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If you have the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card or Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, you already know that your card comes with a “Status Boost” to help you earn Medallion Qualifying Mile, or MQMs, — units you need to attain elite flyer status that comes with perks like complimentary upgrades, waived change fees and bonus Delta SkyMiles every time you fly. Spend $30,000 in a year on either card and you earn 15,000 MQMs, and you can do so up to four times a year for a total of 60,000 MQMs. Terms apply.
But keeping your hard-earned MQMs for yourself is just one option. You can also gift them to a friend or family member. Here’s an overview of both cards, followed by some things you’ll want to know if you’re thinking of giving those MQMs away.
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card: The basics
The personal version of the Reserve card carries a $550 annual fee. Terms apply. Besides earning 15,000 MQMs for every $30,000 charged in a year, cardmembers get a suite of other benefits:
Complimentary Delta Sky Club access.
Complimentary American Express Centurion Lounge access (when flying Delta).
Annual companion certificate valid in first class, Comfort+ or main cabin.
3x miles on all Delta purchases.
1x miles on all other purchases.
Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck.
Complimentary first checked bag for up to nine passengers on your reservation.
Travel and purchase protections.
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card: The basics
The annual fee for the business card is also $550, but the mileage earning benefits are slightly different. You’ll earn the same 3 miles per dollar on Delta flights, but when you reach $150,000 a year in spend, non-Delta purchases start earning 1.5x SkyMiles instead of 1x. If you’re a big spender or charge a lot in business purchases throughout the year, this could mean a nice bump for you. The other card benefits are the same as the personal version of the card. Terms apply.
» Learn more: Which Delta Air Lines credit card should you get?
Delta Reserve Status Boost
The Status Boost is the same for both the personal and business versions of the card: You’ll earn 15,000 MQMs after you spend $30,000 on your card in a calendar year, up to four times. That means you can earn 60,000 MQMs with either card, almost enough for Platinum Medallion Status just in credit card spend. Terms apply.
Get emails on your MQM progress
Every time you hit a $30,000 spending threshold, Delta will shoot you an email titled “You’ve earned 15,000 More MQMs With Your Card.” It could end up in your junk folder if you’re not used to getting emails from American Express.
Want to track your own progress? Just use the handy tracker on the American Express website located under the “Home” section halfway down on the right hand side.
» Learn more: Delta Air Lines SkyMiles program: The complete guide
How to receive or gift your MQMs
Click the link in the email to get to the MQM website, then choose your card type.
You’re then asked to either apply the MQMs to your own account or gift them to someone else. To keep them for yourself, just click “Add the 15,000 MQMs to my SkyMiles account.”
The MQMs post right away.
If you want to gift your MQMs to someone else, you’ll need their name as it appears on their Delta SkyMiles account and their account number. A friend of mine gifted me his 15,000 MQMs and they appeared in my account about three hours later.
» Learn more: The complete guide to Delta Medallion elite status
The bottom line
In response to the pandemic, MQMs you earned in 2020 are being applied toward your 2021 status. So if you keep the MQMs earned using your card, you’ll have a significant head start toward your next level of status.
Of course, if you have a frequent flyer in your family and it’s been a tough year for them, a Delta Status Boost could make a nice gift. Be sure to factor in where you and your potential gift recipient are sitting in terms of MQMs to advance to the next SkyMiles level. You may prefer to allocate them to the person who can most easily qualify for a new elite status.
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 2021, 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