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[Expired] Delta Increases Elite Status Spend Requirements, Updates Choice Benefits

James Larounis's image
James Larounis
James Larounis's image

James Larounis

Senior Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 30U.S. States Visited: 35

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in...

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Delta Air Lines is making it much harder to earn SkyMiles Medallion starting with the 2024 program year. All elite levels except the bottom Silver Medallion tier will now require more money spent with Delta or its partners in order to be eligible to achieve that rank. For those that have earned status cheaply over the past few years, this news won’t be the best, as you’ll need to spend even more to keep your elite tier.

Choice Benefits for Diamond Medallion and Platinum Medallion members have also been refreshed, as well as a welcome announcement regarding upgrades via Delta.com.

Let’s review all of the changes ahead starting in 2023.

What Is Changing?

Delta status requires both a “spend” portion and a “fly” portion where you fly a certain amount of miles or segments on Delta or partner airline jets. This is referred to as Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) or Medallion Qualifying Segments (MQS).

The Gold, Platinum, and Diamond tiers in the Delta SkyMiles Medallion program are all increasing the spend component, starting in 2023 to earn status for 2024.

Delta Sky Club
Delta status is going to become harder to earn with increased spend requirements, though that might mean that perks like the Delta Sky Club will become less crowded. Image Credit: Delta Air Lines

Let’s see what’s changing:

Delta SkyMiles Silver Medallion

Delta Silver Medallion requires you to fly 25,000 MQMs or fly 30 MQSs, plus earn 3,000 Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs). This status level is not changing, and there is no increase in requirements.

Delta SkyMiles Gold Medallion

Delta Gold Medallion previously required 50,000 MQMs or 60 MQSs, and a spend of 6,000 MQDs. Now, you’ll be required to spend $8,000 annually for MQDs to earn Gold.

Delta SkyMiles Platinum Medallion

Delta Platinum Medallion previously required 75,000 MQMs or 100 MQSs, and a spend of 9,000 MQDs. You’ll now be required to spend $12,000 annually, a $3,000 jump from the previous requirements.

Delta SkyMiles Diamond Medallion

Delta Diamond sees the biggest increase in spend requirements.  Delta Diamond Medallion previously required 125,000 MQMs or 140 MQSs, plus a spend of 15,000 MQDs. That spend requirement now jumps to a whopping $20,000 annually, a $5,000 increase. It’s worth noting that you can waive the spend requirement by spending $250,000 annually on a Delta American Express co-brand credit card.

Why Is Delta Making These Changes?

It’s no surprise that a lot of elite benefits have become watered down over time, partly thanks to inflated elite ranks. Because of the gamification of loyalty programs, you’re finding more and more elites that aren’t necessarily loyal to flying Delta, making it harder to get upgraded, harder to access a Delta Sky Club, or harder to partake in other perks. Because of this, Delta is increasing the requirements to earn status to only truly reward those that are loyal to Delta by way of spend.

Hot Tip: Consider our guide to the best credit cards for earning airline elite status to check out all of your available options.

Expanded Options for Choice Benefits

Choice Benefits for 2024 Platinum Medallion and Diamond Medallion members will refresh starting February 1, 2023.

New benefits, in addition to giving status to a friend and upgrade certificates, include:

Ability To Request Upgrades on Delta.com

In 2023, Medallion members will also be able to request upgrades with their Global and Regional Upgrade Certificates when booking travel via Delta.com.

Final Thoughts

If you’re earning Delta Medallion status in 2024, you’re going to find it much harder to do so with a 33% jump in the spend requirements for most elite tiers. While there are ways to work around this, included spend on select credit cards, this no doubt will thin some of the elite ranks and make Medallion status harder to earn.

James Larounis's image

About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.

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