Note: I will be on vacation most of this week with my buddies in northern Michigan so I will have limited access to the blog and e-mail. I will be sure to follow up soon!
Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.
I get this question all the time so time to rookie this one out and make is as clear as I can and I hope the chart above makes it more clear. But I will break it down in text too. Let’s dive right in.
Scenario one is the best and simplest one. You have a Delta AMEX card (smart) and you very simply spend your way to MQD exemption. I had that done in two months and will do so again in 2015. So in this case only the MQMs matter. Thus:
- 25,000-49,999 you are Silver. You rollover every single MQM above 25,000 but under 50,000.
- 50,000-79,999 you are Gold. You rollover every single MQM above 50,000 but under 75,000.
- 75,000-124,999 you are Platinum. You rollover every single MQM above 75,000 but under 125,000.
- 125,000 and you are Diamond and you rollover everything above the 125,000.
Now you will only have your MQD exemption until 31DEC each year. Once 1JAN hits you keep the MQMs you rollover (for that year) but you risk losing them if you do not re-qualified for MQD exemption again the next year. Yes, you can lose all your MQMs.
Now let’s go on to the more convoluted non-MQD exempt rules. The simplest way to understand this is that the MQD spend is the lowest common denominator in this equation and is all important! Lets look at some examples:
- $1,000 MQD spend and 30,000 MQMs. You are nothing and rollover nothing!
- $2,500 MQD spend and 30,000 MQMs you are silver and rollover 5,000 MQMs.
- $2,500 MQD spend and 80,000 MQMs you are silver and rollover 55,000 MQMs.
- $5,000 MQD spend and 80,000 MQMs you are gold and rollover 30,000 MQMs.
And on and on from there. So again, without exemption the MQD spend is all important. As I talked about already the all import point is at least meeting the $2,500 level. You could rollover 200,000 MQMs from the year before and lose them all if you don’t hit that at least (or earn your MQD exemption, clearly).
Other things to keep in mind. MQD is not the ticket price but the part of the ticket that goes to Delta as you can see above. Tax does not count. Extra bits do not count. Just the base ticket price as you see above.
Touching on MQD exempt spending now. AMEX spending counts per calendar year NOT the date you got the card and it is the POST date not the charge date. So, anything that posts by 23:59 on 31DEC counts in that year. After 00.01 on 1JAN on that year. Also, it is when you earned MQMs that count. So say your statement close date is 15th each month. If you earned the MQMs in the previous year, and say your statement closes 15JAN, and you earned say bonus MQMs, they will NOT count on the new year but in the previous year you earned them. However, all the spend, again, from 1-15JAN does count on the current year. Clear?
And just because it comes up year after year, the rollover has happened year after year in the first few weeks of January. Also, there is no rollover MQD spending. If you spend more than $25,000 on your personal, business or a combo of the both Delta AMEX cards you still reset to zero on 1JAN each year.
This so far is what is in place that we know about. Now a bit of speculation. Will rollover continue? I think so as adding the MQD levels has worked to thin the herd a bit. Will the MQD AMEX exemption go away? I doubt it for a number of reasons. First, AMEX is a huge partner and they are already very upset about the lounge access reduction for the AMEX Reserve card from Delta. Cutting the MQD spend exemption all the way up to Diamond would lead to MASS defection from the co-branded cards especially the high end Reserve card.
So there you are. Did I miss anything? Feel free to comment below with questions as well as checking them for other info and Q&A from readers. – René
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.