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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, 11:38 am
  #181  
 
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This thread makes me LOL. PANIC!!!

Anyway, I think the point/question below posted by davetravels is really interesting and if we had the answer it might just shed some light on the situation.

Originally Posted by davetravels
So, here'za specific 24 karat Diamond question . . . .

Am I worth more to Delta with $6000~ish MQDs and 2 Delta Amex cards & annual fees with $100,000 in spend

or

$15,000 in MQDs and NO Amex cards?
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 11:50 am
  #182  
 
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I have to believe that the answer to that is the $15K MQDs.

The problem is with the question: the person fitting scenario A is unlikely to change behavior and become the person in scenario B, just to be Diamond.

So, more likely, Delta will lose a bit of the $6K MQDs and Amex will lose most or all of the $100K in spend.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 11:55 am
  #183  
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Originally Posted by JayTeaBee
This thread makes me LOL. PANIC!!!

Anyway, I think the point/question below posted by davetravels is really interesting and if we had the answer it might just shed some light on the situation.
I guess it depends on how much Delta is getting from Am Ex as well.

I fall in the category of having a business and personal Plat and Reserve and put in $220K in annual spend for the MQMs. Those accounts (with the possible exception of the personal reserve for skyclub access and one $30K spend for one MQM boost if needed) will be going bye along with the annual fees. Let's say I do one $30K boost on my personal reserve that is $190K in spend going to chase or citi and if Am Ex fee is 3% that is $5,700 in lost revenue along with the annual fee less whatever they pay Delta.

Am Ex helped save Delta one time. If they are pissing off a lot of big chargers on the card like me who send their business to Chase or Citi might not happen next time
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 11:57 am
  #184  
 
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What's it worth?

The comments on the value of any one customer to Delta, and to Amex are very interesting and I too would like to know the answer. I guess a lot of it may be based on algorithms that predict future behavior from past experience. But that would all go out the window with this move.

Delta has any number of ways to increase revenue. But in isolation, how does Delta make up for the loss of revenue from those of us that will become free agents, and the fees they make from us as AMEX co-brand customers? How does Amex make up the spend of over $100,000 from the thousands of us who will switch to the Sapphire Reserve card? That is a no brainer in itself.

I think there is more behind this that meets the eye. There will probably be some additional info, alternative incentives that accompany this announcement, if there is one. What I value the most, is the treatment I receive, the favors I get and the time saved when dealing with the Diamond desk. Having status with an IROPS situation, cancellations, weather etc etc is the most valuable in the world. More so than getting my GUC's confirmed ahead of time and more so than a FCU. But will I shell out $15,000 to get that? Probably not. I will just use that money to get myself out of a situation that the Diamond desk would have for free.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 12:02 pm
  #185  
 
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Originally Posted by sdbike

You can look at all the numbers you want, crunch them 100 million ways and it still does not factor in the unknown, yet to be loyal frequent flyer of the future. Namely, my children, my nieces and nephews, my grandchildren, my neighbors. All the people in my world who may be influenced by my passion for flight, my passion for Diamond benefits, my praise of Delta's Diamond desk, and many other attention grabbing stories. Yes, I have influenced many a relative to start and stay with Delta. How can you factor that in when it does not exist yet, or has not come to it most highly money paying potential?

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.

Ditto and ditto yet again. While I am usually only a hair or two away from / or a hair or two over 15k MQD, though my work and world, I influence hundreds (not thousands) of ticket sales towards Delta because of the good vibes.... always Delta. We will see in the future...
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 12:10 pm
  #186  
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Originally Posted by sdbike
I think there is more behind this that meets the eye. There will probably be some additional info, alternative incentives that accompany this announcement, if there is one.
THIS is what I've been thinking.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 12:22 pm
  #187  
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Originally Posted by sdbike
Like many others said, the losers will be AMEX and some DM's. All it will take is another 9/11 for the airlines to lose some money and start wooing back every customer that has fled due to their greed.

I say this as a former employee of 3 international/domestic airlines in the US. I know what is important to them. The corporate $$$ first, then the high value customers who only buy First, and down the line.

You can look at all the numbers you want, crunch them 100 million ways and it still does not factor in the unknown, yet to be loyal frequent flyer of the future. Namely, my children, my nieces and nephews, my grandchildren, my neighbors. All the people in my world who may be influenced by my passion for flight, my passion for Diamond benefits, my praise of Delta's Diamond desk, and many other attention grabbing stories. Yes, I have influenced many a relative to start and stay with Delta. How can you factor that in when it does not exist yet, or has not come to it most highly money paying potential?

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.
Very well stated. Totally agree.

Bruce
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 12:30 pm
  #188  
 
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Count me in the camp that has used the waiver to keep DM at least once. I've also made it on MQD but this year I will likely not.

Count me also in the camp that would cancel my Delta Amex as without the waiver, it's an annual fee and 25K spend that I would now have no reason to deal with. I can get 2% niche-market spend back with a much lower or no fee card somewhere else.

