Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Juan Ruiz
Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written and evaluated by experts who know these products inside out. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. See our advertising policy here where we list advertisers that we work with, and how we make money. You can also review our credit card rating methodology.
We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.
Update: MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different from the miles you earn towards flights. Effective 1/1/24, this benefit will no longer be available, and there will be a new way to earn toward Medallion Status with the Card. Learn more at delta.com/skymilesprogramchanges.
Medallion Qualification Miles, or MQMs, is a term Delta Air Lines uses to describe 1 of the requirements to earn Delta SkyMiles Medallion elite status. If you’re a frequent Delta flyer, you’ve likely heard of MQMs and using credit cards to get an MQM bonus.
If you’re interested in earning Delta elite status but can’t seem to qualify through flying alone, we’ll guide you through using Delta credit cards to boost your MQM earnings so you can accelerate your path to elite status!
There are 4 major tiers of Delta SkyMiles Medallion status and each level has a different set of requirements that you must meet to achieve that status.
To qualify for Delta SkyMiles Medallion status, you must satisfy 2 out of the 3 following requirements:
MQM-earning is determined by how far you fly and what kind of fare you purchased, while MQS-earning is determined by how many segments you fly and what kind of fare you purchased.
Lastly, MQD-earning is determined by how much money you’ve spent on Delta airfare (taxes and fees, including fuel surcharges, are excluded). MQDs are the only type of elite qualification requirement that offers a waiver for its requirements.
To get Delta elite status, you’ll need to earn a certain amount of MQMs or MQSs, as well as a specific amount of MQDs. Below are the requirements for each status level:
|Medallion Status Level||MQM Requirement||MQS Requirement||MQD Requirement|
If you have an eligible co-branded Delta card from American Express, you can get an MQD waiver that waives the ordinary MQD requirement to qualify for Medallion elite status if you make a minimum amount of purchases every year on your credit card.
In this case, you will earn an MQD waiver for Silver, Gold, and Platinum Medallion status if you spend at least $25,000 in purchases per calendar year on any of the following cards:
You can also earn an MQD waiver for top-tier Diamond Medallion status, but you’ll need to spend at least $250,000 in purchases per calendar year on Delta Platinum-branded or Delta Reserve-branded credit cards.Hot Tip:
Spending across different eligible Delta cards counts towards the MQD waiver. For example, if you spend $50,000 per year on your Delta Reserve card and $200,000 per year on your Delta Reserve Business card, you can earn the MQD waiver for Diamond Medallion status.
There are 2 ways to earn Delta MQMs:
Assuming you’re not flying constantly, you’re probably going to be looking for a way to earn Delta MQMs while you’re not traveling. The best way to do so is through credit card spending!
With either the Delta Platinum card or Delta Platinum Business card, you can earn 10,000 MQMs for every $25,000 spent on your credit card, up to 2 times per year.
So if you just have 1 of these cards, you’d be able to earn up to 20,000 MQMs by spending $50,000 per year.
If you have both the Delta Platinum card and Delta Platinum Business card, you could double up and earn up to 40,000 MQMs by spending $50,000 on each card per year.
Frequent Delta travelers will enjoy this card's bonus categories, benefits, and ability to reach higher levels of elite status.
The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card can be a great option for those seeking additional ways to obtain a higher level of status — or to maintain their current status — with the airline.
A key feature of this card is the ability to earn bonus Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) that are essential for earning Delta status. This could help you get closer to earning free flights and other valuable rewards.
Between great perks and the potential to earn plenty of SkyMiles, this card is a must-have for frequent Delta travelers.
As a small business owner and frequent Delta flyer, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card is your go-to credit card.
You like knowing you’re earning double the SkyMiles for purchases with Delta; benefits like no foreign transaction fees, priority boarding, and a free checked bag each flight only sweeten the deal.
Plus, you can redeem your SkyMiles for travel on Delta and its partner airlines, saving you money. It’s a no-brainer!
It’s important to note that having a Delta Platinum-branded card does not confer Delta Platinum Medallion status. Similarly, having a Delta Gold-branded card does not confer Delta Gold status.
The MQM bonus on the Delta Reserve card and Delta Reserve Business card offers more potential. Currently, you can earn 15,000 MQMs after spending $30,000 in a year, up to 4 times per year.
With 1 of these cards, you can earn 60,000 MQMs after spending a total of $120,000 per year. And with both of these cards, you can earn a total of 120,000 MQMs after spending $120,000 on each card per year (for a total of $240,000 in spend).
