10x Increase to Delta Diamond MQD Waiver Spending Requirement ($250k Instead of $25k) 10x Increase to Delta Diamond MQD Waiver Spending Requirement ($250k Instead of $25k)

10x Increase to Delta Diamond MQD Waiver Spending Requirement ($250k Instead of $25k)

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Delta has just sent out an email to SkyMiles co-brand credit card holders and has utterly eviscerated the value of the Medallion Qualification Dollar waiver to achieve Diamond Medallion Status. Effective January 1, 2018, the spending requirement will increase tenfold from $25,000 per year to an utterly enormous $250,000 per year to earn the MQD waiver for Diamond Status.

Delta Qualification History

What about Silver, Gold & Platinum Medallion?

Fortunately, if you are after Silver, Gold, or Platinum, you have escaped the Delta ax, and there is no change to the MQD waiver threshold. You still only need to spend $25,000 per year on Delta co-brand credit cards to earn your Medallion Qualification Dollar waiver.

Starting January 1, 2018, the Medallion Qualification Dollar (MQD) Waiver for Diamond Medallion Status is increasing. The MQD Waiver for Diamond Medallion Status is currently earned by spending $25,000 in eligible purchases in a calendar year on a SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express. It is being adjusted to $250,000 in a calendar year.

Our Take

Well, this should come as no surprise for any SkyMiles members, Delta has a habit of devastating devaluations. While the norm is for Delta to spring these actions on everyone, this time the change is actually shocking since it is a tenfold increase in the spending requirement, which ultimately will leave quite a few people less than pleased. If you want to keep your Diamond status with Delta and you're unable to meet this credit card spend requirement, you'll need to make sure you hit your MQD requirement of $15,000.

Check out the discussion on our Facebook Group, Award Travel 101.

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  • What is this? Might as well get rid of the waiver all together.

  • Delta wants to thin the Diamond herd — which will make it easier for the remaining Diamonds to get upgrades, etc. But, since there will be more Platinums, it will be harder for Platinums to be upgraded. Not planning a long term future with DL myself.

  • Or, I can apply and get approved, as I’m sure I would be, for about 75 new bonus offer cards, put the charges on all of them to make the spending requirement, and live off my profit.

  • From their point of view this means have more attention to best customers and a little less to other (in this case credit card customers).
    Usually you want to keep the high expense customers.
    In the ongoing devaluation this change make sense to me.

  • Or change your Delta address to a foreign one.

  • Yup they are basically making it impossible to hit the MQD by using the card. Even if you had a business that spent 250k per year there are so many better cards that offer better than the 1 mile per dollar spent on the amex delta card. At 25k, its worth giving those up if it helps you hit status, for 250k no way its worth it.

  • Anytime an airline moves to reward flyer based on revenue is an awful thing. That said, Delta should reward customers that are flying on their airline and spending lots of money, not just the ones using the credit cards to rack up points.

  • sums! Bad on Delta!

  • Brandon Rabbitt says:

    Well there goes my chance at easy status. Lol

  • That is a huge increase , however, as it is only for the top tier the impact will be very limited. I can’t imagine too many people spending $250,000 on their Delta card.

  • This is an extraordinary amount of spend for the Diamond level MQD waiver. However they haven’t changed the spend for other levels so I’m not sure they’re really pushing the majority of people away. They’re just making it more difficult to achieve the highest elite level.

    I know that I had that much spend to put on a credit card, there are MANY other cards I’d use rather than a Delta Card.

  • Delta’s CEO seems to have made it clear he wants to reward loyal airline customers, not credit card users.

  • I’m not a loyal Delta flyer so this doesn’t impact me much but I still think it’s ridiculous! I agree with another commenter that I really hope the other major carriers don’t follow suit.

  • Bertrand Say says:

    Another devaluation from Delta.

  • Wow! That’s quite a requirement!

  • Delta keep making their airline faithful want to leave, increasing availability of Skypeso seats and making those that fly alot pay more for benefits. Large numbers are leaving the AMEX Skymiles program as well. Come on Delta, take care of those that fly your airline!

  • Just…….WOW. That is quite the jump in spending requirements!!

  • hehe.. 250K?

  • angelo fonseca says:

    They are always hampering loyalty programs.

  • I am guessing that the $250k was requested by AMEX for a limited number high income cardholders.

  • Wow. 250K…. you can make that by buying a home.

  • I think Delta is indirectly saying they are not going to waive the MQD requirement for anyone anymore.
    If there’s anyone who actually spends $250K on the Delta card, he/she seriously needs to re-consider using a different card for that much spending.

    • The $250k threshold is just for Diamond. I can see the logic, which is they really don’t want anyone using it, but if you’re going to use it, we’ll make it excessively high.

      • It definitely makes sense to reserve your top elite tier for those who are truly road warriors and not manufactured spend or mileage run gurus. (it’s just annoying for those of us who live in that little hobby bubble of big benefits for minimum spend)

  • OMG… So if you fly 4 segments a week, it’ll take 35 weeks at an average price of $428 per ticket to qualify. Not impossible, but obviously they only want road warriors to be diamonds. While I would typically meet the requirements, I have to go with the lowest bidder and American Airlines get ~70% of my business. That means I’m only Gold going Platinum by end of the year with Delta.

  • Seems like Delta really working hard pushing members away. Hope the other two major airlines doesn’t follow suit.