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Delta Extends Medallion Status, Credit Card Benefits, and More! #KeepClimbing!

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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.


Delta Air Lines announced several great extensions for Medallion status members, co-branded Delta American Express cardholders, SkyMiles Select members, and more. (René called it!)

To be frank — and I know there are detractors — I think Delta went above and beyond in many regards.

Let’s check out the extensions.

Delta Platinum Medallion 2017 brag tag.

Here’s the announcement Delta issued this morning.

Medallion Status

1. All Medallion statuses for 2020 will be automatically extended for the 2021 Medallion year.

For example, if you hold Gold status right now, it won’t expire until January 31, 2022.

This should apply to people who earn Medallion status this year or bump up another tier. Note the emphasis on should. I didn’t see anything in the announcement that explicitly mentioned this.

2. All Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM) from 2020 will roll over to next year to qualify for 2022 Medallion status

This certainly is a nice move by Delta. Plus, if there’s a time later in the year when we’re able to safely travel again, we can stock up on more MQM — provided there are affordable prices and good routes operating. It’s also nice for people who spend on their Delta Amex cards.

2021 could be a great opportunity for mileage runs. Say you acquire 40,000 MQM before this year ends. Instead of falling just short of Gold status, you’re — theoretically— already more than halfway to Platinum in 2022!

Nothing is mentioned about MQD rolling over; I assume they won’t.

A potential downside: lots of elite status members in 2022 — especially with everyone now essentially chasing 2022 status.

Upgrade Certificates or $200 Travel Vouchers

Upgrade certificates or $200 travel vouchers with an original expiration date between March 1 and June 30, 2020, are now extended for travel booked and flown by December 31, 2020.

Upgrade Certificates or $200 travel vouchers set to expire after June 30, 2020, will be extended an additional six months beyond their current expiration date.

(Remember, Diamonds: you receive both Diamond and Platinum choice benefits!)

Randee and Chris Carley seated in Delta One from LAX to Tokyo HND on an Airbus 330.
Smile! Enjoy an extension to your upgrade certificate’s original expiration date!

Delta SkyMiles American Express Card Members:

Per Delta: “If you have one of the following in your SkyMiles profile “My Wallet” that is valid now or has expired since March 1, 2020, we are extending the expiration dates to give you additional time to enjoy your benefits”:

Delta Amex Gold Card  (personal or business) cardholders with a $100 Delta flight credit will get a six-month extension beyond their current expiration date.

Delta Air Lines co-branded metal American Express cards.

Companion Certificates

Good news for Delta Platinum Amex Card (personal or business) and Delta Reserve Amex Card (personal or business) cardholders!

Companion Certificates originally set to expire between March 1 and June 30, 2020, can now be used to book and fly by Dec. 31, 2020.

Certificates expiring between July 1, 2020, and April 1, 2021, will receive an additional six months beyond the current expiration date.

Sky Club Guest Passes (Delta Reserve Cardholders)

Delta Reserve Amex Card (personal or business) cardholders each receive four, one-time guest passes to Delta Clubs.

Those are now extended six months past their original expiration date.

Delta Sky Club Memberships 

Delta Sky Club Individual and Executive memberships expiring March 1, 2020, or later receive six additional months of Delta Sky Club access beyond their expiration date.

SkyMiles Select

Delta SkyMiles Select members receive a six-month extension to Main Cabin 1 boarding benefits and unused drink vouchers. (FWIW, remember that SkyMiles select credited back to toward my Amex airline incidental credit.)

What Do We Need to Do?

Delta says all the changes will happen automatically. I didn’t see any of them reflected yet in my Delta wallet or SkyMiles profile. But they have a few months to get everything in order. 🙂

Final Approach

I think these are nice moves on Delta’s part. They weren’t required to make them. Nonetheless, the extensions are certainly smart for retaining their loyal status holders, Delta Amex cardholders, and others.

I know some people will be upset and think Delta didn’t do enough. Or were too generous. Longtime readers know we criticize Delta when warranted — but also praise them when they do something well. And I feel this is a #KeepClimbing move.

Please share your thoughts in the below Comments section.

— Chris

–> UPDATE! Several reader questions were answered by Delta. See the answers in this post.

Featured image: ©iStock.com/rypson

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.

20 Comments

  1. #keepclimbing for sure…. Thank you to Delta for providing happiness in dark times!

  2. Alan S. Halsey Reply

    I think it is a smart move on Delta’s part, even though it will likely hurt me come 2022 since I would have had no trouble maintaining my Platinum status regardless so it doesn’t benefit me personally and only means I’ll be competing with many more medallions for upgrades. However, I want to see people remain loyal with Delta so ultimately I welcome what Delta is doing.

