virgin Atlantic does not count.

 

Use Delta Vacations

For travelers who book package vacation deals through Delta Vacations, there's a serious silver lining to this otherwise unpopular overhaul of earning Delta status. 

For the first time, almost every dollar you spend on Delta Vacations packages will now earn you MQDs – and not just the cost of flights, but on hotel stays, rental cars, and other expenses, too.

Still, it's critical to make sure your Delta Vacations package includes a flight – simply booking a hotel or rental car alone won't cut it. But so long as your trip includes a Delta flight, you'll now be able to earn MQDs for the whole package price.

The MQDs you'll earn depends on whether you're traveling solo or with others in tow. But either way, they can drastically accelerate how many MQDs you can earn toward Delta status. 

For example, here's a trip for two, flying from Columbus (CMH) to Cancún (CUN) and a weeklong stay at the Secrets Moxché Playa del Carmen. While it costs nearly $9,000, you'd also earn nearly 7,000 MQDs in the process – enough for instant Silver Medallion status. With the right Delta credit card in your wallet, you'd be knocking on the door of Gold.

 

Delta Vacations CMH-CUN and Secrets Moxche

 

Read more: Are Delta Vacations the New Mileage Run?

 

Breaking Down the Benefits of Delta Status

This year, earning Delta status requires more spending than ever before. 

Is it worth all that time, flying, spending, and trouble? Are the benefits really that good?

That depends on who you ask.

 

Slim Chance of Upgrades Until You Climb the Status Ladder

Of all the reasons why flyers lust after airline status, one stands above them all.

Be honest: The allure of a complimentary upgrade is why you’re chasing airline status. After all, who wouldn’t like to fly up in first class while paying for coach?

But that’s not always the reality. Until you acquire higher levels of Delta status, upgrades are a mixed bag at best. After all your work to attain Silver or Gold Status, you’re still at or near the bottom of the queue for upgrades. With so many Delta Medallions flying right now after years of extensions and promos, even top-tier Platinum and Diamond flyers are missing out on free upgrades – especially in and out of big Delta hubs like Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP), Detroit (DTW), and definitely Atlanta (ATL). 

More importantly, Delta is selling many of those coveted first class seats anyway. Airline executives have recently said they're selling nearly 75% of domestic first class seats.

And no matter what rung of status you've earned, beware that Delta complimentary upgrades will never get you into business class on a long-haul international flight. Upgrade requests are limited to domestic flights as well as some short international hops from the U.S. to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

The upgrade situation should improve over time as Delta's changes thin out the bloated ranks of Medallion members with the new requirements taking effect in 2024. Still, it won't be a slam dunk – especially on the lower end of Delta status.

 

delta first class cabin

 

Read more: Why Free Upgrades on Delta are Getting Harder & Harder

Silver Medallion Status is the first rung. In our experience, any upgrades are spotty at best. First class upgrades are nonexistent on all but the least competitive, poorly timed flights. You will occasionally get bumped up to Delta Comfort Plus, but even that’s not a sure thing. And it will be a last-minute surprise: Silver Medallion upgrades don’t clear until 24 hours before departure. Basically, you should never truly count on upgrades with Delta Silver status – especially if you live in a busy Delta hub. 

Gold Medallion Status is, of course, better when it comes to upgrades – but not by much. You’ll get more upgrades to Comfort Plus than with Silver status, and they clear 72 hours in advance. But getting into First Class is still hard to come by with even Gold status, though you may get a few upgrades with off-peak flights.

Platinum Medallion Status is where the upgrade game starts to look better, but it’s still not a sure thing. In our experience, you can count on getting bumped up to first class between 30% and 40% of the time. But plan your travel wisely and you can do better. You can nearly double the odds of snagging a first-class upgrade by flying Delta’s regional carriers rather than mainline routes. It also helps to avoid high-traffic days like Mondays and Fridays. Flying on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays will get you more upgrades. You will always be moved into Comfort Plus at the time of booking as well. 

Platinum status also gives you the option to choose some sure-fire upgrades. You can pick between five of Delta’s “Choice Benefits” once you attain Platinum status, and one option is four regional upgrade certificates. Better yet, you can confirm these upgrades at the time you book. 

Diamond Medallion Status gets you at the top of the pecking order for securing free upgrades. And like Platinum status, those upgrades will begin clearing as far as five days in advance.

