UPDATE: The NEWS IS OUT! See this post for all the Delta changes!
We’ve seen and heard a few rumblings that significant changes are coming to Delta Air Lines’ SkyMiles loyalty program. Welp, someone on Reddit posted a screenshot of a message that at least some Delta employees received informing them that September 14 is the day that program changes are announced.
What’s going to change?
Nothing is officially confirmed, of course. But the rumor and prediction mills certainly are spinning.
Many people think Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM) and Medallion Qualification Segments (MQS) will no longer factor into earning Medallion status. Everything will be based on how much you spend flying Delta flights — with a Delta SkyMiles® American Express Card spending component thrown in.
Remember that eligible Delta Amex Card members can spend their way to status without coming near an airport. I think that will still be an option — except spending tiers will be adjusted.
Perhaps status would be based something like “Medallion Points” that we’d earn. Like, $XX,000 Delta flight spending would earn 3 MP and spending $YY,000 on a Delta Amex would earn 2 MP. (I’m spitballing there.)
Worth noting: I don’t see any Delta Amex welcome promotions offering bonus MQM.
If you currently need to spend $250,000 on the cards to earn a Diamond Medallion MQD waiver, what will Platinum be? $150,000? Gold for $100,000? Silver for $50,000? If it’s something like that, my Amex card portfolio will have fewer Delta cards.
Another theory is that MQM and MQS will remain — but we’ll see an increase in the Delta Amex MQD Waiver spend thresholds. As FlyerTalker DrMilano notes, “The MQD AmEx waiver has to increase, maybe a sliding scale that [Silver] remains at $25K, [Gold] $35K and [Platinum] $50K. This will drive DL’s goal of $10 billion annually from AmEx.”
That is easier to swallow. (My household wouldn’t have two Platinum — or any — Medallions in 2025 but maybe that’s what Delta wants.)
Redditor Excusemytootie (yes) writes, “So they are still pushing the Amex card(s) with the MQM bonuses and earnings that will possibly be worthless? This should be interesting. I’m guessing the MQMs will have to convert to something but be devalued in the process. I hope not, that will really sour me on Delta.”
Some other theories:
- Delta will mess with rollover MQM. (Adult language warning)
- If MQM are still in play, we can’t earn them on award tickets anymore.
Sky Club Lounge Admission
We wrote last month that someone claiming to work for Amex said wholesale changes are coming to Delta Amexes with Sky Club admission privileges.
Basically, there would be no more unlimited complimentary admissions for the Reserve Cards, as well as both business and personal flavors of The Platinum® Card. If you want to enjoy the lounges to your heart’s content, you better be ready to spend on your card and earn that privilege, gollydarnit!
Also, one person said a Sky Club bartender mentioned the complimentary menu will undergo some changes. If Sky Club admission becomes rationed and peons like me don’t spend a jillion dollars for unlimited entry, I wouldn’t be surprised if Delta offered free hooch as a reward for their big spenders who always come in.
Or, they’ll somehow downgrade the current complimentary adult beverage offerings.
Delta and Amex are a financial love story. The airline makes so much money from their credit card partnership. Making credit card holders and spenders angry doesn’t seem wise. Then again, I run a blog, not an airline or a bank…
One Thing I Can Practically Guarantee
I’ll be shocked if Delta doesn’t announce limited-time welcome offers for the SkyMiles Amexes the same day they drop these significant changes. “Hey! Start spending toward higher status now!”
Thursday, September 14, will be interesting for Delta enthusiasts and other followers. There’s a sense that Delta is dropping some news that’ll irk many people.
But we’ll probably do what we always do: complain about it, talk about canceling our cards, threaten to move to another airline, and continue our weird Delta relationships. 🙂
What’s your take on all of this?
H/T: skislc on FT
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