We can all be very happy we do not fly United (for so many reasons like poor customer service, surly FA’s and now their new spend model to become an elite)! I am NO UA expert and “only” have ¼ million points left to spend for a ticket to Sweden in 1st class soon, then I can be very done with UA!
From what I have seen so far, what Delta has done to us is nowhere near as bad as what UA has done. We can make it all the way to the top level of Delta’s elites by “just” spending $25,000 on a Delta AMEX and also earning 125,000 MQM’s (yeah I know it is a big number but still do-able for many with focused spending).
But just what is on the way from Delta and what may change once we see what is the final facts of the policy sure to be public very soon. We think it will be all of what Delta has published, but some of it is up in the air until implemented.
Let’s start with AMEX spend to be exempt from MQD’s. We know many of the current AMEX rules for spend do earn points and MQM’s etc including yearly bonus for MQM bonus redemption. Will it work the same way toward MQD’s. I think the answer is YES. Unless AMEX changes how things are posted Delta will approve what AMEX sends over as the total qualifying spend according to AMEX.
Next the topic of ticket price that will count towards MQD’s. I think the Skybonus totals are a very good guide. Take a look at one of my tickets.
So out of $144 just $93 counted toward my Skybonus base earning from my May mileage run ticket. I have looked at a few other tickets too and they tend to match up this way for the most part. It is hard to put a percentage of ticket number here, but at least this can be a “ball park” guide until Delta comes up with the firm numbers. Also this is a cheap, deeply discounted (ie LUTXVE class) coach class ticket. With only 65% of the fare counting toward my Skybonus base.
If you tend to fly only cheap tickets, to earn say Silver medallion, you would not only have to fly/earn 25,000 MQM’s but also spend almost $4000 to get to the $2500 in Delta MQD money goal. Again, this is just a rough estimate, but does give you some idea what next year will be like. I rarely ever buy first class tickets. The only one I did buy in the past 12 months was a discount “A” first class. It yielded 88% of the fare toward Skybonus. One bit of sample data is just not enough, but maybe other readers can give more. Either way, you can expect higher fare class flyers will find meeting MQD goals much simpler than economy flyers.
Now what about the last question about other spend qualifying toward MQD requirements. I think Delta will stick to no credit for EC upgrades, bag fees or anything else. The only exception I can see is at year end when Delta offers to sell us MQM’s like they have for the past few years. Here is my logic on this. Let’s say you are 10,000 MQM’s short of Platinum but also have only spent $6500 with Delta toward MQD’s. There would be no point in you buying the MQM’s if you still are $1000 short of the spend goal so you don’t buy. But, if you can get BOTH MQM and MQD credit then there is a real reason to give Delta another $1000 to get over the hump! You get what you want and Delta can sell “air” for real cash at year end. Brilliance.
So there is my take on what is next. We shall soon see if I was right or way off base. What do you think? – René
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