If you want to Status Match / Challenge Delta – TODAY is the day to do it!

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status match challenge to delta air lines

TODAY is the day to status match Delta!

I think a great many American Airlines flyers are still really upset over the changes to the elite and frequent flyer program over the past year. I get that the perks of the program went a long way to make up for all the other failings of the airline. Well, if you are ready to try a different experience then today is the day to do this.

Each year July 1st is the best time to ask Delta to match your status with another airline. Delta.com has a handy chart for the biggest competitors <-LINK (and one sorta partner Alaska) but if you have status with any other non-Skyteam airline you can always submit the application and see what they are willing to offer. Don’t expect a Diamond match no matter what your status is as Platinum is as far as you can go.

You can review my old posts on this subject to answer many of your questions about what your status will be like during the challenge period as well as the main Delta.com page linked above.

how much you need to fly to match

How many MQMs you need to complete challenge.

But let me touch on some things Delta will not talk about. If you are going to fly Delta you need to hold a Delta AMEX card. The Delta Reserve card will help you score more upgrades. But for now the Delta Platinum card is giving 10,000 bonus MQMs (both the personal card as well as the Delta Platinum business card). Officially these MQMs do NOT count toward your elite points per the wording. However, since Delta treats MQMs from all sources the same including for million mile status, in practice I have many reports that they do count. While YMMV this could be an amazing time to match and possibly fly many less miles to get the challenge completed.

Next, keep in mind two other important points. Once you have completed the challenge say to Platinum and have your status the rest of this year and all of next year (ends 1FEB18) you only have the status matched NOT the MQMs matched. So, this means if you want to go for Diamond this year you still have to do it the hard way, that is, by 31DEC16 fly 125,000 miles and meet the MQD spend requirement (or become fully MQD exempt by spending $25,000 on your Delta AMEX card – see why you need the card). Same goes for 2017.

Next, sticking with my Platinum example but others are similar, you will only rollover MQMs above 75,000. That is if you spend at least $3,000 in MQD spend or are exempt and fly the rest of this year just 55,000 total miles (including credit card MQMs) you rollover nothing into 2017. However, if you say fly and earn 100,000 MQMs total then you would rollover 25,000 MQMs into 2017. The math is a bit to wrap your head around but this old rookie post can help just understand the minimum MQD spend numbers have gone up since that post was written.

Lastly, since I always get questions on this one when folks are new to Delta is Choice Benefits that you will qualify for once you complete the Platinum level challenge. The match / challenge is technically for 2017 (you just get it free the rest of this year). So, you will get just one round of choices not one this year and another one next year. However, as is the case every year, if you make Diamond this year you will get the 2017 choice for both the Platinum level AND the Diamond level, that is, Diamonds get both each and every year. Very nice.

Ready to come over to Delta? Have any questions? Fire away and welcome to Delta! – René


my new delta amex biz card

I just got this card – did you? 🙂



  1. Thank you for this post, it comes at a very opportune time for my wife. Is a status match a once-per-lifetime thing, or can it be repeated in the future?

  2. Rene, do you know if MQMs earned via Partner-coded-Delta-operated flights count toward the challenge? Looking from the rule it should be (it says “operated by”), but from past experience those code-shared flights do post into Skymiles as their marketed flight time. So in practice any data point for that?
    Thanks a lot!

  3. @Palmtenor – If you booked it on Delta.com you are normally safe as well as with code-share partners. In fact, with Korean, you must book on Delta.com to get points.

  4. Any tips for how to request a status challenge from Delta without status with a competitor? I’m going to be flying a ton in the next 3-6 months, almost exclusively via Delta, but will only have 6 months to accrue MQM’s.

  5. @CTMich – Only when they have targeted offers like the ones they ran for Washington and Alaska residences in the past. I would be sure to get at least one if not two (ie biz and personal) Delta AMEX Platinum cards TODAY with the 10k MQMs bonus offer after spend!

  6. Registered for a status match last week — after July 1.

    Received confirmation that I had been accepted into the Platinum challenge on July 13, with status beginning on July 14.

    Today, I got an e-mail saying that if I get the required 18,750 MQM, I will “keep your Medallion status through January 31, 2017.”

    That should be 2018 for a post-July 1 status match, right?

    I really hope it’s just a typo or that the boilerplate e-mail hasn’t been updated yet to reflect the fact that status should not be valid through Jan 31, 2018.

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