Delta’s Targeted Diamond Medallion Status Match

Filed Under: Delta

Understandably travel brands are now fiercely competing for business in ways they didn’t need to before. The latest example of that is Delta’s new status match promotion, which it calls one of its “most generous offers” yet.

This was launched last week and there were questions about whether or not it was targeted, so I wanted to provide an update regarding that.

Delta’s status match challenge opportunity

Delta SkyMiles is offering a new status match challenge:

  • This is valid for those who have status with Alaska, American, JetBlue, Southwest, or United
  • This is valid for sign-ups between October 19 and October 31, 2020
  • Members who register may receive status that’s one tier higher than their current status in a competing loyalty program
  • Matched status will be valid through March 31, 2021

Delta is offering a Diamond Medallion status challenge

To maintain status through January 31, 2022, members will need to complete the following amount of flying:

  • If you receive Gold Medallion status, you’ll need to fly two qualifying round trips, or four qualifying one ways
  • If you receive Platinum Medallion status, you’ll need to fly four qualifying round trips, or eight qualifying one ways
  • If you receive Diamond Medallion status, you’ll need to fly six qualifying round trips, or 12 qualifying one ways

For those going for a Platinum or Diamond status challenge, you’ll only receive Choice Benefits after completing the above activity, so you wouldn’t get them during the status match period otherwise.

Here’s how status maps over:

My experience with this targeted promo

When the promotion launched last week there were questions about just how targeted it is. The terms do state the following, suggesting the promotion is targeted:

“Eligibility: Only Members who receive this communication directly from Delta Air Lines are eligible to participate in this offer. This offer is non-transferable.”

That being said:

  • The URL used for the promotion is pretty generic, and you can even find the promotion page directly by Googling
  • There’s no special registration code needed (though when you get to the promotion page you’ll see the generic status match terminology, regardless of whether or not you’re targeted)

I wasn’t targeted, but I figured I’d give a Delta SkyMiles status match challenge a try, for research if nothing else:

  • If it didn’t work out, no loss
  • If it did work out, well, I guess this would have been my easy path to making the switch to Delta at long last

I submitted my request last week, and heard back this morning, five days later. The response read as follows:

“Thank you for your interest in the Delta SkyMiles Status Match Challenge. We sincerely apologize in the delay in getting back to you.

I’m happy to tell you that you’ve been enrolled in Status Match Challenge to earn Platinum Medallion Status. You now have complimentary Platinum Medallion Status for three months and need to meet the published requirements in order to extend your Status beyond the Program period.

Your three month Challenge is from 27OCT20 thru 27JAN21.”

I responded to explain that I was hoping to enroll in the Diamond challenge, and said that if that’s not possible to please unenroll me in the Platinum challenge. I heard back a couple of hours later:

“The Elevated Status Match is a private offer only open to those accounts that have the promotion in their SkyMiles account. Your account did not have the promotion and that is why you were enrolled in the OA Status Match for Platinum
Status.

As requested, I have removed the OA Status Match Challenge from your account.”

That’s totally fair on Delta’s part. Like I said, I figured it was worth a try, and I wasn’t necessarily expecting it to be successful.

I’m still curious to know how exactly Delta went about targeting people for this promotion, since the promotion is going after those who are elite members with competitors. How exactly did Delta figure out who has status with a competing airline? Hmmm…

This promotion appears to be targeted, but may be worth a try

Bottom line

It’s pretty remarkable to see Delta matching all the way to Diamond Medallion status. Not only that, but the program is matching people to a higher tier, meaning even mid-tier elites with competitors are potentially eligible for Diamond Medallion.

Unfortunately (for non-Delta loyalists) the promotion does indeed seem to be targeted, so don’t expect to be able to take advantage of it if you didn’t receive an email with the offer.

Was anyone targeted for this Delta status match opportunity, and if so, do you plan on taking advantage of it? Did anyone who wasn’t targeted have luck with the offer?

Comments
  1. I received this offer, but my husband did not. We’re both 1K with United and MVP Gold with Alaska, and I’m also Executive Platinum with American. No idea how they would know those statuses. But I do have a Delta Amex, whereas husband does not. We both have pretty low Delta mileage balances.

