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Delta increasing Diamond MQD Waiver to $250,000

Old Sep 26, 2017, 2:09 pm
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Last edit by: Renes Points
On 26SEPT17 Delta changed the MQD AMEX exempt requirements. $25,000 only exempts you to Platinum or lower. $250,000 spend needed across ALL the DL AMEX cards you hold (personal and business in your name) for Diamond exemption for 2019 elite year.

If all you are interested in is the discussion starting when the announcement occurred on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, start here.

The Delta announcement is here https://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/skymiles/news-and-updates.html

There are many data points that Delta will allow a one time exception under the 2017 qualification rules if you request this for the 2019 Medallion year.
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Delta increasing Diamond MQD Waiver to $250,000

Old Jul 18, 2017, 9:40 am
  #166  
 
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Well I just passed $15k MQDs. For once I actually qualify this year for DM the real hard way (without Amex boosts.)

But I still hate the idea of this change. I dread the day I lose this status and I'm sure that I won't always be able to hit $15k on real MQDs alone.

--

(Side note - Last week I finally noticed somebody with the 360 tag on her rollaboard and I asked her how she qualified. She showed me her app, she's got $30k MQDs in the first 6 months of the year. MQMs were not remarkable. She said it was constant paid business / international. She also barely seemed to care about the status.)
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 9:58 am
  #167  
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Originally Posted by marcworld
Well I just passed $15k MQDs. For once I actually qualify this year for DM the real hard way (without Amex boosts.)

But I still hate the idea of this change. I dread the day I lose this status and I'm sure that I won't always be able to hit $15k on real MQDs alone.

--

(Side note - Last week I finally noticed somebody with the 360 tag on her rollaboard and I asked her how she qualified. She showed me her app, she's got $30k MQDs in the first 6 months of the year. MQMs were not remarkable. She said it was constant paid business / international. She also barely seemed to care about the status.)
I'm not convinced 360 it comes with significantly more benefits, especially if domestic first-class is approaching 80% paid.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 10:02 am
  #168  
 
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Originally Posted by sdbike
Like many others said, the losers will be AMEX and some DM's.

So I say this. I am a DM. I get there due to the AMEX waiver, the rollover miles, and the card MQM bumps. But I also only buy first class tickets. And I do spend between $5,000 and $10,000 a year on tickets, but I put close to $200,000 on my 2 Reserve cards. I don't care how you whittle the numbers down, there are thousands of us out there that spend that much and more on our AMEX cards. Does AMEX and by default, Delta, really want to loose that current revenue and all the current 5 and 10 yr old future fliers that will migrate elsewhere because their influential parents, uncles, friends etc told them what this horrible company just did to them? Regardless of reason? I don't think so.

And for those DM's that actually make the $15,000 MQM threshold: You are not going to gain anything by the thinning of the herd. Nothing. Well, maybe this. About 1 second of hold time on the Diamond Desk helpline. Maybe 3 people in line to board the plane in front of you. NO ONE taking your medallion upgrades as they are all being sold. So where do you think your benefit will actually come from out of all this? Please tell me where?

Flyers who cannot make the $15K threshold will not just start finding money to make it now. Delta is not going to gain any more of those flyers. If anything, they will lose money from the AMEX partnership customers. Those people will just pay for first class now, as free agents on any airline which is being bought anyway. The only way Delta wins, is to keep hiking the fares on all seats to all destinations. But i come back to my original statement. All it takes is one major economic catastrophe and the airlines, will come crawling back with arms open wide and benefits a plenty.
This is my situation as well. I've had years where I've hit the $15K spend, probably not this year. I charged over $200,000 on AmEx using 2 cards. If this change goes through, I will be cancelling 2 of the cards and moving spend over to another card with better returns.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 10:03 am
  #169  
 
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Originally Posted by pvn
Right, everyone is a big fan of making things more exclusive... until they become the one getting left out.

FWIW I have over $9k MQDs so far this year and only about 30k butt-in-seat miles (I've earned more MQMs than that due to class of service bonuses). I would be totally fine with getting rid of MQMs altogether and using MQDs exclusively, though I doubt that will ever actually happen.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 10:13 am
  #170  
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From one reader who sent an e-mail to Delta big wigs (notice they do not deny it will happen):

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Old Jul 18, 2017, 10:30 am
  #171  
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Originally Posted by Renes Points
A simple one. Changes are never to make anyone one group happy (or not) but to add revenue.
I don't think anyone was under the illusion that Delta is a goodwill charity operation
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 10:35 am
  #172  
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I gptta say, this "Delta is being short sighted because I really like flying and I might convince my relatives' kids to grow up and be delta flyers so this is really shooting themselves in the foot" argument is a sure-fire winner.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 10:36 am
  #173  
 
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Originally Posted by Tomphot
And for those DM's that actually make the $15,000 MQM threshold: You are not going to gain anything by the thinning of the herd. Nothing. Well, maybe this. About 1 second of hold time on the Diamond Desk helpline. Maybe 3 people in line to board the plane in front of you. NO ONE taking your medallion upgrades as they are all being sold. So where do you think your benefit will actually come from out of all this? Please tell me where?
Yes, DL is selling more upgrades to kettle but I suspect a majority of those sales go on the day of flight when people checkin - thus, the front cabin should have more space before and during the UP window. To me that means more GU/RU space available to use them - and, less GU's in the field too.