But you can get even more upgrades locked down. Diamond Medallion members can choose four Choice Benefits, including the most expansive set of upgrade certificates. If you only fly within the U.S., opt for the eight regional upgrades. International flyers might like the ability to guarantee an upgrade with four global upgrades – though these have taken a hit, as you can only upgrade by one cabin at a time which would often put you in Delta Premium Select after booking an economy seat. Or split the difference and opt for a mix of two global upgrades and four regional certificates.

It’s worth noting that all status-holders, from Silver to Diamond, can also bring a companion with them in a successful upgrade. You can get upgraded on an award ticket after using your SkyMiles to book. Just be warned that Delta basic economy fares are ineligible for upgrades.

While your level of Delta status is the biggest factor in scoring an upgrade, there's more behind your odds. So be sure to read up on how Delta determines the upgrade order.

Read our guide on how to boost your chances of scoring an upgrade with Delta!

 

Platinum & Diamond Perks Stack Up

Given their priority in the upgrade list, Delta Platinum and Diamond Medallion members might have it good – or at least better. But some other benefits at these tiers make it clear that this is where holding this status really starts to pay off.

For many years, one of our favorite perks of Platinum and Diamond status is that Delta’s $150 fee to change or cancel award tickets is waived. But these days, even flyers without a lick of status can get that benefit.

As airlines dropped change fees over the last few years, Delta also stopped charging this award ticket redeposit fee, period. So long as you don't book a basic economy award, that means you can change your SkyMiles award or cancel it and get your miles straight back to your account.

Given that change, it might be time for Delta to sweeten the deal for Platinum and Diamond members. Still, these top Medallion flyers get a few things that those with Gold and Silver Status don't.

One of the best perks is that Diamond and Platinum status holders almost always get immediately upgraded to Delta Comfort Plus when booking a main cabin economy ticket. Considering Delta frequently charges an additional $60 (or much more) for a Comfort Plus for domestic flights, that's a worthwhile perk.

 

delta planes

 

But much of the value of the top tiers of Delta status comes down to Choice Benefits.

Platinum members have a choice to make between the four regional upgrade certificates, a $250 Delta travel voucher, 20,000 bonus SkyMiles, or gifting Silver status to a companion. Those SkyMiles and gift card amounts are going up next year, while Delta will add the option of a $1,000 MQD accelerator.

Diamond members have a smorgasbord of options and can pick four benefits. That includes upgrade certificates, a few options for annual lounge memberships to unlock Delta Sky Club access, gifting Gold status to a companion, 25,000 SkyMiles, or the same $250 gift card. Those SkyMiles and gift card amounts are going up next year too, while Delta will add the option of a $2,000 MQD accelerator.

Diamond Medallion members also get a free membership for CLEAR, one of the best ways to save time at the airport. Ever seen a Porsche on the tarmac outside your Delta plane? That was likely waiting to whisk away a Diamond or Delta 360 member – the airline's exclusive, invite-only tier – in danger of missing his/her connecting flight.

Check out our rankings of the best Delta Choice Benefits!

 

Smaller Benefits Can Add Up

Most of the value from status with Delta comes from upgrades and other big-time benefits. But a handful of other perks are worth pointing out.

Getting free priority seating when booking is a small but unsung upside of Delta status available even to Silver Medallion members. It allows you to pick an exit row or bulkhead seat with additional legroom for free on domestic trips. This might just be my single favorite perk of Delta Silver Medallion Status. 

Similarly, you can snag a Comfort Plus seat for free on longer international flights – even as a Silver Medallion. Just beware that this benefit for a few extra inches of legroom doesn’t kick in for Silver status holders until 24 hours before departure – and 72 hours before departure if you’re Gold Medallion.

 

Delta Status
Photo courtesy of Delta

 

From Silver to Diamond, every Medallion status member gets a designated check-in line at the airport. Gold Medallion and up also get access to a priority security line at some airports and expedited baggage handling after landing. And everyone gets priority boarding, no questions asked. 

Flying abroad with a Delta SkyTeam partner airline? While carrying one of the Delta co-branded credit cards from American Express only gets you a free checked bag on Delta-operated flights, you can get free baggage on Delta partner airlines like Air France, KLM, and others with your Delta status.

 

Better Rewards for Million Milers

Yes, really. Some people have really racked up millions of miles flying with Delta over the years.

Delta has carved out a special Million Miller program, giving those who have flown a million miles with the airline lifetime status, regardless of how much they're still flying. After making it harder to climb the ranks of Delta Million Milers (long story short: spending on Delta credit cards will no longer count), Delta is sweetening the deal for existing members of this exclusive club.

