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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, 6:27 pm
  #226  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: LAX
Programs: Fallen DL DM (PM) 2MM
Posts: 4,783
Originally Posted by jamesteroh
I wonder if they will eliminate the waiver for out of US residents and require the MQD as well. In the past it was said that out of country residents were exempt from it because they didn't have easy access to the Am Ex card. If Delta eliminates it for US cardholders it would make sense they would start requiring an MQD for people outside the US or at least diamonds.
This. It would be quite unfair to allow people with overseas address to reach DM without hitting any spend threshold while requiring US residents to make same.

Assuming things are as rumored, I'll probably will drop my Delta Amex to the lowest one that earns the PM waiver and try that for a year. No need for Amex MQM boosts and if a good fare comes up on OAL then I'll have the freedom to take advantage of it. Might actually redeem some miles on myself for a change
TheMadBrewer is offline  
Old Jul 18, 2017, 6:49 pm
  #227  
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: ATL - DL DM/3MM - HH Lifetime Diamond - Marriott Lifetime Plat
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Originally Posted by TheMadBrewer
Assuming things are as rumored, I'll probably will drop my Delta Amex to the lowest one that earns the PM waiver and try that for a year. No need for Amex MQM boosts and if a good fare comes up on OAL then I'll have the freedom to take advantage of it. Might actually redeem some miles on myself for a change
When this goes through, I'm not sure that trying to obtain PM would even be worth it. As upgrades for a DM have been elusive, I've been buying FC for any routes where I care to sit up front. For Now, as a "Lifetime Gold", I get early boarding so that may be all I care about. As I see it, $300K less AmEx spend and savings of over $1000 a year for membership costs.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 6:56 pm
  #228  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Originally Posted by Tomphot
When this goes through, I'm not sure that trying to obtain PM would even be worth it. As upgrades for a DM have been elusive, I've been buying FC for any routes where I care to sit up front. For Now, as a "Lifetime Gold", I get early boarding so that may be all I care about. As I see it, $300K less AmEx spend and savings of over $1000 a year for membership costs.
If I am not DM then I will probably start burning miles and the redeposit fee waiver is worth something. I also mostly do TATL so being able to choose C+ (for as long as it exists) early on is also worth something. I guess I will have to run the numbers and see where the breakeven point is. $25K on a 2% cashback card is $500 to spend on redeposit fees and C+ fees.

I have "annual GM" so that is not too bad a fall back. Plus I have 3 years or so of SkyClub membership once I stop getting it as DM. So I should be good either way.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 7:09 pm
  #229  
 
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I spent more money on Delta today to buy a ticket rather than taking the lower fare on American. I did so because of my status. Delta has taken care of me in past IROPs, I will earn MQMs toward next year's status, and although I rarely get them, there is the possibility of an upgrade. For the same reasons, I've paid a little extra to fly Delta many, many times over the years as I fly at a Platinum rate but top off to Diamond with my Amex MQM boosts and MQD waiver. In addition to cancelling my Amex cards, I won't overpay for Delta any longer if this change goes through. Why would I?

So in my case, Delta will lose money as a result of this change. I doubt my situation is so rare that this change won't prove to have been misguided, but time will tell.
GatorBlues is offline  
Old Jul 18, 2017, 7:31 pm
  #230  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Yeah, my question would be...What would my PM upgrade be vs DM?
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 7:50 pm
  #231  
 
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Yeah - I was a PM for years and it was fine. I don't think I'll miss DM too much. And I won't be as married to Delta with the lower target. I've been in that situation where I overpay a little or take a worse schedule to fly Delta and get to DM. With the much lower target, I won't have that push.

For sure, all of my intra-California paid flights will be on Southwest if this comes to pass.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 7:53 pm
  #232  
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: ATL - DL DM/3MM - HH Lifetime Diamond - Marriott Lifetime Plat
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Originally Posted by GatorBlues
I spent more money on Delta today to buy a ticket rather than taking the lower fare on American. I did so because of my status. Delta has taken care of me in past IROPs, I will earn MQMs toward next year's status, and although I rarely get them, there is the possibility of an upgrade. For the same reasons, I've paid a little extra to fly Delta many, many times over the years as I fly at a Platinum rate but top off to Diamond with my Amex MQM boosts and MQD waiver. In addition to cancelling my Amex cards, I won't overpay for Delta any longer if this change goes through. Why would I?

So in my case, Delta will lose money as a result of this change. I doubt my situation is so rare that this change won't prove to have been misguided, but time will tell.
^^ This to - Delta is rarely the cheapest route out of ATL - I guess I will get very familiar with the cheap airfare search engines. It would actually be a relief to get off of the hamster mileage wheel.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 7:53 pm
  #233  
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Originally Posted by bennos
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.)

