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In 2021, Delta introduced a “status accelerator” program that made earning elite status easier while travel remained slow. This program offered bonus Medallion qualification credits for flights taken through Dec. 31, 2021.
That portion of the program has expired, but a few elements of it remain in play and could affect your elite status in 2022.
» Learn more: The complete guide to Delta Medallion elite status
Earn elite status credits on Delta award flights
Flyers can earn elite status credits on Delta award flights from April 1, 2022 through Dec. 31, 2022. To qualify, flights must be both marketed and operated by Delta. Put another way, your boarding pass needs to show a Delta flight number and the side of the plane needs to say Delta.
Base Medallion earning rates for award tickets
Delta award flights will earn Medallion Qualification Miles based on the cabin booked and the distance of the flight:
Basic economy: Does not earn MQMs.
Main cabin and Delta Comfort+: 100% of distance flown.
First class, Delta Premium Select and Delta One: 150% of distance flown.
Medallion Qualification Dollars on award tickets are calculated by dividing the mileage redeemed by 100. You won't earn any MQDs on taxes and fees paid. Award travelers will earn 1 Medallion Qualification Segment per segment flown.
If you held status in 2021, Delta has extended your status through all of 2022, to Jan. 31 2023. This is separate from the accelerator program altogether, but means you might not have to earn status again to take advantage in 2022.
Also, Delta has extended all unused regional and global upgrade certificates (a perk of some Medallion elite levels) through January 2023. This means you have more time to use these upgrade certificates.
All Medallion Qualification Miles earned in 2021 have been rolled into 2022, potentially offering a head start on earning status this year. Check your Delta membership page to see how many miles rolled over.
Note that Medallion Qualification Dollars did not roll over from the previous year. Since you have to meet a minimum number of MQMs and MQDs to achieve each Medallion tier, the rollover of Medallion Qualification Miles only gets you halfway there.
» Learn more: Your guide to earning Delta Air Lines SkyMiles
The bottom line
Delta made earning Medallion elite status easier in 2021 through an elite status accelerator, elite earnings on award flights and expanded status boosts. Most of those benefits have expired, but a few perks remain for those looking to achieve status in 2022.
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 2022, including those best for:
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