Delta Air Lines SkyMiles members can anticipate big changes in 2024 – and not necessarily for the better. Delta is overhauling its SkyMiles program starting January 1, 2024, including eliminating MQMs and MQSs as elite tier currency and emphasizing MQDs as the key currency. The carrier is also significantly restricting Sky Club lounge access moving forward.
Delta Air Lines Making Sweeping SkyMiles Changes in 2024
Delta Air Lines is making major changes to its SkyMiles frequent flyer program. The American carrier is altering the way members earn Medallion status in the loyalty program, with the airline retiring Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) and Medallion Qualifying Segments (MQSs) – instead focusing on reimagined Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs).
Changes to Medallion Qualifying Dollars
The biggest changes to the SkyMiles program concern MQDs. Those MQDs were initially introduced to provide rewards on distance and fare class on eligible partner tickets, with bigger fares and better classes of service enjoying more MQDs. Starting January 1, 2024, MQDs will expand in scope and in ways to earn – with credit cards, hotel stays, car rentals, vacations, and more earning MQDs with Delta SkyMiles.
Here are the new ways in which SkyMiles members can earn MQDs:
|Flights||Members earn 1X MQD per $1 on the ticket price of a Delta-marketed flight operated by Delta or a partner airline. Flights booked through Delta partners will earn MQDs based on fare and distance, as they currently do.|
|Hotels||Members earn 1X MQD per $1 on eligible hotel stays booked through Delta and Delta direct channels.|
|Car rentals||Members earn 1X MQD per $1 on eligible car rentals booked through Delta direct channels.|
|Vacations||Members earn 1X MQD per $1 on the entire cost of a Delta Vacation Experience on top of what they earn for their flight when booking directly with Delta Vacations.|
|Credit cards||Delta SkyMiles credit card members will earn 1X MQD for every $10 spent with the Delta Reserve personal and business versions of the Delta SkyMiles credit cards, and 1X MQD for every $20 spent with the Delta SkyMiles Platinum and Delta SkyMiles Business Platinum cards.|
Effective January 1, 2024, status progression will only be earned through MQDs, with MQMs and MQSs being phased out. Rollovers will not be removed but can be converted, which is some consolation. MQMs convert at a 20-to-1 ratio to MQDs, or 2:1 to SkyMiles. These changes also see new SkyMiles elite tier thresholds, with more MQDs needed to reach the very best tiers in the loyalty program:
Members earn MQDs each calendar year between January 1 and December 31, with the SkyMiles status valid through January 31 – two years after the qualifying period.
The changes to the MQDs currency are drastic, to say the least, with the Diamond tier requiring a dizzying 75% more spending than in 2023. For Platinum members, it means a 100% increase in spending requirements, which smacks of price gouging.
Delta Club Access Changes
The other major changes highlight a steep reduction in Delta Sky Club access. SkyMiles credit card members will no longer enjoy unlimited visits to the Sky Club, with the following number of visits for each card as follows:
Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
And here is the updated Sky Club access for American Express business card customers:
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business Card
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business Card
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business Card
Delta is also changing how other American Express cardholders access Sky Club lounges. Beginning on February 1, 2025, Delta will limit The Platinum Card® and Business Platinum Card® cardholders to six Sky Club passes each year. However, there are no changes to worry about for holders of the Centurion Card (the fabled “Black Card”).
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