Delta's unpopular Medallion program changes have finally killed off Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs), once a core building block for earning status. But before they go the way of the French franc, ultra-frequent Delta flyers now have a final shot to put their extra MQMs to use.
For years, Delta flyers have rolled over their excess Medallion Qualifying Miles – whatever they'd earned above their current tier – to get a head start on the next year's status. Now, Delta is giving flyers with status and extra MQMs from previous years the ability to turn them into something else entirely. As of Wednesday, those choices are live, and some are potentially very lucrative.
You can turn those rollover MQMs into redeemable SkyMiles, convert them to Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs) for a boost toward status this year, or even turn a large stash into an automatic year (or longer) extension of Medallion Status. If you're a lucky Delta traveler with plenty of MQMs to go around, you can even mix and match your choices.
It's a unique (and final) opportunity to put the miles you racked up with Delta last year to use, and you have until the end of 2024 to decide what you want to do with them.
Read on for everything you need to know about what to do with your rollover MQMs and how to actually convert them.
Rollover MQM Conversion Options
Rolling over excess MQMs has been a novel feature of Delta's elite status program.
Each and every year, Delta rolls over any MQMs you've earned above your current tier into the following year. Did you earn Delta Gold Status for this year but amass a whopping 70,000 MQMs, 20,000 above what you needed? You'd get those extra 20,000 MQMs to be off and running the next year, thereby encouraging travelers to continue flying (and spending) on Delta and giving life to the mileage run.
Shifting away from measuring mileage was at the heart of Delta's botched overhaul of Medallion Status as the airline will instead focus only on the almighty Medallion Qualifying Dollar (MQD) for status. In 2024 and beyond, it's all about spending – and a lot of it.
But Delta is giving travelers a chance to convert their hard-earned Medallion Qualifying Miles into free travel, boosted status, and even extended elite status. With a new dedicated page to convert your extra MQMs, it's time for many travelers to start thinking about what to do.
There are three options, and some are better than others. But you can also mix and match, Delta says: “SkyMiles members can split their Rollover MQM balance conversion between miles and MQDs based on 25% increments.”
Just be sure to make your selection by Dec. 31, 2024, otherwise, your entire batch of extra MQMs will automatically be converted into MQDs. And make sure you're confident in your decision: Whatever you pick can't be reversed.
Oh, and remember: You can only roll over the excess MQMs beyond the status you earned last year. So if you earned Delta Gold Status (which required 50,000 MQMs) but had 125,000 MQMs at the end of the year, you've got 75,000 MQMs to roll over – not the full, 125,000 balance.
Convert MQMs into SkyMiles
Delta SkyMiles get a bad rap for being “worthless.” And while we acknowledge that they're worth less than some of their competitors, consistent SkyMiles flash sales and other redemption options still make them worth having.
If you decide that extra SkyMiles are just what you need, you can convert your rollover MQMs to SkyMiles at a 2:1 ratio. This means that if you've got 100,000 rollover MQMs, you could turn those into 50,000 redeemable SkyMiles.
Given all the ways there are to earn SkyMiles, like spending on a Delta co-branded credit card or by transferring in Amex Membership Rewards, this probably shouldn't be your first choice unless you've got a really good use in mind.
Related reading: Fly Delta One Suites to Tokyo from 85k SkyMiles!
Turn MQMs into MQDs
I know! By now you're probably sick of hearing about Delta's new requirements for earning status, but the only thing that matters going forward is how much you spend with the airline.
And even with new avenues for earning those all-important Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs) – like purchasing a Delta Vacations package or the MQD Headstart benefit on select Delta credit cards – elite status in 2024 requires earning more MQDs than ever. Here's a look at what you need to qualify for elite status this year:
One of the best options on the list for rollover MQMs is turning them into MQDs on a 10:1 basis. So if you had a balance of 100,000 extra MQMs, you could turn that into 10,000 MQDs. That alone is enough for instant Gold status this year or maybe a big enough boost to vault you even higher, depending on which Delta Amex cards you have, your spending, and your Delta flights in 2024.
