Nowadays the “big three” US carriers all have revenue requirements for earning status, though they have different ways that you can potentially circumvent that requirement:
- With Delta SkyMiles, you can get the revenue requirement waived for all status levels by spending $25,000 per year on one of their co-branded credit cards
- With United MileagePlus, you can get the revenue requirement waived for Silver, Gold, and Platinum status by spending $25,000 per year on one of their co-branded credit cards (however, this doesn’t apply to 1K members, who have to fulfill the full spend requirement)
- With American AAdvantage, you can’t get the revenue requirement waived, but you can earn up to 6,000 elite qualifying dollars by spending $50,000 on the Aviator Silver Card
Keep in mind that on top of the above, Delta is the only airline that potentially lets you earn top tier status exclusively through credit card spend. For example, if you have four of their co-branded cards (the business and personal version of the Platinum and Reserve Card), you could earn 100,000 MQMs by spending $220,000. That’s a lot of spend, though also the potential to earn a lot of elite mileage.
Anyway, while it hasn’t yet been confirmed, Rene’s Points shares a rumor about how Delta may soon be making it tougher to earn Diamond status through Delta’s credit cards. While I haven’t personally heard anything about this, Rene’s Points claims he has confirmed this with three sources, and that it could be announced as early as September.
The rumor is that as of 2019, the Delta SkyMiles revenue requirement waiver (by spending $25,000 on a co-branded credit card) will only cover Silver, Gold, and Platinum status, and not Diamond status anymore. In other words, Delta would be following United’s lead here.
That means that Diamond members would have to earn the full 15,000 MQDs (Medallion Qualifying Dollars) in order to earn that status. This also makes it less useful to earn MQMs through credit card spend, since you’d proportionally have to spend more for those miles you do fly on Delta.
Like I said, I have no inside knowledge about this, though I’ll certainly be looking for an announcement. This change wouldn’t surprise me in the least, and I’m actually surprised Delta hasn’t made the change sooner.
Rene suggests taking all kinds of action to express displeasure with this change. Personally I don’t think there’s any benefit to doing that. First of all, this hasn’t been officially announced, so writing letters based on rumors seems a bit premature. Second of all, we’re talking about Delta here, and if they decide to do this, there’s no way they’re going to reverse course.
To Diamond Medallion members, would this rumored change impact you?