One benefit of holding certain Delta American Express cards is the opportunity to spend your way to Delta MQD exempt status. Except two Delta Amexes are losing that perk — kind of.
Earning MQD Exemption Waivers with Delta Amexes
Delta’s MQD requirements for Medallion status ($3000 for Silver, $6000 for Gold, $9000 for Platinum) are waived if you spend $25,000 on one or across multiple qualifying Delta American Express cards during a calendar year.
(The $15,000 Diamond MQD requirement is waived if you spend a quarter million dollars on your Delta Amexes. There are ways to avoid that. We’ll talk about it in a few minutes.)
For example, spending $25,000 on the Platinum Delta Amex will earn you the Silver/Gold/Platinum MQD waiver.
Mix and match! Collect ’em all! Trade with your friends!
Except there’s one (actually three) big exceptions.
Not All Delta American Express Cards Equally Earn MQD Waiver Exemption Spend
Purchases on your Delta American Express Blue card, Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card and/or Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card will not count toward your MQD waiver spend if those are the only Delta Amexes you hold.
But if you have at least one of the below credit cards, then your Delta Gold Amex spend will count against your MQD waiver:
In other words, if you have a Delta Gold card — and it’s your only Delta Amex — but spend $25,000 on on it, your MQD waiver accrual will be $0.
But if you get a Delta Reserve or Delta Platinum card, that $25k spend on the Gold will earn your MQD waiver.
It’s kind of a racket, I know.
How to Make This Easier
Get a Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express or its business counterpart. The everyday spend bonuses are far superior, you get a Global Entry / TSA PreCheck credit (starting January 30, 2020), companion certificate, and can buy access to Delta Sky Clubs. (Or get a Reserve personal or business card and enjoy complimentary Sky Club and Centurion Lounge access whenever you fly Delta.)
Your Gold card becomes superfluous at point — unless you want to gamble that Amex Offers savings will cover the $99 annual fee.
Other Ways to Earn MQD
If you hold only a personal Delta Gold Amex or the business flavor but don’t want another Delta credit card, there are two other ways to earn MQDs. (These complement each other, BTW, so mix and match.)
- Spend the required amount ($3k/$6k/$9k/$15k) on Delta Air Lines-marketed flights. Remember that only base fares and surcharges qualify as MQD. Government fees do not count.
- Travel on a partner airline and credit the flight to your Delta SkyMiles number. Why? Your MQD accrual for those flights is based on a percentage (determined by fare class) of miles flown, regardless of what you pay.
For example, I posted a trip on Virgin Atlantic from LAX to Johannesburg, South Africa. (We often post them to our mileage run section, FYI.) The airfare was about $1860 for Premium Economy.
But because the trip travels about 22,090 miles and Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy “K” fares award 30% MQD based on distance flown, SkyMiles members can expect to earn around $6627. On one trip. That costs less than a third of the MQD it earns.
If you (understandably) wondered “Why are these people always so excited about AeroMexico runs to Ecuador or day trips to Guatemala City?” now you know. 😉
So if you don’t want to earn MQD with Delta credit card spend, consider taking a couple of MQD runs. (Keep in mind the mileage run masters at Juicy Miles can cook up something ridiculously awesome for you.)
Ask away in the Comments section!
Other Delta Amex Topics We’ve Covered This Month
Now is a fantastic opportunity to apply for Delta Amexes because many have great welcome bonuses — and you can lock in a year at their current annual fees.
We’ve covered several related topics during the past several weeks including:
- My Thoughts on the New Delta American Express Benefits, Fees, and More!
- 10 Things to Know About Bonus MQM on the Updated Delta Amex Cards
- What You Need to Know About the Delta Amex MQD Waiver
- Delta Main Cabin 1 Boarding: How Valuable is This Delta Amex Perk?
- Sky Club Access for Delta American Express Cards: Which Cards are Now Eligible?
- Saving Money with the Delta Amex Free First Checked Bag Benefit
- “No Status” Upgrades for Delta Reserve Cardholders?
- Is Centurion Lounge Access with a Delta Reserve Card Really That Great?
- Saving 20% on Delta Purchases Made Onboard During Flights with Delta American Express Cards
- A Mileage Run Without Getting On a Plane? Yes!
- Scoring More First Class Upgrades: How Delta American Express Cards Can Help
- Trip Delay Coverage with the Delta Reserve Cards and Delta Platinum American Express Cards
Big Welcome Bonuses Expire WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30!
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