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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, 3:40 pm
  #211  
 
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Originally Posted by Tomphot
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.
Originally Posted by jamesteroh
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.
So if the DL Amex isn't the card with best returns, why do you charge anything more than the minimum required to get the waiver? ie, your ~$180 - $200k of spend should already have moved to other cards.

And let's realize the impact to Amex would be less than is being asserted here, as the waiver will still be effective for FO, GM, and PM, and there are a lot more of those people out there than there are DM. (And the spend requirement doesn't vary by Medallion level, so at most they lose a small number of DMs... certainly not a Costco level disaster.)

Originally Posted by kitkat77
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...
Eh, except for SkyClub access (which you can buy for a few hundred), I've found the other benefits effectively the same as a PM.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 4:02 pm
  #212  
 
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Originally Posted by bennos
Eh, except for SkyClub access (which you can buy for a few hundred), I've found the other benefits effectively the same as a PM.
Good point. Actually when I was a charter DM, I found the DM line was not nearly as good as the PM line had been when PM was top tier. The DM line gave me plenty of incorrect information and advice, and the prior PM line never did that.

Originally Posted by Renes Points
I can all but guarantee that is not the case in this situation. In fact quite the apposite and think Delta is rather furious this has leaked out.
Holy cow - Delta is furiated?

David
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 4:07 pm
  #213  
 
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I would assume that Delta has a fairly involved contract with Amex given the amount it is supposedly worth. It would be surprising to me if Amex did not think about the repercussions of something like this and account for it in the contract. Shame on their lawyers if they did not.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 4:22 pm
  #214  
 
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Would be rough for me as this year will be first year as DM and planned to continue based on travel and the waiver. I also would be in the boat that I could alter my spending and still get PM with just a change in purchasing on Delta. I'd also likely switch off the card for as much spending. I might go to just the 25K MQD and then switch all spending away. Which right now it's all Delta Platinum or Personal Platinum.

I hope that the leak upsetting Delta and the internet/people/etc would change that.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 4:29 pm
  #215  
 
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Originally Posted by jdrtravel
Does anyone know how much money Delta gets from Amex spend? What is $25K spend worth to DL?

I know that full rate Amex merchant fee is 3%, which would be $750, though plenty of merchants pay less. If Delta gets half of that (and I have no idea what they actually get), plus some part of the $95/$195 annual fee, we are talking no more than $500 to Delta for $25K spend.

If people are actually getting away with spending much less than $15K, I can see why DL would want to eliminate the spend waiver from DM which comes with very valuable perks, especially GCU's and SC access.

Many I would think would be in the spend all on one card/family of cards and get those benefits. I spend well over the waiver and multiple mileage boosts and go beyond that beacause it's easy to track my family's spending in one place. Waiver is nice and it's useful to me and it's one reason I have it. No waiver to DM I can just change spending to get PM but use another card completely.

So just the waiver is one thing but how many people are spending beyond that?
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 4:36 pm
  #216  
 
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Originally Posted by sdbike
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?
Interesting. Could you PM me the email addresses?

And beyond that what are the proper channels to contact Delta?

I know back in the day sites like Consumerist provided the basic info to do an executive email blast(like to Comcast) and that worked well for me in the past with horrible horrible service. Literally had an executives assistant call me to schedule a call with said executive and the problem was fixed and more. Having an account with Comcast for almost 20 years seemed to have some benefit... and now new house they wouldn't price match AT&T on fiber internet and bye bye comcast!
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 4:46 pm
  #217  
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Originally Posted by dinanm3atl
Interesting. Could you PM me the email addresses?

And beyond that what are the proper channels to contact Delta?

I know back in the day sites like Consumerist provided the basic info to do an executive email blast(like to Comcast) and that worked well for me in the past with horrible horrible service. Literally had an executives assistant call me to schedule a call with said executive and the problem was fixed and more. Having an account with Comcast for almost 20 years seemed to have some benefit... and now new house they wouldn't price match AT&T on fiber internet and bye bye comcast!
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 4:48 pm
  #218  
 
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Thanks for the quick reply.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 4:53 pm
  #219  
 
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So if the DL Amex isn't the card with best returns, why do you charge anything more than the minimum required to get the waiver? ie, your ~$180 - $200k of spend should already have moved to other cards.

