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Don’t be fooled – Delta revises horrid changes to SkyMiles program, but it’s still bad. #DitchDelta

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Several weeks ago, Delta surprised the world with an absolute gutshot of a devaluation to their program. The response was nasty. Comments on my Instagram, TikTok, etc did not sugar the pill and once unwaveringly loyal Delta fliers were looking for a new home. Shockingly, Delta understood they took a step too far, and started publicly backtracking, committing to walking back some of the changes. Finally, people were waking up.

Well…Delta has taken steps and revised some of the changes, but all in all, the question remains…why on earth would you be loyal to Delta now? The writing is on the wall, and all they’ve really done is make things marginally less bad.

As you can see in the various altered changes below, status will still be harder to attain ( $28k MQD for Diamond and $5k for Silver  ), lounge access will be still be restricted just not as much, they haven’t improved the value of their SkyMiles currency at all, and rollover MQMs have some bit to them. The program is still gutted.

Personally, I think airline loyalty has gotten to the place where it just doesn’t pay to be loyal. Upgrades are fewer and far between because airlines are selling first class seats at a far higher percentage, and when it comes time to redeem the points of most US based carriers, there isn’t much award space for those leisure destinations you want to enjoy on the back of your hard earned work miles. I credit most of my US based travel to foreign carriers that are partners of Amex, Chase, Citi, Bilt, Cap1.

But, let’s take a look at the changes and let me know what you think.

Delta SkyClub Access is a little better for credit card holders

The following credit cards currently all have some sort of Delta SkyClub access, and that was been changed yet again. One big change is that a SkyClub access will be defined as any 24 hour period, not per SkyClub location. Note that the changes for the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card take effect 1/1/24 whereas the changes for the other cards don’t start until 2/1/2025

Once you’ve hit your max for the year, you can buy access for $50, or Medallion members can buy It for $695. If you’re traveling in Basic Economy, you won’t have access with any of the following cards.

  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • The Business Platinum® from American Express

Amex Platinum and Amex Business Platinum – 6x will now be 10x

Starting on Feb 1st, 2025 lounge access will be limited to 10 times per year, this was changed from 6x

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve and Business Reserve-  10x becomes 15x

Starting on Feb 1st, 2025 lounge access will be limited to 15 times per year, changed from 10x

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum +  Business Platinum – 0x

Starting on January 1st, 2024, you will know longer be able to pay for access

a bar with a person behind it

Revised Status Tier Requirements – still a massive increase from 2024

As you can see below, Delta has revised the Tier Requirements, lowering the thresholds somewhat, but compared to what you’d need to qualify for status in 2024, seen at the bottom, it’s still a massive increase.

New for 2025

Silver Medallion 5,000 MQD
Gold Medallion 10,000 MQD
Platinum Medallion 15,000 MQD
Diamond Medallion 28,000MQD

Old 2025:

Silver Medallion 6,000 MQD
Gold Medallion 12,000 MQD
Platinum Medallion 18,000 MQD
Diamond Medallion 35,000MQD

For a frame of reference, here is what it was for 2024

Silver Medallion 3,000 MQD
Gold Medallion 8,000 MQD
Platinum Medallion 12,000 MQD
Diamond Medallion 20,000MQD

And 2023

Silver Medallion 3,000 MQD
Gold Medallion 6,000 MQD
Platinum Medallion 9,000 MQD
Diamond Medallion 15,000MQD

 

MQD Boost added Delta American Express Cards

The following 4 cards will receive a $2500 MQD boost beginning 2/24 but will continue to earn MQDs at the rate given several weeks ago. Meaning, if you want to spend your way to Delta Silver, you’d need to spend $50k on the Reserve and $100k on the Delta Platinum. Wowzers.

  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card

The way that they will earn MQDs will remain the same.

$10 USD spent on Delta Amex Reserve Credit Cards 1 MQD
$20 USD spent on Delta Platinum Amex credit cards 1 MQD

 

Rollover MQM adjustments – decide by 12/31/24

Here is what was previously announced:

20 MQMs 1 MQD
2 MQMs 1 Delta SkyMile

They are adding in a new option for those with  massive MQM balances. For every 100k MQMs you can extend your 2024 status for another year.

 Every “100k Rollover MQM” Extend Medallion status for another year

New options for Delta Medallion Choice Benefits

Starting 2/1/24 you’ll have the option to select the following Choice benefits when you hit certain Medallion levels. IF you’re unfamiliar when you hit Platinum or Diamond status you can choose a benefit you’d like, so these will be some added options for your selection.

MQD Accelerator

  • $2,000 MQDs for Diamond Members
  • $1,000 MQDs for Platinum Members.

Delta SkyClub Individual Membership

  • You can use 2 Choice Benefit selections and get an Individual Membership

Bonus Miles

These can be put in your account, friend, or donated to charity

  •  Diamond Medallion Members = 35,000 miles
  • Platinum Medallion Members = 30,000 miles.

Delta Flight/Vacation Voucher

  • $350 for Diamond Medallion Members
  • $300 for Platinum Medallion Members

Private Jet Credit “Wheels Up”

  • Wheels Up flight credit for Diamond and Platinum Medallion Members

Million Miler Changes – Comped Status, upgrade priority

Delta also revised some of their Million Miler benefits and tiers.

  • Only miles actually flown will be counted for Million Miler Status going forward
    • Starting 1/1/24
  • Upgrade priority will be #3 starting in 2024
  • Comped Status
    •  1 Million Miler Members will receive Annual Complimentary Gold Status.
    • 2 Million Miler Members will receive Annual Complimentary Platinum Status.
    • 3 and 4 Million Miler Members will receive Annual Complimentary Diamond Status.
    • 5+ Million Miler Members will receive an annual invitation for Delta 360° Membership

As a frame of reference, this is what they had initially announced:

a screenshot of a graphOverall – Delta is still dead to me

Why on earth would you still continue to be loyal to Delta. If you’re a 3 or 5 million miler, things got a bit sweeter, but I’ll be shopping cheapest flights on my travel, and when I do fly Delta, I’ll be crediting to either Virgin Atlantic or Air France/KLM Flying Blue.

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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3 Comments

  • Ron October 23, 2023

    I’m happy with the changes, overall platinum will not be all that difficult now with some business and leisure travel and my Amex I only need 12,500 in spend. If you have the Amex reserve then you only have to spend 25k on the card and you’re silver with no Delta spend. As a platinum and diamond next yr I’ve had very few times that I was not upgraded. Luckily I am in Sea not NY or ATL. Overall this will thin the ranks a bit and likely increase the upgrade chances for those who stick around. I’ve flown united, Alaska, and AA and Delta is still by far better plus with so many direct options from sea makes no sense for me to jump.

  • Daniel October 20, 2023

    I don’t play the miles medallion game. Just spend the $75k a year and don’t worry about it.

  • 5 million miler October 19, 2023

    If you’re committed to the cheapest ticket, you were never Delta’s ideal customer anyway. They’re happy to talk about their pricing premium, and would encourage you to try American or Spirit. You get what you pay for.

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