Delta does what Delta does finest… devalue its loyalty program (this time, in an enormous means)

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Delta has introduced that will probably be transferring down the trail that American Airline’s cast again in 2022 by revamping its frequent flyer program and utilizing only a single metric to determine what elite standing (if any) members of this system ought to have.

There gained’t be any anger, outrage, or surprised disbelief on this article as a result of solely somebody who hasn’t been paying any consideration to how Delta has been treating its SkyMiles program over the previous decade may probably be stunned by the modifications which have been introduced and which can be set out under.

Delta SkyMiles modifications on the best way

Delta’s frequent flyer program has been ineffective for fairly a very long time (I genuinely do not know why so many individuals nonetheless work together with it), however I’m right here to inform you that from 2024, most Delta flyers will most likely discover it extra ineffective than ever earlier than.

Solely Medallion Qualifying {Dollars} will matter

No modifications have been introduced to the best way redeemable miles are earned (but), and the best way flyers can earn Delta elite standing for 2024 stays the identical.

Beginning subsequent yr, nevertheless, the best way that SkyMiles members will earn elite standing for 2025 and past will likely be altering dramatically.

From 1 January 2024, Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQM) and Medallion Qualifying Segments (MQS) will likely be issues of the previous with Medallion Qualifying {Dollars} (MQD) remaining as the one metric used to qualify for SkyMiles Medallion Standing.

Extra MQD wanted for elite standing

To earn Medallion standing for 2025, flyers might want to earn extra MQD in 2024 than have ever needed to earn earlier than. These are the brand new thresholds:

  • Silver Medallion – $6,000 (up from $3,000 – 100% improve)
  • Gold Medallion – $12,000 (up from $8,000 – 50% improve)
  • Platinum Medallion – $18,000 (up from $12,000 – 50% improve)
  • Diamond Medallion – $35,000 (up from $20,000 – 75% improve)

Observe: As lately as 2022, Diamond Medallion standing required a flyer to earn $15,000 MQD.

SkyMiles members primarily based overseas may even should earn standing by way of MQD

Up till now, SkyMiles members whose accounts have been registered outdoors of the US earned Delta elite standing primarily based on MQMs or MQSs solely.

From 1 January 2024 it will change and these members will likely be anticipated to earn standing utilizing MQD solely. Delta will convert any eligible spending made in foreign exchange to US {Dollars} at “the usual alternate charge” and each greenback earned will then convert to $1 MQD.

Extra methods to earn MQD

Beginning subsequent yr, Delta SkyMiles members will be capable of earn MQD from extra sources than can be found to them now. In truth, going ahead, will probably be potential to earn Medallion standing from bank card spending alone.

Listed here are the MQD incomes choices and charges for 2024:

  • Earn 1 MQD/greenback spent on Delta flight bookings (excluding Fundamental Financial system fares which don’t earn MQD)
  • Earn 1 MQD/greenback spent on Delta Holidays packages (excluding taxes and costs)
  • Earn 1 MQD/greenback spent on lodge bookings made by Delta
  • Earn 1 MQD/greenback spent on rental automotive bookings made by Delta
  • Earn 1 MQD for each $10 {dollars} spent on the card_name
  • Earn 1 MQD for each $10 {dollars} spent on the card_name
  • Earn 1 MQD for each $20 {dollars} spent on the card_name
  • Earn 1 MQD for each $20 {dollars} spent on the card_name
  • Flyers will proceed to earn MQD from associate flight bookings primarily based on distance traveled.

On the time of writing, Delta has not introduced some other ways in which flyers can earn Medallion Qualifying Miles from 2024 onwards.

Additionally, the MQD waivers and Standing Enhance advantages at the moment supplied by choose Amex co-branded bank cards are being eradicated on 31 December 2023.

A little bit confusingly, Delta seems to be referring to the brand new MQD incomes charges on its co-branded Reserve and Platinum playing cards as “MQD Enhance” so remember that while you see that time period getting used, it doesn’t check with the soon-to-be-eliminated “Standing Enhance” that the identical bank cards have supplied up till now.

1-time conversion of  ‘Rollover MQM’

With Medallion Qualifying Miles about to be consigned to factors & miles historical past, Delta will supply SkyMiles members a chance to transform any Rollover MQM into MQDs, redeemable miles, or a combination of each.

  • From 1 February 2024, SkyMiles members will be capable of convert any Rollover MQM of their accounts into MQD at a ratio of 20:1 (i.e. Somebody with 20,000 rollover miles can convert that stability to 1,000 MQD).
  • From 1 February 2024, SkyMiles members will be capable of convert any Rollover MQM of their accounts into redeemable miles at a ratio of two:1 (i.e. Somebody with 20,000 rollover miles can convert that stability to 10,000 SkyMiles).

Delta has stated that Hyperlinks to the choice web page will likely be shared with Members by way of e-mail, and that flyers may even be capable of entry the conversion web page by the “My SkyMiles” web page on and the Fly Delta app.

Million Milers get increased improve precedence

Beginning subsequent yr, any Delta loyalists whose Million Miler standing is the best standing they maintain with the airline will see themsleves transfer up the meals chain relating to complimentary upgrades.

Proper now, that is the hierarchy for complimentary upgrades and as you must be capable of see, members counting on their Million Miler standing for upgrades languish down in sixth place.

For flights taken from 2024 onwards, nevertheless, members counting on their Million Miler standing for upgrades will discover themselves in third place.

Million Miler standing will likely be earned by lifetime flight miles

Presently, Delta flyers can earn Million Miler standing although the Medallion Qualifying Miles that they earn however, with MQM being elimiated from 2024, Delta has determined that Million Miler standing will now be earned primarily based on the variety of miles flown.

The thresholds for Delta Million Miler standing don’t seem like altering

Per Delta:

Starting Jan. 1, 2024, miles towards Million Miler Standing will calculate by lifetime flight miles and now not by MQMs. We’ll proceed to trace the miles you fly with us, and those that accumulate 1 million flight miles will likely be invited to hitch the Million Miler Program. Members’ MQM balances already earned towards Million Miler Standing will stay, and flight miles will likely be added to those. 

Backside line

So far as introduced modifications to the SkyMiles program go, I believe that almost covers all the pieces (let me know in case you suppose I’ve missed something out).

Total, I’m fairly certain that most individuals will see these modifications as a internet unfavourable to the SkyMiles program (most of those that are in favour of what Delta has introduced are most likely incomes their standing courtesy of another person’s cash) and there’ll most likely be lots of people taking to their keyboards to complain.

There may be, nevertheless, little level in getting overly emotional about this information as a result of (a) Delta doesn’t care what you and I believe and (b) as a result of these modifications have been inevitable from the very second American Airways rewrote the ebook on frequent flyer applications in 2022.

Sure, Delta’s modifications seem like a bit extra brutal than the modifications American Airways launched in 2022, however I’m unsure that basically issues.

We’ve recognized for some time that every one the most important home loyalty applications have been heading down the street of “money is all that issues”, and this is only one extra instance of a program proving that to be the case.

Now all we’ve to do is anticipate United’s MileagePlus program to announce broadly the identical set of modifications as American and Delta (one other inevitablity) and we are able to then all cease fooling ourselves that the airways measure “loyalty” with something apart from a greenback determine.

Sure, viewing loyalty in that means could be very a lot an frequent flyer program’s prerogative, however that doesn’t make watching the ultimate nails being put within the coffin of “the great previous days” any much less unhappy.

Observe: In addtion to all of the modifications to SkyMiles, Delta has additionally introduced vital modifications to how and the way typically SkyClubs will be accessed from 2024 onwards (click on right here to learn extra)

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