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.
As you can see from the screen shot above, there are 3 airlines Delta will status Match / Challenge with. US Air was NOT one of them, but we know that at some point soon US Air will move all to American and your US Air status will become something at AA.
Just how high a match will depend much on what AA gives you as a US elite. That, you have to wait a bit longer to find out.
What about all you United flyers that have hated your airline because it has poor customer service, is bad when it comes to IROPS and has an inconsistent product, but had a good points program and redemption options. Now, as we saw yesterday, you have all that PLUS you have revenue based earnings starting next year. If you want to match Delta, soon is the perfect time.
What is the perfect time each year? July 1st. Why? Delta shows us that:
“If you register for the offer between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015 and you complete the flight requirements, your Medallion status will be maintained until January 31, 2016.” – Delta.com
So this means that if you apply on or after the 1st of July you can enjoy your status the rest of this year, all of next year and if you are not able to re-qualify in 2015 your status will end on February 1st of 2016. All you do have to complete the challenge and Delta.com says:
“In order to extend your Medallion status after the 90 days, you’ll need to earn a specific number of Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) or Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs) within the 90 days of enrolling by flying Delta or Delta Connection®. The number of MQMs or MQSs required is based on your matched Medallion level.” – Delta.com
The downside is you are only matching status NOT matching elite miles (we call them MQMs not PQDs btw) and you cannot match up to our highest level of Diamond Medallion but more on that soon. One nice thing about this program is you are exempt from MQDs for this or our Medallion Qualifying Dollars level as you are basically being gifted status by completing this challenge (those who are gifted status are exempt from the minimum spend thresholds).
But what this also means is if you want to be Diamond you are still going to have to fly/earn 125,000 miles, or in some other way, get to 125,000. You will also need to either spend $12,500 base fare with Delta or spend $25,000 on a personal or business Delta AMEX “airline travel cards” or a combination of them both to be exempt from the MQD spend requirement.
Your gifted status is full status but you don’t get all the perks. For example, during the challenge period, that is before you complete it:
“During the 90-day period, you will not have access to all reciprocal Medallion benefits with Delta’s partner airlines, including access to SkyTeam® lounges.” – Delta.com
Not just that, but once you do complete the challenge do not expect to get all the perks of say Platinum medallion like the Choice Benefits we get once we fly/earn 75,000. Delta says:
“Members who are matched to Platinum Medallion status will not be eligible for Choice Benefits until the flight requirement to maintain Platinum Medallion status is met. If the member does not meet the flight requirement, the member will not be eligible for Choice Benefits.” – Delta.com
Now the up side of this is say you want to go for the top level Diamond. While credit card MQMs do not “officially” count toward the challenge they do 100% count toward your totals for the year. If you look at THIS POST you will see you can, if you have never had them, get a personal and business Delta AMEX Reserve cards and earn 80,000 MQMs before 31DEC2014 if you can spend $60,000 on each before that date. Then, you “only” need to fly 45,000 more MQMs to be Diamond until 1FEB2016 and will get all the perks including both the Platinum and the Diamond Choice Benefits for 2015 flying year.
Bottom line is United & US Air fliers, the 1st of July is THE day to look at a status match / challenge with Delta Air Lines! – René
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. 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 American Express.