MQM bonuses earned through credit card spend are a big perk of four Delta American Express cards.
Considering all Delta Platinum and Reserve members are eligible for 25% bonuses during 2021, now is a good time to revisit some MQM FAQ.
1. Which Delta American Express Cards Earn Bonus MQM?
Four Delta Amex cards give members the ability to earn bonus Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM) by reaching certain spending thresholds on a respective card:
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
2. Do I Get MQM Just for Being a New Cardholder?
If you haven’t yet held an American Express card, you’re eligible for that card’s welcome bonus.
Right now, only the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card offer welcome bonuses that include MQM. (Receive 20,000 bonus MQM after spending $5,000 in eligible purchases within three months of being approved for the card.)
3. Does All Spending Count Toward Reaching an MQM Bonus?
Most purchases do. Keep in mind Amex says
“… cash advances, purchases of traveler’s checks, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, purchases of gift cards, person-to-person payments, or purchases of any cash equivalents. Delta Gift Cards and purchases made at deltashop.com and/or the Delta Flight Museum do not qualify.”
It’s also important to remember that annual fees, interest, and late fees don’t count as eligible purchases.
4. How Many MQM Can I Earn My Delta Amex Card(s)?
This depends on which card(s) you have. Plus, Delta is offering 25% bonuses on MQM awarded on credit card spend during 2021.
Let’s break this down into individual products (or “flavors,” as we often say).
Delta Platinum Cards
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card (or the “personal/consumer Delta Amex Platinum”; See Rates and Fees)
- Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card (or the “business Delta Amex Platinum”; See Rates and Fees)
If you spend another $25,000 that same calendar year on the same Delta Amex card, you receive another 10,000 MQM.
So spending $50,000 total on one Delta Amex Platinum card during a calendar year would earn you 20,000 total bonus MQM.
Again, the spend requirements are per card — not across cards. Spending just $15,000 on personal Delta Amex Platinum and just $10,000 on a business Delta Amex Platinum will not trigger the MQM bonus. But spending $25,000 on a personal Delta Amex Platinum will make you 10,000 MQM richer.
Delta raised the bonuses by 25% for 2021.
So instead of 10,000 bonus MQM, you’ll get 12,500 MQM. Realistically, you could earn Silver Medallion status without flying any Delta flights this year.
Delta Reserve Cards
Let’s talk about the higher-end cards: the Reserves.
These cards can provide a wealth of bonus MQM to cardholders with deep pockets.
Each time you spend $30,000 in eligible purchases (during a calendar year, of course) on your Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card or Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, you earn 15,000 bonus MQM.
There’s an annual maximum of 60,000 bonus MQM that can be earned per Reserve card. In other words, the benefit is limited to $120,000 in spending.
Now, let’s remember the 25% bonuses in play for 2021. So each $30,000 tier awards you 18,750 MQM, as opposed to the usual 15,000.
5. Can I Earn Bonus MQM from Each Platinum and Reserve Card?
If you hold all four MQM-earning cards, you can technically receive 160,000 bonus MQM from yearly card spend alone.
- $50,000 on the personal Delta Amex Platinum = 20,000 MQM
- $50,000 on the business Delta Amex Platinum = 20,000 MQM
- $120,000 on the personal Delta Reserve = 60,000 MQM
- $120,000 on the Delta Reserve business = 60,000 MQM
(For 2021, you can earn up to 200,000 bonus MQM through credit card spending.)
However, you can only “max out” a card product’s MQM bonus once per year. For example, having two separate business Delta Amex Platinum cards on your account won’t permit you to earn 40,000 MQM after spending $50,000 on each.
6. Does Spend from Additional Cardholders Count Toward MQM Bonus Requirements?
Sure does! So if you have a significant other, children, employees, etc., and make them authorized users, any purchase they make on your card counts as spend toward your MQM goal.
7. Do Authorized Users/Additional Cardholders Receive MQM?
No. The only perk they get is you footing the bill. 😉
8. Can MQM Earned Through Delta Amexes Be Gifted?
The only MQM that can be gifted are the Reserve cards’ 15,000 MQM bonuses.
(René — ultra-generous mensch that he is — gifted 15,000 MQM to someone and wrote about all about the process.)
If you don’t decide with 90 days of the notification email, the 15,000 bonus MQM will automatically be applied to your SkyMiles MQM total.
8a. Can the Welcome Bonus MQM for the Reserve Cards Be Gifted?
No. Only the primary cardholder receives those.
8b. Can Welcome Bonus MQM for the Delta Platinum Amexes Be Gifted?
8c. Can Any Bonus MQM for the Delta Platinum Amexes Be Gifted?
8e. So the Only MQM That Can Be Gifted to Someone Are the Ones Earned from Spending a Lot of Money Each Year on a Delta Reserve Amex?
9. Do MQM Earned Through Delta Amexes “Rollover” to the Next Medallion Qualification Year?
If you’re a Medallion, yes. They’re treated the same as MQM you earn flying.
10. Do MQM Earned Through Delta Amexes count towards my Delta Million Miler status?
Yes. Both the new card bonus MQMs as well as all spending bonus MQM all count towards your Delta Million Miler status.
Any questions about the MQM earned from Delta Amex cards? Please ask them in the below Comments section!
To see the rates and fees for the American Express cards featured above, please visit the following links:
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card (See Rates and Fees)
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card (See Rates and Fees)
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card (See Rates and Fees)
- Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card (See Rates and Fees)
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