Big SkyMiles Changes for Delta

Delta announced some major changes today to their SkyMiles frequent flier program.  Many of these changes have been long rumored on FlyerTalk and other travel blogs.  As a Delta Platinum Medallion member I have been waiting to see how the program would change.

Nuts and Bolts

The new program now requires travelers to not only hit MQM (Medallion Qualification Miles) or MQS (Medallion Qualification Segments) thresholds, but to also hit spending thresholds.  This new spending threshold is referred to as MQDs.  To calculate your status add your MQM's+MQD = Status Level or MQS's + MQD = Status Level.

The other big change is that F, J and M fares no longer earn a 50% MQM bonus.  The bonus will remain for Y, B and other premium fares.

When Does It Take Effect

Don't worry about this year.  The MQD's take effect January 1, 2014.  These new MQD's don't take effect until the 2015 program.  The changes regarding the F, J and M MQM bonuses go into effect March 1, 2013 and will only impact tickets purchased March 1 and forward.

The New Qualification Levels

Here's a list of what you will need to qualify under the new MQD's rules.

  • Silver Medallion – you will need 25,000 MQMs or 30 MQSs and $2,500 MQDs 
  • Gold Medallion – you will need 50,000 MQMs or 60 MQSs and $5,000 MQDs
  • Platinum Medallion – you will need 75,000 MQMs or 100 MQSs and $7,500 MQDs
  • Diamond Medallion – you will need 125,000 MQMs or 140 MQSs and $12,500 MQDs

Who's Exempt?

Good news if you have a Delta SkyMiles American Express card.  If you spend at least $25,000 in eligible spending on your card you are exempt from the MQD's requirement for Medallion Status.

Summary

In summary, keep track of how much you spend on Delta.  It's going to matter starting next year.  Taking cheap mileage runs to rack up MQM's are going to be obsolete.  Under the new plan MQM's will cost you approximately $.10 each to qualify.  Many mileage runs are half that cost.

Delta states there will be no changes to redeeming SkyMiles.  You can read their full press release here.