Welcome to a weekly feature on the Delta Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.
We are just weeks away from start of Medallion Qualifying Dollars. To be clear, if you have medallion status right now, that is you have this year 2013 flown 25,000 or 50,000 or 75,000 or 125,000 MQMs you have already earned your status for all of 2014 and your status ends on 01MARCH2015. MQDs will have ZERO impact on this. Even if you don’t spend a penny on airline tickets with Delta in 2014 you will still have your status next year. But if you want to keep status for 2015 then you need to pay attention to what is to come.
Time to plan now. Let’s get some basics out of the way. MQMs+MQDs will work in tandem. You must, in some way, earn MQMs to whatever level you want and also spend MQD moneys with Delta (it is not one or the other). If you are paying attention you are now seeing how much MQMs+MQDs each ticket will yield depending on the fare class you are paying for the ticket. Not just that, after you fly you will see you earned MQD for the flight and we all can simply track our MQD progress on the same page as our MQMs.
Don’t expect any workarounds to get MQDs. EC upgrades, bag fees or you name it count do NOT count. It is all about tickets with Delta. The ONLY current exception is Pay with Miles in 1st class can earn for the base fare. Also, just about any kind of ETV, e-Gift (when spent, not when purchased) etc. will earn you MQDs for the base fare. Remember it depends of the fare class and some cheap LUTXVE may pay out as low as 60%-65% MQDs!
While it is frustrating, and may of us feels extras “should” count toward MQDs, this simplify does make the program straightforward and does avoid confusion. The only other real issues are understanding partners and code-shares. Korean is a great example. If you buy a ticket on Skyteam partner Korean directly you get NO MQMs+MQDs credit. You must buy one that is a code-share with Delta to earn. You must be careful and check before you buy!
I hope many who are concerned will consider taking advantage of the Delta AMEX (any of them) as $25,000 in spend to be exempt from MQDs. I have a post about creative ways to help you avoid MQDs. I can promise you there will be so many, this exact time next year, that will be emailing me in a panic that they now must buy an expensive 1st class ticket somewhere to meet some MQD goal. Plan now to avoid that altogether is my recommendation.
Got other MQD questions? You can look at the very long FAQ list at Delta.com or feel free to ask away and if you are on the road or in the air today please travel smart and safe! – René
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