And IRROP - more space to switch when on a paid FGAP fare too.

And, I suspect GAP fare available space will be better in the UP window (booking a flight less than 7 days out) - a problem I have because in the window you are looking at F fares - way too expensive.

I completely agree - this is going to hurt AMEX way more than delta - fact is all of us who are all-in really don't have options. Only AA somewhat compensates you for the spend so at the end of the day, everyone can complain and say they are going somewhere else but not one carrier in the market things differently that DL and thus, we will all be treated the same. Loyalty is measured in money they get now not miles or history. DL values us at $0.12/mile (Isn't it ironic that ALL the airlines have the same value?) - anything less they consider a discount and they feel that is your benefit - you used DL product at a discount. Anything more they throw some things to us as thanks...

And, the thought that DL will loose tons of passengers is to me a non argument - really? Look over the last several years on all the changes to the FF program and how many flyers said they were leaving - and, the planes are more full and upgrade lists longer.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 10:38 am
  #174  
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Originally Posted by pvn
I don't think anyone was under the illusion that Delta is a goodwill charity operation
I was answering your question. You suggested you would be fine with Delta doing away with MQMs.

Why would a non-charity operation remove such a valuable item they can sell. I am confused...
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 10:57 am
  #175  
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Originally Posted by Renes Points
I was answering your question. You suggested you would be fine with Delta doing away with MQMs.

Why would a non-charity operation remove such a valuable item they can sell. I am confused...
I wasn't suggesting that they would (I even said they wouldn't). I wasn't offering business consulting to them. You just made up some explanation, I mean, good for you.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 11:05 am
  #176  
 
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Well, If delta does this I would be done. I think I would go into the wfbf camp. I can't imagine keeping loyalty when there is zero value.

I would overpay for delta but this would change everything. Kill the delta Amex and use google flights to manage everything.

To be fair, I am diamond but I am not always a high value flier. I often do cheap trips to Asia for work l, so I tend to qualify with rollovers and the waiver. I totally get why they would do this though.

i am sure the opm fliers are jazzed though. It would be great to get the perks without laying out the cash.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 11:12 am
  #177  
 
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I really wonder what the proportions are of Diamonds who do and don't get the $15K MQDs.

I'd suspect something like 80%-90% really do get the MQDs to qualify. I just don't know.

Certainly, on FT, far fewer do - maybe 20%.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 11:18 am
  #178  
 
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Originally Posted by enviroian
If you can't spend $15K in one year flying 125K miles then something is wrong.
I have 110K MQM (95K BIS) and only $2500 MQD. Praise Amex for Pay with Miles. I must be the kind of flyer that Delta hates, right?
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 11:25 am
  #179  
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Originally Posted by josephstern
I really wonder what the proportions are of Diamonds who do and don't get the $15K MQDs.

I'd suspect something like 80%-90% really do get the MQDs to qualify. I just don't know.

Certainly, on FT, far fewer do - maybe 20%.
I think it would be interesting to actually know how many diamond medallions there actually are. I'm sure an industry analyst could ask this question on an investor relations quarterly call.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 11:33 am
  #180  
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Originally Posted by FlyingBeanCounter
Well, If delta does this I would be done. I think I would go into the wfbf camp. I can't imagine keeping loyalty when there is zero value.

I would overpay for delta but this would change everything. Kill the delta Amex and use google flights to manage everything.

To be fair, I am diamond but I am not always a high value flier. I often do cheap trips to Asia for work l, so I tend to qualify with rollovers and the waiver. I totally get why they would do this though.

i am sure the opm fliers are jazzed though. It would be great to get the perks without laying out the cash.
Sounds like complimentary upgrades will be even harder to get in the next couple years with FCM pricing anyway and I'm a hub (DTW) captive which will make it even more difficult if Delta starts giving FC seats on the domestic portion of an international premium comfort fare on the new aircrafts.

If this does take place I'll just drop to PM and will do WFBF on the longer flights or I have a lot of miles to burn and will just use those to upgrade.

I can understand why they are doing this but Am Ex will be the ones hurting (and possibly other diamonds if flyers like us just start buying first class seats or using miles).

Being a hub captive I will still have to use Delta on a lot of my flights but for trips like Chicago or Toronto where I took Delta for padded rollover MQMs I may as well start taking the train and I only fly international one or two times a year so I'll just use miles on Delta or convert my chase points to one of their international partners and get a better business class experience. Delta won't lost my business altogether being a hub captive but I won't be exclusive to them.

Now Am Ex will lose all my business. Seeing the MQD waiver won't allow me to maintain DM and I can be PM on my own I'll just cancel those cards and send the $220K in spend to Chase or Citi.
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