Since you can mix and match your conversion options, you could also opt to convert 50,000 of those MQMs into 5,000 MQDs (enough for Silver Medallion status) and turn the other 50,000 into 25,000 SkyMiles. So long as you're converting your rollover MQM balance in 25% increments, you can end up with any combination of MQMs and MQDs that you like.
Unless earning Medallion status in 2024 is a cinch, turning some of your rollover MQMs into MQDs will likely be a good choice – especially for those with MQM balances under 100,000. Keep reading to see why…
Read more: Is Delta Elite Status Worth it Anymore?
Extend Your Medallion Status Automatically
This could easily be the single-best option of all the rollover MQM conversion choices. But here's the thing: It won't be a choice for every Delta flyer with status – or even many.
If you're an ultra-frequent Delta flyer with a balance of at least 100,000 MQMs, you can extend your high-level Medallion status for an extra year (or more). You'd need to trade 100,000 MQMs for an extra year of status – and if you've got several hundred thousand rollover MQMs, you can lock in several years of automatic status with each 100,000-MQM sum.
That's right: You can lock in years of Medallion status without setting foot on a Delta plane.
Just as with previous options, you can mix and match, too. So if you have a balance of 150,000 MQMs you could choose to extend your current elite status by one year and turn the remaining 50,000 MQMs into 5,000 MQDs or 25,000 SkyMiles.
But fair warning: It may not make much sense to extend your status and get some extra MQDs, too. Travelers who extend their status can't double-dip by earning status again next year. Delta has confirmed there will not be “an extension of the extension.”
So unless you've locked in a year or more of Delta Platinum status but could hit Diamond with an extra boost, for example, there's little reason to add to your stash of MQDs. And frequent flyers (or heavy spenders) who would naturally earn whatever status they could extend would probably be wise to select another option altogether.
On the plus side, a Delta spokesman previously confirmed that travelers who opt for extra years of Platinum or Diamond Medallion Status will even be able to select Choice Benefits each year. And with new benefits on the way in 2025, that's a big deal.
How to Convert Your Rollover MQMs
Starting today, Wednesday, Feb. 21, Delta flyers with rollover MQMs can start the rollover process in their SkyMiles account. To get started, you'll need to log in to your account on Delta's website and head to the “My SkyMiles' tab.
At the top of the page, you'll see a box alerting you that the one-time rollover MQM conversion is available now. To get started, you'll need to click “Convert Now.”
Once on the page, you'll find the number of rollover MQMs available and the options for how to use them. In 2023, I earned 65,893 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) through a combination of flying with Delta, rolling over MQMs from 2022, and spending on my *delta skymiles platinum card*.
Since 50,000 MQMs was enough to qualify me for Gold Medallion status in 2024, that left me with 15,893 MQMs available to rollover since I fell short of the required 75,000 MQMs to earn the next tier of Delta status – Platinum Medallion.
With not many rollover MQMs available, I opted to convert all of those MQMs into MQDs, giving me a boost toward earning status for 2025.
Just make sure that whatever you select is your final decision. Once you hit continue, you'll get a warning that the action cannot be changed or reversed.
Now that I've completed the process, the “My SkyMiles” tab in my Delta account reflects that I have successfully completed my MQM rollover selection and it says that they should be in my account within 48 hours. But in practice, it appears to be much sooner than that. 24 hours later, the 1,590 MQDs are in my account.
Remember: You have until Dec. 31, 2024, to make your selection, otherwise, you will forfeit those extra MQMs.
Long a vital piece of Delta's Medallion status program, MQMs are on their way out the door. But before they disappear, Delta flyers who racked up serious miles last year will have a chance to put them to use.
Starting today, travelers now have the option to convert their hard-earned extra MQMs from last year into redeemable SkyMiles, extra MQDs, a year or more of automatic elite status … or even a combination of all three.