The Guide to Delta Silver Medallion
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Table of Contents
- Changes to Delta Silver status for 2023
- Delta Silver Medallion benefits
- How to get Silver Medallion on Delta
- What is Delta Silver Medallion worth?
- What else you need to know about Delta Silver Medallion elite status
- How does Delta Silver Medallion rank against other airline elite status programs?
- If you're interested in Delta Silver Medallion status
Gaining elite status through your preferred airline can provide convenient benefits on the ground and in the air, giving you more value when traveling. Delta Medallion status is what you'll be working toward when you pledge allegiance to Delta Air Lines and join the Delta SkyMiles loyalty program.
Delta Silver Medallion status is the lowest tier of Delta elite status, but this entry-level tier is your crucial first step in becoming a Delta VIP. Here's a look at the benefit of Delta Silver Medallion elite status, how to earn it, and how it compares against the other Delta elite status tiers (as well as elite status tiers in other airlines.)
Changes to Delta Silver status for 2023
Delta announced in late 2022 changes to its elite status program for flyers in 2023. None of the changes affect Silver Medallion members, however.
Delta Silver Medallion benefits
Delta Silver Medallion benefits include what you would expect from the lowest tier of an elite status program. You're likely not going to be first on the list for a first class upgrade (but hey, you might get lucky). Still, even seemingly minor benefits like free checked baggage can save hundreds of dollars for frequent travelers who pack more than a carry-on.
Here are some of the best Delta Silver Medallion benefits:
Bonus miles: Silver Medallion members earn two additional bonus miles per dollar on qualified Delta and Delta-partner flights; that's a grand total of seven miles per dollar spent on Delta. Meanwhile, the general SkyMiles members earn just five miles per dollar.
Free checked baggage: Delta typically charges $30 for your first checked bag each way. However, this fee is waived for Silver Medallion members and up to eight people in their travel party. If you had eight people each checking a bag, that could be $480 in savings for a roundtrip itinerary alone.
Priority check-in and boarding: Travelers with Silver Medallion status receive priority check-in and earlier boarding with the Main Cabin 1 group. That means you'll board after folks in the premium seats, but — even if your seats are in the main cabin — you'll get to yours before all the other main cabin and basic economy passengers.
Silver Medallion members can also enjoy special pricing for a Clear membership and extra benefits through Delta's partners, like bonus miles for Hertz car rentals and waived fees on Instacart.
» Learn more: The guide to earning Delta Air Lines SkyMiles
How to get Silver Medallion on Delta
Earning Silver Medallion status involves logging a minimum amount of travel and dollars spent with Delta or its partners.
To satisfy the travel requirement, Delta tracks members' Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) or Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs). On top of hitting the minimum MQMs or MQSs for Delta Silver Medallion, members must also maintain a minimum spending limit, which is tracked as Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs).
Members must fulfill one of the two travel requirements plus the minimum spend requirement annually to maintain status.
Earn sufficient Delta MQMs
Travelers must have 25,000 Medallion Qualification Miles, which can be earned on main cabin tickets or higher. Your flight ticket must have your name and SkyMiles number associated with it to earn MQMs — though you need not have booked or paid for it.
Or fly enough Delta MQSs
If you don't meet the minimum MQM requirement for Silver Medallion status, you can still satisfy the program's travel requirement using Medallion Qualification Segments. Segments are the number of flights you've taken with Delta or its partner flights.
Silver Medallion members who don't meet the required MQMs must have 30 MQSs per year to maintain the status.
Exceed minimum spend of Delta MQDs
In addition to meeting one of the above criteria, travelers must also meet the MQD spending requirement. For Delta Silver Medallion, members must spend $3,000 on Delta or partner flights annually. You can also earn MQDs on Delta-marketed award flights.
SkyMiles earned from Delta's branded credit cards do not count as either MQMs or MQDs. However, the airline offers a Medallion Qualification Dollars Waiver. Spending $25,000 on your card within a calendar year qualifies you for a Silver waiver; you won't have to reach the MQD threshold to earn this status.
» Learn more: Best benefits of Delta credit cards
What is Delta Silver Medallion worth?
We crunched the numbers and determined that the value of Delta Silver Medallion was $876. Below is how Silver Medallion compares to other Medallion tiers:
Value of benefits
Cost to earn
Elite earning rate
Sure, Silver Medallion status offers just a fraction of the value as higher Medallion levels. But even still, these figures are estimates, so someone checking bags for themselves and a larger group could net way more than NerdWallet's estimated value (NerdWallet estimates its values on an average traveler). The value you'll get as a Delta Silver Medallion member depends on your travel details and whether you can maximize your status benefits.
» Learn more: How much are my Delta SkyMiles worth?
What else you need to know about Delta Silver Medallion elite status
Requesting a status match
Delta's Medallion Status Match Challenge makes becoming a Silver Medallion member easier If you've earned status through another loyalty program. Submit a request for a status match, and if approved, you'll get complimentary Medallion status for three months.
To keep your Silver status for the remaining year after the three-month introductory period, you'll need to earn 6,250 MQMs or 8 MQSs, spend $750 MQDs or be eligible for the MQD waiver.
Reclaim My Status
Another option that Delta offers its members is the Reclaim My Status feature. It's available to members who've lost their status due to a life event that prevented travel. If you're ready to return to the Medallion program the year after losing your status, you can submit a request to have it reinstated.
You'll need to provide proof of your life event, and if approved, your status will be reinstated for three months. After this complimentary period, you'll need to meet the same MQM, MQS, and MQD requirements for status matching to extend your membership.
» Learn more: Do Delta miles expire?
Delta's unique rollover feature lets you apply miles over your tier's MQM requirement toward the following qualification year. This gives you a head start on earning status for the next year and ensures that none of your traveling efforts are wasted.
How does Delta Silver Medallion rank against other airline elite status programs?
NerdWallet compared elite status programs across nine domestic airlines, including Delta. And while the airline is great for things like in-flight entertainment, our analysis found that Delta's Medallion elite status program ranks relatively low. It's higher than low-cost carriers like Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines, but lower than all the other major carriers.
Specific to Delta's entry-level tier, Silver, this low level of elite status ranked in the bottom three compared to the competing starter tiers of other domestic carriers (once again, it fared better than only Frontier and Spirit's entry-level elite status tiers). Here's a breakdown of Delta Silver status versus other airline entry-level tiers:
If you're interested in Delta Silver Medallion status
If you prefer flying on Delta and anticipate traveling often, Delta Silver Medallion status is a good way to break into the sometimes-elusive world of elite status programs.
The airline also gives recently dropped Medallion members and members of competing programs various opportunities to transition and stay in the Medallion Status family.
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