Delta opened the floodgates on Wednesday with a slew of great news for frequent flyers, including a brand new promotion to earn Delta Medallion Status much faster this year and giving companion certificates from top Delta credit cards another six-month extension.
We question if Delta Medallion Status is worth it for average travelers, but Wednesday's new promotion could turn that on its head – at least for 2021 and 2022. From April 1 through the end of 2021, Delta's new fast-track offer to elite status allows SkyMiles members to earn at least 50% more Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs), Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs), and Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) on all Delta flights, the building blocks of earning Delta status.
Best of all, Delta is making an industry-first move: You'll even earn towards status on award tickets booked with SkyMiles, plus Delta Pay with Miles tickets, Miles + Cash bookings, and even flights booked through a Delta Vacations package.
That's a monumental shift in earning Delta status, making it far easier to climb the ranks of Delta Medallion – and earning status this year would get you those benefits all the way through January 2023. Plus, Delta flyers with the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card or the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card will now have through June 2022 to use companion certificates set to expire this year.
Keep reading to see all the changes in store.
Delta Medallion Status Accelerator
- All basic economy and main cabin tickets departing from April 1 through Dec. 31, 2021, will earn 50% more MQMs, MQSs, and MQDs.
- Flying in a premium cabin? Premium cabin fares in Delta One, Delta Premium Select, Delta Comfort Plus, and even domestic first class will earn an additional 25% bonus, for a total of a 75% boost. You will even earn the extra 25% boost on tickets upgraded to a premium cabin after the original purchase.
- Most importantly, award tickets booked with SkyMiles will count toward this promotion – regardless of when they were actually booked! That's something we have never seen from a U.S. airline. You'll also be eligible for the multipliers on Miles + Cash tickets, Pay with Miles tickets, and flights booked as a part of a Delta Vacations package.
- Flights booked with Delta partner airlines like Air France, KLM, and others will not be eligible for this promotion. Only flights marketed and operated by Delta Air Lines will qualify.
- Award tickets booked with SkyMiles still will not earn additional SkyMiles.
What You Need to Know About Delta Medallion Status
There’s no doubt about it: Even the lowest levels of Delta status require a fair amount of travel – at least in normal times.
There are two critical pieces to get status with Delta: flying and spending. You have to rack up a certain amount of miles on Delta flights (called Medallion Qualification Miles or MQMs, which are different than SkyMiles) or a sheer number of flight segments, plus a spending requirement.
Here’s a brief rundown on what it takes to earn each of the four Medallion tiers:
- Silver Medallion Status: 25,000 MQMs OR 30 flights (called Medallion Qualifying Segments) AND $3,000 in spending on Delta or partner flights (MQDs)
- Gold Medallion Status: 50,000 MQMs OR 60 Medallion Qualifying Segments AND $6,000 in spending on Delta or partner flights (MQDs)
- Platinum Medallion Status: 75,000 MQMs OR 100 Medallion Qualifying Segments AND $9,000 in spending on Delta or partner flights (MQDs)
- Diamond Medallion Status: 125,000 MQMs OR 140 Medallion Qualifying Segments AND $15,000 in spending on Delta or partner flights (MQDs)
Once you unlock your status, you’ll have it for the rest of that year and the following calendar year. So earning status in 2021 would get you Delta Medallion status through January of 2023. And this new promotion essentially makes it 50% to 75% easier to hit each of these tiers.
How This New Delta Status Promotion Works
Let's take a look at a flight from Minneapolis St. Paul (MSP) to Phoenix (PHX) in mid-April as an example.
You could book this flight in main cabin for $331.80 or 28,000 SkyMiles. Before factoring in this new promotion, you'd earn 2,552 MQMs and $282 MQDs for the cash ticket – and no MQMs or MQDs whatsoever if you were to book with SkyMiles.
But with this new Delta Medallion Status Accelerator promotion, this same fare would earn 3,828 MQMs. That true whether you pay in cash or use Delta SkyMiles. If you paid cash, you would also earn $423 of MQDs.
But if you book with SkyMiles, earning MQDs gets a little tricky. You'll earn MQDs based on the miles redeemed for the flight divided by 100 and then multiplied by the applicable bonus. So in this example, we used 28,000 SkyMiles. Divide that by 100 and we get 280. Add in the 50% bonus and we would earn $420 MQDs.
However you book, it's a major boost that makes status much easier to earn for the remainder of 2021 – and all of 2022.
Companion Tickets Have Been Extended Through June 2022
In addition to this new status promotion, Delta has granted an extension to all companion tickets earned from either the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card or the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card.
After a previous extension, many of these certificates were set to expire at the end of 2021. Now, they've been extended through June 2022!
And it doesn't matter how long ago they were issued. As you can see below, this companion certificate was originally issued in Sept. of 2019.
Read our guide on how to maximize your Delta companion certificates!
What These Changes Mean
We've never seen anything like this.
Delta threw out the kitchen sink on Wednesday with a handful of news – both good and bad. On the bad side, Delta officially announced it will stop blocking middle seats come May 1. The airline finally confirmed it will extend nearly all travel credits through the end of 2022, and gave flyers another month to book basic economy fares with free change and cancellation.
But this new status promotion should make frequent Delta flyers chasing Medallion status quite happy. Airlines have gone out of their way to make earning status easier in 2021, but this move from Delta is easily the best yet.
Earning 50% to 75% more towards elite status is one thing. But applying those same bonuses to award tickets booked with SkyMiles is unparalleled. It's a massive shift.
If you are chasing Delta Medallion status, this new promotion allows you to earn up to 75% more MQMs, MQSs, and MQDs on all Delta-operated flights (including those booked with SkyMiles) through the end of the year.
It's never been easier to earn Delta status. And Delta even sweetened the deal by extending companion certificates by another six months.