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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 17, 2017, 7:12 pm
  #121  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Originally Posted by pvn
Well since you think you're scoring some clever points by being as hyperliterally nitty as possible, it's weird that you ignored the fact that my post talked about changes that benefit people plural, and chose to use an example that explicitly benefited a singular person.
Thanks to you, nitty is my new word
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Old Jul 17, 2017, 7:27 pm
  #122  
 
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Originally Posted by Renes Points
Agree. AA may not be able to get elites over to them operationally but Delta may drive them over with this single change. Sad!
AA could not pay me to fly them again. As a former EXP, I have never looked back. I'd rather be 1K than EXP.
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Old Jul 17, 2017, 7:55 pm
  #123  
 
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Maybe one day the backlash will be so much airlines will quit making FF programs so complicated.
Hopefully one day I will be in a place where I can be a free agent and actually shop airlines.
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Old Jul 17, 2017, 8:07 pm
  #124  
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The arrogance of some people is amazing, especially since many of their high-dollar spend is coming from their company or clients not their own pocket.

I work as a consultant in the public and non-profit realms. I have to buy the lowest, non-stop or one-stop economy-class ticket. I can only get creative and play the game when Im traveling for leisure or moonlighting.

I have legitimately flown 125,000-plus butt-in-seat miles for the last four years. Ive only cheated on Delta a handful of times, all short domestic hops. Some years Ive hit $15,000-plus thanks to some international travel in paid international business-class. Other years Ive come in at between $10,000 and $13,500. I keep diamond because I generally get the MQD waiver spending around $50,000 per year on my Delta-branded Reserve card.

I get theres a small sub-set of Delta elites some of whom may not actually be diamonds who pay $7,000 for international business-class tickets upwards of a dozen times per year on top of domestic travel. While I understand their frustration that Im somehow not worthy this is a dangerous precedent to set.

If Delta really needs to reward those who spend $20,000, $35,000 or $50,000 per year on airfare then bump them into Delta 360. Diamond is diamond. If you have to, get rid of the MQMs for the Reserve card spending but keep the MQD waiver.
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Old Jul 17, 2017, 8:16 pm
  #125  
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Originally Posted by kop84
It seems to me that just like with the SkyClub changes a few years ago, it comes as a shock to many people that they are not Delta's best customer just because they occupy a seat more often than most people.
And those changes haven't helped one bit. The clubs are just as crowded as before, only the food is somewhat better and now I'm forced to tip a bartender for a glass full of ice with warm Coke Zero added to melt the ice.
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Old Jul 17, 2017, 8:54 pm
  #126  
 
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Originally Posted by WWads
As someone who only flies enough for PM, all I can say is (meh)
As someone who flips between PM and DM, I can barely tell the difference except that as DM I get "SKYCLUB" printed on my BPs. If that were really important to me I guess I could just buy the membership when I'm PM.

Originally Posted by kop84
I think we all get caught in the FT bubble and really forget that we are a highly unrepresentative sample of the overall passengers on DL.
+1. The fraction of people affected by this is easily less than 1% of all DL passengers, and it wouldn't surprise me to find out it's less than 1% of all Medallions.

Originally Posted by Zorak
Also relevant is how much AMEX pays DL. Even 3% of $25K is only $750, and after subtracting AMEX's overhead how much is left to pay to Delta...
Originally Posted by davetravels
A good while back, when the Amex waiver was being discussed, someone posted some numbers as to how much Delta actually nets on <let's say> $1000 worth of ticket sales, and the number was incredibly small.

I wish I knew where to look for that post.
I don't know that post, but IIRC from some documentary I saw the aggregate profit margin on a flight is something like 1%. Of course individual sales will have varying amounts of P&L.

But the better way to look at it is the same way as every other decision DL makes... Does this drive incremental revenue? If a sufficient number of DM-by-waiver people become DM-by-MQD, that's several thousand dollars per DM on average. More money from your ham sammich!

Originally Posted by SJC ORD LDR
This also completely kills off any remaining value of rollover miles.
Not for people who buy pricier than average tickets. eg: If you do a moderate amount of international travel, you will likely meet MQDs before MQMs. (I usually fall into this category.)

Anyway, since I have no DL Amex cards, by FT rules I'm pretty neutral to this change (if it's real). Actually, since I have a hard time distinguishing PM and DM, I'm pretty neutral to this change.
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Old Jul 17, 2017, 8:55 pm
  #127  
 
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Originally Posted by hockeyinsider
The arrogance of some people is amazing, especially since many of their high-dollar spend is coming from their company or clients not their own pocket.

I work as a consultant in the public and non-profit realms. I have to buy the lowest, non-stop or one-stop economy-class ticket. I can only get creative and play the game when Im traveling for leisure or moonlighting.

I have legitimately flown 125,000-plus butt-in-seat miles for the last four years. Ive only cheated on Delta a handful of times, all short domestic hops. Some years Ive hit $15,000-plus thanks to some international travel in paid international business-class. Other years Ive come in at between $10,000 and $13,500. I keep diamond because I generally get the MQD waiver spending around $50,000 per year on my Delta-branded Reserve card.

I get theres a small sub-set of Delta elites some of whom may not actually be diamonds who pay $7,000 for international business-class tickets upwards of a dozen times per year on top of domestic travel. While I understand their frustration that Im somehow not worthy this is a dangerous precedent to set.

If Delta really needs to reward those who spend $20,000, $35,000 or $50,000 per year on airfare then bump them into Delta 360. Diamond is diamond. If you have to, get rid of the MQMs for the Reserve card spending but keep the MQD waiver.
I flew LAN round trip 3 weeks ago for $950 and RAP this week for $1000. It's always the shortest that cost the most.

