Welcome to a weekly feature on the Eye of the Flyer blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.
If you have not checked the calendar, the 2016 Delta Medallion EARNING year is just about up. I say this because so many are confused by the fact that the Medallion flying year does not end until 1FEB each year but that has nothing, nada, zip and zilch to do with 31DEC each year that is the last day to earn elite points or MQMs (as well as MQSs and MQD spend or exemption).
So today I thought I would bust out in one place so many common questions I get or folks often get wrong. What is the last day you can safely apply for Delta AMEX cards and get the MQMs and will the MQMs count on THIS YEAR – that is, will they post this year or what if your statement closes into next year – what then. Some of this is set in stone and some is more a gray area so take that into consideration.
The Delta Reserve personal and business cards MQM new card bonus are really simple. You get the 10,000 MQMs with your very first purchase. It normally only takes a few days after that for the MQMs to post to your account. I have had readers get the card as late as the 20th and make a purchase and get the points posted. In other words, if you are needing 10,000 MQMs and have never EVER had either of the Reserve cards your time is getting really short and you may want to think about applying ASAP.
Regarding the Platinum card new card bonus MQMs it is more of a YMMV because normally the MQMs post about 1-3 days after your statement closes. In my case I missed the spend by a few days and yet still got the MQMs after my statement closed. So, yes, you could get them shortly after you meet the spend but it could post next year and could count on next year’s total. I just can not promise you one way or the other on this one.
Now on to card spend on any of the four cards above. The KEY point you must know is that it is all about posting date. Any spend you have that does post to your Delta AMEX by 31DEC will count as spend on the current year. Even if you buy something on say 30DEC and it posts on 2JAN it counts on the next year’s spend totals for earning and even Delta MQD spend waiver. I have many times in the past purchased deals on the 31DEC and they all posted into the next year and counted on that year.
Next one that those who think they can be sneaky get wrong and it can cost them. Say you have the Reserve card and want to wait until JAN to gift MQMs to yourself or someone else and think if you wait they will count for the next year! WRONG! They count in the year you earned them – that is, they will count, at the time, backwards to the year before. Also, it seems, if you do wait many times AMEX will auto dump them into your account at times if you wait till after the 1st to redeem them.
Now on to one that folks also normally get wrong or are confused about. What flights count on this year? It really is simple and much like the AMEX rules. Any flight that is SCHEDULED to take off before 23:59 on 31DEC counts on this year. Any flights after that time count on next year. And don’t make this hard – if your ticket starts in December and your return is in January then you get credit for the DEC flights for this year and the JAN flights for next year. Clear?
Lastly a few other bits that often come up. No, MQD spend does not rollover. If you spent $60,000 with AMEX last year you are starting at ZERO spend on 1JAN like the rest of us. It would be nice to have this but let’s be happy with MQM rollover for now (that likely will hit by the middle of January fyi).
Any other MQM or elite questions? Fire away – René
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