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When will Delta Medallion rollover MQMs happen for 2017? What about Choice Benefits? Other fears?

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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.

roll over

Yesterday I posted what I post just about every year on the 1st of January, that is, how to become Delta Medallion MQD spend exempt and have been very busy accomplishing my tests and will update the results as data comes in. I am confident in all the different choices but there is a reason I am trying before I can tell you with certainty that all is well as it has been for years and years.

But on to a question I have already received many tweets, e-mails and more about just when will Delta rollover MQMs happen (or why has it not happened yet)? First off, everyone:

Take a deep breath!

Rollover for years and years takes a little while. Some years it hits everyone at once (or almost everyone) while other years it rolls out to Diamonds first and then down the list. Each year is a little bit different. To be specific what I have seen rollover happen (on or about):

Now having said that there are a myriad of exceptions to this but these dates are a guide for what to expect for this year and every year. But what if (insert 100 issues here) happens. Well it may mean you, unlike the bulk of frequent flyers, have an issue that could delay you.

So if this is me should I stress out? Maybe and most of the time if you did not, by default, get your rollover MQMs it is likely your fault in some way (but not always). This could mean you missed something and are not going to get your rollover MQMs. Like what? Maybe you did not have posted spend (minus annual fee paid and returns) that meant your were not AMEX MQD exempt in time and thus your MQM total matters not. Or, maybe you thought you had rights to MQM rollover but due to a gifted status you did not reach a level high enough to earn rollover. There can be many other reasons why.

Bottom line is until the last week (or even days) of the month you don’t need to stress out as it may be, for whatever reason, that yours is taking longer. Now if you are reading this past about the 21st of January then it may be time to contact Delta and see what is wrong if you are in fact eligible for rollover and have not yet seen them hit your account. If this is you e-mail me and I can one-on-one give you some ideas.

Delta Choice Benefits

Next topic that always seems to confuse is Choice Benefits. Even seasoned flyers get this wrong year after year. I will try to make this simple, but you need to understand the timeline of your status.

  • You get only a choice per medallion year
  • If you are Diamond you get the Platinum and the Diamond choice
  • For the past medallion year 31JAN is the choice deadline

I will try to make this simple. Say last year, that is 2016, you earned Diamond Medallion status. You did not really earn it for 2016 but earned it “in” 2016. The status you earned was 2017 Medallion year. That means you earned the 2017 Choice Benefit choice. No more no less. Again please don’t make this hard. This means you have until 31JAN – 2018 – to make your Choice Benefit selection.

So those who need to worry about 31JAN this year are those who in 2015 earned the 2016 Medallion status that is set to end in a few short weeks.

Now that you have this clear in your head the logic of either waiting or not waiting to select your choice. Let’s take upgrade certificates. Once you select them, as of that date, they expire in 1 year. The T&C say you have to fly them by the expiration date. So in this case, if you don’t need them, wait until you must select them to have as long as possible.

Now the opposite situation. If you gift someone Silver or Gold Medallion status from your 2016 Medallion choice, they will ONLY have status until 1FEB17 (yes, about one month). If you gift someone status from your 2017 Medallion choice, they will have status until 1FEB18. If with your with rollover MQMs and earn MQD exempt via spend or have huge MQD spend already this year and earn 2018 status after the 1st of February and gift them your 2018 choice they will have status until 1FEB19.

Bottom line is understanding Delta elite math can be confusing but it should not be. Rollover will happen likely soon and as long as you understand what Medallion year you are selecting your benefits for you can make a wise choice.

Questions on any of this? Fire away! – René


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. Hi Rene, at the end of the year I was MQD exempt with two AMEX cards, but was just over 2k MQM short of PM. With one of the cards I did hit the first 25k spend bonus just before the end of the month so I should be getting another 10k MQM, but my statement does close until Jan 18. How does this work? If Delta rolls over mile before the 18th will they then remove some of them on the 19th when AMEX sends over my bonus moving me to PM, or does Delta know this is coming and therefore waits until this clears?