Last edited by yohanson; Jul 17, 2017 at 9:03 pm Reason: The mobile app is broken. I can't scroll to the end of the comment.
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Old Jul 17, 2017, 9:05 pm
  #128  
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Oddly, Delta penalizes some of its top spenders. That's because it limits earned miles per ticket to 75,000.

My colleague, a diamond medallion with the Delta-branded American Express Reserve card, spent something like $8,000 or $8,500 on an international business-class ticket and figures he was shorted a couple thousand miles because of the 75,000 maximum.

If Delta is going to maximize value and benefits for what elites who aren't already Delta 360 then it needs to remove the 75,000 maximum.
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Old Jul 17, 2017, 9:12 pm
  #129  
 
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Originally Posted by micstatic
I realize this is my third negative post in a row. But many of you are chasing something that won't exist in a few years. 80percent is the paid f goal. And by all accounts it looks like they will hit it. Yeah you may be diamond. But you probably will not get upgraded often. Things are changing. John Doe is going to take your upgrade for an extra 79 bucks. And he only flies once a year
I think you're right about the goal, but it's being achieved with low domestic F fares, not much more than coach fares. I'm not sure that losing my international paid J when it's slightly better for me to fly another airline AND losing my AMEX spend is worth getting those low F fares rather than giving me the domestic upgrade and taking my international J cash and my AMEX spend! Yes I'm just one person, but probably not a unicorn.
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Old Jul 17, 2017, 9:17 pm
  #130  
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This would also be enough to make me drop myDelta Am Ex cards which is $220K spend a year for the 100K MQMs. I'll be 1M by the end of the year which will give me annual silver (for now) so I'll have access to exit rows and the rare occasion I check a bag will have that benefit. The GU's are about the only benefit of diamond seeing upgrades are so hard to get.
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Old Jul 17, 2017, 9:26 pm
  #131  
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Originally Posted by iflyalexair
I have been DM for years and my average YTD spend is usually around $3,000 MQDs. I usually earn at least 100k MQMs from Amex boosts.

Im NYC based, so I benefit from relatively cheap and consistently low airfares for domestic travel and almost all of my long haul flying is J through skymiles redemptions.

This would certainly have an effect on me.
I'll also earn 100K MQMs this year from Am Ex boosts.

If they require 15K no sense using the Am Ex cards since the MQM's won't do me much good. That's going to be $220K in spending Am Ex is going to lose on me. Even at a very conservative 2% transaction fee to Am Ex that is $4,400 in fees they'll lose
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Old Jul 17, 2017, 9:27 pm
  #132  
 
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TL;DR: this would probably hit me (based on last year, anyway), and depending on how it's implemented could shift a chunk of my spend off DL and/or Amex.

Last year I had just under $12K MQDs for 149K MQMs (though that was bulked up by a gifted Reserve card boost in addition to my own boosts).

Right now I'm just under the GM threshold for MQDs, but over the PM line for MQMs due to card boosts and rollover (and over the spend waiver). I have enough future 2017 flying booked already to be in range of the PM MQD line, and almost half a year to go.

If this change were to go in for the 2019 benefit year as a pure "no waivers no favors" (remember that?) deal where it goes away either completely or only waives the thresholds up to PM, then DL will lose some 2018 incremental spend from me because I'll cut down my flying after I hit PM. With no DM to look up to, and less value from rollover miles because of the lack of DM, why bother? I might also downgrade or drop the card at that point, since the MQM boosts are worth less.

If the change is a shift from a pure waiver to an MQD credit at one or more thresholds, it'll probably be enough to push me over the DM line unless it's a really weak credit. Assuming that the Reserve card's $30K spend Miles Boost is good for $5K in MQDs, that'd be enough to keep me a DM most years. (That's more than the $3K EQD for $25K spend on the AA cards, but not completely unreasonable; $3K would still be enough to get me over the top, since under last year's conditions I'd make an MQD run or buy one trip up to F or something.)

If the change is a shift in the waiver thresholds, so that DM requires more than $25K card spend...maybe I hit it, maybe I quit bothering and fall back to PM. $30K? No problem, I'm already hitting that for the MQM boost. $75-100K? Not happening. $50-60K? Maybe. I might downgrade or drop the card at that point.
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Old Jul 17, 2017, 9:36 pm
  #133  
 
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Originally Posted by DeltaFirst
My first reaction will be to cancel the AMEX Delta Reserve card, my 2nd during 2019 will be to spread the love to other airlines.
And your Third will be to change your screen name to Delta Second?
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Old Jul 17, 2017, 9:48 pm
  #134  
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Originally Posted by SteveinA2
And your Third will be to change your screen name to Delta Second?
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Old Jul 17, 2017, 9:53 pm
  #135  
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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.
I didn't know the merchant fees were that high for Am Ex. No wonder a lot of places don't accept it.

I spend $220K between my cards so that will be $6,600 in lost merchant fees plus the annual fees Am Ex will lose from me if the change goes through (I may keep one of my reserve cards and just do $30K in spend for a MQM boost and the skyclub access and PM waiver).

What I don't understand is why they are only doing this to diamonds only? I think they should do a gradual fee waiver or partial. Require a minimum of $25k in spend for a FO waiver, $50K MQM for Gold, $75K for PM and $100K for diamond. Or give a partial waiver for all levels. If someone has $25k in spend on Am Ex they cut the minimum spend in half for any level
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