    I would consider ditching United for Delta (especially after the negative partner award chart changes and the fact that Boston, our home city, just became a hub), but I don’t anticipate getting on a plane for at least 6 more months, barring a family emergency.

    So it’s a cool promotion, but seems of limited use right now!

  2. I was targeted, but not sure it’s worth it to me, I don’t see myself traveling much with Delta next year.

  3. One question though. I have Gold with AA, so I’d become Gold with Delta (low tier to mid tier). Could I then match that to Gold with Alaska? I don’t imagine Alaska will status match with AA any more.

  4. Is Delta planning to do anything for current elites? If they don’t and United or AA copies this, I would imagine Delta would lose some elites. Obviously Delta extended status a year, but there has been no indication of lowering MQM/MQD requirements.

    There’s no way I’ll requalify for Platinum next year under the current terms, so United giving me 1K or AA giving me Exec Platinum is very appealing, particularly if Exec Plat would include Hyatt Globalist.

    With J fares much lower, status is less important to me and I’m becoming more fare focused. Booked roundtrip United lay flat first for $800 over Christmas – Delta was charging $2K for the same dates.

  5. @ Ben — This confirms my plan to not bother with Diamond qualification in 2021. Platinum will suffice for a while.

  6. 6 round trips before March?

    I’m currently doubting I’ll be able to do a very significant work trip next July — and, for example, Australian govt ministers have been quoted saying they don’t see much international travel being possible until towards the *end* of 2021.

    Meanwhile BA sent me another very looong marketing questionnaire today. The aspirational questions (“does it make you feel proud to fly with us?”) just seemed to be from another world. “Status matching” feels utterly irrelevant.

    I wonder what airline industry will be left when we finally get to The New Normal. Will the last few years come to seem like a Golden Age of travel?

  7. I was looking to switch from United (1K) to Delta since I moved to a Delta hub city, but this status match makes it difficult for travelers who log their miles primarily through international travel. It would have been nice if they had offered a minimum spend requirement to qualify as opposed to purely number of flights.

  8. I did – I’m Silver with Delta but Mosaic with JetBlue. I’m with nice Paul – will be hard to envision 4 round trips before the end of March so doubt I’ll bother.

  9. So, answer the important question, Lucky:

    Would a Delta status match to Diamond and expansion in Miami + some Southwest flights finally tempt you from keeping your Stockholm Syndrome EXP relationship with American?

    😀

  10. I had Exec Plat with AA for 3 years straight until last year. No longer have any status now and I was targeted. I don’t think Delta knows who has status, so maybe it’s location based (trying to expand loyalty at certain hubs)? I’m LAX based.

  11. Just applied, I have United Plat so would be awesome to get diamond…Anyone know if you book now without status if you get the status perks if you are granted diamond later?

  12. Talk about a slap in the face to us current DL elites. Sure, they’re rolling over all of my MQMs this year, but I still have to hit $9k MQD for Platinum or $15k for Diamond. I always hit the $9k mark but don’t typically qualify for Diamond due to the higher MQD, so the fact that an equivalent Platinum at another airline can receive Diamond status with no MQD requirement is in an insult to those of us who have continued to fly Delta when pax numbers are at an all time low.

  13. I’m UA1k lifetime so I’d do it, nothing to loose, but I am not flying in the near future so it would just be Wallet Candy.

  14. @TM: it is my understanding that the current 2020 status with Delta will be automatically extended to 2021. If that is the case MQD is not important. I currently have 100k MQMs to rollover from 2020 to 2021 (mostly from credit card applications and purchases). It is easy to reach the minimum MQD required for Platinum by using a Delta credit card but the threshold for Diamond is way out of my reach.

  15. Think itineraries, not flights! The way I read it, you need to fly x number of one-way or return itineraries. If a one-way includes a connection, ie PHX-LAX-SFO it is still a one-way. No?

    James

  16. @Santastico, Forgive me, my first post was poorly worded. You are correct but that’s not the issue I have with this promo. If Delta was simply ‘matching’ status with elites from other airlines, it wouldn’t be such a big deal, but in this case people are getting matched to one tier higher. As a current DL Platinum, if I want to go up one tier, I still have to spend thousands of dollars in MQDs, while an equivalent status pax from another airline can buy a few cheap fares and easily achieve Diamond.

