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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. NerdWallet compared elite status programs across nine domestic airlines, including Delta Air Lines. Our analysis found that the airline's Medallion elite status program ranked among the top three, tied for the third spot with American Airlines and United Airlines.
Whether you're just curious about elite status or are already a SkyMiles member wanting to level up into Medallion status, this entry-level tier can be a way in. So, what does Delta Silver Medallion get you? Let's look at the benefits, how you can earn Silver Medallion elite status and other factors to consider.
Delta Silver Medallion benefits
Entry-level tier Delta Silver Medallion status ranked third compared to the competing starter tiers of other domestic carriers. It is outranked by Alaska MVP and Hawaiian Pualani Gold but fares better than American Gold and United Silver.
Delta Silver Medallion benefits include what you would expect from the lowest tier of an elite status program.
Bonus miles: Silver Medallion members earn an additional two bonus miles per dollar on qualified Delta and Delta-partner flights for seven miles per dollar. In contrast, general SkyMiles members earn 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.
Priority check-in and boarding: Travelers with Silver Medallion status receive priority check-in and earlier boarding with the Main Cabin 1 group. This boarding group is welcomed aboard the aircraft before main cabin and basic economy customers.
Complimentary upgrades: Silver Medallion members with a main cabin or higher ticket have access to unlimited seat upgrades for themselves and a companion.
» 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 $856. Below is how Silver Medallion compares to other Medallion tiers.
Value of benefits
Cost to earn
Elite earning rate
As expected, it doesn't offer as much value as higher Medallion levels. Keep in mind that these figures are estimates. 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
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.
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.
How to maximize your rewards
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Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card