Starting Feb. 1, 2024, Million Milers will get an even bigger push up the upgrade queues for first class seats. And their complimentary annual status is getting a big boost, too:

  • 1 Million Milers will get complimentary Gold Medallion Status every year – up from Silver Medallion
  • 2 Million Milers will get complimentary Platinum Medallion Status every year – up from Gold Medallion
  • 3 Million Milers will get complimentary Diamond Medallion Status every year – up from Gold Medallion
  • 4 Million Milers will get complimentary Diamond Medallion Status every year – up from Platinum Medallion
  • 5 Million Milers will get complimentary Delta 360 – the airline's exclusive, invite-only tier- every year – up from Platinum Medallion
  • 6 Million Milers and up will also get complimentary Delta 360 status every year – up from Diamond Medallion

Does this affect me and you? Probably not. But these are the flyers that Delta needs to keep happy, and giving them higher status for life is a nice touch. And bumping up the ultra-frequent flyers who have trekked 5 million miles or more to the ultra-exclusive (and mysterious) list of Delta 360 for life is a much-needed olive branch, giving them perks like a free annual Executive Sky Club membership and the possibility of private transfers between gates.

 

Is It Worth It?

It's the 5,000 MQD (or more) question.

Airline status is meant for the truly frequent travelers who are flying several times a month or more – often for business. For these travelers, it's much easier to organically hit the requirements for status with Delta without putting in extra work or taking a last-minute flight to hit the necessary requirements. And when your employer is footing that bill, it makes more sense.

But if you ask us, earning Delta status isn't worth the extra work, spending, or time for the vast majority of travelers – especially Delta Silver or Gold Medallion status. Airline status tricks too many flyers into spending more money in the chase for a title without truly rewarding them.

The end-of-year buy-up offers from Delta to secure status are exhibit A in the museum of poor choices made in the name of status.

 

delta medallion status upgrade

 

Sure, there are some exceptions. Perhaps you're just a short flight or $100 MQDs away from qualifying for a year's worth of Silver, Gold, or Platinum status. That could easily be worth it, especially if it pushes you into one of the higher rungs of Delta status.

But for most of us, qualifying for Delta status would require a big effort (and expense). In those cases, you're probably better off forgetting about status altogether.

 

Bottom Line

Delta status can be lucrative, but it isn’t for everyone. With massive changes recently for earning that status, it's especially true. 

Even if you prefer flying Delta, the average traveler is almost always better off as a free agent – following cheap fares rather than airline loyalty. The perks for lower levels (Silver and Gold) generally aren’t worth the additional costs you’ll pay to get there. It’s better suited for employees whose businesses foot the bill for their frequent travel. 

If you can’t naturally build status, you’re probably better off seeking the best deal rather than focusing on Delta or employing wild-haired strategies to secure status.

 

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

24 Responses

  • You’re constant endorsement of Delta is tiring. I’ve been A-list with Southwest this past year and have loved it. And there is never a fee period for any kind of change. I can cancel a revenue or award ticket 10 mins before departure without penalty or change fee. Points redeposited right there real time. I’ve been flying Middle East and Asia airlines from Chicago, LAX, and NYC for my international travel and been very pleased . Well worth the connection for the far superior experience and product.

  • I just switched from Southwest to Delta and even racking up 70K miles in the last 4 months, all I have is GOLD which gets you NOTHING on Delta. Their 4 Medallion levels mean that there are 100 plus with Medallion status on each flight-what a scam!! No fee waivers, no points refunded! Going Back to Southwest Jan 1 2020 where A-preferred means something including free companion travel.

  • I for one appreciate that you do talk about Delta a lot ( whether a criticism or endorsement) because I live in a Delta hub and need all the pointers and info I can get on making the most of my Skymikes and low tier elite status.

    • Switch to Southwest
      Their program, service and upgrades are real and include
      Companion annual pass
      Free drinks coupons
      No cancellation fees and up-charges. You can cancel and reuse ticket at later date
      Very consistent friendly and upbeat staff
      Concierge line
      Easy to use website, mobile app

  • I have been loyal to Delta for many years and have not had any perks except no baggage fee (although I very rarely check a bag) and Main One early boarding. Thank you for clarifying the “chase” for Silver Medallion status and the lack of benefits. JetBlue credit card is looking like my next move (no more Delta Platinum Amex) mostly due to the Change Fee Waiver that comes with Mosaic. Delta needs to up their incentives to retain people like me.

