Change is in the air as Delta recently announced a slew of new options for its on-board service, unveiled new travel tools and confirmed that it will stop blocking the middle seats from May 1. However, Delta’s elites are probably more interested in Delta’s new Medallion. elite status initiatives. And there is a lot to like.
For flights between April 1 and December 31, 2021, Delta is offering up to 75% bonus elite Medallion status credits for Delta Flights. Plus, for the first time, Delta travelers can earn Elite Medallion status when they fly on award flights. Finally, Delta travelers can still earn an additional 25% Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) through credit card status increases through the end of 2021.
Here’s what you need to know about Delta’s new Medallion Status Accelerators and how to earn Delta Elite Status for 2022.
Elite Medallion Status Bonus on Delta Flights in 2021
From April 1 to December 31, 2021, Delta travelers will earn bonus Medallion earnings on Delta flights. The bonus earning rate depends on the cabin you buy:
50% bonus for basic economy and main cabin.
75% bonus for Delta One, Delta Premium Select, First Class and Delta Comfort + – including upgrades after purchase in cash or miles.
This bonus applies to all three types of Medallion Elite earnings: Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQM), Medallion Qualifying Segments (MQS) and Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQD).
It is not necessary to register for this status booster. Delta will automatically apply the bonus winnings. However, don’t worry if you don’t see these bonuses appearing in your SkyMiles account at the beginning. For flights from April 1 to May 15, Delta advises that the bonus MQM, MQS and MQD will be retroactively credited to your account on May 31, 2021.
However, this Delta State Accelerator does not apply to:
Fly on partner airlines.
Exceptional rates (except Delta Vacations packages).
Upgrades purchased at check-in or at the door.
Purchases / redemptions of product miles or non-air costs.
Delta state accelerator example
To show how its Status Accelerator works, Delta shares the example of a traveler who spent $ 312 on a Delta Comfort + one-way ticket from Atlanta to New York-LGA – a 730 mile flight. After subtracting $ 12 in taxes and fees from the cost of the flight, their eligible expenses are $ 300.
Normally they would earn 300 MQD, 730 MQM and 1 MQS. Since they fly in Comfort +, they are eligible for the 75% premium status accelerator rate. Thus, they will earn a total of:
525 MQD (300 MQD plus 75% bonus).
1278 MQM (730 MQM plus 75% bonus).
1.75 MQS (1 MQS plus a 75% bonus).
Earn Elite Status Credits on Delta Award Flights
For the first time, travelers can earn elite status credits on Delta award flights between April 1 and December 31, 2021. To be eligible, flights must be both marketed and operated by Delta. In other words, your boarding pass should show a Delta flight number, and the side of the plane should show Delta.
The status booster will be the same as on cash flights: 50% bonus for the main cabin and 75% for the premium cabin. However, as award flights do not currently qualify for Medallion Status earnings, it was initially unclear how to apply these Status Boost bonuses. Delta is therefore introducing new base earning rates for award tickets.
Base price to win award tickets to Medallion
Delta award flights will earn MQMs based on flight distance and cabin booked:
Basic economy, main cabin and Delta Comfort +: 100% of the distance traveled.
First class, Delta Premium Select and Delta One: 150% of the distance traveled.
MQDs on award tickets are calculated by dividing the mileage used by 100. You will not earn any MQD on taxes and fees paid. Awarded travelers will earn 1 MQS per segment flown.
Remember, these are the base MQM and MQD earning rates. You’ll earn a 50-75% bonus on top of these base earning rates with the Delta Medallion Status Accelerator.
Delta Award Flight Status Accelerator Example
Delta shares the example of a traveler booking a roundtrip economy award from Atlanta to Rome for 75,000 miles plus $ 76 in taxes and fees. For simplicity, Delta rounds the distance traveled to 10,000 miles. This means that their base Medallion earnings on this reward trip are:
10,000 MQM (10,000 miles driven at 100%).
750 MQD (75,000 SkyMiles exchanged ÷ 100).
2 MQS (2 stolen segments x 1 each).
Then you apply the Status Accelerator to that income. Since they fly in the main cabin, they get a 50% bonus on each of these aspects:
Now let’s say they had to purchase an upgrade to Comfort + for an additional 20,000 SkyMiles. Base revenues are now 10,000 MQM, 950 MQD and 2 MQS. As Comfort + is eligible for a 75% Status Boost, Medallion earnings amount to:
17,500 MQM (10,000 miles at 100%, plus 75% bonus).
1663 MQD (95,000 SkyMiles traded ÷ 100, plus 75% bonus).
3.5 MQS (2 stolen segments x 1 each, plus 75% bonus).
Medallion 2021 Status Raised Through Credit Card Spending
In addition to the elite status initiatives deployed, Delta is still offering a 25% bonus on MQMs earned by spending on certain co-branded credit cards. This isn’t new, but it’s an important part of achieving Delta elite status in 2021. So, let’s do a quick review.
In 2021, cardholders will earn 12,500 MQM after spending $ 25,000. You can get this status bonus up to two times for a total of 25,000 MQM. This boost is available on:
Meanwhile, reserve cardholders will earn 18,750 MQM by spending $ 30,000. Cardholders can earn this bonus up to four times for a total of 75,000 MQM. This version of the Delta Status Boost is available at:
If you plan on spending a lot on Delta credit cards, remember that Delta still offers SkyMiles members the option to spend on an MQD waiver. Delta American Express cardholders can spend $ 25,000 to obtain an MQD waiver for elite Platinum, Gold, or Silver Medallion status. Or, spend $ 250,000 to get an MQD waiver for top Diamond Medallion status. This exemption makes it easier to obtain elite status. Conditions apply.
The bottom line
Delta is making it easier than ever to achieve elite Medallion status in 2021 with an elite status booster, elite earnings on award flights, and increased credit card spending status.
Now is a great time to take a look at your potential Delta Elite Status earnings for 2021, and depending on your goals this year, it might be worth upgrading to a Delta credit card to get MQD spending waiver and / or. or increase your MQM income through spending.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our choices for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those that are best suited: