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Changes to MQD Waivers for Delta Amex Card Holders

Currently, if you have a Delta SkyMiles American Express Credit Card and you spend $25,000 on your card, the Medallion Qualifying Dollar requirement is waived for you. That means, regardless of how much or little you spend on your Delta tickets, you can potentially earn Diamond status without stepping foot on a Delta plane, thanks to MQM bonuses from a number of Delta credit cards.

The Scoop

There’s long been chatter about Delta pulling the plug on this, and well, it looks like they’re making strides to do so. Beginning January 1, 2018, Delta American Express card holders will have to spend $250,000 on their card in order to waive the MQD requirement. 

Did I read that right?!

This won’t impact your 2018 Diamond Medallion dreams, so if you’ve spent that $25,000, you’re in luck. But if this was your long-term strategy for earning Diamond Medallion year over year, the long con is over (unless you’ve got $250,000 handy – but there are better credit cards to spend that on).

The reason?

This qualification change will allow us to deliver on your expectations for Diamond Medallion Status so you can maximize your benefits like Complimentary Upgrades and Delta Sky Club® access.

Not sure I completely believe the reasoning here, but I’ll take it.

Delta DL3614 First Class seat 2C and 2D

These changes could mean shorter upgrade lists for domestic First class seats.


The Takeaway

The current set up of the program definitely allows fair weathered (pun intended?) Delta flyers to pick up Diamond Medallion status without flying the miles that others do to earn the same status. I would be interested in seeing the number of people who lose their Diamond status in 2019 thanks to the credit card spend threshold change.

It’s probably not a popular opinion, but I don’t mind this at all. I’ve earned my Diamond status without the waiver from the credit card, so I’ll admit it irks me a but to know I could have been passed over for an upgrade by someone who doesn’t fly half as often as I do. The $250,000 gives people an option (if that’s what you want to call it) to waive their Medallion spend requirements without actually giving Delta $15,000 of it… Though if you’re in a position to spend that much on your Delta American Express card per year, I’m sure spending 15k of it on Delta tickets would be no trouble. Is anyone planning on doing this?


Will this change impact your 2019 Medallion status? Leave us a note in the comments!

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