Delta Makes Major SkyMiles Changes, Lounge Access Limited for Cardholders

Delta SkyMiles Program Changes

Delta SkyMiles Program Changes

Delta Air Lines will implement some major changes to its SkyMiles program. The airline is changing how customers can earn elite status and is making it harder for many American Express cardholders to get into its popular lounges.

If you’re wondering if this will be good or bad news, it’s obviously the latter. You will need to spend a lot to earn status, and those expensive American Express credit cards will probably not be worth renewing for many.

The news originally was leaked on a Portuguese-language website and was reported by OMaaT and Nerd Wallet.

Elite Status Requirements

Passengers will no longer earn Delta Elite status based on the number of miles they fly with Delta. Delta will do away with requirements for Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) and Segments (MQSs). Instead, SkyMiles members will qualify for Medallion elite status solely through Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs).

Status will be earned exclusively on the amount of money they spend with the airline. Starting January 1st, Delta customers will earn 1 Medallion Qualifying Dollar for every $1 they spend on Delta flights, car rentals, hotels and vacation packages booked through the airline.

Delta SkyMiles Reserve and Reserve Business American Express card members earn 1 Medallion Qualifying Dollar for every $10 spent on the card, while Delta SkyMiles Platinum and Platinum Business American Express Card Members earn 1 Medallion Qualifying Dollar for every $20 spent.

These are the new requirements:

  • Silver Medallion – 6,000 MQDs
  • Gold Medallion – 12,000 MQDs
  • Platinum Medallion – 18,000 MQDs
  • Diamond Medallion – 35,000 MQDs

Since MQMs will be going away, SkyMiles members with rollover MQMs from this year, will have a one-time choice to convert them into redeemable miles, MQDs or a combination of the two.

Lounge Access

The rumors are true. Delta Air Lines plans to cap the number Sky Clubs entries for American Express cardholders. Starting Feb. 1, 2025, those holding the American Express Platinum and Platinum Business will be allowed six visits per year, while the Delta Reserve Card holders will get 10 annual visits.

It gets worse. Those who book a basic economy ticket will no longer be allowed in the lounge starting Jan. 1, 2024, regardless if they carry a Platinum Card or any other premium credit card.

Delta’s SkyMiles Platinum and Platinum Business American Express cards will no longer get club access through the cards itself.

The airline last year announced several changes to fight overcrowding at its clubs. It barred employees from using them when flying standby with company travel privileges, even if they had qualifying credit cards. It also raised prices for club memberships for regular customers.

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4 thoughts on “Delta Makes Major SkyMiles Changes, Lounge Access Limited for Cardholders”

  1. Will lounge visits stack if you have multiple cards? I would think that Amex Plat and Delta Reserve together will get you 16 visits?

  2. Why would anyone pay $550 for the Reserve card now? This doesn’t make any sense at all. *Checks calendar to make sure it’s not April Fools*

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