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Common Delta & AMEX questions that always are asked before year end. Here are the facts!

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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.

In past years I have put up a top 10 list of common questions. Some of them have changed with the new Delta rules so let’s take the best of the past and ones that are filling my inbox this year as well.

Q1) Is there still time to get a Delta AMEX card today and get the bonus MQMs?

A1) Yes and Maybe. Yes, if you get the Delta Reserve card <-LINK as the 10,000 Bonus MQMs come with the first purchase. It will be hard for many to meet the minimum spend needed on the Delta Platinum cards at this point (not for all).

Q2) What is the cut off for my spending? What if I buy tickets now for next year and then cancel them. Will Delta claw back my MQMs?

minus points from amex on delta

A2) Yes Delta / AMEX may just do that. You need to make sure your spend has POSTED to your AMEX account before 31DEC15. Even if you charge it in 2015, and it posts into 2016 you will get 2016 credit. If you have have issues that lower your spend under the 2015 totals you may in fact get points clawed back.

Q3) My Delta Reserve card statement does not close till 15JAN. When will I get my MQM bonus, this year or next for spending $30,000 or $60,000 dollars? Can I count them on next year’s status?

A3) All spending toward your 30 or 60k is based on the calendar year. So, all spending that posts on or before 31DEC2015 will count toward this year’s bonus (keep in mind annual fee does NOT count). Again, any spending posting on or after 01JAN2016 counts toward next year’s bonus. This is the case whatever your statement close date is even if it is after 01JAN16.

Q4) When will my rollover miles post now that the new Medallion year starts on 1FEB each year? Will it be faster?

A4) My guess is it will be like last year. By the 15th for most of us. All will have rollover done before 1FEB16 rolls around. Delta has done a good job with this over the past few years. PS don’t forget the Medallion year starts February 1st this year not March 1st like in the past.

Q5) I am (insert medallion level here) right now, but did not re-qualify for next year. I have a trip booked in February, will I still get my same benefits then?

A5) Nope! Delta is very quick to switch you over. Sometime on Monday 01FEB2016 you will drop down and you will not get the perks you had this year! This does not mean if you picked a C+ seat you will get auto-kicked out, but any seat issues and they will not put you back for free. Also medallion upgrades will not happen. You are again a non-status flyer. Sorry! 🙁

Q6) I was GOLD most of the year but am now PLATINUM Medallion, what happens to my SkyMiles award trips booked for summer 2016?

A6) All that matters, like the question above, is your current status level. Even though you booked your frequent flyer tickets as a Gold or Silver Medallion on points, the rules for a PLATINUM now cover them! Enjoy free changes.

Q7) I have an AMEX Platinum coach buy one get one free cert expiring on 15FEB2016. How long do I have to fly after that date?

A7) Zero. You must fly round trip by 15FEB2016. Also keep in mind with these certs you will NOT get free medallion upgrades (if you are one) but you will get other perks like SKY or ZONE1 boarding and free bags etc.

Q8) I was gifted Gold medallion status and flew just 21,000 BIS miles this year. How many MQM’s will I rollover?

A8) Zero! Keep in mind gifted status means just that. If you want to have rollover MQMs you have to earn your Gold status via MQMs and MQDs.

Q9) I am 2000 MQM’s short of FO/GM/PM/DM will Delta “soft land me” that is, let me slide and keep my status?

A9) NO! Each year there are a very tiny few folks that happen to get this but let me tell you it is not likely to happen to you. If you need MQMs at this point get a Delta AMEX Reserve card or book a flight or an Elite Mileage Run. Now!

Q10) I have a flight that departs at 11:PM on 31DEC2015 but lands on 01JAN2016. Will I get my MQM’s for 2015 or 2016?

A10) It is all about the scheduled departure time and date, wherever you happen to be on the planet. So, as long as the flight is scheduled to depart before the year ends, you get credit on this year.

These are the Q&A that I seem to get year after year in some fashion, but do you happen to have some other burning Delta question you want to know about? Fire away and I will do my best to answer them! – 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.


