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What are Delta MQM’s? The secret about DELTA status

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


I think blogs should be informative, witty and entertaining. Today I will try to do at least 1 of these 3.

If you are new to DELTA, let me explain status. If you don’t have it – get it. DELTA airlines likes loves those with status. The 4 status tiers with our airline and they are these:

  • Silver Medallion if you achieve 25,000 MQM’s – SM or FO
  • Gold Medallion if you achieve 50,000 MQM’s – GM
  • Platinum Medallion if you achieve 75,000 MQM’s – PM
  • Diamond Medallion if you achieve 125,000 MQM’s -DM

MQM officially stands for Medallion Qualifying Miles or BIS (your butt in the airplane seat). Now even seasoned DELTA flyers may not know a secret about this. The above are not the “real” DELTA names for status flyers! No, they are code names. The code name for Medallion is….. MONEY! So, what MQM really stands for is MONEY qualifying Miles. Look at it this way:

  • SM = Sorta Money – We like you, sorta. You are on our radar, just a little.
  • GM = Generating Money – Hello there! You are kinda cute. Let’s make you pretty!
  • PM = Printing Money – You are our bread and butter. Name that tune we sing it.
  • DM = Definitely Money – True love. We answer the phone before you even dial!

So now that you know the secret code words, it becomes clear why “DELTA loves ya baby” and why it is worth getting Medallion status. How do you get status and what do you get. Here is a link to read about goodies:

How do I get it? There are lot’s of ways, some cheap, some a bit costly but well worth it (I will cover how to best do this in a later blog post). A DM can “gift” anyone they want GM for a year (your new best friend). PM can gift SM. AMEX gives 10,000 “MoneyQM’s” for a fee when you get their Delta Reserve Personal (learn how to apply) or Business cards (learn how to apply). The only other way is FLY. The best way is to use a bump voucher from DELTA and then fly somewhere very far away (& back) on their money. This time of the year you will hear stories of mileage runs, that is flying purely to earn MQM’s. 2 years ago, this week, I flew to Texas and back the same day for $145 to push me over the top to make PM. Worth every penny for all I got back! Also for a limited time you can BUY up to 10,000 MQM at DELTA here!

So why should you push for status? When I call DELTA, 95% of the time they answer on the 1st ring. They are kind and use my name. They have all my flights up instantly and will do almost anything they can to help me, even when the rules say no. From free bags to no lines at check-in and on and on. All the things you hate about flying – I don’t have to do.

So if you are going to fly DELTA – get MONEY status. You will like it! – René

Also I am giving away 2 free drink/snack coupons for DELTA good until 31DEC2012 – just comment below(by 10PM EST) on what you think of my blog so far and I will randomly pick a winner and get them in the mail to you!

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

53 Comments

  1. I like the new site. Don’t fly Delta much but I do have some points with them so hope to go somewhere soon. Keep the posts coming.

    • deltagoldflyer Reply

      Great thanks. Hey you can earn 500 from yesterdays blog, 500 today and there will be one for 500 tomorrow too! 😉

  2. Nice alternative to thepointsguy.com for the skyteam POV. I always wonder however, why anybody would want to have any skypesos when you can’t even redeem them first class redemptions…only on business class flights on mediocre airlines? Heck, the safety record of some airlines on ST are so sketch: China Airlines, Air France, Aeroflot, and Garuda (in the near future)….no thank you 🙂

    • deltagoldflyer Reply

      As MommyPoints shows today to each his own when it comes to points use. I very much like the biz class product DELTA has and for 100k to go to Euro is nice – see tomorrows blog to learn more on that.

  3. I have been flying delta, does anyone other than DM ever get an upgrade? I do have to say I have been pleased with overall getting out on time when flying them and connect thru dtw

    • Hi Cindy, as an SM I flew four domestic segments this year and got upgraded three times. So yes, others than DMs get upgrades, too 😉
      Those segments were ATL->SFO, SFO->JFK (BizElite in 752), and ATL->LAX.

      • After a year as a Silver Medal Flyer living in Atlanta, I’ve been upgraded a couple of times–Big Surprise! I wonder what Miriam (above) is???
        I was upgrade on the way down to West Palm, and both to NYC and from NYC.

        Thanks for your great BLOG!

  4. I am a GM and have been for years. I appreciate your perspective.

  5. Looks good and I’m hoping to learn as I just earned silver and gold this year via promos so I’m new to Delta elite status.

  6. New to the skymiles program. Great information, I want to get the most out of the program.. Will be standingby for your updates.

    • deltagoldflyer Reply

      Welcome! Overall a great program with many perks if you know how to use them.

    • deltagoldflyer Reply

      It is funny you say that – read tomorrows blog and I do that step by step!

  7. Nice blog Rene. Well done and I think you accomplished 3 out of 3.

  8. Delta is my main airline so I am looking to learn more about them.

  9. Very good read! As a Sorta Money flyer I look forward to the help in earning that true love!!

    • deltagoldflyer Reply

      Txs B-Man. So how many DL flights have you taken this year? You gotta give some love to FREE Sorta Money status!

