Many readers posted comments and sent us emails asking our opinions about what they should do with their rollover Medallion Qualification Miles (when the MQM post to their SkyMiles accounts and can be converted next month).
Like, I genuinely get the feeling some people are losing sleep over it.
It’s not worth it! Here’s our take (at least for now):
Rollover MQM Options
Medallion members who qualified for 2024 status have three options to redeem their rollover MQM. You don’t have to choose just one. You can mix and match!
- Extend your 2024 Medallion status for 100,000 rollover MQM per year — with no limit on how long you can extend it (MQM balance permitting)
- Convert them to Medallion Qualification Dollars at a 10:1 ratio (i.e., 10,000 MQM = $1,000 MQD)
- Convert them to redeemable SkyMiles at a 2:1 ratio (i.e., 10,000 MQM = 5,000 SkyMiles)
Medallion members will have until December 31, 2024, to make their choice(s). Despite what some Delta reps may tell you, there are no minimums for rolling over MQM.
Delta SkyMiles® Amex Card MQD “Bonuses”(Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.)
Before we get too far ahead, remember that four co-branded Delta SkyMiles® American Expresses give cardholders $2,500 MQD per card product, up to $10,000 in MQD, starting in February.
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card ($650 annual fee) See Rates and Fees.
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card ($650) See Rates and Fees.
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card ($350) See Rates and Fees.
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card ($350) See Rates and Fees.
Annual fees all-in: that’s $2,000 in annual fees for $10,000 MQD.
For rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, please visit this link.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, please visit this link.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, please visit this link.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, please visit this link.
For each $10 you spend on a respective Reserve card (business or personal), you earn $1 MQD. Each $20 you spend a Delta Platinum card (again, business or personal) earns you $1 MQD.
With that in mind:
What Should You Do?
I don’t mean to sound snarky or dismissive but do what works best for you.
This is far from a one-solution-work-for-everyone sort of situation.
For example, one of my friends is a Diamond Medallion and rolling over about 295,000 MQM. He also is about 10,000 miles shy of hitting 3 Million Miler. Once he crosses that threshold, he’ll have Diamond status for life. He’ll knock that out before summer — and enjoy Diamond status the rest of his life.
So, there’s no need for him to extend his status or convert any MQM to MQD. (He’ll convert his MQM to redeemable SkyMiles.)
I’m rolling over just north of 47,000 MQM. I also hold the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card cards. So, before converting anything, I already have $5,000 MQD from the Delta Amexes — enough for Silver Medallion. I may upgrade a couple of Delta SkyMiles Blue Amexes to Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card. That would give me $10,000 MQD (or Gold). So, it’d make sense for me to convert those 47,000 MQM to $4,700 MQD. I’d need only $300 MQD to reach Platinum Medallion at $15,000. (I’ll have the $300 MQD wrapped up during a trip today. 🙂 )
But I probably won’t convert my MQM until later in the year.
Should You Wait to Make Your Choice(s)?
As tempting as it may be to immediately convert my MQM, I’ll probably wait until late fall to pull the proverbial trigger. (That said, MQD earned in the current calendar year is now the sixth priority in Delta’s upgrade hierarchy.)
Why? I don’t yet know all of my travel plans for this year. There’s a chance I could waste some of my MQM on a conversion I don’t need. (Also, I want to wait and make sure the IT aspects work before I do anything.)
For example, one of my colleagues was sent to England relatively at the last minute. His company booked him on a Virgin Upper Class roundtrip (we’re talking full “J” class fare). He credited the trip to his SkyMiles account and was suddenly over $4,300 MQD richer. Then, he had to travel to Asia a few months later — and his employer picked up a Delta One tab. (This was when Platinum was 75,000 MQM and only $9,000 MQD.) So, he hit Platinum without spending a dime of his own money.
I’m not saying the same thing will happen to me. But anything is possible. So, why would I convert MQM to MQD right away?
Say I have the $5,000 MQD from my Delta Amex cards. There are indications some of my client travel may continue returning. If it does substantially, they could pay a chunk of the remaining $23,000 MQD to Diamond. If I get to $24,000 in MQD with no more travel in sight, then I’ll convert 40,000 MQM to MQD and lock in Diamond. (I can convert the balance to redeemable SkyMiles.) Or if I hit $28,000 MQD without converting any MQM, why not turn those 47,000 into 23,500 redeemable miles?
See what I mean?
Or, maybe my clients will fly me on other airlines — and/or not very much at all. Perhaps I will upgrade to a personal Reserve and business Platinum. I already have $2000 in MQD earnings booked and am confident I’ll rack up another $3,000 in Delta travel. So, I’ll probably hit Platinum without converting anything. Then maybe down the road, I’ll convert MQM to MQD and see if our friends at point.me could help find a tasty partner MQD run to hit Diamond 🙂 )
But it also depends on my wife’s travel schedule and MQD earnings. We like to have the same status, so I may have to stop at Platinum if she can’t make it Diamond. So, I don’t want to waste an MQM-to-MQD conversion if I know I’ll fall short of Diamond. Then again, maybe we can take a few date night partner mileage run trips… 😉
Short story now long, I plan to wait until everything becomes more apparent later in the year.
But if converting MQM to MQD can help you quickly jump up a tier, then you might want to do that sooner rather than later. That’ll give you more time to maybe score upgrades and enjoy that status’ other perks. Or if you know which status you’ll reach this year and are OK with that (i.e., Diamond) you might as well convert them to redeemable SkyMiles when you get the chance.
However, if you have 100,000 rollover MQM and Gold or Silver status (maybe you didn’t accrue enough MQD or the now-defunct Delta Amex MQD Waiver), I wouldn’t extend that status. Instead, convert those MQM to $10,000 MQD and make a run toward at least Platinum. (Again, you can do it for $500 in annual fees with just a Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card. You’ll get $5,000 MQD right there.)
And if you plan to spend a lot of money on your Delta Reserve or Delta Platinum cards, that will also factor in your decision because that will earn you MQD. (That is not part of my plan…)
My recommendation: unless you’re sure you know how many MQD you’ll earn this year and/or really need to convert your MQM right away when you’re able in late February, consider hanging tight for a while.
But everyone is different, so do what works best for you.
Delta rollover MQM should be available to convert in late February. I’m waiting until later in the year to decide because I don’t yet have a clear picture of how many MQD I’ll accrue between now and early winter. I don’t want to waste a conversion or make what is ultimately the wrong choice.
But converting MQM ASAP might be advantageous for people who can extend their 2024 status (assuming they like it) or know how many MQD they’ll earn for sure this year. Or if they even need MQD (like my friend who is almost a lifetime Diamond).
What’s your situation? Have you decided yet what you’re going to do?For rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, please visit this link. For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, please visit this link. For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, please visit this link. For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, please visit this link.
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