  • I Always preferred Delta Airlines, and only began using my Delta card this year (typically used classic AMEX with no brand loyalty). In the four months since I’ve gotten my card, I am silver, Next month I will hit gold, and then Platinum by September, all without spending exorbitantly or going out of my way to hit status

    By having a Delta reserve, I have been upgraded to either first class or comfort plus on 100% of the Domestic flights I’ve taken this year, even before hitting silver medallion.

    I don’t understand the Delta hate in this thread. Even as I had a flight from LaGuardia to Detroit canceled on me last week, I got tens of thousands of miles, a couple hundred dollar vouchers, a night in a really nice hotel, Free meals and replacement luggage, and then just bought a direct flight to Mexico round-trip for 23,000 miles, & I have a strong feeling they will upgrade me and my husband to first class.

    Southwest and JetBlue are cool for certain flights, but as an incredibly avid traveler, no domestic airline comes close to Delta

  • Definitely recommend getting the Delta AMEX Reserve to give the extra bump in priority for First Class upgrades. I flew consistently throughout COVID and with the year-end rollovers in 2020 and 2022 I now have ~400,000 MQMs. With these MQMs and the Delta Reserve, I am currently at a streak of 21 flights in a row where I was upgraded to first class, without ever using a single regional upgrade certificate.

  • Using the Global Upgrade Certs is quite a hassle and with new rules significantly increased how much you have to spend to use them. But if you search Premium Select R/T and use miles can be very good use. Then hope agent tickets it correctly so you don’t have to sit on hold the day of departure while they fix it.

  • Good article and I agree that the perks are not there to go the extra mile for reaching a status with Delta.

    My Diamond status ends 01/31/2023 and I have been a Diamond since the start of that level in 2010 (or 2011). The reason I decided to not bother reaching the status anymore is the additional requirement on the use of GUCs and not being able to upgrade on some of the partner flights. I am using the last 4 GUCs for traveling to Bangkok in November. To use the GUC, my wife and I had to buy premium economy. Upgrade to Delta One from MSP to Seoul and return cleared at the time of booking but for Seoul to Bangkok and return we are on economy on Korean Air. I wish the agent was upfront about the flights operated by Korean Air.

  • I got some decent upgrades with Gold but Platinum DL Medallion has been incredible. Constant upgrades and issues resolved. I only got to silver last year and racked it up to platinum during summer 2022. I will do everything I can to keep the status. I’ve already received $1000s in seat upgrades, drinks, perks. I pay for all my travel so this is a whopper bonus.

  • I flew from SAN to SEA and back to get gold medallion in Dec 2021. That $400 flight has paid itself off in $1000s of upgrades. My hike airport only has Delta and United. With the Delta lounge in SLC, flying is way better.

  • I have had companion pass on south west and still have over 150,000 miles unused because southwest is too hard to get reasonable flight and connections times. I am diamond delta and just flew in delta one to Australia for 80,000 miles round trip and an upgrade certificate.
    That was a $10,000 upgrade and usually upgraded on domestic and Mexico and carribean flights. Also clear and lounge membership with a guest.
    I am platinum pro on American and other than selecting my seat not seen any benefits yet.
    Silver United and basically earlier boarding is only perk.
    I agree only top tier worth chasing but if flying anyway worth playing the game to get the perks.

  • I live in Atlanta and have silver status and have gotten an upgrade at least 1/3 of the time the past 3 years. I do try to fly out on not so busy days but they are high traffic routes like ATL to FLL usually. I even got an upgrade to a lay flat first class seat on a 767 before.

  • I’m Platinum medallion/Delta Reserve, DTW is my home airport. I’ve been hitting pretty much 100% upgrades since I was gold/reserve (ONLY exception was two of the six flights I took last week during a mileage run, which was to be expected).

    Even as a silver medallion/reserve, I was upgraded on every flight (mainly first class, a couple comfort plus). I never flew coach as a silver medallion.

    Perhaps it’s my reserve card or that I try to travel during slower days, but my odds have been are better than this article would have me expect.

    I flew 10,217 MQM last week to keep my platinum status for next year, & that’s not something I woulda done for upgrades 30 to 40% of the time😅😅😅😅

    Good luck y’all, if you are on the cusp of medallion status, do your best to lock it in by 31 December because next year, it’s gonna be way more difficult to get!

  • As a million miler, I will start with gold status. Does this mean I just need 5000 MQD’s to reach platinum level?

  • Great article – you mentioned Delta will dole out 2,500 MQDs each to kick off 2024 (and every year after that) to travelers with the following co-branded cards. Is that to each cardholder in the family if your spouse has the platinum Amex, do both of you get the 2,500 MQDs each year, or do you need to have separate accounts?

    • Hi Jason. It would be per account. So if your spouse is an authorized user on your account, you would only get 2,500 MQDs.

  • excellent article, thanks. nice to see some clear, concise information. i know a handful of fellow long-time Delta Platinum members that are changing airlines in 2024. i think Delta has always had excellent customer service, but feel that Platinum members are now overlooked and underappreciated in a lot of ways. sad to go, but I certainly understand delta’s position. thanks again for great article…

  • Thanks for the post. As a long-time Platinum Medallion, I am very disappointed in the changes. Even worse, they were announced too late in 2023 for me to drop Delta in 2024, as I already had several major trips paid for and I had significant eCredits remaining. I think I can attain Gold for 2025, but for me, Gold is worthless. I usually fly with my wife, so a rare upgrade to First Class and occasion upgrade to separate middle seats in Comfort+ means nothing to us. Unless someone at Delta gets half a brain (doubtful given past performance) and makes Gold/Silver of value (how about 66.6%/33.3% discounts on Comfort+ and Premium?), we are jumping ship in 2025. I suspect I am not the only one and that Delta has not yet felt the full brunt of their decisions. I hope Alaska is smart enough to repeat their really good status match offer in summer 2024. I think they will get a lot of takers then. Delta could also make the credit cards worth more if their companion fare was available outside the continental US — they don’t have to cover the entire flight but perhaps offer a $400 credit. Also make it good for two one ways instead of a round trip only. FWIW, Alaska offers discounts on upgrades to their MVPs, and their companion ticket is good for travel to Hawaii.

  • Hi Kyle!
    I have now read a few articles this year from popular sites like The Points Guy (who is advertised on the side of Delta planes with a decal) and Nerd Wallet. After I get done reading them; my first thought is always “they must be getting great kickbacks from Delta”. Which makes their articles pretty worthless. This is the first clean and fair article I have seen about Delta’s “loyalty” program renovations. It’s a money program, not a flying loyalty program. Delta should be honest and rename it as such. Stop hiding behind the ‘flying loyalty’ skirt when that is in the minority of how to get status. Or at least say, “First Class and Premium Select Loyalty” program.

    I fly internationally halfway around the world on average 6 times a year. I have been loyal to Delta for the past 7 years. These flights take longer than other airlines with more stops and at times, are more expensive; but travel comfort and perks are of high importance to me. For a ‘main cabin’ ticket international traveler; these changes effectively make the new status program unattainable, even with consistent flying.

    If Delta thinks this is a sustainable business model…well, go with God and good luck I suppose!

    As for me, as well many of my coworkers that have loyally flown Delta for many years longer than me, we will be status matching to United at the end of the year when Diamond status is no longer reachable for the following reasons:
    • No GUCs since we don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of Diamond status (That’s a deal killer in itself when you fly internationally). Same thing for Lounge access.
    • Sky Team Alliance pales in comparison to the Five Star Alliance if you fly internationally. Plus, Delta’s partner’s lose our bags consistently. Not cool.
    • It’s no longer logical to keep my co-branded Platinum Amex when I can barely use it overseas (Amex isn’t widely accepted internationally in my personal experience as well as a decent amount of places in the US). Could I upgrade to Reserve? Sure. Will I? Considering Delta just upped the annual fee from $550 to $650…probably not since Platinum status (which is lackluster for perks anyway) will be barely attainable. Other cards like the Venture X are more beneficial for travel perks and lounge access.
    • Regional upgrades aren’t worth much to me. It doesn’t take that long to fly anywhere in the US, so whoopity do. Shove your regionals, give me a decent upgrade on a 9+ hour flight.
    • Earning status booking vacation packages through the Delta app is hilarious. If Delta believes people are going to flock to there travel package booking like flamingos in mating season…they should probably start drug testing their employees who make these decisions more frequently. Delta, you are an airline, not a travel agency last I checked?
    My hope is that Delta reworks their program so I don’t need to jump in December. As of now, I will use the status and few perks I have left (you have already taken lounge access), and see what United has to offer, since they still somewhat reward true loyalty.

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