Delta is again tinkering with the Diamond Medallion requirements and is now significantly changing the MQD waiver for those that have met this with the credit card spend.
Come January 1, 2018, and the Diamond MQD waiver will change from $25,000 spend to $250,000 in a calendar year that is rather significant change.
You can access Delta’s web page for this change here.
Delta has been sending out personalized emails to those affected with this change and below is one from a reader:
Delta saw some significant revenue from American Express during its bankruptcy process and perhaps some should evaluate if Delta affiliated cards are right for them.
They really should stop using this “best-in-class” benefits jargon when they don’t even publish award charts on their website (on purpose) and you are suddenly not able to book partner awards on its website (perhaps on the phone) that were previously available.
As the reader’s example above illustrates, the MQD can significantly fluctuate from year to year and the waiver must have been helpful for many.
Here are the changes that Delta has posted on its website:
2019 DIAMOND MEDALLION QUALIFICATION CHANGE TO MQD WAIVER
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.
We understand this is a significant increase, but keep in mind that the MQD Waiver to qualify for all of the best-in-class benefits of Platinum, Gold and Silver Medallion Statusopens in a new window will still remain at $25,000.
To learn more about how to earn Medallion Status, visit Qualify for Medallion Statusopens in a new window.
- What is the MQD Waiver and how does it work today?
- Today, the MQDs requirement for the qualification year is waived if you make $25,000 or more in eligible purchases during the calendar year with Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express. This benefit is for Basic Card Members only (additional Card Members are not eligible).
- The qualification year is from January 1 to December 31 of a given year. The close of the qualification year is December 31, without regard to the time of the year that the credit card account is opened. This means that for the first year of Card Membership, the Card Member’s Eligible Purchase period may be less than twelve months.
- What cards are eligible for the MQD Waiver?
- Delta SkyMiles Credit Card
- Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card
- Platinum Delta SkyMiles
- Delta Reserve Credit Card
- Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card
- Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card
- Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card
- Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card from American Express
- Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card (through December 31, 2017*)
*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.
What purchases count toward the MQD Waiver?
- Eligible Purchases are purchases for goods and services minus returns and other credits. Eligible Purchases do NOT include fees, interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, purchases of travelers’ checks, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, or purchases of other cash equivalents.
- Eligible Purchases made by Additional Card Members on the Basic Card Member’s Eligible Card will count toward the Eligible Purchase threshold. Eligible Purchases will be combined across multiple Eligible Cards of the Basic Card Member if those Card accounts are linked to the same SkyMiles number
Does this qualification change have an impact to my Card benefits?
- The MQD Waiver increase to $250,000 in a calendar year to qualify for Diamond Medallion Status has no impact on any of your other card benefits.
If I’m a Platinum Medallion Member, and halfway through 2018 I have earned enough MQMs/MQSs for Diamond Medallion Status, but have not earned enough MQDs for Diamond Medallion Status and have not reached the $250,000 MQD Waiver for Diamond Medallion Status, what happens?
- In this instance, you would remain a Platinum Medallion Member through January 31, 2020 by reaching the Platinum Medallion requirements for 2019 Status. In order to get to Diamond Medallion Status, you would have to earn $15,000 MQDs or reach the $250,000 Diamond MQD Waiver by December 31, 2018 to reach Diamond Medallion Status for 2019 and keep Diamond Medallion Status through January 31, 2020.
If I’m a new SkyMiles Member who has no previous Medallion Status, can I earn Diamond Medallion Status in 2018 through the current $25,000 MQD Waiver?
2018 Medallion Status is earned through flight and spending activity from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017. From now until December 31, 2017, you have the opportunity to reach Diamond Medallion Status for 2018 through the current $25,000 MQD Waiver.
In order to reach Diamond Medallion Status for 2019, which is earned through flight and spending activity from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018, you will need to meet the MQMs/MQSs requirement, and earn the required MQDs or reach the $250,000 Diamond MQD Waiver.