To max out all 4 cards to get all 4 bonuses you need to spend 50 + 50 + 60 + 60=$220K
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 4:57 pm
  #220  
 
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I think Delta is the one really calling the shots in this situation, not Amex. They really wanted to thin out the DM herd so this is the best way to do it. They want everyone to spend $15k. It won't be long before they start prioritizing upgrades by dollars spent.

That's probably coming for the upcoming year. I think AA's EQD upgrade priority makes a lot of sense from a business perspective. Big spenders get the most upgrades.

The problem with the US airline oligopoly now is that most of us have to fly somewhere. If we pick a new airline to fly, it's probably offset by someone else coming from another airline to take your spot on the cheapest fare. Airlines benefit from not having to pay out as much elite status bonuses for free agents.

The amex waiver will probably cause some to cancel the card. I know I was planning to get some amex delta cards but now i probably won't bother.

I know for AA miles, I feel they're pretty worthless. I'd probably focus on Chase UR, Amex MR and Citi Thank you points now. It's just so much easier to use those to pick the exact flight you want instead of trying to fit an award flight into your schedule. The rates are definitely coming down so I wouldnt get too comfortable with the current rates.

I also agree that Delta already ran the numbers. They should have already run every scenario. But given how full the planes are, they'll feel the pain during the next downturn. They'll probably just give away targeted elite status to get people onto the planes or increase bonus miles.

What we really need is more competition to drive prices down.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 5:08 pm
  #221  
 
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Originally Posted by dannyboy888

What we really need is more competition to drive prices down.
Agreed. AirTran was here in ATL and I flew Delta, then AirTran, then SW and now Delta. AirTran gone was BAD for ATL.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 5:11 pm
  #222  
 
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If true, just have to get to 75K MQM, not 125K, so can get 2 annual fee cards instead of 4, even if you fly very little.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 5:11 pm
  #223  
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Originally Posted by dannyboy888
I think Delta is the one really calling the shots in this situation, not Amex. They really wanted to thin out the DM herd so this is the best way to do it. They want everyone to spend $15k. It won't be long before they start prioritizing upgrades by dollars spent.
Delta first instituted the MQD requirements a few years precisely for this reason (to thin the herd), but it hasn't enhanced the experience of elites because Delta is monetizing first-class while devaluing its frequent flyer program and elite statuses.

As for upgrades, Delta also already changed the upgrade priorities to give a higher standing to elites who have achieved the spending requirements.

Last edited by hockeyinsider; Jul 18, 2017 at 6:31 pm
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 5:31 pm
  #224  
 
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Originally Posted by erasmusmrr
So if the DL Amex isn't the card with best returns, why do you charge anything more than the minimum required to get the waiver? ie, your ~$180 - $200k of spend should already have moved to other cards.

To max out all 4 cards to get all 4 bonuses you need to spend 50 + 50 + 60 + 60=$220K
I have been maxing out 3 cards - 60+60+50 - I kept spending, some years $300K + due to laziness for Sky Pesos. A lot of the vendors for the business we own allows us to pay with CC. The 80,000 MQMs gave me enough for Diamond since inception with large rollovers so I never did the 4 card thing.
When this change is made, I'll reduce to 1 card and then decide if PM is worth the CC min spend. If not as we usually pay for FF as it's gotten so cheap, we will drop AmEx all together and go the a better option.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 6:03 pm
  #225  
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Originally Posted by dinanm3atl
Many I would think would be in the spend all on one card/family of cards and get those benefits. I spend well over the waiver and multiple mileage boosts and go beyond that beacause it's easy to track my family's spending in one place. Waiver is nice and it's useful to me and it's one reason I have it. No waiver to DM I can just change spending to get PM but use another card completely.

So just the waiver is one thing but how many people are spending beyond that?
I spent 220k total I have a personal and business platinum Delta am ex and put 50k on each and 60k on both my personal and business reserve for the mqm boosts and then the cards go in a drawer until January 1. I get a lot more value on other cards than 1 skypeso/$ charge. Even on my delta purchases the chase sapphire reserve gives more value than two skypesos per dollar charged for delta purchases

Last edited by jamesteroh; Jul 18, 2017 at 7:49 pm
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