  10. Absolutely! Uhhh, a grand total of “0” flights! A generous PM member kindly introduced me to the Delta points world, which I am very much looking forward to exploring!

  11. Great blog so far — looking forward to more! Delta has been my primary airline for years, and I used to be a PM several years consecutively back when that was the top status. Added to my RSS feed.

  12. I am SM and am surprised I haven’t received any targeted promotions recently, especially for reaching GM. I am very close to GM, but am holding back because I don’t see myself flying as much next year and would rather have all my extra miles roll over so I will be SM for an additional year instead of GM for one year and then nothing.

    • deltagoldflyer Reply

      Hello Blue! Well done on your MQM’s this year. I will have a great blog post on the 20th on how to get the MAX out of your DELTA account. Be sure to read back and I think it will help you out! Also I will have a great post after the fist of the year about the AMEX RESERVE card and MQM’s.

  13. Hi Rene. I enjoy your blog as i only fly delta if i can help it. This year i am close to PM, but not sure if i should just rollover the rest and stay GM. What is your opinion on this. I have been GM the past 4 years and afraid to be PM then down potentially to SM next year.

    • deltagoldflyer Reply

      Hello Winston. You ask one of the greatest questions of every Medallion flyer. The simple answer – you decide. I know that is not what you want to hear. What is it worth to you. For me, I need at least my wife or I to be PM each year. One of us can drop down to SM and that is fine for us. Why? PM ROCKS. For me who just about never ever pays for a ticket with my own money, the free change fee, the 20k skymiles bonus or ability to gift SM, the other perks of PM are worth it to me! If you do pay, or your company pays, the 100% skymiles bonus is great at GM so in that case you may be better so stay GM. Does that help?

  14. You nailed all 3..informative, witty and entertaining!
    “DM – We answer the phone before you even dial!”..too funny:)

    I’m an MQM addict. I do all I can to maintain my PM status. On my way to London Friday (day after Thanksgiving) purely mattress run for $600(oh and a tad bit of shopping at my favorite store..Primark). My PM status for 2012 will be sealed when I land back in ATL Sun nt. (with a spare few MQMs leftover for next year). Yes!!

  15. I am like the new blog on Delta. It just acquired silver status thanks to an Amex transfer and now almost to gold status due to the amex platinum card. This blog will help me fully utilize my newly found status!

  16. Welcome to the blogging world. Since I live in Memphis (Delta hub), I often use Delta. I’m looking forward to your blog. It’s part of my blog reader pgm. Happy travels!

  17. I look forward to learning more about the Delta program and the best use of miles. I’m excited for you on your new blog!

    • deltagoldflyer Reply

      Hi Sheila – yeah me too. I hope you enjoy it – Rene

  18. It’s refreshing to see someone talk about Delta without criticizing everything they do. I’m no frequent flyer but have had better experiences with DL than on AA & CO.

    Keep up the good work

    • deltagoldflyer Reply

      Txs – I love my DELTA but I will call them to task when need be. Like the 72hr rule – ugg. But I am with ya and love my DELTA. Read my post on the 23rd to see just how nice DL can be for you when you need them!

  19. YOur blog kicks medallions to the curb! I’ve been silver for a number of years,and I’m annoyed with how they’ve demoted us. no longer priority check in, or priority lines to go through the metal detectors. The way I see it (and I generalize), we’re the ones who pay for our own tickets with our own hard earned money, as opposed to being flown by our employers. and what thanks do we get, Mr. Delta?

    so.. I do have three delta flights coming up before the end of the year – Tucson in mid-December, and Houston at the end of December. And the likelihood of me getting upgraded is …. well… you know… pitiful. So, Mr. Points … can you buy this poor silver girl a drink? (THANKS!)

    • deltagoldflyer Reply

      Hi Kathy – I think you get my point of how much DELTA values SM in the current market. Next year go for gold. I will very soon have a great blog post to help you get from SM to GM and be “pretty” to DELTA!

  20. I’m loving your blog so far! I’m new at points and miles and posts like this give me information for a someday goal.

    • deltagoldflyer Reply

      Love your state! So want to come an play some golf there some time. Do you only play on wood or would you use a “wood” if we stop out some time? FORE?!?! Thanks for reading my blog – Rene

  21. Great blog and I love your article. I’m not too thrilled with CO’s customer service. I would like to switch to Delta, but the problem is, is that their flights are much for expensive than CO’s. I fly from the Middle East to the US alot. My question is, will they transfer my Silver status with CO to Delta? Have you heard about anyone being successful with this?
    Thanks and keep up the great work!

  22. I’ve been inquiring the World Wide Web for my research on this content. I’m so appreciative of what you shared bestows a new attribute to the data I’m accumulating. I really appreciate the way which you look at this field of study, it provide me a unusual way of looking at it now. Thanks for the share.

  23. Hey, I’m fairly new to the Delta club. I’ve been flying for years but only recently got the idea to get Skymiles. I just turned Silver and I’m looking to rise up in the ranks. Great information!

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