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As much as there are aspects of Delta SkyMiles that drive me nuts, one thing that the program has going for it is that they make it pretty easy to earn elite status through credit card spend.
How Delta makes earning status through credit cards easy
You can earn a full waiver of Delta’s revenue requirement for status by spending $25,000 per year on their co-branded credit card, and on top of that you can earn tons of elite qualifying miles for reaching certain spending thresholds.
Specifically, the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card (both personal and business) offers 10,000 bonus MQMs after spending $25,000, plus a further 10,000 bonus MQMs after spending $50,000, while the Delta Reserve Card (both personal and business) offers 15,000 bonus MQMs after spending $30,000, plus a further 15,000 bonus MQMs after spending $60,000.
So in theory if you had both the Platinum and Reserve Card, and spent $110,000 between them, you’d earn 50,000 MQMs. Meanwhile if you had all four cards — the personal and business versions of the Platinum and Reserve Card — and spent $220,000 between them, you’d earn 100,000 MQMs. That almost gets you all the way to Diamond status.
Delta is adding restrictions to earning status through credit card spend
Rene’s Points notes that changes have been made to the cardmember agreement for the Delta Reserve Card as it relates to the Miles Boost opportunities. This section now reads as follows:
You may receive a Miles Boost award based on your eligible purchases for the calendar year. A calendar year is from January 1 to December 31 regardless of when you open your Card Account. This means in your first year as a Card Member you may have fewer months to accumulate eligible purchases towards a Miles Boost award.
The Miles Boost award and the eligible purchases required to receive the bonus are shown below.
Annual Eligible Purchase / Miles Boost Award
$30,000 / 15,000 miles and 15,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles
$60,000 or more / an additional 15,000 miles and 15,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles
Some Miles Boost award restrictions
You can now only get two Miles Boost awards for each Card account. In addition, if you have more than one Reserve Card Account linked to the same SkyMiles account, you are eligible for only two Miles Boost awards each year.
The wording on these new restrictions is a bit confusing. What I’m not yet sure of is if the limit is a total of two Miles Boosts across all Delta Amex Cards, or two Miles Boosts across Delta Reserve Cards and two Miles Boosts across Delta Platinum Cards. The earnings capability here is either being cut by half or three quarters.
So while this won’t impact those who get just a couple of Miles Boosts per year to top off an account (which is probably a majority of people), this potentially has a huge impact on those who primarily earn Delta status through credit card spend.
I’ll try to track down the exact details of these changes, though it’s clear that some major restrictions are being put in place.
Does anyone presently earn more than 30,000 MQMs per year with Delta through credit card spend?