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.
I stop after $220K for the four mileage boosts. Those 100K MQMs help me maintain diamonds and will give me some nice rollover in case my flyer has to drop for a year (if this change does occur the rollover MQMs won't do me much good for maintaining diamond but at least I'll be PM for a few years) and also help me get million mile status a lot faster (the MQM AM EX boosts count towards million mile statuses). After I have the $220K spend in the charges go to other cards. Seeing the MQMs won't do me any good any more if the change occurs I may as well put the spend on other cards. I should be able to maintain PM anyway and I will have annual silver (unless Delta cuts that) which will give me exit rows and free bags on the rare time I check a bag. I have Precheck so SP doesn't matter for security and if I really want Clear I can pay for it.

The benefits for me for DM are a lot better than PM. Being a hub captive that flies to DC, Chicago and NYC a lot the Coterminal benefit is very helpful (although that has been diminished thanks to the SDC policy changes a few years ago). The four GU's are great for international travel. If my upgrade doesn't clear I try for bulkhead in C+ and the prem boarding is nice to be assured bin space and the clear membership is nice.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 8:00 pm
  #234  
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Originally Posted by erasmusmrr
Yeah, my question would be...What would my PM upgrade be vs DM?
If this does go through maybe they'll help ease the blow for those of us that fly delta a lot but not enough to get the $15MQD and do what American does and give higher priority to those with this highest spend.

I'm really surprised Delta is doing this seeing they use who reached the Am Ex mileage waiver first as one of the tie breakers for upgrades and just introduced that in the past year and now they are taking away the MQD waiver from diamonds
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 8:24 pm
  #235  
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Originally Posted by erasmusmrr
Yeah, my question would be...What would my PM upgrade be vs DM?
On flights to Hawaii, the Caribbean, Canada and Latin America, probably good.

Domestically, a crab shoot. Even as a three-year diamond, I seldom get upgrades through Atlanta to Washington-Reagan (Dulles is easier). I know golds who regularly get upgrades out of Baltimore.

I don't assume that I'll get an upgrade -- even out of Detroit -- to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle or Portland. I'll pay for first-class -- sometimes with cash, other times using pay-for-miles -- or use a regional upgrade certificate. I only really care about first-class when there's a meal.

Last edited by hockeyinsider; Jul 18, 2017 at 8:34 pm
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 10:14 pm
  #236  
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Originally Posted by hockeyinsider
Domestically, a crab shoot. Even as a three-year diamond, I seldom get upgrades through Atlanta to Washington-Reagan (Dulles is easier). I know golds who regularly get upgrades out of Baltimore.
Was "crab shoot" on purpose because of BWI?

3-year vs. 1-year DM doesn't make a difference in upgrade priority.

Concur that BWI<->hub is relatively easier than hub<->west coast.
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Old Jul 18, 2017, 10:15 pm
  #237  
 
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Originally Posted by hockeyinsider
O. I only really care about first-class when there's a meal.
LOL - because the meals are AWESOME! i haven't had a single meal on DL worth more than $10
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Old Jul 19, 2017, 12:40 am
  #238  
 
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I would hazard a bet (from what I have read), that most (not all by any means) of the Delta DMs on FT are getting to DM due to MQM boost and MQD waivers.
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Old Jul 19, 2017, 4:35 am
  #239  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 76
Originally Posted by Tomphot
I started to type a response but then reminded myself to Not Feed the Troll
I feel like pvn is being more of a broken record than a troll here. His point is reasonable, just repeated in a rephrased manner every handful of posts.

I think I hit 14K MQDs last year, and my wife hit 12K. So this impacts both of us negatively. But I'm genuinely surprised at the level of creativity people here are coming up with just so the herd is still thinned in a way they can still make DM.

At the end of the day, the loyalty program isn't a marriage. Its a business decision. I'm happy for Delta that they're trying to redefine their best customers and enhance the benefits to those customers. I hope it works out for them.

Personally, yes, it means I'll cancel a pair of high spend reserve cards and status match to Alaska. I'm happy I live in Seattle where there is still a residue of competition. I'm happy my company is a top tier partner with Alaska too. But I'm not going to lose sleep over this, as I'm sure other happier DMs (ones that Delta wants as a customer) will easily make up the lost revenue from me in their loyalty.

I do feel a tad bad for Amex, as this will conclude a 20 year relationship there, but that's their fault for not staying competitive beyond the MQD waiver against CSR. Again, I don't understand why people get so emotional over just business.
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Old Jul 19, 2017, 6:28 am
  #240  
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Originally Posted by pharmawalk
I would hazard a bet (from what I have read), that most (not all by any means) of the Delta DMs on FT are getting to DM due to MQM boost and MQD waivers.
That certainly describes me. But I still give Delta (and AMEX) lots of money, and my demands as an infrequent Diamond flyer are pretty modest. The greatest value for me is the ability to redeposit award tickets without penalty. I get SkyClub access anyway because of the Reserve card.

Bruce
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