    • @Jarred – If you had all the spend post, again post, before 31DEC the MQMs earned in 2016 will apply for last year. When you card statement is does not matter. The MQMs will count on last year.

  2. @Rene – Thanks for your response! I have read your other post about how the post date works, but with this being the first year with carryover for miles, and AMEX spend miles coming, I was getting a little nervous about how it all works together. Thanks for all the information you have here on your blog, it is very helpful.

  3. So you can accumulate having your 2017 choice without taking it and then earn 2018 choice and they both will be waiting?

    How do I put my photo on here?

    • @Jim – A bit confused by your comment / question but will take a stab. This time of year many want to know about status and status related issues.

  4. off topic, but my New Years resolution is to be sure to attend a frequent flyer seminar in 2017. Are any published yet/ Which is the best?

  5. Mark Harrington Reply

    Hi Rene,
    So following up on your response to @kingrat, the Choice Benefits don’t expire unless you claim them?

    • @Mark – They do expire on 31DEC each year. Please re-read post carefully.

  6. Just for fun, I predict January 10, 2016 as Skyrollover day.

    Consider the day, rather than date, each year posted, 2012 was second Sunday; 2013 was first Thursday; however, the last three years (2014, 2015, 2016) have each fallen on the second Tuesday. This trend suggests the 10th. Granted the limited data used in my analytical approximation (ie, guess) puts this on par with correctly choosing the outcome of a coin toss, but with the storm outside, I had fun pondering it over a cup of hot cocoa while stuck inside 🙂

  7. So i have until a year from now (basically) to pick my 2017 PM choice benefits? I still have one RU cert left from last year but it doesn’t expire until May so I’m waiting to use it.

    • @Jane – If you earned your 2017 status in 2016 then yes you have a year from now to pick them if you want.

  8. Hi Rene,

    I don’t understand this comment “If you are Diamond you get the Platinum and the Diamond choice”.

    In 2016 I earned diamond status for 2017. How would I be able to get the Platinum choice and Diamond choice?

    Can you explain and show me how?


    • @Josh – Simple. If you made it to Diamond, you also made it to Platinum. Thus, each year, you get BOTH Platinum choice AND Diamond choice. Enjoy!

      • Joshua Frith Reply

        I was platinum for months with no email from delta to select choice benefits

          • Joshua Frith

            That’s an interesting response. I do read you blog. This isn’t the first time we’ve interacted. I’ve been reading it since 2013 and I’ve enjoyed your willingness to share. You’re partly the reason I’ve worked my way up to diamond.

            Your response doesn’t seem genuine and it certainly isn’t helpful. I thought I’d be able to receive some actual help, since this really does affect me. Thank you for your time ✌

          • rene

            @Joshua – Uh, sorry what? I answered you question and even with a light hearted response that the blog is telling you info that Delta is not (but should really) and I was not helpful? Congrats on making Diamond and enjoy the perks!

            PS – If you need one-on-one help feel free to email me anytime.

  9. Question for you, René, re: the 2nd 15,000 MQM boost I earned with the AMEX Delta Reserve card last month (12/2016). I know I have 90 days to gift them to someone, or take it myself, or it will merely default to me. And, regardless of what I do, it would count towards 2016’s MQM earnings for either myself or the person I gift it to. That being said, if I come across another AMEX Delta Reserve cardholder who still needs 15,000 MQMs for the 2016 earning year, I could gift mine to them, and they could gift theirs if the earned in 2017 to me, and it would work out for all, correct? (This is assuming the requisite trust was there to make both sides played their part.) Any gotchas I’m not realizing?

  10. Hi Rene;

    A few questions for you when you get a chance.

    Will be a newbie Diamond by June and will be choosing the 4 global upgrade certificates.

