Since I am in the middle of a move to Delta, I thought it might be a good time to review the perks of being a Delta Medallion Member.
There are 4 tiers of loyalty with Delta:
Each loyalty level is triggered by reaching a certain number of Medallion Qualifying Miles or MQMs. Silver kicks in at 25,000 MQM, Gold at 50,000 MQM, Platinum at 75,000 MQM and Diamond at 125,000 MQM. Since I'm in a transition, I'll be holding Gold for this year once my status match is processed by Delta. I don't foresee hitting a higher tier since I don't have much time left this year to clear the miles needed to bump a level. Next year is a different story though, Diamond is the goal, but we shall see how that pans out.
There are other ways to reach the needed levels. MQS or Medallion Qualifying Segments is for those of us who fly a lot, but don't fly long distances. Each of these kicks in at 30 segments for Silver, 60 for Gold, 100 segments for Platinum and 140 for Diamond. These segments are in lieu of MQM.
It is also important to keep in mind that MQMs earn based on actual miles flown as opposed to usable miles that are based on how much you pay for your ticket. It is also important to note that first and business class multiply the earned MQMs, so if you fly 1000 miles in the air in first class, that equates to 2000 earned MQMs on a full fare ticket, 1500 MQM on a discount ticket.
On top of the requirements for miles flown, Delta requires a certain amount of money be spent every year, these are referred to as Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQD), while MQMs and MQSs are interchangeable, the MQD requirement must always be met. Silver requires $3000 spent, $6000 for Gold, $9000 for Platinum and $15000 for Diamond. I'm not planning to spend $15000 on flights, so you can bypass this by spending $30000 on your credit card every year. This is a lot of money, but if I spend just my rent on my credit card, it nearly puts me half way there. So it may not be as difficult as you think.
Each status level comes with more benefits like complimentary first class upgrades, higher status level gives you higher upgrade priority. Gold, Platinum and Diamond give first class upgrades on award tickets as well. Keep in mind first class upgrades only apply in the continental US.
Delta Comfort+ upgrades come with each status level, again time frame and priority depend on your status. Same with companion upgrades.
Other big items from status are things like additional Medallion Mile Bonus per dollar spent, higher levels give higher bonuses. Waived baggage fees come with all status levels. Diamond status includes a Sky Club membership. Priority check-in for all status levels as well as priority boarding. Gold and higher have priority security screening as well.
Platinum and Diamond loyalty levels also qualify for a benefit of your choice.
Platinum can choose one of the following
- 4 Regional Upgrades
- 1 Global Entry Application Voucher (Don't choose this, use the credit card perk)
- 20,000 bonus miles
- Silver Medallion Status gifted to someone
- Gift Card
Diamond can choose one of the following
- 4 Global upgrades
- 8 Regional Upgrades
- 2 Global and 4 Regional Upgrades
- 2 Global Entry Application Vouchers
- 25,000 Bonus Miles
- Gold Medallion Status Gifted
- Sky Club Executive Membership Upgrade
- Gift Card
For the Diamond status choice benefit, the best is certainly the 4 Global Upgrades, these let you bump to business class free of charge on any international flight, definitely the most bang for you buck but it depends on your flying habits.
There are a few small benefits I didn't cover here and a whole list of benefits that apply on partner airlines. For the full list of benefits head on over to the Medallion benefits Webpage at Delta's website. Really Diamond status on Delta has a few spots that make it much more valuable than the American Airlines counterpart. I'm looking forward to the challenge of hitting Diamond status next year, we'll see how it goes.