Well it is that time of the year again and there are so many questions and such confusion that sets in. Let’s take the time to knock out a ton of these and to have a post I can send to folks when they ask me:
Q1) If I get a Delta AMEX Reserve card today will I get the bonus MQMs for this year?
A1) Yes and Maybe. Yes, if you get the Delta Business 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 on the personal card (for some). The MQMs will count on this year i.e. 2017 for the 2018 Medallion year.
Q2) I am confused about the “medallion year”. Can you explain it simply and the changes for 2018?
A2) You are always earning 1 year ahead. Thus, this year, 2017, you are earning for 2018. Thus the medallion changes that kick in 1JAN2018 impact the following medallion year 2019. The part that causes the most confusion is if you say go from nothing to Diamond in Jan 2018 you get “free” status in 2018 but your real status is for 2019. Clear?
Q3) What is the cut off for my spending on Delta Amex card for MQD exemption and MQM earnings?
A3) All charges must POST to your Amex account on or before 31DEC to count on this year. Yes, that means charges on the 31st may count next year, not this year. When your statement closes does not matter. Yes, even if your statement closes on the 15th the MQMs earned will count for the past year NOT the next or then current year.
Q4) But my Delta Reserve card statement does not close till 15JAN. Can I count them or gift them to someone and have them count on next year’s status?
A4) No. See the above. If you wait until late in Jan or even into FEB to claim (or gift) your Reserve card MQMs they will retro count into last year i.e. 2017. Also, if you just wait the 90 days Amex / Delta will auto deposit them and again they will count backwards.
Q5) What if I buy tickets now for next year and then cancel them. Will Delta claw back my MQMs? And is it the purchase date or the fly date that matters to earn points?
A5) When you purchased the ticket does not really matter (there are a few exceptions like when a partner flight is included that departs but let’s stick with simple for now and Delta). Thus, it is when you fly that matters. Any flights that are schedule depart (key point depart, not land) before 23:59 on 31DEC17 count on this year. Any that depart after that time count next year.
Q6) When will my rollover miles post in January of 2018?
A6) Who knows. In years past it has been the 2nd and the 14th (for most) so use that as your guide. Delta tends to promise by the end of Jan as 1FEB the new medallion year begins.
Q7) I am (insert medallion level here) right now, but did not re-qualify for next year so my status ends 1FEB. I have a trip booked in February, will I still get my same benefits or will my cleared upgrades go away?
A7) No you will drop down and be whatever. This does not mean if you picked a C+ seat you will get auto-kicked out, but any seat change issues and they will not put you back for free. Even 1st class upgrades (cleared before the 1st) will stick as long as there are no schedule or equipment changes.
Q8) I was GOLD most of the year but am now PLATINUM Medallion, what happens to my SkyMiles award trips booked for summer 2018?
A8) 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. Note the same works the other way. If you are now Platinum and drop down to Gold you will not get the free changes you would get now.
Q9) I was gifted Gold medallion status and flew just 21,000 MQM miles this year. How many MQM’s will I rollover?
A9) Zero! Keep in mind gifted status means just that – status NOT any MQMs. If you want to have rollover MQMs you have to earn your Gold status via MQMs and MQDs (or MQD Amex spend exemption).
Q10) I am 2000 MQM’s short of FO/GM/PM/DM. Is it worth going for (whatever) level. Should I get a Delta Amex Reserve card now or take a mileage run?
A10) That is up to you if it is worth it. You can take a look at this series of posts to get an idea if it is worth it. Do keep in mind since those posts were written upgrade chances are WAY down due to Delta selling 1st class upgrades so cheap and reducing the value of all medallion levels.
Q11) OK what if I am only 200 MQM’s short of FO/GM/PM/DM will Delta “soft land me” that is, let me slide and keep my status?
A11) Think no but there are exceptions. Last year Delta did offer a number of folks so called soft landings to the next level. You may or may not want this and if you do not they will allow you to keep your rollover and stick at the lower level. If you are that short and WANT the higher medallion level I would get your body on a Delta jet before year end. Any flight will get you 500 MQMs minimums.
Q12) I am a DM and gifted my wife GM and it expires 1FEB. I want to gift her again as I re-qualified as a DM again this year but Delta.com will not let me as it says she is already GOLD.
A12) You will have to wait until she drops back down to “nothing” i.e. Just a SkyMiles member then you can again gift her Gold for another year.
Q13) I have a flight that departs at 11:PM on 31DEC but lands on 01JAN. Will I get my MQM’s for 2017 or 2018?
A13) It is all about the scheduled departure time and date wherever you are on the planet. So, as long as the flight is scheduled to depart before the year ends, you get credit on this year.
Q14) If I already have had (or hold) the Delta Amex Reserve card, can I get the business card now for the bonus points? Are they not the same card?
A14) They are NOT the same card. They are both unique products. You can hold them both at once if you want to. You will get the bonus for each card 1x in your lifetime so make sure the time is right.
Q15) I need (insert whatever) MQMs and have no way to get more MQMs from Amex. Can you suggest a mileage run (from my home airport)?
A15) I feel for you. You have two choices, either A) buy MQMs at bat crazy prices or B) take a mileage run. I do not offer custom runs but my friend Adam does. I would reach out to him ASAP.
Q16) I need (insert whatever) MQDs (not MQMs) to be whatever medallion. Suggestions since I can not spend more on a Delta Amex?
A16) You also can just gift money to Delta and they will give you MQD credit for giving them money. Personally I would rather fly somewhere. Keep in mind with Delta partners you can often get HUGE MQD credit based on distance flown not the ticket price. Again reach out to Adam if you need help with this.
Q17) I hear Sky Club membership rules are changing for the worse. Should I avoid this as a Choice Benefit next year?
A17) Maybe. First off the changes do not kick in until 1JAN2019 so we have a year. Next, if you are going to upgrade from individual to executive it is cheaper to pick 25,000 SkyMiles as one of your Choice Benefits and then spend 23,000 SkyMiles to upgrade to executive (thus you pocket 2k SkyMiles free).
Q18) Speaking of Choice Benefits – do I have to choose them before 31DEC or 31JAN?
A18) 31JAN. But keep in mind you must pick the 2017 Choice Benefits by 31JAN2018. If you have earned your 2018 Platinum or Diamond status you have until 31Jand 2019 to burn those so no rush. Just be sure you have your years straight before you choose.
Q19) What about Skybonus. I have not re-qualified for 2018. What is the cutoff date to pick rewards?
A19) Now horrid Skybonus you DO have to pick your rewards before 31DEC. In fact I would pick them ASAP because the only thing worse that SkyMiles is Skybonus.
Q20) I really miss your blog as a daily blog vs. a weekend only blog. Any way you can go back to blogging each day?
A20) Sorry no (for now). I have many things demanding my time including personal obligations. I may at some point next year go back to daily blogging but do not expect that to happen for quite some time. Thank you so much for being a fan of the blog!
So there you are. That is all the “stuff” that tends to come up at the end of each year. Did I miss anything or your question? Ask away in the comments below! – René