The Atlanta-based carrier announced their new loyalty earning metrics on Thursday, September 14, 2023, moving away from a combination of miles and elite qualifying dollars to just pure spend.
Moving to Spend “Simplifies” Loyalty for Customers
In their notice to flyers, Delta claims that the new system will make it easier not only to earn status, but to track how close they are to the next tier. The airline will also add more ways for flyers to earn Medallion Qualifying Dollars, including booking rental cars and hotel stays on Delta.com, Delta Vacations, and Medallion Qualifying Dollar boosts with select Delta SkyMiles American Express credit cards.
For those who have a Delta American Express credit card, two of the more popular features are going away starting in 2024. Both the Medallion Qualifying Dollar waiver and the Status Boost will end on December 31, 2023, as the program is changing to spend-only.
When the changes come into effect for the 2025 loyalty year, flyers will need to spend the following amount of money with Delta to earn elite status:
- Silver Medallion: $6,000 Medallion Qualifying Dollars
- Gold Medallion: $12,000 Medallion Qualifying Dollars
- Platinum Medallion: $18,000 Medallion Qualifying Dollars
- Diamond Medallion: $35,000 Medallion Qualifying Dollars
In the event travelers have rollover Elite Qualifying Miles going into 2023, they will have two options for conversion. First, they can be converted to Medallion Qualifying Dollars, or be turned into redeemable SkyMiles. The ratios at which both will convert have not yet been published.
Lounge access will get more restrictive starting in 2025, especially for credit card holders. As of February 1, 2025, holders of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve and Reserve Business American Express card will only get 10 Delta Sky Club visits per program year. Travelers who hold either The Platinum Card or the Business Platinum card from American Express will be limited to six visits per program year. Both groups of cardholders can earn unlimited visits with $75,000 in eligible spending on the cards, with tracking beginning on January 1, 2024.
Those who have the Delta SkyMiles Platinum or Platinum Business American Express cards will get hit the most. Anyone with those cards will be cut off from lounge access starting January 1, 2024. Additionally, anyone flying in Basic Economy – regardless of what credit card they have – will be barred from lounge entry.
“Delta is on a multi-year journey to transform our SkyMiles Program by building a portfolio of options for customers to grow their membership with Delta beginning as soon as they join the program,” Dwight James, senior vice president of customer engagement and loyalty and CEO of Delta Vacations, said in a press release. “Our Members will earn status the way they want to – not only along their travel journey, but also in their everyday lives.”
Where do YOU Stand on the Changes?
FlyerTalkers are giving the new program mixed reviews, with some lauding the changes, while others claim it is one of the most aggressive in a long time. Check out what fellow FlyerTalkers have to say in these forum threads:
- Delta SkyMiles Program Changes (Total Revenue Based) for 2025 Medallion Year: An overview of the changes and FlyerTalker’s opinions
- Happy with the Changes….: One FlyerTalker’s argument for how the changes could be a good thing.
- I am Angry with the 9/14/23 Skymiles Change – Alternatives? A thread for FlyerTalkers finding an alternative loyalty program to Delta SkyMiles
- AMEX and Delta created a 3 headed monster and now need to regroup: An opinion on how Delta and American Express created the new program.
- If you don’t like the changes call and complain: A call to action from FlyerTalkers on getting their voices heard about the program changes.
Source: frugal travel guy