The Guide to Delta Silver Medallion

Earning Silver Medallion status will take a bit of work (and money), but it's readily attainable for avid flyers.
Jennifer Calonia
By Jennifer Calonia 
Updated
Edited by Meg Lee

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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.)

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 $35 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 Zone 5 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.

Earn up to 100,000 bonus miles with our favorite Delta cards
Check out our nerdy picks for the best Delta credit cards and find the right card for you.

How to get Silver Medallion on Delta

Earning Silver Medallion status involves logging a minimum amount of dollars spent with Delta or its partners.

To reach Silver Medallion status on Delta, members must earn 5,000 Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) in a program year. Flyers earn 1 MQD per $1 spent on the ticket price for a Delta-marketed flight operated by Delta or one of its partner airlines. Keep in mind that basic economy fares and government taxes and fees do not earn MQDs.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Delta SkyMiles are redeemable miles that don't count toward elite status, but can be redeemed for award flights.

Spending on one of the following Delta co-branded credit cards can also help you rack up the MQDs needed for Silver Medallion status.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees
Annual fee

$350.

$650.

$350.

$650.

MQD earn rate

1 MQD per $20 charged to the card. Terms apply.

1 MQD per $10 charged to the card. Terms apply.

1 MQD per $20 charged to the card. Terms apply.

1 MQD per $10 charged to the card. Terms apply.

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

What is Delta Silver 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%.

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.

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?

Rollover MQMs

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.

Here's a breakdown of Delta Silver status versus other airline entry-level tiers:

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).

Frequently asked questions

Yes, depending on the airport. Some airports offer a dedicated check-in lane for Delta Silver Medallion members to use. For airports without this dedicated lane, Delta Silver Medallion flyers can check-in using the Sky Priority lane. Both avenues should expedite your overall airport check-in process.

Delta Silver Medallion members do not get lounge access. This perk is reserved for Gold-level members and above flying internationally.

That said, elite status isn't the only way to gain Sky Club access. Anyone can buy an annual membership for $695. Further, Silver Medallion members who hold The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card or the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card can get complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs when traveling on a Delta-operated or -marketed flight, or for $50 when flying a SkyTeam partner.

Effective 2/1/25, Reserve Card Members will receive 10 Visits per year to the Delta Sky Club. To earn an unlimited number of visits each year, the total eligible purchases on the Card must equal $75,000 or more the previous year. To earn unlimited visits in 2025, you’ll need to spend this amount between 1/1/24 and 12/31/24.

Terms apply.

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.

To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, see this page.
To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, see this page.
To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, see this page.
To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, see this page.

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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