In a press release, the Atlanta-based airline announced the first major changes affecting multiple loyalty tiers since 2015.
Changes Include More Spending, With Gifts Including Credit Card Statement Credits
The biggest change for the program comes in how much spending is required to reach each tier. Starting in January 2023, flyers will still be able to qualify for Silver Medallion with just $3,000 in Medallion Qualifying Dollars spending. But all other tiers will increase by between $2,000 and $5,000.
However, the rewards for reaching the Platinum and Diamond tiers are getting much more generous. Those who do manage to qualify for the top tiers for 2024 and beyond can choose new Choice Benefits gifts. The new options include:
- A $200 statement credit for Platinum Medallion flyers or a $500 statement credit for Diamond Medallion members on select Delta SkyMiles American Express cards.
- Gifting elite status to friends and family: Platinum Medallion elites can gift Silver Medallion status to two people, while Diamond Medallion elites can give two Gold Medallion Gift statuses.
- Up to $500 towards a Delta Vacations flight and hotel experience.
- Up to a $1,000 Medallion Qualifying Dollars “head start” boost for the next qualifying year.
- An increased Delta Travel Credit Voucher of $250.
In addition, Delta is upgrading systems to allow elite flyers to take more control of their travel. Flyers who have Global or Regional Upgrade Certificates can request upgrades using them during checkout on Delta.com. The highly requested feature is expected to land in 2023, with no actual timeline announced yet.
The airline is also allowing flyers to use their SkyMiles in more ways than ever before. Travelers can now use their frequent flyer miles for baggage fees at most U.S.-based airports, alongside using them for Delta Vacations experiences, SkyMiles experiences and Delta Sky Clubs.
The new shifts in the SkyMiles program compliment the current program benefits, including no mileage expiration, no blackout dates on Delta award flights and the opportunity to earn miles with Lyft, Airbnb and Ticketmaster.
FlyerTalkers Approach New Changes With Skepticism
On the FlyerTalk Forums, FlyerTalkers appear not to be shocked by the changes, but are concerned about the rollout of the new site benefits. Overall, there’s concerns that the “upgrades” won’t work correctly when they are implemented into the sales process.
“Too bad the ‘new requirements’ don’t include ‘fixing our IT,” Orange County Commuter writes on the forums. “The MQD increase means I will revert to Gold (my lifetime status) but honestly only the ‘covid rollovers’ have me at Platinum so I am fine with that.”
“Overall nothing earth shattering,” writes DCAproducer. “MQD waivers remain unchanged…I have big doubts about the [Regional and Global Upgrade Certificates] applying correctly with a few ‘clicks.’”
“I was rather hoping that Delta would move toward a loyalty point system like [American Airlines],” says FlyerTalker KDCAflyer. “Oh well.”
Source: frugal travel guy