Delta’s 2024 elite program: it ain’t fairly | Digital Noch

Delta’s 2024 elite program: it ain’t fairly | Digital Noch

Delta has formally launched the information about modifications to their elite program for 2024 and past.  YikesAs I predicted, they’re deciding on a single metric for incomes elite standing: MQDs (Medallion Qualifying {Dollars}).  Additionally as predicted, they’re rising the MQD necessities for every elite degree.  Sadly, the will increase are a lot larger than I predicted, particularly for prime tier Diamond standing.  And for these of us rolling over loads of MQMs into 2024, there’s excellent news and unhealthy information.  The excellent news is that we’ll be capable of convert these MQMs to redeemable miles or MQDs or each.  The unhealthy information is that the conversion ratio to MQDs is unhealthy… actually unhealthy.


Previous to 2024, Delta Medallion elite standing required incomes MQDs or an MQD Waiver and both MQMs (Medallion Qualifying Miles) or MQSs (Medallion Qualifying Segments).  Beginning in 2024, all of that complexity will go away and Delta will choose a single metric: MQDs.  The brand new MQD necessities are considerably larger than earlier than, however Delta is a minimum of introducing new methods to earn MQDs past paying for flights.  Past flying, you’ll now additionally be capable of earn MQDs by means of bank card spend, Delta automotive leases, Delta stays, and Delta Holidays.

Elite Necessities

Delta's 2024 elite program: it ain't fairly | Digital Noch Digital Noch

Beginning January 1st, 2024, MQMs, MQSs, and MQD Waivers can be gone.  As an alternative, to earn elite standing for the 2025 elite yr and past, you’ll have to earn MQDs.  The next desk reveals the brand new necessities in comparison with the previous:

Elite Degree2023 MQD Thresholds2024 MQD Thresholds
Silver Medallion$3,000$6,000
Gold Medallion$8,000$12,000
Platinum Medallion$12,000$18,000
Diamond Medallion$20,000$35,000

As you’ll be able to see above, MQD necessities are going manner up.  Silver MQD necessities improve by 100%; Gold and Platinum MQD necessities improve by 50%; and Diamond MQD necessities improve by 75%.

Incomes MQDs


As at all times, MQDs can be earned for flights.  Every greenback spent on flights, apart from taxes & charges, will earn $1 MQD in direction of elite standing.  Fundamental Economic system flights won’t earn MQDs.

Delta Holidays

Delta Holidays bookings earn MQDs at this time for the flight portion of the journey, however beginning in 2024 you’ll earn $1 MQD per greenback spent on the holiday bundle total (much less taxes and costs).

Delta Automobile Leases and Stays

Whenever you e-book a automotive rental by means of Delta Automobile Leases or e-book a lodge keep by means of Delta Stays, you’ll earn $1 MQD per greenback.

Delta American Categorical Credit score Playing cards

Delta's 2024 elite program: it ain't fairly | Digital Noch Digital Noch

With Delta Reserve and Delta Platinum bank cards, you’ll be able to earn a limiteless variety of MQDs by means of spend, as follows:

Beforehand, $25,000 spend on a Delta Platinum or Delta Reserve card would earn a MQD Waiver, as much as Platinum Medallion standing; and $250,000 spend throughout a number of playing cards would earn a Diamond MQD Waiver.  With the brand new program, $250,000 spend on a Delta Reserve card will earn solely $25,000 MQDs which is $10,000 MQDs in need of Diamond standing.

For individuals who are used to the previous manner of incomes MQMs and MQD Waivers with Delta bank cards, there are a few issues to notice:

  1. No limits to MQD earnings from spend in 2024 and past.  Beforehand there have been limits to what number of MQMs you might earn from spend with every card.
  2. No gifting.  With MQM Standing Boosts earned on Delta Reserve playing cards in 2023 and earlier than, you might reward these MQMs to a different particular person.  Beginning in 2024, the power to reward new elite earnings can be a factor of the previous.

MQM Rollovers -> miles or MQDs

Extra MQMs earned past these required for the extent of elite standing acquired in 2023 for the 2024 elite yr will rollover into 2024.  At that time, SkyMiles members should select whether or not to transform these MQMs into redeemable miles or MQDs or each.  Listed here are the conversion ratios:

  • Rollover MQMs convert to MQDs at a ratio of 1 MQD per 20 MQMs
  • Rollover MQMs convert to redeemable miles at a ratio of 1 mile per 2 MQMs

SkyMiles members with rollover MQMs will be capable of select the tactic of conversion in 25% increments.  In different phrases, you’ll be able to select to have 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100% of your MQMs transformed to MQDs and the remainder will convert to redeemable miles.

If you happen to don’t select by December 31, 2024, all Rollover MQMs will mechanically be transformed to MQDs.

