How To Get Delta Air Lines Elite Status (and Is It Worth It?)

Delta Medallion Member on airplane

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Having airline elite status can make flying so much more enjoyable. No more cramped middle seats or being the last one to board. Delta Air Lines‘ loyalty program is called SkyMiles and its elite Medallion status levels offer lots of benefits and perks like free checked bags and upgrades that will appeal to any Delta flyer.

So, how exactly do you earn status? We’ll show you exactly how to earn Delta elite status plus we’ll go over the benefits of each level. Finally, we’ll answer the all-important question — is it even worth it?

Delta Air Lines Elite Status

As a Delta SkyMiles member, you’ll be able to earn Medallion status based on a few criteria. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to earn Delta Medallion status, there are few terms you’ll need to understand.

Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs): MQMs are based on the fare class of your ticket and the actual number of miles flown. These are different than miles earned for award travel which are based on ticket price and Medallion status level. Delta SkyMiles don’t expire, but MQMs reset at the beginning of each year.

Hot Tip: All MQMs earned in 2021 will count toward 2022 Medallion status. Any MQMs earned that exceed a Medallion level threshold will be rolled over to 2022 and will count toward 2023 Medallion status levels.

Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs): MQSs are based on the number of flights you take.

Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs): MQDs are for U.S.-based SkyMiles members only and are based on how much you spend on Delta flights and select partner airline flights. For Delta-marketed flights (with “DL” in the airline code) this includes the base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges but excludes other taxes and fees. For select partner flights, you’ll earn 1/5 of the “redeemable” miles you earn for that flight.

Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD) Waiver: If you make at least $25,000 in purchases in a year on select Delta American Express credit cards, your MQD requirement for Silver, Gold, or Platinum Medallion status will be waived. If you spend at least $100,000, the MQD requirement for Diamond Medallion status will be waived.

Qualification Period: The qualification period runs on a calendar year, so you have from January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021, to earn elite status for the 2022 Medallion year.

Medallion Year: Each Medallion year runs from February 1 (or the day you earn status) through January 31. That means the 2022 Medallion year runs from February 1, 2022, through January 31, 2023. For example, if you meet the status qualifications on October 31, 2021, your status will be valid through January 31, 2023.

How To Earn Delta MQMs With Your Credit Card

Delta American Express Reserve
Image Credit: American Express

Thankfully, if you hold select Delta American Express credit cards, your path to elite status will be even quicker. In addition to earning bonus MQMs, you’ll get an MQD waiver when you spend at least $25,000 in a calendar year.

The following cards help you earn MQMs for elite status and earn an MQD waiver:

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
Limited Time Offer

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card


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(at Amex's secure site)
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 80,000 Bonus Miles and 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 60,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 15,000 MQMs four times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Receive a Domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+® or Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government-imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Complimentary access into the Delta Sky Club® for you when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge or Escape Lounge – The Centurion® Studio Partner when you book a Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Earn 3x Miles on Delta purchases.
  • Earn 1x Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-850)
  • Annual Fee: $550
  • Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Delta Reserve card, click here.

$800

Must Reads: For more info on the Delta Reserve card, see our insights on its benefits and our full review.

Hot Tip: The Delta Platinum card, Delta Business Platinum card, Delta Reserve card, and Delta Business Reserve card will earn an MQD waiver if you spend $25,000 in a calendar year.

How To Earn Delta Air Lines Elite Status

Delta Medallion Tiers
There are 4 main levels of Delta Medallion status. Image Credit: Delta

To earn elite status with Delta Air Lines, you’ll need to meet minimum MQD requirements plus either MQM or MQS requirements. An MQD waiver earned from credit card spending will fulfill the MQD requirement.

MQD + MQM/MQS = Delta Medallion Status

Medallion Status LevelMQM RequirementMQS RequirementMQD Requirement
Silver Medallion25,00030$3,000
Gold Medallion50,00060$6,000
Platinum Medallion75,000100$9,000
Diamond Medallion125,000140$15,000

The SkyMiles member (whose name and SkyMiles number is on the ticket) who is flying earns the MQMs, MQSs, and MQDs regardless of who purchased the ticket.

You can earn bonus MQMs based on the fare class of your ticket. For full fare first and business class tickets (F and J fares) you’ll earn a 100% bonus. You’ll earn a 50% bonus for discounted first class, Delta Premium Select, business, and premium main cabin tickets (P, A, G, C, D, I, Z, Y, and B fares).

Bottom Line: Delta Medallion status is earned through a combination of MQD plus either MQM or MQS. The base-level Silver Medallion status is earned with at least $3,000 MQD plus at least 25,000 MQM or 30 MQS.

How To Check Your Progress Toward Delta Medallion Status

You can easily check your progress toward Delta Medallion status online by clicking the drop-down arrow next to your name. For a more detailed look, click on Profile then My SkyMiles. This information is also available in the Fly Delta mobile app (iOS, Android).