Delta loyalists will love the fast track to Delta elite status, lounge access, baggage benefits, and upgrade priority with the Delta Reserve card.
The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is a stellar option for frequent travelers who always fly with Delta thanks to its lounge access, status boost, annual companion certificate, and many other great benefits.
Here is a full look at everything the Delta Reserve card can offer to you to help you decide whether the card deserves a place in your wallet.
Receive priority boarding, complimentary access to Delta Sky Club and Centurion Lounges, concierge support, and an annual companion certificate.
The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card is a premium card option for small business owners who are both frequent travelers and Delta loyalists.
While the annual fee may be steep, the card comes loaded with perks and benefits that all frequent Delta flyers are sure to love. Let’s take a look at what makes the card unique, and why it may be a great fit for your wallet.
Using Delta credit cards to earn MQMs is totally worth it for the right customer. But the right customer has to be flying regularly on Delta to make the effort worth it. That’s because there’s an opportunity cost to putting credit card spending on your Delta credit cards. We value Delta SkyMiles at 1.2 cents each, and there are definitely other types of points and miles that make more sense to accumulate.
For example, you can generally only earn 3x Delta SkyMiles on Delta flight purchases, which results in a return on spending of around 3.6%. Meanwhile, if you have The Platinum Card® from American Express, your Delta flight purchases could earn 5x Membership Rewards points, which results in a return on spending of around 11%, since we value Membership Rewards points at 2.2 cents each.
That’s a dramatic increase in the amount of rewards you could be earning. In fact, if you spend $5,000 per year on Delta flights, you’d only be getting back $180 worth of Delta SkyMiles with the Delta Reserve card. But if you spent that same amount on the Amex Platinum card, you’d be getting back $550 worth of Amex Membership Rewards points!
The biggest value with Delta SkyMiles Medallion status is the complimentary upgrades, and if you’re only flying Delta a couple of times per year on short flights, it’s probably not worth chasing top-tier elite status and losing out on other credit card rewards.
But if you’re on a Delta flight every other week, it could absolutely be worth it to spend a lot on Delta credit cards. Additionally, if you’re someone who highly values Delta elite status, or if you need an extra bump of MQMs to get to the next level of status, then spending on a Delta credit card can make sense.
However, you shouldn’t spend more than you normally would just to earn some bonus MQMs — just use your Delta card as you normally would for everyday purchases and try to hit the spending requirement organically.
Note that you can get almost all the way to Diamond Medallion status just by having both the Delta Reserve card and Delta Reserve Business card and spending $120,000 on each card every year. That’s 120,000 MQMs earned! If you also have the Delta Platinum card as well and also spend $25,000 on the Delta Platinum card, you’ll earn another 10,000 MQMs, bringing up your grand total to 130,000 MQMs earned. You’ll also have earned the Diamond Medallion MQD waiver having spend a total of $265,000 across all of your Delta credit cards!
One of the benefits of the Delta Platinum-branded and Delta Reserve-branded cards from Amex is the ability to potentially spend your way to top-tier Delta SkyMiles Medallion elite status.
We value Delta Diamond Medallion status at around $7,000, but you can certainly get more or less value based on your own circumstances.
Each of the Delta Platinum-branded cards can earn you up to 10,000 MQMs after spending $25,000 in a calendar year (up to 2 times per year), while each of the Delta Reserve-branded cards can earn you up to 15,000 MQMs after spending $30,000 in a calendar year (up to 4 times per year).
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
You can earn MQMs on Delta through flights or credit card spending.
The Amex Platinum card does not give any elite status with Delta SkyMiles.
No, the Delta Platinum card is a different card product from the Amex Platinum card. The Amex Platinum card earns Membership Rewards points while the Delta Platinum card earns Delta SkyMiles.
Similarly, it’s important to note that having a Delta Platinum-branded card does not confer Delta SkyMiles Platinum Medallion status.
Currently, you need 75,000 MQMs OR 100 MQSs to qualify for Delta SkyMiles Platinum status. You will also need to earn 12,000 MQDs for Delta Platinum Medallion status.
No, the Amex Platinum card does not earn Delta SkyMiles. It earns Membership Rewards points. However, Membership Rewards points can be transferred directly to Delta SkyMiles at a 1:1 ratio, so you maintain that level of extra flexibility if you need Delta SkyMiles at any time.
Was this page helpful?
Travel is changing fast... Stay on top of all the points strategies, exclusive offers & pivotal news - and lock in huge savings along the way.
Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.
UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.