    I’ve never used an upgrade certificate before — So if I were to try to use one on this itinerary — YYZ – AMS – HKG and return, how many of them would I need? (2 each way?) Am assuming that it is normal to expect that not all segments will get upgraded and you “get them back”?

    I’m also reading that you can use them for the new premium cabin when they become available in the fall. Does that mean I give up my chance for the Delta One upgrade if I go for it? Or does that mean using a 2nd certificate to hop up?

    Finally, we just encountered a new situation during boarding a couple of weeks ago — YYZ – AMS KLM flight, where my husband (same reservation, silver medallion) was told he could not board with me in the SkyPriority lane bacause he didn’t have SkyPriority on his boarding pass. Other spouses and family members were asked to stand aside as well.

    We’ve never had an issue before and after speaking with a lounge agent at AMS, they told me that technically, it is true but they were surprised that families were being separated.

    Have you heard of this happening before and is this something Delta and other Skyteam members are going to start enforcing?

    Thanks so much for your time!

  11. Thank you so much Rene for the prompt and great reply — I really appreciate it!

    Lots to look forward to next year.

  12. Question – any sense for if Delta will move status qualification to strictly based on dollars spent? For example, this past year I earned a paltry 3.50-3.75 MQMs per dollar spent on Delta. I’ve seen and know people who get very high mileage trips for less dollars spent so they are able to earn Platinum or Diamond while spending significantly less.

    It seems to me that Delta should be rewarding the most valuable fliers based on revenue to Delta, not miles flown. I mean, I’ve had 1,000 MQM round trips that cost upward of $800-$900 (hello, ATL to BNA!) yet I could fly two 3,000+ MQM trips for that amount and be better off towards status.


    • @J – I seems Delta has delayed doing it. Who knows maybe they finally saw it would be a dumb move then again…

  13. Hi Rene;

    Thought I’d follow up with Delta’s reply I recently received about not being able to board with my husband:

    “I regret to hear the we did not meet your expectations as your spouse was not allowed to board on the Sky Priority line with you. I realize you have some concerns as to the procedures taken when families traveling together have varied boarding passes; some stating Sky Priority and others not. I will be glad to address your concerns to the best of my ability…

    And although I agree that the agent could approached it better, unfortunately the agent was just doing her job. Only those with boarding pass that are marked with Sky Priority are allowed to board as such. At times, some agents will make the exception and allow for family members to board with their Sky Priority companion as a courtesy. I’m truly sorry that courtesy was not taken with you and your husband…”

  14. Andrew Hentschel Reply

    Hi Rene. Im a long time Diamond however, I won’t be traveling much at all the rest of the year but will be picking back up next year. I currently have around 50k MQM’s and have not yet reached silver MQD spend. Will all MQM’s roll over? I cannot get a straight answer from Diamond reps. Thanks!

  15. Hi Rene. If I hit Gold based on MQS but not MQM, will my MQMs above silver roll over or will I start 2018 at 0 MQMs. Not planning on flying nearly as much next year and I’m wondering if it’s worth it to go for gold or make it easier to stay Silver at least. Thanks

    • @Dan – I am confused. MQMs only rollover above each level you hit. So, I am assuming you have under 50K MQMs but enough MQSs to be Gold so no you would not roll over anything MQMs as you would have to have 50,001 to rolloever 1 MQM. I am assuming you are also MQD exempt (via card spend or outside USA) or have enough MQD spend to be Gold?

  16. Yeah Rene, I think you understood and answered, thanks. With current plans, I’ll should end the year at 60 MQS and 47-49k MQMs. I was hoping to rollover the MQMs > 25k, but it sounds like that wouldn’t happen.

    I have the option of taking a more direct route on one planned trip so I’d end up at 58-59 MQS instead. I’m debating if it’s worth it to keep being Silver longer or have that one year of Gold. Without anything to rollover, it would be difficult to keep any status at all for 2019 the way i currently see 2018 travel plans shaping up.

    And yes I’m card exempt and don’t see that changing.

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