Points Panda has partnered with a variety of financial companies including CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Points Panda and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. For more information please read our full Advertiser Disclosure.
As vaccines roll out and travel destinations start to open up, more airlines are stepping up their game to bring the travel industry back to the world. Delta was one of those carriers that heeded the call after it stopped blocking middle seats on May 2021 and added new options for its onboard service. But what Delta SkyMiles members should definitely be excited about is the brand new Delta Medallion Accelerator.
Delta Airlines will give all SkyMiles members a 50%-75% bonus of Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs), Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs), and Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) on all Delta flights from April 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021.
On top of the new accelerator program, Delta loyalists will get an extra 25% MQMs through credit card status boosts and award tickets will also earn MQMs, MQSs, and MQDs. These additional perks are also valid through the end of the 2021.
Let’s dive into the details on how the new Delta Medallion accelerator works so you know how to easily get Medallaion Status in 2022.
How The Delta Medallion Accelerator Works
There haven’t been any changes made to the current Delta Medallion status qualifications, however, all Delta SkyMiles members can earn up to 75% more status Miles to easily achieve Delta Medallion Status in 2022. It’s big news for Delta flyers and flyers in general because no other major U.S. carriers have launched a program like this to date. Plus, you don’t need to register for it.
Here’s how the program works in a nutshell:
- 50% Bonus – All basic economy and Main Cabin tickets will earn 50% more MQMs, MQSs, and MQDs.
- 75% Bonus: All premium-cabin fares, including domestic first class, Delta Premium Select, Delta One, and Delta Comfort+ will get 75% more MQMs, MQSs, and MQDs. Additionally, tickets that have been upgraded (except those that have been upgraded with elite status or certificates) are also eligible for the 75% boost.
The Delta Medallion accelerator applies to all flights taken from April 2021 to December 2021 regardless of the booking date. Skymiles members can also use the promotional bonuses for Delta’s status challenges such as Reclaim My Status and Status Match. This means that the challenge requirements will remain the same but you’ll be able to reach your goal faster because of the status accelerator. Additionally, the bonus MQMs can also be used to reach Million Miler Status.
The bonuses should have hit your Delta SkyMiles account by May 31 if your flights were taken between April 1 and May 15. However, if your flight was taken after May 15, you should see your bonuses automatically credited to your account after you’ve completed your trip.
There are a few exceptions where the Delta Medallion Accelerator doesn’t apply to:
- Flights on partner airlines
- Mileage upgrade awards
- Exception fares (does not include Delta Vacations packages)
- Upgrades purchased at check-in or at the gate
- Purchases/mileage redemptions of non-air products or fees or SkyBonus Award Certificates
Read More: Understanding The Delta Medallion Program
Is Delta Counting Award Tickets Towards MQMs, MQSs, and MQDs?
The answer is YES. Delta is counting all award tickets towards MQMs, MQSs, and MQDs (including Miles + Cash tickets). However, this only applies to Delta-operated flights. Simply speaking, your boarding pass should have a Delta flight number and your aircraft must have a Delta logo. The Delta Medallion accelerator will also give the same bonus status credits on award flights: 50% for the main cabin and 75% for the premium cabin.
Base Earning Rates For Award Tickets
It wasn’t clear before how these status boosts can be applied to award tickets so Delta released a base earning rates for MQMs, MQSs, and MQDs on award tickets:
- Base MQM Earning Rate – The base MQM earnings will be determined by distance and cabin booking. For example, you will get 100% of the distance flown for basic economy, main cabin, and Delta Comfort+ flights. However, you’ll get 150% of the distance flown for first-class, Delta Premium Select, and Delta One flights.
- Base MQD Earning Rate – You can get the base earning rate for MQDs by dividing the mileage points redeemed by 100. Taxes and fees do not count towards earning MQDs.
- Base MQS Earning Rate – The base MQS earning rate for MQSs is 1 MQS per segment flown.
Sample Scenario Using Award Tickets and Delta Medallion Accelerator
Let’s say you booked a round-trip award flight in Main Cabin from New York City to Berlin. You also redeemed 50,000 miles for the ticket and flew a distance of 4,000 miles. The base earnings would be as follows:
- 4,000 MQMs (100% of distance flown which is 4,000 miles)
- 500 MQDs (50,000 SkyMiles / 100)
- 2 MQSs (2 segments x 1)
If you apply the Delta Medallion Accelerator, the new earning rates would have a 50% bonus since the trip was booked in Main Cabin.
- 6000 MQMs (4000 MQMs + 50% bonus)
- 700 MQDs (500 MQDs + 50% bonus)
- 3 MQS ( 2 MQS s + 50% bonus)
If the award ticket was a premium flight, just add 75% to the base rate to get the accelerated value.
Earning Delta Medallion Status Using Co-branded Cards
Apart from the welcome bonuses, you can also earn more MQMs using Delta’s co-branded cards, particularly the Platinum and Reserve credit cards.
Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card
Cardholders who have the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card will get 100,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 in the first three months. Offer ends 8/3/22.
You’ll also earn 10,000 more MQMs with Status Boost if you’re able to meet the spending requirement of $25,000 in a calendar year (up to 2x per year).
Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card
The bonus is bigger for cardholders of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card. You’ll get 110,000 bonus miles after spending $6,000 in the first three months. Offer ends 8/3/22.
Complimentary access to The Centurion Lounge and a few other airport lounge networks when you book your ticket on your Reserve card
The status boost will also give you an additional 15,000 MQMs after spending $30,000 per year (up to 4x per year). On top of that, there’s an additional 3,750 MQMs for every $30,000 you spend per year (also up to 4x per year). This means that you’ll get a total of 18,750 MQMs in a calendar year if you get to meet the spending threshold of $30,000.
Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card
Take note that the personal versions of these credit cards are also eligible for Status Boosts. On top of that, the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card has a welcome offer of 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
The status boost gives cardholders a chance to earn 10,000 MQMs after spending $25,000 in a calendar year (up to 2x per year).
Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card
Meanwhile, the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card has a welcome offer of 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months. Offer ends 8/3/2022. Cardholders can also earn 15,000 MQMs if they can spend $30,000 on purchases in a calendar year (up to 4x per year, a total of 60,000 MQMs).
Here’s a quick summary of the good and bad news about the changes coming in.
- Delta counts award tickets towards MQMs, MQDs, and MQSs.
- Co-banded cards will also get a 25% bonus MQMs through 2021.
- The status accelerator applies to all flights taken during the promo period regardless of booking dates.
- The status accelerator does not count towards flights that are NOT promoted or operated by Delta.
- Status requirements for Delta Medallion status remain the same.
These new offers from Delta just make travel a lot more exciting for 2022. Sure, the thresholds for reaching Delta Medallion Status are still the same but the 50%-75% boost makes it a lot easier for SkyMiles members to reach their goals. What’s also great is that the boost also counts towards award tickets so that’s great news for points enthusiasts.
It’s only about time that major airline carriers start to go all out with their travel promotions. The pandemic is slowly dying down so people are itching to get out of their homes and start traveling again.