The Guide to Delta Gold Medallion Status

Gold Medallion gets you solid perks like free checked bags on Delta and SkyTeam partner flights.
Anya Kartashova
By Anya Kartashova 
Updated
Edited by Meg Lee

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Delta Air Lines, a U.S.-based airline, carries roughly 200 million flyers annually, with more than 4,000 daily flights to about 275 destinations across six continents. Like most airlines, the more you fly with Delta or one of its partners, the more benefits you can earn through its SkyMiles loyalty program.

Delta allows its passengers to earn one of four elite status tiersSilver Medallion, Gold Medallion, Platinum Medallion and Diamond Medallion. Gold Medallion is the second status tier after Silver Medallion, the entry-level tier.

Let’s look at Delta Gold Medallion benefits, ways to achieve this mid-tier status, how much the elite status is worth and more.

Changes to Gold Medallion status in 2024

The Delta's SkyMiles program has made some big changes for 2024, including how members can earn elite status.

Instead of two separate requirements for flying and dollars spend to earn elite status, Delta flyers only need to keep track of earning Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQD). To qualify for Gold Medallion status in 2024, flyers must earn $10,000 MQD.

Delta Gold Medallion benefits

Delta Gold Medallion perks include:

  • Bonus earnings on rewards: As a Gold Medallion member, you’ll earn eight redeemable SkyMiles per dollar spent on Delta flights, minus government taxes and fees.

  • Dedicated phone line: Receive priority when calling Delta customer service in the U.S.

  • Delta Vacations savings: Save up to $350 on qualifying Delta Vacations packages.

  • Discounted Clear membership: Because of the Delta-Clear partnership, Gold Medallion flyers can get Clear for $149 per year (rather than the regular price of $189).

  • Drink vouchers: Receive four complimentary drink vouchers for use on Delta flights.

  • Expedited baggage service: Your bag receives special treatment and arrives at the carousel before other passengers’ bags.

  • Free trial of Instacart: Receive three months of free Instacart membership.

  • Priority boarding: Board a Delta plane in the Sky Priority group (after Comfort Plus passengers but before Delta cardholders and main cabin and basic economy passengers).

  • Priority check-in: Access to Sky Priority lanes at the airport.

  • Priority security line access: Get in a frequent traveler security line at select U.S. airports.

  • Reclaim My Status: If you lose your status due to a life event that pauses your travel, you can fly for three months at your previous status tier and then requalify for the following year.

  • SkyTeam lounge access: Enter over 750 SkyTeam airport lounges worldwide as a SkyTeam Elite Plus member.

  • SkyTeam status: Delta Gold Medallion members receive Elite Plus status when flying with SkyTeam alliance carriers.

  • Status in the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program: Enjoy complimentary Five Star status with Hertz.

  • Unlimited complimentary upgrades: Get upgraded to Delta Comfort Plus or first class when available, with upgrades clearing up to 72 hours before departure. Upgrades to Delta One on domestic routes are also possible on the day of departure, depending on seat availability.

  • Waived baggage fees: Check your first bag for free on Delta flights (for up to nine passengers traveling on the same reservation).

  • Waived same-day change/confirmed fees: Change your ticket to another flight on the original day of departure for free (available 24 hours before departure time).

How to earn Gold Medallion Delta status

Reaching Medallion elite status with Delta requires some work — and spending — on your part.

Earning Delta Gold Medallion status requires earning 10,000 MQDs.

Here’s a closer look at how to get to Delta Gold Medallion elite status.

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Earn MQDs through flying or vacation packages

When you fly Delta Air Lines or its partner airlines, you'll earn 1 MQD per $1 spent on the ticket price. Taxes, fees, basic economy and other booking charges do not earn MQDs.

Vacation packages booked through Delta also earn 1 MQD per $1 spent.

Earn MQDs through a Delta credit cards

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
NerdWallet rating 

Spending on a Delta co-branded credit card can also help you rack up the 10,000 MQDs needed for Gold Medallion status.

Cardholders also earn a 2,500 MQD bonus per card type each year to get a head start on earning status.

How much is Delta Gold Medallion worth?

In NerdWallet’s annual analysis of the best airline elite status programs, we sought to determine how much value the major U.S. airline loyalty programs deliver to flyers. Here's how the Delta Medallion program did.

Value of benefits

Cost to earn

Elite earning rate

Silver

$1,419.

$6,173.

23%.

Gold

$3,944.

$12,346.

32%.

Platinum

$7,436.

$18,519.

40%.

Diamond

$18,209.

$34,568.

53%.

Keep in mind that these values are estimates, and your results may vary. If you fly with a carry-on bag and on popular routes with fewer chances for upgrades, you might not get as much value from the Gold Medallion status.

However, if you take advantage of the many perks on the list, your personal value should increase.

What else you need to know about Delta elite status

Request a status match

If you’re an elite member of another airline’s loyalty program, you may be able to participate in a Status Match Challenge with Delta. For the status match, you’ll receive a corresponding elite status tier (excluding Diamond Medallion) for three months. Then, if you complete the qualifying requirements within the allotted time, you’ll be able to extend your status even longer.

Airline loyalty programs eligible for Delta’s Status Match Challenge include:

  • Air Canada Aeroplan.

  • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.

  • All Nippon Airways Mileage Club.

  • American Airlines AAdvantage.

  • Asiana Airlines Asiana Club.

  • British Airways Executive Club.

  • Copa Airlines ConnectMiles.

  • Japan Airlines Mileage Bank Fly On.

  • JetBlue TrueBlue.

  • Lufthansa Miles&More.

  • Qantas Frequent Flyer.

  • South African Airways Voyager.

  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards.

  • United Airlines Mileage Plus.

  • Virgin Australia Velocity.

Achieve Million Miler status

The most frequent of flyers can reach Million Miler status by flying —you guessed it — millions of miles with Delta. Passengers who have flown a million miles with the airline reach status tiers that last a lifetime. Here’s how many miles you need to fly to reach each tier’s lifetime status:

  • 1 million miles: Gold Medallion

  • 2 million miles: Platinum Medallion.

  • 3 and 4 million miles: Diamond Medallion.

  • 5+ million miles or more: Delta 360° Medallion.

So, if you’d like to reach Gold Medallion lifetime status, you’ll have to fly at least 1 million miles on Delta flights.

How long does Gold Medallion status last?

Delta Gold Medallion status lasts until the end of the calendar year you earn it, the entire following year and through Jan. 31 the year after.

For example, say you became a Gold Medallion member on June 30, 2024. You’ll continue holding the same status level until Jan. 31, 2026, unless you qualify for a higher tier.

Delta Gold Medallion recapped

There are multiple ways of earning elite status with Delta. Find what combination of flying and spending sufficient on eligible credit cards works for you.

As a Gold Medallion elite, you get some decent mid-range benefits when flying Delta and its SkyTeam partners, including free checked bags, higher rewards earning rates and unlimited complimentary upgrades, to name a few.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024, including those best for:

Cards for Delta from our Partners
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-5x

5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

75,000

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Points
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
4.7
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

2x-5x

Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options.

Miles

Intro offer

75,000

Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

Miles
See more cards for delta
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