    Seriously, six round trips with no MQD requirement for Diamond? Depending on the route, someone could easily do that for $200-$300 a trip, so maybe $1500 all in, while current DL elites like myself would have to spend 10x as much to get Diamond. It’s a total insult to those of us who have continued to give Delta our business when flying is at an all time low.

  17. @TM: I could not agree more with your comments. On the other hand, if this pandemic continues or even if a vaccine is found I doubt planes will be full in 2021. Thus, I don’t think Delta’s promo will matter much. Also, in my personal case, I live in a Delta hub so doubt they will be able to add many non Delta flyers here since you basically have no other option than to fly Delta unless you want to always connect in a AA or UA hub.

  18. I will match united gold to delta plat.

    What are my requirements then to move up to diamond. With my current flight patterns i can easily make diamond according to this.

    So yeah what is required to match platinum and progress to Diamond.

    Ive been looking for any reason to finally bail on flying blue which is a program that i get absolutely nothing for being PLATINUM for 5 of the last 7 years. Sorry non related rant

  19. Received / Targeted as an AS 75K.

    That said don’t see having any status next year so doesn’t seem worth it 🙁

  20. I followed the link above and applied.

    current Gold with AA, but that was the result of some One World partner OA trips in 2019. I havent flown AA in 2020 but still have the status. since you have to upload screenshots of your status level and qualifying activity, im interested if that limited amount of activity qualifies or not. maybe they are wanting to weed out status that was already “matched” or something.

    either way, doesn’t hurt to try. you cant win if you don’t play!

  21. I got approved this morning. From AA Gold to Delta Gold. Looks like I’ll be taking a trip to Detroit now.

  22. I got mine today too but as AA Exec Plat should have mapped to Diamon Medallion. Instead I was given the standard 3 month status match to platinum with MQM and MQD anyone get this?

  23. I have lowly silver medallion status with Delta and I was targeted for a status match. I’m already trying for a higher medallion status so it doesn’t really affect me. That and I don’t have status in another airline.

  24. @Rkaradi — were you targeted? Or did you sign up thru the link like Ben?

    I was targeted, I’m an AA EXP and applied last week, so I’m waiting for my Diamond Status.

    I legitimately do need to fly JFK-SEA in 2 weeks and booked DL as I did not want to connect thru CLT or DFW in order to get there. If Delta pulls some shenanigans with this I guess I’ll be checking out the Centurion lounge in CLT.

  25. I was targeted as was an account I manage for someone who has never held status on any airline. I don’t think Delta has been targeting this based on you actually holding status with another airline. For what it’s worth, I only have flown Delta/Skyteam in the last five years in paid super cheap F or J as otherwise I would be on Alaska or Oneworld.

  26. @Ben

    Did you get enrolled in the normal MQM+MQD challenge or the four round-trip challenge mentioned in this post?

  27. @ Ben — This is yet another reason that the FCQ and I will not bother with Diamond requalification next year. For us, renewing Platinum “only” involves spending $25k each on our credit card, which basically means paying 2.3% (1.1% for 1 DL mile/$ versus 3.4% for 2 MR points) x $25,000 = $575 for the privilege of keeping Platinum status.

  28. I’m sure the airlines will do just about anything to get people flying during the current craziness that defines our world today however, I think this particular offer would be much more attractive after the vaccines are approved and in mass use, hopefully in the next three to six months. I’m scheduling a full travel calendar for next year, starting in March. The timing of this promotion seems to be a misconnect.

  29. I’m an Executive Platinum with AA and wasn’t targeted. Does that mean I will be enrolled in the “standard” 3 month challenge and not the 12 one-way requirement?