Keeping track of SkyMiles online
You can keep track of your progress toward Delta Medallion status in your online account. Image Credit: Delta

Hot Tip: Make sure you’re up to date on all of the changes Delta has made due to COVID-19, including cancellation policies and elite status changes.

Delta Medallion Status Benefits

Flying on Delta Air Lines
Having Delta Medallion status comes with perks including priority boarding and upgrades. Image Credit: Delta

There are lots of benefits that come with having Delta Medallion status. While each level of status has its own benefits, there are some perks you’ll enjoy no matter what level of Medallion status you achieve:

  • Unlimited rollover MQMs
  • Unlimited complimentary upgrades to Delta One for you and a companion on flights in all 50 states on the day of departure (excludes E fares)
  • Complimentary preferred seats
  • Priority waitlist status
  • Waived baggage fees
  • Priority check-in and boarding
  • Dedicated phone line
  • Reclaim My Status
  • $50 to $350 savings on Delta Vacation packages
  • Complimentary luggage tags

Complimentary upgrades for all status levels include a companion and apply to flights in all 50 states. Basic Economy tickets (E fares) are excluded from all complimentary upgrades.

Delta Silver Medallion Status Benefits

Delta Silver Medallion status is the base elite level in the Delta program, but it still offers lots of value:

  • 2 bonus miles earned per dollar
  • Unlimited complimentary upgrades to first class for you and a companion starting 24 hours (1 day) before departure (excludes E fares)
  • Unlimited complimentary upgrades to Delta Comfort+ for you and a companion starting 24 hours (1 day) before departure (excludes E fares)
  • Unlimited complimentary Clase Premier upgrades on select Aeromexico-operated flights beginning 24 hours (1 day) before departure
  • Discounted CLEAR membership
  • SkyTeam Elite status
  • Earn 1,000 SkyMiles for each qualifying Hertz car rental

Delta Gold Medallion Status Benefits

As a Delta Gold Medallion member, you’ll enjoy these benefits:

  • 3 bonus miles earned per dollar
  • Unlimited complimentary upgrades to first class for you and a companion starting 72 hours (3 days) before departure (excludes E fares)
  • Unlimited complimentary upgrades to Delta Comfort+ for you and a companion starting 72 hours (3 days) before departure (excludes E fares)
  • Unlimited complimentary Clase Premier upgrades on select Aeromexico-operated flights beginning 72 hours (3 days) before departure
  • Waived same-day confirmed and standby fees
  • Priority security line access
  • Expedited baggage service
  • Discounted CLEAR membership
  • SkyTeam Elite Plus status
  • SkyTeam lounge access
  • Earn 1,000 SkyMiles for each qualifying Hertz car rental
  • Hertz Five Star status

Delta Platinum Medallion Status Benefits

Here are the benefits you’ll enjoy when you earn Delta Platinum Medallion status:

  • 4 bonus miles earned per dollar
  • 1 Choice Benefit
  • 4 Regional Upgrade certificates
  • 20,000 bonus SkyMiles
  • Silver gift Medallion status
  • Unlimited complimentary upgrades to first class for you and a companion starting 120 hours (5 days) before departure (excludes E fares)
  • Unlimited complimentary upgrades to Delta Comfort+ for you and a companion shortly after ticketing (excludes E fares)
  • Unlimited complimentary Clase Premier upgrades on select Aeromexico-operated flights beginning 120 hours (5 days) before departure
  • Waived same-day confirmed and standby fees
  • Priority security line access
  • Expedited baggage service
  • Discounted CLEAR membership
  • SkyTeam Elite Plus status
  • SkyTeam lounge access
  • Earn 1,250 SkyMiles for each qualifying Hertz car rental
  • Hertz President’s Circle status

Delta Diamond Medallion Status Benefits

Delta Diamond Medallion Status is the highest level of Delta status you can earn and it comes with tremendous value:

  • 6 bonus miles earned per dollar
  • 3 Choice Benefits
  • 8 Regional or 4 Global upgrade certificates or 2 Global and 4 Regional upgrade certificates
  • 25,000 bonus SkyMiles
  • Gold gift Medallion status
  • Unlimited complimentary upgrades to first class for you and a companion starting 120 hours (5 days) before departure (excludes E fares) with priority
  • Unlimited complimentary upgrades to Delta Comfort+ for you and a companion shortly after ticketing (excludes E fares)
  • Unlimited complimentary Clase Premier upgrades on select Aeromexico-operated flights beginning 120 hours (5 days) before departure (with priority)
  • Waived same-day confirmed and standby fees
  • Priority security line access
  • Expedited baggage service
  • Complimentary CLEAR membership
  • SkyTeam Elite Plus status
  • SkyTeam lounge access
  • Earn 1,250 SkyMiles for each qualifying Hertz car rental
  • Hertz President’s Circle status

Hot Tip: If you have status with another airline you can request a status match with Delta Air Lines.

