Delta is overhauling the Skymiles program for 2024, and there have been different (and contradicting) announcements which may be confusing if you frequently fly the Atlanta-based airline.
So…. what’s changing with Delta Skymiles in 2024?
- Delta is retiring MQMs and shifting entirely to MQDs to qualify for Medallion status in 2024. Rollover MQMs will be converted to redeemable miles or MQDs, or, they can extend your Medallion status entirely.
- Delta is increasing the number of MQDs needed to qualify for Medallion status in 2024.
- Replacing the co-branded American Express MQD waiver and MQM boosts.
- Delta will begin limiting Skyclub access in 2025 (your 2024 spend will dictate your access frequency).
- Delta is changing the order for complimentary Medallion upgrades in 2024.
- Delta is improving the complimentary annual status for Million Milers in 2024.
1) Retiring MQMs and shifting to MQDs
Miles flew with Delta no longer counts for your Medallion status. MQDs — dollars spent with Delta — will be the sole metric in determining status.
If you have rollover MQMs, you will be able to do the following sometime after February 1st, 2024:
- Convert your MQMs to redeemable award miles at a rate of 2:1
- Convert your MQMs to MQDs towards 2025 status at a rate of 10:1
- For every 100,000 MQMs, extend your current Medallion status by 1 year
Delta states they will let you mix and match your choices (ie convert some MQMs to award miles, and others to MQDs).
2) Increasing MQDs required for Medallion status
With MQMs going away, MQDs will be the sole metric for obtaining Delta Medallion status in 2024, and Delta will be raising the MQD metric to compensate:
- Silver Medallion Status requires 5,000 MQDs
- Gold Medallion Status requires 10,000 MQDs
- Platinum Medallion Status requires 15,000 MQDs
- Diamond Medallion Status requires 28,000 MQDs
Today, Silver Medallion requires $3,000 MQDs and 25,000 miles or 30 segments to qualify while Diamond requires $20,000 MQDs and 125,000 miles or 140 segments so the MQD increase is significant, especially considering Delta increased its requirement last year as well.
3) Replacing Amex MQD waiver and MQM boosts
Currently, those with a Delta-branded American Express credit card can earn a MQD waiver if they spend $25,000 or more in a calendar year, and also earn various MQM boosts along the way. That will be going away in 2025 and will be replaced with MQD Boost and MQD Headstart. MQD Boost provides you with MQDs for spending on your Delta American Express card and MQD Headstart will provide you with $2,500 MQDs just for holding the card. Your MQD Headstart will appear in your SkyMiles account shortly after February 1st, 2024, and around that time every year moving forward.
The Delta Skymiles Platinum card (both personal and business versions) will earn 1 MQD for every $20 spent and the Delta Skymiles Reserve (both personal and business versions) will earn 1 MQD for every $10 spent.
Also, an interesting detail is that Delta will award you the $2,500 MQD Headstart for every unique card version you hold. This means, by holding both the Skymiles Reserve personal card, and Skymiles Platinum business card, you’ll earn a whopping $5,000 MQDs at the start of the status year – which is enough for Silver Medallion status.
4) Limiting Sky Club access in 2025
Delta will be significantly limiting access to Sky Clubs starting in 2025, and your spend in 2024 will dictate how much access you’re granted.
Delta customers with the SkyMiles Reserve American Express card (both personal and business) will now be limited to accessing Sky Clubs 15 days per year. American Express Platinum cardholders (both personal and business) will get 10 days per year. This is down from Unlimited visits per year. All visits made in 24 hours will count as one day. Each additional day will cost $50 per day. To unlock unlimited visits, you will need to spend at least $75,000 per year on your American Express card (your 2024 spend will count towards your 2025 access).
Alternatively, you can purchase an individual Delta Sky Club membership for $695 per year if you hold Medallion status.
5) Complimentary upgrades will be processed differently
Starting on January 1st, 2024, Delta will change how they process complimentary upgrades. Currently, the second most important upgrade factor, behind your Medallion status, is your Delta fare class. This more-or-less means that Delta currently upgrades more expensive economy tickets (such as full fare Y class) ahead of cheaper tickets.
Now, Delta will prioritize Million Miler status, and process complimentary upgrades in the following order:
- Medallion Status
- Cabin Purchased (Original + Paid Upgrades)**
- Million Miler Status
- Delta SkyMiles Reserve Amex Cardholders
- Delta Corporate Travelers
- Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) earned in the current calendar year
- Date and time of upgrade request
**Currently, we know that Premium Select will increase your odds of a domestic Delta One upgrade. It is unclear as of October 2023 if paid Comfort+ will increase your upgrade odds.
6) Delta is increasing status for Million Milers
Lastly, Delta is rewarding their Million Milers by upgrading their complimentary Medallion Status. Starting in February 2024, Million Milers will now be upgraded to the following status tiers:
- 1 Million Miler now receives Gold Medallion status (up from Silver)
- 2 Million Miler now receives Platinum Medallion status (up from Gold)
- 3 Million Miler now receives Diamond Medallion status (up from Gold)
- 4 Million Miler now receives Diamond Medallion status (up from Platinum)
- 5 Million Miler now receives Delta 360 status (up from Platinum)
- 6 Million Miler (and higher) now receives Delta 360 status (up from Diamond)
This is an impressive upgrade for people who have flown millions of miles with Delta, and is similar to what United offers their frequent flyers.
Delta is making significant changes to the SkyMiles program. From MQMs being retired to MQDs increasing, and now prioritizing Million Miler status, parts of the SkyMiles changes have been completely revamped. While these changes have been confusing and upset many customers, it is clear Delta’s goal is to encourage customers to spend more with the airline – whether that is on tickets or by using their co-branded American Express credit cards.