  30. They probably know competitors’ elite statuses either:

    (a.) through promotional integrations, e.g. if you opt-in to the Lyft/SkyMiles or Hyatt/AAdvantage promotions, you have to agree to some terms, which may include selling info about your mileage status to third parties, or
    (b.) from mileage credit card providers, in which you explicitly have to opt-out from allowing the bank to sell info about you to third parties, which probably includes whatever info the airline grants to the bank about your mileage account, or
    (c.) from online shopping malls, or other extraneous services relating to your mileage account; their whole business is based on selling info about you and your purchase patterns, which again probably includes whatever info the airline grants to the shopping portal about your mileage account

  31. Also, as an AA EXP, I haven’t received a targeted offer yet. I’d strongly consider it, except for the fact that I’m somewhat locked into AA over the short- to medium-term through:

    (a.) three AAdvantage-specific credit cards,
    (b.) my mileage balance of ~430,000,
    (c.) my most frequent international travel by far is JFK-LHR, and leveraging the AA/BA partnership is powerful despite AA being otherwise weak in the NYC area right now – though the AA/B6 partnership could also significantly or wholly offset that weakness once the details are announced – and
    (d.) I’ve nearly re-qualified for 2021 with $8845 of EQD including travel currently booked through EOY, with a significant chunk of that (around $3000-$3500) occurring in Q4, which will roll over into 2022 qualification

    Hmmm…

  32. I’ll bet they’re targeting based on previous Delta flights, nothing to do with your status on other airlines…Perhaps they’re targeting those who had Delta Plat/Diamond over a year ago…

  33. This offer has been offered to those who have never applied to any delta related medallion promotions ever. I didn’t get it as I have applied for it in the past. My mom has never applied for it and yet another friend of mine who never applied for any upgrade promotions with delta was sent this email.

  34. I think this medallion status challenge is targeted towards those customers who have never ever requested a medallion challenge ever. My mother was targeted who never ever requested a medallion challenge and another friend of mine who had joined because of Amex delta offer was also targeted.

  35. I did a status match with Delta in 2019. Didn’t fly enough with then to get anything good but currently have Delta Silver. I have EP with American. I did receive the targeted promo offering Diamond, I applied and am waiting still.

  36. I never got an email but since it was on their home page when I logged in I figured I would sign up. Couldn’t hurt. Got an email yesterday saying I was Platinum now and all I needed to do was fly four round trips. Matched from United Gold.

  37. I did not get a targeted email but I tried anyway. Just got approved for Delta Gold matched to Alaska MVP status!

  38. Just got it!!! I did not receive an email from Delta, I have been an single one way delta fight last Feb. I have never held Delta Status before but have had the lowest levels of Alaska & AA then I’m currently Platinum with United. The email:

    Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you that you have been successfully enrolled in the limited-time Delta Elevated Status Match Offer and will have complimentary Diamond Medallion Status through March 31, 2021. Your new promotional Status will be reflected in your account beginning tomorrow.

    In order to extend your Diamond Medallion Status through the 2021 Medallion Year (through January 31, 2022), all you need to do is fly 6 qualifying round-trip or 12 one-way Delta flights by March 31, 2021. Once you have met the flight requirements, your welcome kit, which includes your bag tags, will be mailed to the address in your SkyMiles account.

    We also know how important safety and cleanliness are to you, which is why we disinfect every flight with electrostatic spraying, require all travelers to wear masks or face coverings and are giving you more control to make changes should your plans shift. Plus, we’ve extended middle seat blocking through the holiday season to give you greater peace of mind when flying. 

    Now that you have been approved, get started and plan your next trip. We are looking forward to seeing you onboard a Delta flight soon!

    Best regards,

    Summer Minko

    SkyMiles Account Support

  39. So I did a Delta status match in 2019 and didn’t fly enough with them to get anything worthwhile. So currently Silver and AA EP as American is my preferred airline being based in Nashville. I was targeted for this promotion and thought that since I did the match in 2019 it would disqualify me. Well, now I’m Diamond and only need 6 RT to keep it. Great promo and happy to see Delta targeting people. Sorry that real Diamonds are being “discounted” by this promo but thank you Delta!

  40. I’m in! Wondering now if it’ll count as two one-ways if I break up a connecting flight onto separate tickets.

  41. I received the promotion, but my wife didn’t. We are both Mosaic. I applied and was approved. Though I doubt I will get in 4 R/T in time, I may get 2 and keep Gold status.

    I booked a flight in Nov. BOS-HHH for a day trip and was immediately upgraded to Comfort for all legs and am waitlisted for 1st Class. It’s already been worth it.

  42. Anyone know the most efficient way to connect with the SkyMIles Support team for follow-up questions?

    I applied for Elevated Status match and got ‘standard’ instead. Would like to follow up to get status removed.

    Is simply replying to the approval email the most efficient way?

    Thanks…

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