It's a combo of rollover and cheap tickets, really. I can fly 40 weeks a year (and do) but if the tickets are always less than $400 and after taxes/fees are deducted, $300-$350ish in MQD and I'll come up short.

Also, FWIW, not everyone who is DM only values it for the upgrades. Sure, they're nice, but some of us who do fly 40+ weeks a year for business travel also value the other DM benefits like SkyClub access, the DM line, higher priority in IRROPs rebooking, higher priority for SDS...
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 12:38 pm
  #189  
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Originally Posted by jamesteroh
I fall in the category of having a business and personal Plat and Reserve and put in $220K in annual spend for the MQMs. Those accounts (with the possible exception of the personal reserve for skyclub access and one $30K spend for one MQM boost if needed) will be going bye along with the annual fees. Let's say I do one $30K boost on my personal reserve that is $190K in spend going to chase or citi and if Am Ex fee is 3% that is $5,700 in lost revenue along with the annual fee less whatever they pay Delta.
Not to single you out here, but I don't know why everyone is talking about how bad this is for Amex. It's not amex's decision to make, at least, not unilaterally. I mean, I'm sure Amex would love to keep this arrangement around forever, and more importantly, they're already aware that if this goes away that some people will probably stop using the card.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 12:47 pm
  #190  
 
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Look at how Amex makes money on this....Interest

How many of these big spenders getting DM for much less real world Dollars are paying interest?

Does Amex care if someone puts 250K on a card and pays zero interest? Yeah, they get the fees for the purchase, but I would think someone who spends 25K a year and carries a balance is their bread and butter. Especially when they have to fork over the perks someone will receive with that 250K in spend and zero interest collected.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 12:50 pm
  #191  
 
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AMEX was surprised

Yesterday I wrote to several top execs at AMEX to convey my intentions with respect to my card loyalty should Delta announce the move to eliminate the $25,000 waiver to qualify for Diamond status in lieu of flying $15,000 worth of MQD's. I got a call about 4 hours later from a number I did not recognize and let it go to VM. I listened to my VM and it was an Exec Secretary or Assistant to the Executive team that wanted me to call back. I did. She was very concerned and alarmed by my email. She said she consulted with their social media dept, fellow colleagues and some Execs and they had not heard anything about this. I explained that this was not an announcement but a rumor at this point, where it came from and how we, as customers of theirs felt about it. She was most interested in that so i gave her the name of several blogs where she could read the comments from their own customers about what all of our intentions are. I said specifically in my email what cards I had with them and where I would be transferring my spend to, (Chase) and implored them to do all they could to help change Delta's position should this rumor come true. I told her that we all vote with our wallets, and she can see how much I spend with them. She understood that my reason for spending all my money with them would go out the window if Delta pulled this move. Her apparent lack of knowledge about this and concern was either the greatest acting job in the world, or was a sad commentary on the communication between Delta and themselves. She was very appreciative of the info I gave regardless of whether it was a rumor or not. It was extremely interesting to talk with her as it showed a level of honesty and customer skill I would like to deal with at any company. But I feel sorry for them if they really did not know anything about this, and it does come true. How much of a partner can they be, if something like this leaked out to the blogosphere and not to the top brass at AMEX first?
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 1:00 pm
  #192  
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Originally Posted by pvn
Not to single you out here, but I don't know why everyone is talking about how bad this is for Amex. It's not amex's decision to make, at least, not unilaterally. I mean, I'm sure Amex would love to keep this arrangement around forever, and more importantly, they're already aware that if this goes away that some people will probably stop using the card.
I'm sure like with Am Ex card swipes at the Sky Club, delta is getting reimbursed for the MQD waiver.

Hopefully Am Ex is listening to their customers. Like another poster stated above most people putting the kind of charges an FTer does on an Am Ex card is paying it in full each month with zero interest (I know if I couldn't pay Am Ex in full each month the charges would be going on a lot lower APR card). Maybe they aren't making enough in the merchant fees to care about that spend going over to Chase or Citi.

I know Delta is a business but like they say at the start of the safety announcement Loyalty is a two way street. If Delta doesn't consider me a loyal customer than I'm under no obligation to use them exclusively anymore.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 1:05 pm
  #193  
 
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Originally Posted by pvn
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.
Going exclusively to MQD ensures that it is no longer a frequent flyer program.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 1:16 pm
  #194  
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It's funny how you guys all act like Delta just came up with this policy on a whim and didn't think it through and they'll be shocked that you guys are gonna take your business elsewhere.

It's 100% certain that they completely anticipated this.

Further, it's very likely that this is exactly the outcome they wanted. Like, they see you guys as the problem and came up with a way to fix it.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 1:28 pm
  #195  
 
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Originally Posted by pvn
It's funny how you guys all act like Delta just came up with this policy on a whim and didn't think it through and they'll be shocked that you guys are gonna take your business elsewhere.

It's 100% certain that they completely anticipated this.

Further, it's very likely that this is exactly the outcome they wanted. Like, they see you guys as the problem and came up with a way to fix it.
I started to type a response but then reminded myself to Not Feed the Troll
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