As 2014 comes to an end, we’re nearing the imminent Delta SkyMiles 2015 program (for those of us who still fly Delta). Remember, SkyMiles earned through Delta will be based on ticket price starting on January 1, 2015. Not miles flown. However, I wanted to share a reminder that Delta MQM miles are STILL earned based on distance flown! I know I was a bit confused about this and wanted to share this clarification.

What does this mean?

Delta has different Medallion levels you can reach based on the number MQMs you earn. While you’ll earn redeemable SkyMiles based on the price of your ticket, MQMs are still based on distance flown.

Number of miles you’ll have to fly to earn a Medallion status:

Silver Medallion 25,000 MQMs
Golde Medallion 50,000 MQMs
Platinum Medallion 75,000 MQMs
Diamond Medallion 125,000 MQMs


As shown below in the screenshot, Delta even states on their website that MQMs are still going to be earned based on distance flown.

Delta 2015 MQMs based on distance flown

As pointed out on Delta’s website, they explicitly state that MQMs are still based on distance flown.

What does this mean?

For those who care more about earning Medallion status than actual SkyMiles, you will still earn MQMs like you have in the past. Just note that you’ll be earning less SkyMiles since they’re earned based on the ticket price. This means you won’t be flying for free as much on Delta.

Delta Co-branded credit cards

American Express Delta credit cards will still earn 1x SkyMile for every dollar spent and 2x SkyMiles for each Delta flight booked. If you’re in the habit of booking a lot of Delta flights, I would recommend the American Express Gold card since it earns 3x Membership Rewards for each flight booked directly with airlines. You could then transfer these points to your Delta SkyMiles account.

Final thoughts

While Delta customers will be earning less SkyMiles for each flight, I have noticed a drop in the number of SkyMiles needed for award seats next year. I still think your best bet would be to fly another airline if you care about maximizing your miles earned for each flight flown.

Since I live Minnesota and this is a main Delta hub, I’ll continue to fly Delta until I eventually move out of this state 🙁