Delta 360° Benefits

Delta 360° is an invitation-only status reserved for only the top Medallion members. There isn’t a published set of requirements but Delta does state that it’s based on how much you spend on flights, not necessarily how often you fly. Membership is annual, meaning you can earn it 1 year but not the next, regardless of your spending and activity.

Since the benefits of Delta 360° are unpublished, it can be hard to pinpoint all of the perks. But, based on crowdsourced data, Delta 360° members can look forward to perks like these:

  • Delta Sky Club Executive membership
  • Potential for private gate transfers
  • Custom luggage tags
  • Potential upgrade priority

Million Miler Status

Delta Million Miler Status is based on the total Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) earned throughout a member’s lifetime.

Total Number of MQMs Earned Complimentary Medallion Status Earned
1 millionSilver Medallion
2 millionGold Medallion
3 millionGold Medallion
4+ millionPlatinum Medallion

Bottom Line: Delta has 4 levels of elite status — Silver Medallion, Gold Medallion, Platinum Medallion, and Diamond Medallion. Delta 360° is an invitation-only status without published requirements or benefits. Million Miler Status is earned after flying at least 1 million miles in a lifetime.

Is Delta Elite Status Worth It?

We’ve gone over the value of each level of Delta Medallion status in detail (Silver Medallion, Gold Medallion, Platinum Medallion, Diamond Medallion) so we’ll just look at some basics here.

Complimentary Preferred Seating: Preferred seating charges vary by flight but can range from as little as $5 to $85 or more. Let’s say you take 6 round-trip flights per year. Taking an average of $40 per flight segment, this perk could save you $480 each year!

Waived Baggage Fees: The basic Delta baggage fee is $30 for the first bag and $40 to $100 for the second checked bag. Even if you only check 1 bag per flight and fly an average of 6 times per year, this Medallion status perk could save you $360. Your savings will only increase the more you fly.

Bonus Miles: As a Delta Medallion member, you’ll earn 2 to 6 extra miles for each dollar you spend with Delta. Let’s say you fly 6 times a year and spend $400 on each ticket, totaling $2,400. You would earn 4,800 to 14,400 extra miles. Since Delta miles are valued at 1 cent each, you’ll be getting an extra $48 to $140 in value (which can be more when you use your miles to book business or first class tickets).

Even just looking at 3 of the benefits of Delta Medallion status, you’ll easily be getting close to $1,000 in value — and that’s not even taking into account all of the other benefits. So, the easy answer is yes. Delta Medallion status is definitely worth it.

Final Thoughts

Medallion status is the elite status program for the Delta SkyMiles program. There are 4 levels of membership — Silver Medallion, Gold Medallion, Platinum Medallion, and Diamond Medallion — plus an invitation-only status called Delta 360°.

Status is earned by meeting minimum spending requirements plus either mile or segment requirements. A spending waiver earned from a Delta-branded credit card can fulfill the minimum spending requirement.

Each level of the program comes with lots of benefits and perks to make all aspects of flying on Delta more comfortable and enjoyable.


For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, click here.


Frequently asked questions

How do you get Delta elite status?

Delta elite status, or Medallion Status, is earned based on a member’s number of Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs), Medallion Qualifying Segments (MQSs), and Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs). To earn the base level status (Silver Medallion) you’ll need to earn $3,000 MQD and either 25,000 MQM or 30 MQS.

How long does Delta status last?

Delta elite status lasts from the day you earn it through the next Medallion year, which runs from February 1 through January 31. For example, if you earn Medallion status on October 3, 2021, you would have status through January 31, 2023.

Is Delta extending Medallion status?

Yes, Delta has made some extensions in response to COVID-19. 2020 Medallion status has been extended through January 31, 2023, plus MQMs earned in 2020 have rolled over to 2021 and will continue on for another year. For more information, click here.

What does Delta Diamond status get you?

Delta Diamond Medallion status is the top-level status offered by Delta. When you earn Diamond Medallion status, you’ll enjoy benefits like upgrade certificates, bonus SkyMiles, waived fees, complimentary CLEAR membership, priority security line, SkyTeam lounge access, and so much more!

Can I lose my Delta Silver Medallion status?

Yes, you need to re-earn Silver Medallion status each year to keep your benefits. When you earn Medallion status it’s valid from the day you earn it through the next Medallion year (February 1 to January 31), but the qualification period to earn status runs on a calendar year.

Katie Seemann

About Katie Seemann

Katie is an Ohio native who caught the travel bug after spending a semester in college in Nottingham, England. In addition to exploring England, she visited Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands during that time and loved every minute of it (everything except the hostel in Scotland – that’s an experience she doesn’t intend on repeating!) In 2015, Katie discovered the world of points and miles, and since then she’s earned countless points and has an embarrassingly large number of credit cards in her wallet (which she needs a spreadsheet to keep track of!)

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