Delta Makes It Harder to Get SkyMiles Gold Medallion Status and Higher in 2023Photo courtesy of Delta Travel News delta
Yesterday Delta announced changes to its SkyMiles frequent-flyer program, and it’s not great news for anybody hoping to get Gold Medallion status or higher for 2024. After keeping the current minimum requirements in place since 2015, the airline will be increasing how much money you’ll need to spend in 2023 to unlock Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Medallion status for 2024. The thresholds won’t change for Silver Medallion status, the lowest tier of SkyMiles.
Starting in 2023, the minimum thresholds for the Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD) requirements for Gold, Platinum and Diamond will all be increased by 33%. Right now, if you want to hit Gold status for 2023, you’ll need to spend $6,000 over the course of 2022. Next year that’ll jump to $8,000 if you want to have Gold status in 2024. The Platinum status MQDs will jump from $9,000 to $12,000, and the Diamond status minimum will increase from $15,000 to $20,000. If you have a Delta SkyMiles American Express card, the MQD waiver will remain in place; that requires $25,000 in “eligible purchases” during the calendar year for Silver, Gold and Platinum, or $250,000 in purchases for Diamond status.
MQDs and the money you spend are only one half of qualifying for SkyMiles Medallion status, of course. Miles are also a factor. To reach any Medallion status, you’ll need to reach the minimum for either MQDs or spend enough on that SkyMiles credit card to get the MQD waiver. You’ll also have to hit the minimum requirements for either Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) or Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs). MQMs look at how many total miles you’ve flown on Delta throughout the year (but only for classes higher than Basic Economy). MQSs, meanwhile, are based on individual flights. You need to tick one of those two off each year to reach Medallion status for the following year. Neither the MQS or MQM requirements are being changed next year; only the money side of the equation is going up.
Yes, it’s confusing. Yes, it’s probably designed to be. And you’re not going to see a lot of benefit from the lowest levels. All levels offer free, unlimited upgrades, but obviously priority goes to the higher levels. I’ve been Silver Medallion for the last three years and have gotten three upgrades that entire time, twice to First Class on 50-minute flights to Orlando, and once to Comfort + on a flight to Chicago just last week. Still, it’s always cool when you get that upgrade notification on your phone. Every level also unlocks a free bag check and rollover miles for the MQM requirement. Gold and up gets you Sky Priority boarding, no fees on ticket changes, and a variety of other perks and amenities that all of us plebes in Silver Medallion status can only dream about.
I’m pretty sure I’m going to hit Gold for 2023, and yes, I’ve been fixated on that almost every single day for the last six months. Still, I fly a lot—multiple times a month—and I’m still not positive that I’ll hit the minimums for Gold. It’s not easy to hit any Medallion status, and although I’ve appreciated Silver over the last few years, I only have it because I travel a lot for work. That’s pretty much the only reason you’d ever want or be able to attain even that lowest Medallion status, so if you aren’t a pro flyer, none of this should mean anything to you. Don’t worry about it. If you are a business traveler, though, it’s going to be a little bit harder to hold onto your Medallion status for 2024.
Here’s a quick rundown of the new 2023 minimum requirements to reach Medallion status for 2024.
Silver: 25,000 MQMs or 30 MQSs; $3,000 MQDs or MQD Waiver.
Gold: 50,000 MQMs or 60 MQSs; $8,000 MQDs or MQD Waiver.
Platinum: 75,000 MQMs or 90 MQSs; $12,000 MQDs or MQD Waiver.
Diamond: 125,000 MQMs or 140 MQSs; $20,000 MQDs or MQD Waiver.
For more on next year’s SkyMiles changes, check out Delta’s official post on the matter at their website.