The Delta SkyMiles program has just made a significant improvement to its lifetime status program.
Delta improves million miler lifetime status program
Delta gives Medallion members the opportunity to earn lifetime status based on the cumulative number of Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) earned over a member’s lifetime. This even includes MQMs earned through co-branded credit cards.
Up until now it has only been possible to earn lifetime Silver, Gold, or Platinum Medallion status, while it’s now possible to earn lifetime Diamond Medallion status. Here’s how the Delta SkyMiles lifetime status program now works:
- Earn lifetime SkyMiles Silver Medallion status after earning one million lifetime miles
- Earn lifetime SkyMiles Gold Medallion status after earning two million lifetime miles
- Earn lifetime SkyMiles Platinum Medallion status after earning four million lifetime miles
- Earn lifetime SkyMiles Diamond Medallion status after earning six million lifetime miles
It’s cool to see lifetime Diamond Medallion status finally being something that’s offered, though admittedly this requires an incredible amount of loyalty. Diamond Medallion status ordinarily requires 125,000 MQMs per year, so you’d need to qualify for that status for roughly 48 years to earn lifetime status.
Of course a few people will earn it much faster than that, since some road warriors way over qualify for status. Perhaps some Diamond Medallion members earn 300,000 MQMs per year, but even those people would need to qualify for 20 years to earn that lifetime tier. Yowzers.
How does this compare to lifetime status at other airlines?
While this is an awesome change, it doesn’t impact the order in which I rank lifetime status programs at the “big three” carriers in the United States — United is best, followed by Delta, followed by American.
For context, here’s how the United MileagePlus lifetime status program works:
- Earn lifetime MileagePlus Premier Gold status after earning one million lifetime miles
- Earn lifetime MileagePlus Premier Platinum status after earning two million lifetime miles
- Earn lifetime MileagePlus Premier 1K status after earning three million lifetime miles
- Earn lifetime MileagePlus Global Services status after earning four million lifetime miles
- On top of that, if you’re a million miler you can nominate a companion to receive the same status that you maintain; so if you’re a million miler and also a Premier 1K, a companion could receive Premier 1K status as well
This is awesome, since you can earn higher elite tiers much faster, you can even earn invitation only lifetime status, and you can also share your status with a companion.
Lastly, here’s how the American AAdvantage lifetime status program works:
- Earn lifetime AAdvantage Gold status after earning one million lifetime miles
- Earn lifetime AAdvantage Platinum status after earning two million lifetime miles
As you can see, this is pretty lousy — you can’t even earn Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum lifetime status.
Delta SkyMiles has just improved its lifetime status program, as you can now earn lifetime Diamond Medallion status after racking up six million MQMs. That’s a lot of MQMs — equivalent to earning Diamond status for 48 years — but I’m sure this will make some people happy.
Now it’s American’s turn to make some major changes to its lifetime status program, which is so uncompetitive.
What do you make of Delta’s new lifetime Diamond Medallion status? Any OMAAT readers qualify?
(Tip of the hat to Rene at Eye of the Flyer)