Million Miler Standing

Delta's 2024 elite program: it ain't fairly | Digital Noch Digital Noch

Delta gives particular standing for “Million Milers”.  Beforehand, Million Miler standing was based mostly on MQMs earned.  Beginning in 2024, it will likely be based mostly fully on distance flown.  All MQMs earned previous to January 1 2024 will depend as miles flown no matter how they had been earned.

One new good thing about Million Miler standing can be that your Million Miler standing will improve the prospect of complimentary upgrades greater than it does at this time.  Million Miler standing will turn into the third consideration in putting you within the improve queue behind Medallion standing and fare class.


For individuals who earn Delta Medallion standing fully from flying, it’s going to be a lot more durable to attain the identical degree of standing going ahead.  MQD necessities have elevated by a minimal of fifty% (100% for Silver, 50% for Gold and Platinum, and 75% for Diamond).

For individuals who earn Delta Medallion standing fully by means of bank card spend, issues look good at low ranges of spend.  So long as you set your spend on a Delta Reserve card reasonably than a Delta Platinum card, the quantity of spend required to earn Silver or Gold standing is similar to earlier than.  The quantity required for Platinum and particularly Diamond standing, although, will increase considerably:

Elite Degree by means of spend alone2023 Spend2024 Spend
Silver Medallion$60K Delta Reserve$60K Delta Reserve
Gold Medallion$110K: $60K Delta Reserve + $50K Delta Platinum$120K Delta Reserve
Platinum Medallion$150K: $120K on one Delta Reserve + $30K on one other (one private, one enterprise)$180K Delta Reserve
Diamond Medallion$250K: $130K on one Delta Reserve + $120K on one other (one private, one enterprise)
* this really left you 5K in need of the required MQMs except you had sufficient rollover.
$350K Delta Reserve

The issue with the above evaluation is that it doesn’t take into account rollover MQMs.  Many people have been in a position to rollover numerous MQMs from earlier years and so the one spend required to achieve as excessive as Platinum Medallion standing was $25,000 to get the MQD Waiver.  Since rollovers gained’t exist within the new program, elite standing by means of spend can be even more durable to attain than proven above.

I believe that most individuals all for Delta elite standing will earn MQDs by means of a mixture of flying and bank card spend.  Let’s take a look at how a lot spend is required for every elite degree if you happen to earn $3,000 MQDs per yr by means of flying (I picked that quantity as a result of it was the MQD requirement in 2023 for Silver Medallion standing):

Elite Degree by means of spend mixed w/ $3K MQDs from flightsDelta Reserve Spend
Silver Medallion$30K
Gold Medallion$90K
Platinum Medallion$150K
Diamond Medallion$320K

Now we see a extra advanced image for individuals who earn $3K of MQDs from flying.  These looking for Silver Medallion standing might want to spend $30,000 on a Delta Reserve card (or twice that on a Delta Platinum card).  That’s $30K extra spend than would have been required in 2023.  The spend wanted for Gold standing, although, is $20K lower than the spend required within the previous program (except one had MQMs rolling over) and the spend required for Platinum is identical $150K as required earlier than.  Diamond standing, although, continues to be a a lot larger bar than earlier than.

My Take

Ouch!  I’m presently sitting on over 400,000 MQMs in my account.  I had beforehand thought that I’d hold myself at Platinum standing for a lot of, a few years just by spending $25K annually on a Delta bank card with a purpose to earn the MQD Waiver.  With the brand new program, that plan is totally out the window.  And I can’t even flip these MQMs into simple Diamond standing subsequent yr.  On the horrible 20 to 1 conversion ratio, 400K rollover MQMs will turn into solely $20K MQDs.  That’s $15K MQDs in need of Diamond standing!  So, except I commit myself to incomes $15K MQDs subsequent yr, all these rollover MQMs will merely get me yet another yr of Platinum standing.  Boo!

For individuals who earn elite standing from spend, there may be some excellent news: there gained’t be any purpose to have a number of Delta playing cards going ahead.  If you happen to had a number of playing cards (one private and one enterprise, for instance), you’ll be able to be ok with cancelling a minimum of a kind of playing cards.  Then again, Delta Platinum cardholders will earn solely half the MQDs from spend as earned with Delta Reserve playing cards.  If you happen to’re a Delta Platinum cardholder and you intend to proceed to earn standing by means of spend, it will likely be completely crucial to modify to the Reserve card.  I believe that many individuals will, as an alternative, determine that looking for Delta elite standing merely isn’t value it anymore.

The one saving grace of all that is the hope that there can be far fewer elite members beginning in February 2025.  In that case, complementary upgrades ought to turn into simpler to get.  Moreover, it appears to me that Delta goes to should do extra to incentivize incomes excessive degree elite standing.  Final yr they nerfed the World Improve certificates out there solely to Diamond elites.  Will they do one thing subsequent yr to add worth as an alternative?  I believe they’ll should.

Delta's 2024 elite program: it ain't fairly | Digital Noch Digital Noch

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