Delta just announced a slew of big changes to how travelers earn elite status with the airline and get into its exclusive Sky Clubs, but these changes aren't taking place immediately, and in fact, some won't impact travelers for several years – if at all.
But the actual timing of these changes is leaving many loyal Delta flyers confused as they try to figure out when their Sky Club access will be affected – and when they need to start paying attention to the new status requirements.
Read on for a timeline of Delta's latest changes and what it might mean for you.
When Are the Delta Medallion Status Requirements Changing?
Delta has four tiers of elite status: Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. Each status tier gives you access to different perks from priority boarding to complimentary upgrades. At the moment, you have to fly and spend a certain amount with Delta to qualify for SkyMiles Medallion status.
But to earn Medallion status in 2025 and beyond, it will just be about how much you spend, either with Delta or its partner airlines, on one of Delta's co-branded American Express credit cards, or a combination of both.
The most important thing to remember is this: These changes won't impact your 2024 Medallion status – just how you earn status for 2025.
Airline status is typically earned during the previous year, so status for 2024 is earned in 2023, and status for 2025 is earned in 2024. You have from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 each year to meet all the requirements for Delta status.
Whether you've already hit the thresholds to get Delta status in 2024 or are still working towards doing so, the requirements remain the same. But if you want any level of Delta SkyMiles Medallion status for 2025, the requirements to qualify will be different.
Starting Jan. 1, 2024, travelers will only earn Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs) – and that's all you'll need to reach Medallion status. You'll no longer have to worry about Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) or Medallion Qualifying Segments (MQSs) – those won't be a thing anymore.
The number of MQDs you'll need to reach each tier of Delta status is also changing, and not in a good way. Here's how many MQDs you need to earn between Jan. 1, 2024, and Dec. 31, 2024, to qualify for 2025 Delta SkyMiles Medallion status.
|Medallion Tiers||MQDs Required for 2025 Status|
Currently, you earn MQDs by purchasing Delta flights or flights through Delta on partner airlines. But beginning Jan. 1, 2024, there will be more ways to earn MQDs.
- You'll earn 1 MQD per $1 spent on the ticket price for a Delta-marketed flight operated by Delta or a Delta partner airline.
- If you hold the *delta reserve card* or the *delta reserve biz card*, you'll earn 1 MQD for every $10 you spend.
- If you hold the *delta skymiles platinum card*, or the *delta platinum biz card*, you'll earn 1 MQD for every $20 you spend.
- You'll earn 1 MQD per $1 spent on completed car rentals booked through Delta.
- You'll earn 1 MQD per $1 spent on completed hotel stays booked through Delta.
- You'll earn 1 MQD per $1 spent on Delta Vacations package bookings.
- There will no longer be an MQD waiver for meeting a spending threshold on the Delta Platinum and Reserve credit cards.
- There will be no path to earning MQDs for spending on the *delta skymiles gold card*.
So for example, you could purchase $6,000 worth of Delta flights in a calendar year to earn enough MQDs for Silver status or spend $60,000 on your Delta SkyMiles Reserve card – or a combination of both.
Do you have rollover MQMs? On Jan. 1, you'll be able to convert those MQMs into either MQDs or SkyMiles at the following ratios
- SkyMiles: 2 rollover MQMs = 1 SkyMile (i.e. 200,000 rollover MQMs would get you 100,000 SkyMiles)
- MQDs: 20 rollover MQMs = 1 MQD (i.e. 200,000 MQMs would get you 10,000 MQDs)
When is Delta Sky Club Access Changing?
Delta is making it harder to get into its Sky Clubs if you were getting lounge access via a premium travel rewards credit card.
These are the dates to keep in mind.
Jan. 1, 2024
- Travelers with the *delta skymiles platinum card* or the *delta platinum biz card* will no longer be able to access the Sky Club unless they purchase a Sky Club membership. Previously, these cardholders could purchase a day pass to the Sky Club for $50 and bring in guests for an additional $50. It should be noted that you need to have some level of Delta Medallion status to buy a Sky Club membership.
- Travelers flying in Delta Basic Economy will no longer be able to access the Sky Club at all, regardless of any credit card they might hold.
Feb. 1, 2025
- Travelers with the *delta reserve card* or the *delta reserve biz card* will be limited to 10 Sky Club visits (and two complimentary guest passes) per year.
- Travelers with *amex platinum card* will be limited to six Sky Club visits per year.
Why Feb. 1 and not the beginning of the year? These limits are per “Medallion Year” which runs from Feb. 1 to Jan. 31, instead of a traditional calendar year – in case it wasn't already confusing.
So if you hold at least one of these cards, don't race out and cancel it just yet. You'll still get unlimited complimentary Sky Club access for the remainder of this year and all of 2024 through Jan. 31, 2025.
Want unlimited complimentary Sky Club access in 2025? You can get it by spending $75,000 on a personal or business Delta Reserve card within a Medallion Year. For 2025, that means you'll need to spend that amount between Jan. 1, 2024, and Dec. 31, 2024.
The changes to Delta's SkyMiles Medallion program and its Sky Club access policies will be rolled out over the next few years. Nothing is changing immediately.
The first of these new changes won't go into effect until 2024, and some won't have much of an impact until 2025. And if you don't already have Delta status and aren't planning to try to get it, those specific changes won't really affect you.