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. If I already have a Delta Platinum card, can I get a reserve and get the 10k bonus after the first purchase?

    • @Steve – Yes, as long as you have never had it before (personal) or the the case of the business card you have canceled more that 365+ days ago.

  2. Not a question but a caution: The 15,000 MQM from Delta Reserve Card spend doesn’t automatically credit to your Delta account. You have 90 days to accept or gift before it shows up. So if you have earned and need the 15k MQMs for 2016 status you must manually accept before Dec 31, 2015.

  3. When will the 10,000 MQM bonus be available for when the first charge on the Delta Reserve posts ?

    I got the Business Reserve and charges have been posting for a week but no bonus in my account.

    • @Jay – Normally 1-3 days after statement close (or sooner). Keep in mind even if they do post into 2016 they will count on 2015 since you got the card and made a charge and earned the MQMs for THIS YEAR.

  4. I’m going to end the year 10,331 miles shy of PM. I’m thinking I’ll get the Reserve card (using your link of course) – beyond that any ideas for the last 331 miles that don’t involve a MR? I’m not opposed to it but options are looking pretty bleak between now and DEC31 out of MSP.

  5. When I go to apply for the Reserve is says “Apply for an Upgrade” instead of “Apply” – due to me having the DL Amex Plat – Is that OK? Will I still get the 10K?

    • @Bill – You may NOT get the points. I would use a clean browser and start over from my links.

  6. My DH is just a few miles from Diamond and we have just hit the 60K spending on the Reserve. I would rather he stay at Platinum and rollover lots of MQMs. If I wait until 2016 to claim the 15K MQMs, you mentioned that they will still apply to 2015. Anyway to get around this? I read the e18 post but I think they will still apply to 2015.

    • @Mary – No way to get around it. They apply in the year you earn them. Period.

  7. Some posters have said their “first purchase” MQM’s for the Reserve got posted within 48 hours of their purchase, instead of at statement close. Do you know which one it is? I’m getting nervous that because I didn’t cancel my DL AMEX Plat I might not get my 10K bonus MQM’s… can you reassure me? 🙂 I did use a clean browser to avoid the “upgrade” card links – and of course used your link!

    • @Bill – Either way fine as long as earned in 2015 will count. Don’t stress.

  8. Pingback: Delta Rollover MQMs 2016. Buy MQMs extended. Delta pilot risks it big time & other Delta news for the 1JAN16. - Renés PointsRenés Points

  9. Lividdavid Reply

    I have a DL AX Platinum c.c. In midOctober 2016 I received an offer for an additional 5,000 mqms on top of my usual Miles Boosts after spending $50,000 in purchases. I already received my 2nd 10,000 miles boost. So I think I have already qualified for this 5,000 mqm bonus. There is apparently no additional spending requirement. I received a confirmation of my enrollment in the offer on October 23. The 5,000 MQMs have not been awarded yet. As the offer closes on December 31, do you think that means that the miles will be awarded in CY2017? I called DL and, when they finally found this offer, they told me I would have to wait until 10 weeks after DLs confirmation of my enrollment (that is, around January 5, 2017) before I can file a complaint. I now have 120,000 plus change MQMs accrued in this year. The 5,000 would push me into Diamond which is nice. The reason I am concerned about timing is that I probably have now reached peak mileage earning ability in my life; I probably only have enough flying and c.c. usage ahead of me to earn Diamond every other year. I don’t have the time to take a mileage run now. So three things can happen:

    1. The 5,000 MQMs are awarded this year. I become a Diamond again and start from scratch.

    2. The 5,000 MQMs are awarded in January 2017. Would Delta count them in 2016? If yes, I’m a Diamond and for another year. If not I’m a Platinum with a 50,000 rollover with instantaneous Gold for 2018 — maybe, if the rules on MQMs don’t change.

    Is there something I don’t understand?

    • @Lividdavid – My experience tells me even if the MQMs hit in 2017 they will count on 2016 as you earned them in 2016. That is how it works if say your statement closes in mid Jan and you earn the MQMs from spend ending on 31DEC but they don’t post until 15JAN17 when your statement does.

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