Will Delta MQMs Roll Over If I Don’t Qualify on MQDs?

Nov 23, 2014

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TPG reader Scott tweeted me to ask:

@thepointsguy– “Do Delta Medallion Qualifying Miles roll over if you haven’t qualified on Medallion Qualifying Dollars? I have 65k MQMs this year but am only a Silver Medallion.” 

In 2014, both Delta and United instituted revenue requirements to qualify for elite status. For example, if you fly 100,000 miles and hit 100,000 MQMs on Delta, but spend just $3,000 on airfare in the process, you’ll only qualify for Silver elite status (not Platinum as you would have in the past). Delta exempts anyone who spends $25,000 or more on a Delta co-branded American Express card, like the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express, but otherwise you won’t achieve the same status you would have previously.

Therefore, going into 2015, I think a lot of people are going to lose status or drop several levels. Personally, I could have hit a higher Delta elite level, but I decided to shift my spending to more valuable cards.

You can roll over MQMs even without meeting MQD requirements.
You can roll over MQMs even without meeting MQD requirements.

Delta allows you to roll over any MQMs you earn in excess of the elite status that you achieve each year. Scott earned 65,000 MQMs, but will only qualify for Silver elite status due to insufficient MQDs, so he’ll roll over 40,000 MQMs into 2015. (I confirmed this with Delta.)

There could be a strategic play here. You could decide to not hit a level this year so that you could roll over a huge number of MQMs into next year, and then ensure you spend enough on a co-branded Delta Amex card to get a higher level of status.

For example, if you have 120,000 MQMs, you could hold short and just requalify for Silver elite status in 2014. You’d then roll over 95,000 MQMs, so if you meet the $25,000 spending threshold early in 2015, you could boost your elite status quickly and have it for longer.

In short, your MQMs do still roll over even if you don’t meet MQD requirements. You’ll have to decide whether you’d rather attempt to meet those spending requirements now or save the elite miles for next year.

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at info@thepointsguy.com.

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