Changes to 2016 Delta Medallion program – HIGHER MQDs!

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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.

offical update at delta-com

According to TPG the above is what is on the way for the 2016 Medallion year. I reached out to Delta to confirm and was told more info would be released tomorrow.

First off, if the info is correct, this is REALLY great news. I say that because it could have been MUCH worse. Plus, the best part, the $25,000 MQD exempt spend is NOT changing and that will be just as simple to meet as it was this year.

I will hold off speculating more until we get more solid info from Delta that is confirmed, but at this points I am THRILLED that the latest “enhancement” is not worse and confirms the perk of having either the Delta AMEX GOLD card or the Delta Platinum or Reserve card to be exempt via spending each medallion year.

chart for status delta

I can also remind you that what we are talking about is the 2016 Medallion year. That is the status you will earn starting on 1JAN2015. Thus you will need MQMs (as long as they don’t change) plus either MQD exempt spending or the MQD spending number for your Medallion level – René

EDIT: 10/10/14 and it’s OFFICIAL! You can see the info at HERE
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.

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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.

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.


  1. Thrilled it wasn’t worse? Um, that’s a way of looking at it… Glass half-full?

    I see it as more of we haven’t even gotten through the FIRST YEAR of MQD (and PQD for UA), not to mention the upcoming 2015 D-Day, and they are already devaluing a program headed down the toilet? Really puzzling, but shows a lot of confidence on DL’s part.

    Now, for UA to follow in 3…2…1…

  2. I am at 40K spend this year on Delta tickets with two Y class economy fares to SE Asia left this year, wish they would raise the level and get rid of the exemptions or raise those higher as well. Fewer Medallions the better for me.

    • @Bob Thankfully it is not up to you then 😉 for the rest of us who love the MQD exempt spend. I plan to finish mine in less that 30 days in January and with rolloever have my Diamond status until 1FEB2017 locked up!

  3. I wouldn’t be surprised if some sort of MQM replacement with MQD is on the way.. Lets see

  4. I would like to see qualifying based on either MQD’s or MQM’s. Big spenders should be rewarded!

    And yes, I am looking forward to Skymiles 2015 because I will earn way more miles on my 500 mile flights that cost $900

  5. Bob. I love the sense of community that your remarks engender. As for me I’m pissed, have been pissed, and likely to stay pissed at the devaluation contest

  6. I too wish they’d increase this more. Perhaps exclude the lowest few fare classes from mqm accrual altogether, too. I pay tens of thousands of dollars each year to DL. It would be nice to have an exclusive experience as a high elite.

    Since they cut back on CC-based access to the SCs, they have been far less crowded, which is great.

  7. And…I’m done. Delta and I are breaking up. For good this time. Isn’t it a little sad when the only thing we can say about Delta’s continued devaluation of SkyMiles is “I’m thrilled because it could have been so much worse!” It’s sad that they’ve turned us into these ‘take-what-we-can-get and be thrilled we’re not getting completely raked over the coals’-type people because the abuse they dole out to their loyal fliers could be SO much worse (after all of these changes, I’m not sure how much worse it can get for us…they take seats out of the plane and make us stand during flights? IDK). I’m going to burn the remainder of my SkyMiles and just make a permanent switch to American. Delta’s award tickets are ridiculously priced compared to AAdvantage rewards anyways – especially since you get to fly much better products through them (Qantas First r/t Atlanta to Wellington, New Zealand= 150,000 AAdvantage miles compared to Delta’s 240,000 award from Atlanta to Sydney in BUSINESS on a far less superior product….yeah. No love lost here.) I’m done. I can’t handle the abuse anymore. They’re making these changes to further line their pockets and that’s fine. That’s their right, just like it’s every traveler’s right to choose to no longer fly them…I’d rather pay American an extra $100 bucks knowing I’ll be better be rewarded for my loyalty.

  8. I fly delta every week for 47+ weeks a year. I realized that I just don’t care about the skymiles racket. Let me explain: Flying is like taking a bus with wings. And all busses (except for the uber luxury tour buses) pretty much suck. No there are different buses: there are airport shuttle busses, city busses, commuter busses and the long haul busses like Greyhound and MegaBus. At the end of the day, they are all buses and they all stink. Same with airliners. I still think Delta is the best. And I’m loyal to my Atlanta brands. Delta’s customer service is top notch and they have gone above and beyond to accommodate me when SHTF or when my schedule changes last minute. This may be because I’m a DM with almost 20k MQD spend… But I’m sitting on half a million skymiles. They are worthless to me. I can’t take time off of work to go on an international trip, and for my domestic leisure travel, it is way more convenient to just book the tickets for the times I want to fly. My days personal days aren’t flexible enough for me to fly wednesday and sunday mornings just to get the lowest skymile tickets. At the end of the day, All I care about is that my flights are punctual and that I get upgraded on the longer flights. all Delta cares about is that I keep booking flights. Loyalty is a joke in the airline industry and for the vast majority of those of us don’t realize that we get played for fools when we chase the rewards programs.

  9. As a longtime Delta (Republic, Northwest) flyer, stockholder, and currently Gold Medallion member, I am opposed to the change. They are making it more exclusive, wooing Business Flyers and potentially loosing the loyal occasional flyer. This is NOT the way to gain customers. We like PERKS and continually raising the bar is disheartening. The AMEX card may be on the way out for me as I look to switch to another airline. I have paid a bit more to stay loyal but may follow Reine in using my miles and moving on.

  10. Pingback: Why I am OVERJOYED with Delta's 2016 Skymiles MQD increase! - Delta PointsDelta Points

  11. Rene, Please tell us how you can put $25,000 in spend on amex in January and pay it off immediately. I think very few of us could follow suit. You and the other BA bloggers are very knowledgeable about the rules, but offer us nothing in terms of actions that could be taken to prevent these changes or roll them back. Given your collective knowledge of the industry, I would think you would be in a position to recommend and perhaps lead actions (other than not flying) that could be taken in a concerted effort to oppose them. Although bloggers offer some vaseline for these rule changes, personally I’m tired of just bending over and taking it. If this type of advice is not within your scope, then IMO bloggers are really working in the interests of the airlines rather than the majority of their readers. I really appreciate your efforts and the information you provide but wish there was more. Please respond. Thank you.

    • @John – see the linked post. There are so many ways to MFG spend that will cost you either nothing or almost nothing to get done. Even if it takes you all year to both in real and MFG spend get to 25k that works just fine. Clear?

      • Rene, I will check out the referenced posts and get back with you. However you did not address the second and most important part of my comment.

        • @John – We really have very little impact on the airlines. FLYERS have an impact.

  12. Precisely. And it is bloggers who have the industry knowledge flyers lack and the ability to communicate with thousands of us every day. As a flyer yourself, are you not also tired of the never-ending cram down of these enhancements?

    • @john – yep but the only choice is to change airlines. BoardingArea already has a great AA blogger so I am stuck with Delta 😉 (I kid – I praise Delta for what they do good and gripe when they do bad)!

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