    Come 2022 though, I might have a change of heart 😉

  3. FNT Delta Diamond Reply

    I’m divided on this. I’d rather Delta give incentives with bonus MQDs or MQMs. Perhaps even revamp Sky Miles by bringing back award charts and allowing regional upgrade certificates to be used for upgrades into premium economy. Why should I fly Delta if my status has been extended automatically for another year? I might as well cheat on Delta and try American or Alaska. Just strikes me as poorly thought-out.

    On the other hand, clever move, Delta. You get the huge PR props from this, but the reality is there will be as many or more diamond medallions as before with fewer flights. That’s a recipe for more PAID first-class revenue, which as we all know is Delta’s goal. When everyone is an elite nobody is an elite. That used to be Delta’s slogan.

  4. Hetero Sapiens Reply

    Crucial missing info — what’s happening with MQDs? Rollover as well? Nothing? I usually have a surfeit of MQMs — MQDs are always the issue for requalification. What incentive do I have to fly during the rest of the calendar year? It’d be helpful for DL to issue guidance on this front for North American Medallion members, sooner rather than later.

    Have any of the bloggers or travel writers reached out? Alternately, Chris — do you have a contact email other than the standard comment/complain link on DL.com that you could share w/ me? I’d be happy to make the inquiries if I knew where to direct that inquiry.

  5. Delta has is issues for sure and it is not perfect. But it is by far the best US airline. I did not expect anything less from Delta. I am currently Diamond for 2020 and would not qualify for Diamond in 2021. Now I will be Diamond in 2021 and already have 90k MQM to rollover to 2022 but I guess I will need to spend the $25k on my Delta Reserve next year which is not that bad. I don’t really care for the upgrades but getting another year of certificates is fantastic. Great job Delta.

  6. Rene

    I used our gucs for Europe travel end of July
    The wife is wanting to wait till 2021 to travel to Europe
    I know gucs are considered used once they clear
    In thus crazy situation can I get my gucs back if we cancel?

    • Phil in ATL Reply

      @jayco
      I had RUCs that had cleared to Hawaii and back for travel this week. I had to cancel this trip and was concerned about the same thing you describe.

      I am very pleased to report that Delta reinstated them into my account and with today’s changes I’m hoping I’ll see an extended expiration date on them. One caveat: it took the Delta rep a really long time on the phone to make this all work.

  7. I’m unclear about the MQM rollover. I think it may not be what Delta would like us to think, but I’m hope I’m wrong.

    I suspect if will be rollover as usual — whatever is above your current status will rollover. So if you are GM and have 55K miles I think 5K will roll over, not 55K. The difference is, if you earn no status at all this year, but, say, you got 10K MQMs from your credit card then those will roll over too. It would be fantastic if you could just earn MQMs via credit card spend this year and have ALL of that count for next year too, but I can’t see that happening. But I really do hope I’m wrong!

  8. Call my cynical, but I think Delta is just trying to earn PR points on things they were eventually going to have to do anyway in order to distract from the real elephant in the room which is dragging their feet on refunds for flights cancelled by them.

  9. They should discuss Choice Benefits for those who are able to and those not able to make the MQD/MQM threshold. I am almost a Diamond for 2021 based on my MQDs and MQMs. Will I receive my Choice Benefits if I were to make the threshold?

  10. This is a great move by Delta and much appreciated !
    The bad bug will be gone soon(I Hope), but the economic impact will be with us for some time.
    I’ve made Diamond every year since the program began; but over the last few weeks, I’d kinda given up on 2020. I don’t have to fly for business, so all my MQM’s come from card spend and leisure travel.
    With all my travel being discretionary, I started thinking that it’s time to stay home and find another hobby. But, this move by Delta lifts my spirits and makes me want to plan more trips.
    Stay safe everyone and thank you Rene and Chris

  11. Hey that’s great that Delta extended status and expiration dates of our certificates . What about 2021 diamond and platinum benefits. Do they come with this extension as well, on top of left over 2020 regional and global travel certificates? Or, do you still have to earned them this year if you want 2021 certificates?

  12. Apologize if this has been asked already as I didn’t see it but my dilemma would be is that what happens in 2021 into 2022 as with having platinum every year for 8 years now, I will roll at least 65K MQM’s into next year as I already have 50K from Jan 2020 yet not enough spend for Gold or Platinum, say I fly a lot in 2021 and I get Platinum again by MQM and Card Spend but not MQD’s $’s for Flying… if I end up with say 150K MQM’s how many roll over to 2022? Do I roll over 30K MQM’s or do I roll over 75K MQM’s? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

  13. I am a Diamond and need the MQD to qualify from cancelled flights. I wonder what they will do with global upgrade certs, we used four for June to Europe. Will they extend, expire, rebook or what? To me, as someone else mentioned, I think the certs are the best benefit. Lucky to have this be an “issue” we are concerned about. Thanks for the coverage and stay well.

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