Rookie Wednesday: You do NOT want to Status Match Delta Air Lines right now!

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RenesPoints Rookie

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.

How is that for an attention grabber? There is a reason for the title. Delta Air Lines does offer much to get a frequent flyer from another airline to come over to the Delta side. Our points never expire (as long as you are alive, that is). We offer unlimited domestic as well as Caribbean and more upgrades! All our mainline jets have WiFi and soon will add international high speed as well. Our business class product both domestic and international is among the best in industry. Our Skyclubs are very nice and offer reliable free WiFi. Our @DeltaAssist on twitter offers very good service and our elite line reps are, most of the time, very good and helpful!

So there are the perks. You should know, however, there are times of the year when it is most advantageous to do this.

I encourage you to check HERE as you will be able to read on about the most UP TO DATE info about the match. But for many years these are the basic rookie bits you want to know about.

If you match, after July 1st any year, you then can keep your status much longer than if you put in the request BEFORE July 1st. For example, this year (the data is not yet up to date but should be the same), if you go for it say on July 1st and meet the requirements inside 90 days, you will have your status until FEB2015!

As you can see from the page, there are a bunch of requirements and we call our elite qualifying points Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMS’s) not Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM’s). So here are the big points to keep in mind:

  1. MUST complete inside 90 days
  2. MUST still fly MQM’s to keep past 2015
  3. No Choice benefits until full MQM’s earned

Let’s look at these one by one. The 90 days to get this done is a HARD and fast rule. The points do NOT need to post before the 90 days are up, but you must have taken and completed the flight inside the window. Be sure to check at to see that your upgraded status is correctly displayed as you should see your temporary new matched status on your “My Delta” page.

The next part is you must fly. There are many other ways to get MQM’s. You can get 10,000 MQM’s from either the Personal or Business Delta AMEX Reserve card but “officially” these points DO NOT COUNT toward your match / challenge! By all means use these tools to build your balance each year, but NOT for challenge. Clear? If not, ask below in the comments section.

Now on to Choice Benefits. Once you make either Platinum or even up to Diamond Medallion Status Delta will give you some nice perks. You can do things like gift status to those you love or get some credits toward future flights or SWU’s (note these are hard to use on Delta). However, say you match Platinum, you will NOT be eligible for this perk just because you completed the challenge. You will have to EARN 75,000 MQM’s this year to get the benefit, but in this case ALL the ways of earning MQM’s will count like from AMEX cards or even buying MQM’s direct from Delta!

Other information you need to know about. If you want to remain say Medallion past FEB2015, the 2014 travel year will bring some big changes. Delta has added MQD’s or Medallion Qualifying dollars to the mix.

So, to earn your status for the 2015 year ending in FEB2016, you will not ONLY have to fly but also spend. The spend is ONLY the part of the ticket that is money that goes to Delta, not any other fees, add-ons or taxes. The simple way around this is to get ANY of the Delta AMEX cards and spend $25,000 on them in 2014.

The last important info I hope you did not miss. You only have 1 shot in your life to do this. Only request this match if you are ready to join the best airline in the world! Delta! – René

Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
from American Express®
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  1. Hi Rene love the site, I have been reading it a lot as I just recently switched over from Air Canada and the rest of S/A. So far I love delta and already have 19k in MQM just wondering if the status match would work for an AC Elite switching over. The mention US carriers but nothing about other foreign. Thanks for any thoughts and I look forward to learning more about my new chosen airline through your blog

  2. Hi Rene, Do MQD have to be dollars spend in tickets bought in or can it be for dollars spend on Delta airfare but through for example?

    Also, I got my silver medallion status thru work and it expires on Feb 2014. Do I need to reach my MQM’s or MQS’s to reach silver before Feb. 2014? And what happens for next year? Do I start from 0?


  3. Hello,

    I want to take the challenge with Delta, starting to fly in January. Can I buy the tickets now (for January flights) but only apply for the challenge at the end of November? If I buy the tickets now they will be much cheaper than if I buy them at the end of November, but I’m afraid that only tickets bought after the approval count towards the challenge.



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