HomeAirline LoyaltyDelta SkyMilesDelta is launching a new elite status match promotion

Delta is launching a new elite status match promotion [Update: now live]

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Updated 24 January – this status match promotion is now live

Delta didn’t really endear itself to a large section of the frequent flyer community last year when it showed its true colors and announced a massive devaluation to the SkyMiles program.

Even by Delta’s standards the devaluation was ridiculous, and while the airline ended up backtracking on a few of the changes, the damage was done, and Delta was left with a large number of very disgruntled flyers.

Ordinarily, when frequent flyers get disgruntled, the internet gets filled with a lot of complaints and threats to “never fly” whatever airline has caused the outpouring of anger, but nothing ever really comes of it.

Yes, a few flyers may move over to a different airline (until that airline annoys them as well), but overall, things usually settle down after a few weeks (possibly months), the promised mass exodus never materializes, and things carry on as before.

Airline loyalty programs push through big devaluations because they know that in the end, these devaluations are accepted, people move on, and there’s no significant price to pay for screwing over frequent flyers.

That’s what ordinarily happens, but that may not be how things have been playing out since Delta stuck its middle finger up at SkyMiles members and made the SkyMiles program even worse than it already was (did anyone know that was even possible?)

It’s possible that Delta may be seeing (or is predicting) a significant decrease in the number of SkyMiles elite members, and that its 2023 devaluation may (finally) be the straw that broke the camel’s back for a lot of its frequent flyers.

I say this because it looks like Delta is going fishing for new SkyMiles elites in 2024 with a promotion that’s coming at some point this month now live.

[HT: Frequent Miler]

Delta’s new status match promotion

The promotion

Elite members of select frequent flyer programs can request to have their status matched to one of three Delta SkyMiles elite levels (the level you’ll be matched to will depend on the status you hold with your current loyalty program) for a period of 3 months.

Flyers can extend their matched elite status past 3 months by earning a specified number of Medallion Qualifying Dollars.

A successful elite status extension would see a flyer retain their Delta elite status for the rest of 2024, for the whole of 2025 and through January 2026. 


You are eligible to participate in this elite status match promotion if:

  • You have not received a status match, promotional Medallion Status or complimentary Medallion Status in the past 3 years*, unless the complimentary Medallion Status was through your Million Miler Status.
  • You currently have elite status with a qualifying airline, that was earned through that airline’s published requirements (complimentary status or status earned through a promotion does not qualify)
  • You can present both of the following:
    • A valid, current elite physical or digital membership card or credential with your name on it and
    • A statement showing your earned elite status with an airline and the corresponding activity with that airline that made you achieve that Status, with your name on it (for both materials, you may upload a photo, screenshot of your app or computer screen or other file format as long as it clearly shows the required information, your elite status level and your name)
  • You are a SkyMiles Member who has:
    • Been enrolled in the SkyMiles Program for at least 60 days prior to enrolling for the Status Match offer and
    • Has flown on at least one Delta-marketed flight (006 ticket stock) on a fare class higher than Basic Economy in last 3 years.

*SkyMiles Members previously enrolled in the Medallion Status Match Challenge can start a new promotion when they are ready to start traveling again. Any temporary complimentary Status that a Member currently has will remain valid until their current promotion or challenge period ends.

Qualifying airlines and how elite statuses will be matched

Delta has published a list of 15 frequent flyer programs whose members are eligible to participate in its latest status match promotion and the table below shows how the elite status levels from these programs will be matched across to Delta’s frequent flyer program.

a table with text on it

Delta has said that if you have status with an airline that is not listed above and isn’t a Delta partner airline and you meet the other participation criteria, you can still submit a request to participate in its Status Match Challenge.

If you’d like to see what each of Delta’s status levels offers, follow this link to the relevant SkyMiles page.

Medallion Qualifying Dollars needed to extend elite status

Anyone wanting to extend their Delta elite status past the complimentary 3-month period will have to meet the following Medallion Qualifying Dollar (MQD) targets within their 3- month window:

  • Extend Silver Medallion status – earn $1,250 MQD.
  • Extend Gold Medallion status – earn $2,500 MQD.
  • Extend Platinum Medallion status – earn $3,750 MQD.

For reference, the regular (full year) qualification requirements are these:

  • Silver Medallion status – $5,000 MQD.
  • Gold Medallion status – $10,000 MQD.
  • Platinum Medallion status – $15,000 MQD.

Effectively, the status match promotion is allowing participants to earn elite status with just 25% of the usually required MQD, but those MQD must be earned in 25% of the time normally given to earn elite status.

How to earn MQD

MQD can be earned from a variety for sources:

  • Delta and partner airline flights (excludes Basic Economy fares but includes Delta award bookings).
  • Spending on select Delta co-branded credit cards.
  • Delta Vacations packages

You can earn the MQD to meet the status match requirements from one, two, or all three of the sources listed above so, technically, you could earn Delta Medallion status without having to fly.


After Delta did so much, last year, to ‘thin the herd’, it’s interesting to see it start 2024 with a promotion that makes it relatively easy for a wide variety of flyers to earn Medallion status.

Personally, I can’t participate because I haven’t flown with Delta in the last three years, but as I have about as much interest in earning status with Delta as I have of running into the nearest lamppost at great speed, this really isn’t an issue.

For some people, this promotion will be of interest – people who have recently moved and now find themselves in a city where Delta rules the skies will find this very useful – for most, however, I suspect this will be a case of ‘thanks but no thanks’.

While the benefits of Delta Medallion status (at the higher tiers) are no worse than what most airlines offer, the reality that anyone committing to SkyMiles is facing is that they will have to live with an airline that has already made it abundantly clear that it has not finished making the SkyMiles program worse, and that it has not finished making it harder to retain elite status.

Yes, all airline loyalty programs devalue over time (that’s a fact of life), but Delta has, time and time again, showed just how little regard it has for the overwhelming majority of its SkyMiles members, so why would anyone want to participate in SkyMiles if other options are available?

Sure, SkyMiles works just fine for some people, and Delta hub captives are probably resigned to living with the program, but those aren’t the people this promotion is trying to target.

This promotion is targeting flyers who already have elite status with another airline, and unless you’re someone who flies often enough and who spends enough to be able to maintain and use two airline elite statuses, I really can’t see why (outside of a recent change of circumstances) you would bother chasing status with Delta.

Bottom line

Delta will be launching has launched a new status match promotion that allows elite members of other airline loyalty programs to match their elite status to a SkyMiles status for a period of three months. If during that three month period a matched flyer meets the promotion’s Medallion Qualifying Dollars requirements, they will get to keep their newly minted status for the rest of this year, all of next year and the first month of 2026.

What do you think of this promotion? Are you tempted?

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  1. I think that Delta has a very poor team of individuals steering this program. i have held Delta Diamond status 2 of the past 5 years and Delta Platinum status the remaining 3 years. Delta has reduced my benefits by an estimated 25% and is now essentially giving away status that will make it harder for me and other loyal Delta customers to get upgraded. Delta, you are circling the drain!

  2. I like the way you wrote this article. It speaks to the reality of what Delta status is really worth…nothing. I don’t have status, but I do have the Reserve AmX. With the cuts in benefits for having that card, I’ll be dumping it this year.


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