Traveling is always an adventure, whether you are doing it for business or pleasure since you get to meet new people and visit new places. It would become better if you were rewarded for the many trips you take, and that is what Delta Air Lines does for its passengers. Tim Cahill said that a journey is best measured in friends, not in miles, but Delta Air Lines begs to differ. It offers Delta Medallion status depending on how many miles you travel and how much you spend. So the question now is, how can you reach Delta Medallion status, and what do you get in return? Here is the answer.
What you need to get the Medallion status
Before you pay for any flight, you should remember that only Delta flights will get you closer to that status you are seeking. That said, three terminologies are used to land you in whichever status you want: MQS, MQD, and MQM. Luckily, these are earned by whoever is taking the flight, not the person who paid for it.
MQDs (Medallion Qualifying Dollars) are the total amount you spend on a Delta marketed flight- those that start with the letter code "DL." For every dollar you spend on the base fare, meaning government taxes and fees are not inclusive, you earn one MQD. Partner flights have their way of calculating their MQDs, based on the miles earned from the flight; your MQDs will only be a fifth of the redeemable miles.
Unlike MQDs that you get solely on the amount you spend, you receive MQMs (Medallion Qualifying Miles) depending on how many miles you fly and the class in which you fly. Even short distances will get you some MQMs, and the bonus MQMs can be awarded depending on the fare class you choose. When you fly full-fare on first-class or business class, then you get a 100% MQM bonus, but if discounted, then you earn 50% bonus MQMs.
MQSs (Medallion Qualifying Segments) are awarded when you fly on Delta, Delta Shuttle, Delta Connection, and any other Delta airline partners. It is very beneficial for frequent fliers since each flight counts, even the connecting one. Therefore if you fly to Shanghai with a connecting flight in Washington DC, then you will earn two MQSs, one for flying to Washington DC and the other for your trip to Shanghai.
Using your combination of MQSs, MQMs, and MQDs to earn a Medallion status
Delta Medallion statuses are categorized under four tiers: silver, gold, platinum, and diamond, and you will need a combination of MQSs, MQMs, and MQDs to reach each status. According to One Mile at a Time, to get to silver Medallion status, you will need 30 MQSs or fly 25,000 MQMs and $3000 MQDs. To get to the Gold Medallion status, you will need double the Silver Medallion status requirements, translating to $6000 MQDs and 50,000 MQMs or 60MQSs. Platinum Medallion status demands triple the amount of Silver Medallion status. Therefore, you will need 75,000 MQMs or 100 MQSs and $9,000 MQDs. Finally, you can get to the top of the hierarchy by reaching Diamond Medallion status, in which case you will need to spend $15,000 MQDS and 140 MQSs or 125,000 MQMs.
The benefits you get on each status
The best thing about reaching any Delta Medallion status is that your MQMS will roll over to the next year to give you a head start for the following year. However, some benefits are unique for each tier, therefore, with Silver Medallion status, you get 7 miles per dollar. You also get an unlimited complimentary upgrade to first class and Delta Comfort on the day before departure, while on the day of departure, you receive Delta One upgrades. For those who like some legroom, they will appreciate the preferred seat option since they can choose the exit row seats. When checking in, your first bag is free for up to 23kgs, and if you have eight other companions on the same reservation, they get the same free allowance for the first bag. Other benefits include priority check-in, priority waitlist, and priority boarding.
Once you meet the requirements for Gold Medallion status, you move up the chain and get the same perk as those on Silver Medallion status. However, there are few more benefits, including 8 Delta miles for every dollar spent on Delta flights. Also, instead of a First-class and Delta comfort upgrade for only 24 hours before departure day, you get the upgrades three days before your flight. You can also get waived same-day confirmed and standby fees such that you can get an earlier flight for free. Moreover, you get lounge access when flying on SkyTeam alliance airlines as well as Sky Club access.
When you get to Platinum Medallion status, you can pick one of the available choice benefits. They include a travel voucher or gift card worth $200, 20,000 bonus SkyMiles for you or someone else, four regional upgrade certificates, and you can gift a Silver Medallion status to whoever you choose. You also get 9 miles per dollar and unlimited complimentary upgrade to first class, five days before departure as well as Delta One experience on the day of departure. The rest of the benefits are similar to what you get with Gold Medallion status, including the lounge access, waived fees for bags, priority waitlist, and car benefits with Hertz, according to Delta.
Diamond Medallion status is the highest tier, and from the available choice benefits, you can only pick three. The benefits include 25,000 bonus SkyMiles, global and regional upgrade certificates, and two global entry application vouchers. The others are Delta SkyClub individual and executive memberships, Delta SkyClub guest pass, a travel voucher, or gift card, and you can gift Gold Medallion status to anyone you prefer. The other benefits include those of Platinum Medallion status, but the main difference is that you get 11 miles per dollar.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker