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What Is Delta Air Lines Medallion Status Worth?

Delta offers a frequent-flyer elite status program with standard benefits at the lower tiers and more choice at the higher tiers. Compared to its legacy carrier peers, Delta has higher spending and miles requirements to qualify for top-tier status than its rivals, but it also offers the most flexible benefits package and the ability to roll over qualifying miles from the previous year.

Delta Medallion Status: What are the Benefits Worth?

At the lower tiers of Delta's SkyMiles program, flyers will benefit most from free checked bags, a small points earning bonus and the occasional seat upgrade. These benefits at the Medallion Silver and Medallion Platinum are similar to the benefits on United and American's lower tier status levels. The most notable difference is that Delta allows extra qualifying miles that you earn above your status level to roll over to the next year.

Medallion SilverMedallion GoldMedallion PlatinumMedallion Diamond
Delta One upgradesDay of departureDay of departureDay of departureDay of departure
First Class upgradesBegins 24 hours before departureBegins 72 hours before departureBegins 120 hours before departureBegins 120 hours before departure
Comfort+ UpgradesBegins 24 hours before departureBegins 72 hours before departureShortly after ticketingShortly after ticketing
Free upgrades for a companionYesYesYesYes
Free checked bags1 free bag for you and up to 8 companions1 free bag for you and up to 8 companions1 free bag for you and up to 8 companions1 free bag for you and up to 8 companions
Free same-day confirmed change and standbyNoYesYesYes
Priority check-in, boarding and security lineYesYesYesYes
SkyTeam Lounge accessNoYesYesYes

At the highest tiers, Delta's Medallion Platinum and Medallion Diamond members benefit most from consistent seat upgrades, SkyTeam lounge access and the option to choose from a range of bonus benefits. Delta gives status members at the Medallion Platinum and Medallion Diamond levels the choice of benefits like bonus miles, complimentary Delta Sky Club passes and guaranteed global upgrade vouchers. All elite status members benefit from an increased points earning rate.

Medallion LevelAward miles per dollar spent on fare
No status5

Delta Silver Medallion

The top benefits of Silver Medallion status are unlimited complimentary seat upgrades, priority boarding and waived baggage fees. These benefits are similar to what is offered by Delta's competitors at their respective first-tier status levels, United Premier Silver and American AAdvantage Gold. However, one difference is that Delta doesn't offer free same-day flight changes or priority security to entry level elites, but American does.

If you only travel enough to qualify for the entry level tier, you should choose your preferred airline based on convenience and cost rather than elite benefits, as differences between programs are negligible at this level. However, if Delta operates convenient flights out of your home network, it is an excellent choice for entry level status.

Delta Gold Medallion

With Gold Medallion status, you'll enjoy all the benefits of Silver status plus an increased earning rates of 8 miles per dollar and free same-day flight changes. Gold members are also eligible for First Class and Comfort+ upgrades as early as 72 hours before departure. Delta One upgrades are available for Gold Medallion status holders on the day of departure.

Delta Platinum Medallion

In addition to priority boarding and security, seat upgrades and a points earning rates of 9 miles per dollar, Elite status members at the Platinum Medallion status level can select one of the below Choice Benefits. The ability to choose among benefits is unique to Delta and allows travelers to tailor status perks to their own preferences.

Platinum Medallion Choice Benefits:

  • Four Regional Upgrade Certificates
  • One Global Entry application voucher
  • Gift Silver Medallion Status to a friend or family member
  • 20,000 bonus miles
  • $200 Delta travel voucher
  • $200 Tiffany & Co. gift card

If traveling in first or business class is important to you, then the four regional upgrade certificates are a good choice. If you prefer to earn and spend rewards points on economy travel, the 20,000 bonus points is a better choice for maximizing total redemptions. For those who frequently travel with a partner, the gift of Silver Medallion is likely the best choice.

Delta Diamond Medallion

If you qualify for Delta's highest status level, you get all the benefits of Platinum Medallion status plus the option to select three of the choice benefits listed below. At this elite status level, you'll also have access to all of the benefits of the lower tiers—including SkyTeam lounge access, free checked bags and priority boarding, check-in and security—in addition to consistent seat upgrades due to Diamond Medallion position as the top status tier.

Diamond Medallion Choice Benefits:

  • Delta Sky Club individual membership (requires 1 choice benefit)
  • Delta Sky Club Executive membership (requires 2 choice benefits without existing membership, 1 choice benefit with existing membership)
  • Delta Sky Club guest pass (requires 1 choice benefit)
  • 4 global upgrades or 8 regional upgrades or 2 global upgrades and 4 regional upgrades
  • 2 global entry application vouchers
  • 25,000 bonus miles
  • Gold Medallion status

What are the Requirements for Delta Medallion Status?

For low- and mid-tier elite status level, Delta has the same qualification requirements as their competitor airlines. To qualify for entry-level status in any given year, you'll need to spend at least $3,000 and either fly 25,000 medallion qualifying miles or 30 segments with the airline. You can easily hit this target if you take 15 round-trips that each cost $250.

Elite Status LevelMiles Flown RequirementFlights Flown RequirementDollars Spent Requirement
Medallion Silver25,000 MQM30 MQS$3,000 MQD
Medallion Gold50,000 MQM60 MQS$6,000 MQD
Medallion Platinum75,000 PQM100 MQS$9,000 MQD
Medallion Diamond125,000 MQM140 MQS$15,000 MQD

Compared to United and American, Delta has the most stringent requirements to qualify for top-tier status. The other airlines require 25,000 qualifying miles and $3,000 fewer to be eligible for their most elite status levels. Delta likely has higher requirements due to the airline’s enhanced Choice Benefit perks at this level.

Medallion Qualifying Miles

It's important to note that the qualifying miles (MQM) you earn toward elite status are different from the rewards miles (Delta SkyMiles) you earn toward flight redemptions. Qualifying miles are based on the distance of a flight and your purchased fare class, while rewards miles are based on how much money you spend. Fares in premium cabins and on longer flights will be rewarded with more Medallion qualifying miles.

ClassFare CategoriesMedallion Qualifying Miles (MQM)
Delta One, First Class and Premium SelectJ, C, D, I, Z, F, P, A, G150%
Full Fare Main Cabin and Delta Comfort+Y, B, M, W100%
Main Cabin and Discounted Main CabinH, Q, K, L75%
Deeply Discounted Main CabinU, T, X, V, E50%

How to Get Delta Status Quickly

If you have status with another airline, the best way to get elite status quickly is to apply for a status challenge. For a small fee, these programs immediately grant you status at a certain level for a few months. If you meet spending and flying requirements during the challenge period, you get to keep your status for the remainder of the year.

For those ineligible for the status match challenge, the best way to get some of the perks of elite status is to open a Delta credit card. The Platinum Delta SkyMiles card, for instance, gets you one free checked bag and a points earning bonus equal to Medallion Silver Status. In general, co-branded airline credit cards and travel credit cards are good options for receiving the benefits of elite status without being a frequent flyer.

Delta Spending RewardsGeneral Spending RewardsFree Checked BagsDelta Sky Club Access
Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express71 (2 for restaurants)
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express711 free bagDiscounted
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express711 free bagDiscounted
Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express711 free bagFree plus two guests free

Is Delta Medallion Status Worth It?

At the top-tier status levels, Delta's Medallion program shines for its rollover qualifying miles and its choice benefit programs. The ability to rollover extra qualifying miles to the next year is unique to Delta and allows you to get a headstart on earning and retaining status. The option to choose among benefits, also unique to Delta, provides a level of customization and flexibility not seen in other frequent-flyer status programs.

At the two lower status levels, Delta's benefits are fairly similar to those of its competitors. If you anticipate frequent traveling for work or leisure and want to pursue status with an airline, you should choose based on the airline that has the most convenient flight schedule and routes for you. Otherwise, you can open up an airline credit card to get some of the benefits of elite status.

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