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How to earn Delta elite status with a credit card in 2024

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Whether you fly Delta Air Lines regularly or take just a few trips each year, having Delta elite status can save you money and significantly upgrade your travel experience.
Depending on the status tier you achieve, you could receive benefits like free upgrades to first class, free same-day changes to another flight, priority boarding and even airport lounge access on some flights. Needless to say, this can make your travel days more enjoyable.
But what if you don’t fly enough to earn elite status by flying alone?
Here’s the secret: You can earn Delta elite status from your couch. In fact, recent Delta elite status updates that just took effect make it simpler to become an elite member by spending on Delta credit cards alone.
Requirements to earn Delta elite status
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Delta has taken the slash-and-burn approach to its long-winded elite status terms. You’ll no longer need to juggle elite qualifying segments, qualifying dollars and qualifying miles.
To earn Delta elite status in 2024, simply earn enough Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs) for your desired status tier. Here’s what each tier requires:
Silver Medallion status: $5,000 MQDs.
Gold Medallion status: $10,000 MQDs.
Platinum Medallion status: $15,000 MQDs.
Diamond Medallion status: $28,000 MQDs.
There are a few predictable ways to earn Delta MQDs, like buying (and flying) Delta-marketed flights on Delta and its partners or when booking travel packages with Delta Vacations. That said, you can earn them by having select Delta credit cards in your wallet.
How to earn Delta elite status with American Express credit cards
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As you’ll see, higher-end Delta cobranded credit cards will help you to earn status. Cards like the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card and the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card do not offer elite status shortcuts.
Automatic MQDs
Delta credit card holders will receive an “MQD Headstart” — $2,500 MQDs just for holding the right card. Qualifying Amex Delta cards are:
To be clear, you’ll receive $2,500 MQDs per card type. As an example, if you’ve got both the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card and the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card, you’ll automatically receive $5,000 MQDs each year. That’s enough to immediately qualify for Delta Silver Medallion status.
Earn more MQD by spending on your Delta credit card
Thanks to a benefit called MQD Boost, you can earn MQDs for your everyday spending with select Delta credit cards. How many MQD you earn depends on the Delta credit card you have.
You’ll earn $1 MQD for every $10 you spend on the:
You’ll earn $1 MQD for every $20 you spend on the:
Credit card spending is certainly the slow way to become a Delta elite — but combined with each card’s $2,500 MQD headstart perk, you might be closer to status than you think.
For example, those with the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card can earn Silver Medallion status after spending $25,000 in a calendar year. Or, if you hold all four of the above Delta cards, you could earn Platinum Medallion status after spending $100,000 in a calendar year on the Reserve or Business Reserve card.
True, these spending thresholds aren’t peanuts; but big spenders may decide it’s worth funneling expense through these cards for privileges such as Delta upgrade certificates, waived same-day change fees, hundreds of dollars in travel credits and more.
You might get a better return on spending with another rewards credit card
That said, you could get more value by earning rewards with a card that earns American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards or other types of transferable points.
Cards that earn these rewards tend to offer bonuses on dining, groceries and other popular spending categories. Plus, the points themselves can be transferred to various airline and hotel loyalty programs for added flexibility.
For example, the American Express® Gold Card (see rates and fees) earns Amex Membership Rewards points. It earns 4 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, then 1 point per dollar); 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly or via Amex Travel; and 1 point per dollar everywhere else.
These points can be transferred to a number of airlines and hotels, including Delta SkyMiles, Air Canada Aeroplan, Air France-KLM Flying Blue, Hilton Honors and others. Having this flexibility means you can book flights on dozens of airlines.
Bottom line
Earning Delta elite status from credit cards has never been simpler than in 2024. You’ll can score up to Gold elite status by merely having multiple Delta credit cards — and with (admittedly quite considerable) spending, you can earn top-tier Diamond elite status without booking a flight.
This is a huge win for those that rarely fly but want the high-shelf airline perks that only the most valued Delta customers enjoy. But as always, run the numbers to see if it makes sense to shift your credit card spending to Delta cards.
Looking for a travel credit card? Find out which cards CNN Underscored Money chose as the best travel credit cards currently available.
Click here for rates and fees of the Delta Gold Amex
Click here for rates and fees of the Delta Blue Amex
Click here for rates and fees of the Delta Platinum Amex.
Click here for rates and fees of the Delta Reserve Amex.
Click here for rates and fees of the Delta Business Platinum Amex.
Click here for rates and fees of the Delta Business Reserve Amex.
Click here for rates and fees of the Amex Gold.

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