A New Year means a brand new chase to earn airline status, as most airlines set their frequent flyers back to zero right on Jan. 1. But Delta does something unlike any other carrier to help travelers get a head start on requalifying for Delta Medallion Status.
Each and every year, Delta rolls over any Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) – one of the building blocks of earning elite status with the airline – 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'll get those extra 20,000 MQMs to be off and running in 2023.
It's a unique feature among the major airlines, and it's not just a pandemic perk but a fixture of earning status with Delta. But like clockwork, we hear from concerned travelers who wake up in the New Year expecting a boatload of MQMs in their accounts only to see … nothing. For example, I was set to roll over more than 34,000 MQMs into 2023.
But as of this morning, I'm still at zero. What gives?
Don't worry. My extra MQMs are coming, and so are yours.
‘When Will My MQMs Roll Over?'
We flyers are an impatient bunch, aren't we? After months of seeing mileage balances grow and status trackers climb, it's shocking to see that bar back at zero – especially since Delta promised you'd get a head start in the New Year.
But the pattern is clear: It always takes a few weeks, maybe even a month for these rollover Delta MQMs to hit your account. Officially, Delta says to give it until the end of the month for these Medallion Qualifying Miles to get deposited for 2023.
But in practice, it typically takes just a few weeks. Last year, for example, Delta announced on Jan. 10 that it had finished depositing all rollover MQMs to SkyMiles members. The year before, the process was complete on Jan. 11.
So give it another week or two before calling or messaging Delta about your missing MQMs. If the past patterns hold up, they should be in your account in a week and a half.
Here are a few more details on how these Delta rollovers work:
- You'll only roll over additional MQMs if you earned at least Silver Medallion status last year for 2023. If not, you reset back to zero.
- Trying to figure out how many Delta MQMs you'll roll over? Subtract the number of MQMs required to earn your current level of status from how many MQMs you earned in 2022. For example, a Delta Platinum Medallion flyer who earned 90,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles last year would roll over the extra 15,000 MQMs.
- Only MQMs roll over, not Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs). That means you'll need to spend the full amount with Delta in 2023 to earn status again – and after a recent increase, those spending requirements are even higher for all but Silver status.
The Basics of Earning Delta Status
Confused? Let's go back to basics. Earning even the lowest levels of Delta status requires a fair amount of travel … and even more spending.
There are two critical pieces to earn Medallion 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. Then, there's also a spending requirement, called Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs). And you need both: Just one or the other won't cut it.
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
- Gold Medallion Status: 50,000 MQMs OR 60 Medallion Qualifying Segments AND $8,000 in spending on Delta or partner flights
- Platinum Medallion Status: 75,000 MQMs OR 100 Medallion Qualifying Segments AND $12,000 in spending on Delta or partner flights
- Diamond Medallion Status: 125,000 MQMs OR 140 Medallion Qualifying Segments AND $20,000 in spending on Delta or partner flights
If you earn Delta status this year, you’ll have it for the rest of 2023 and 2024, too – status benefits actually last through Jan. 31 of the following year. So a traveler who earns Silver Medallion Status this year would keep those benefits all the way through January of 2025.
No matter how you slice it, it takes a lot to earn status.
Are you flying close to 25,000 miles or more per year with Delta? That’s more than five round-trip, cross-country flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to New York City-JFK (JFK), or two round trips on Delta’s Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Seoul-Incheon (ICN) flight. All that flying just for Silver status, where upgrades are scant. Oh, and also spend $3,000 or more with Delta in a year – not counting government taxes and fees?
If your answer to all those questions was no, it's probably not worth a big effort for you. The perks require a lot of work to unlock. And until you really climb the ladder of status, those perks don't really pay off.
Relax. Your Delta rollover MQMs are on the way.
Every year, frequent Delta flyers wake up to see their status trackers at zero. But within a few weeks – maybe even days – Delta will make good on its promise to deposit whatever MQMs you earned above your current tier of status from last year.