Delta Air Lines has quietly announced a new change for those who qualify for Diamond Medallion status on the airline. Currently to qualify for Delta Diamond Medallion status you need to earn 125,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles or 140 Medallion Qualifying Segments, as well as spend $15,000 MQDs or earn the MQD Waiver from spending $25,000 on one of their co-branded cards.
Starting in 2019, in order to receive the Delta MQD waiver, you’ll now have to spend $250,000 on a Delta co-branded credit card to earn this.
We are always looking for ways to improve the Medallion experience by listening to your feedback. Because we want to ensure our most well-traveled Members can take full advantage of all the benefits of Diamond Medallion Status, a change is being made to how Members qualify for 2019 Diamond Medallion Status.
Starting January 1, 2018, the Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD) Waiver for Diamond Medallion Status is increasing. The MQD Waiver for Diamond Medallion Status is currently earned by spending $25,000 in eligible purchases in a calendar year on a SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express. It is being adjusted to $250,000 in a calendar year.
This qualification change will allow us to deliver on expectations for Diamond Medallion Status so Members can maximize elite benefits like Complimentary Upgrades and Delta Sky Club® access. This update will not change how Members earn 2018 Diamond Medallion Status.
Additionally, effective January 1, 2018, the Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card will no longer be eligible for the MQD Waiver. However, if you have another Delta SkyMiles Credit Card with the MQD Waiver benefit in addition to your Delta Blue SkyMiles Credit Card, Eligible Purchases made on the Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card will continue to count towards the MQD Waiver.
If you’re looking to earn the MQD waiver the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, and the Delta Reserve Card will all still count toward earning this, though if you want Diamond Medallion status the waiver is now gonna cost you $250,000 in spend annually.
When you look at the competition, United Airlines doesn’t allow their co-branded cardholders to earn their EDQ waiver for their top-tier 1K status, so I’m not at all surprised Delta has decided to make earning Diamond Medallion status more restrictive.
With this change, I would like to see Delta add some more benefits for Diamond Medallions, and I feel that we may see some new changes coming before 2019, even though nothing has been announced yet. Whether it be fee waivers, more upgrade certificates, Choice Benefit changes, I’d be surprised if something isn’t added to offset making it harder to earn this status.
Will Delta see a decrease in the number of Diamond Medallions? It’s likely, but it may just mean there are more Platinum Medallions out there. Is this a negative change? It depends on how you currently qualify for status. If you’re a corporate flyer spending $15K+ a year on Delta, then you’ll be pleased with this change as there will be fewer Diamonds you’ll be competing with for upgrades.
What are your thoughts on these changes to earning Diamond Medallion status? Feel free to comment below!