Atlanta's hometown airline and one of the world's largest air carriers has decided to tie its Elite Medallion status to the amount you spend on tickets. Effective January 1, 2014, Delta Airlines' frequent fliers will not only have to reach a certain threshold of SkyMiles flying, but they will also have to spend a required amount of money in obtaining those miles.
In short, you won't just be flying to earn your Elite status. You also have to be spending.
The current program is based entirely on SkyMiles and segments. The Medallion Elite Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond levels are reached through what Delta calls Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) or Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs).
The new program means frequent fliers must also factor in Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs). You have to reach levels in MQD in addition to all of the flying you will be doing. Your MQDs will be based on the price of the tickets purchased.
Currently, fliers must fly 25,000 miles or 30 segments to reach the Silver Medallion level; 50,000 miles or 60 segments for Gold; 75,000 of 100 segments for Platinum or 125,000 miles or 140 segments for Diamond. The new plan means you have to fly the same amount, but you would also need to spend.
Under the guidelines to reach Elite in 2014 for 2015:
- Silver = $2500 + 25,000 MQMs or 30 MQS
- Gold = $5000 + 50,000 MQMs or 60 MQSs
- Platinum = $7500 + 75,000 MQMs or 100 MQSs
- Diamond = $12,500 + 125,000 or 140 MQSs
These changes in levels, do not go into effect until next year, but beginning March 1, 2013, Delta will also be adjusting the amount of MQMs frequent fliers earn on select fares when flying Delta and their partner airlines.
Frequent Fliers who also have a U.S. Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express can bypass the the new MQDs requirement each year if they make $25,000 in eligible purchases using their card.
For full details visit Delta's site.