Delta Status Match and Challenge Guide (2021)

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Delta Status Match

The Bougie Miles Delta Status Match Guide will cover everything you need to know about how to enroll in the Delta Medallion status match and complete the challenge requirements for each of the Delta status levels and the most important things to keep in mind. So why should you bother with Delta Medallion Status? Because holding airline status makes flying way more more pleasant by offering benefits like seat upgrades, priority boarding and free drinks, it also helps you save money on things like checked bags and lounge access. Delta status gives elite members benefits like additional bonus miles, upgrades, free preferred seats, lounge access, priority boarding, free bags, alcohol and food. Airline status is not easy to earn but thankfully there are some awesome shortcuts to get Delta Medallion status, even without flying. One way to skirt the traditional requirements for airline status is to earn status with one airline and complete a status match or challenge with another airline. 

2020 Amex Airline Credit: Using $2000 on JB, AA, Delta

I've noticed a lot of misinformation in other posts about what happens after the 3 month extension. You may only extend the same or lower Medallion Tier as the Tier you were originally matched to. For example, if you are matched to Gold Status, you cannot earn Platinum Medallion Status by meeting the Plat challenge requirements. However, if you fall short of meeting the the matched status requirements during the 3 months but meet the requirements for a lower medallion status, you can keep the lower extended Status. Just to make this clear, if I sign up for a Gold challenge but fall short of the miles flown requirements, I can still earn silver through this offer but I can never earn one higher. 

NEW: New FoundersCard AA Status Match Offer (Choose Challenge Dates through June)

The following Airlines offer status matches and or Challenges

  • Air Canada
  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Turkish Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic

How to Use Amex Airline Credits Without Travel During Quarantine (UPDATE 11/20)

Delta SkyMiles Medallion Status Match Challenge

Medallion Status Match Overview

The Medallion Status Match Challenge is an offer for members who have current elite airline status with other competitor airlines. The idea is to get airline loyalists to switch to Delta by giving them trial status and an opportunity to extend it. Delta will match a members status with their equivalent Medallion Status for three months for free and an opportunity to extend the status past three months by successfully completing a challenge. The Delta status challenge is met by flying a certain amount and completing a minimum spend threshold or receiving a spend waiver through credit card spending for each medallion level.

How to Get A Status Match on Delta

1. Make Sure you are eligible to enroll in the status match challenge

You are eligible to participate in our Status Match Challenge if you meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • You have not received a Status Match or free Medallion Status in the past three years
  • You currently have elite status with a qualifying airline that was earned through flying and meeting that airline’s published requirements
    • AKA (complimentary status or status earned through a promotion does not qualify)
  • You are able to present both 1) a valid, current elite physical or digital membership card or credential with your name on it and 2) a statement showing your activity that lead to your earned elite status

2. Submit your request to enroll in Status Match (link to register here)

3. Receive Complimentary Medallion Status for 3 months

If your request is approved, you will be automatically enrolled in the challenge and matched to Platinum, Gold or Silver Medallion Status based on your current elite status level with the other airline. Your complimentary Status Match will last for 3 months and within that time you'll need to meet the challenge requirements in order to keep your status. 

When I requested a status match they were very particular about my flight records to make sure I earned my AA Executive Platinum status by flying but truth be told I'd bet that if you have any significant amount of flight activity, they might not realize if you actually met each qualifying criteria. 

To determine which status challenge and match level you'll receive check out the Status Comparison chart here.

delta status match

One thing to note is that the airlines listed in the chart are pretty limited but right under the chart Delta notes “If you have status with an airline (excluding Delta airline partners) that is not listed above but meet the participation criteria, you can still submit your request  to participate in the Status Match Challenge.”

When Should You Enroll in Delta's Status Challenge

If you enroll in the match promotion and thus start a status challenge on or after July 1 in any given year, the status you earn is valid for the rest of the year, the complete following calendar year, all the way through January 30th of the year after that. Meaning you will have status for 19 months if you started exactly on July 1. That's awesome and a huge difference if you enroll in the first half of the year which would only give you the status until the end of January in the following year.

Delta Status Match Covid

As a result of Covid Delta extended 2020 Medallion Status through January 2022 and rolled over all MQMs earned in 2020 to give members a head start on status for 2022. They also gave everyone who was enrolled in a challenge during covid and as a result weren’t able to successfully complete the challenge the first time an opportunity to restart the Status Match Challenge at any time. Check out my full post here Details: Delta Sent Me an Incredible Status Offer (Yeayy me).


Delta Medallion Status: Delta Status Levels

Delta elite benefits include the following (in addition to many other valuable benefits)

  • Unlimited Complimentary Upgrades,
  • Priority Boarding,
  • waived baggage fees.
  • Rollover MQMs
  • Bonus points

Delta Silver Medallion

Delta Gold Medallion

Delta Platinum Medallion

Delta Diamond Medallion (Note- you cannot match to Delta Diamond Status through the Delta Status Match.)

Challenge Extension Requirements

In order to extend the status you were matched to you must earn the required amount of Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) or Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs) during the 3 month complimentary period and the required amount of Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) during the 3 month complimentary period or qualify for the MQD Waiver.

The MQD waiver allows you to bypass the MQD requirements if you make $25,000 or more in eligible purchases during the calendar year by the end of your 3 month trial with your eligible Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express. If your challenge period starts and ends in a different year, you can either earn the waiver anytime during the first year or in the second year prior to the end of the challenge. (For Diamond Medallion status the MQD waiver requires $250,000 in spend on an eligible card, but since you cannot earn Diamond through this offer it's inapplicable here.)

 

delta status match

Skyteam Status Match

One of the added value benefits of Delta Medallion Status is that it automatically gives you access to SkyTeam Elite status. Delta Silver Medallion Members receive Skyteam Elite while Gold, Platinum and Diamond will match to SkyTeam Elite Plus status. Here's a very brief overview of the benefits.

SkyTeam Elite benefits include:

  • Priority reservation wait list (when fares permit).
  • Preferred seating.
  • Priority check-in counters.
  • Priority boarding or at leisure.
  • Extra baggage allowance

SkyTeam Elite Plus Benefits Include

The Elite Plus-status level receives the above, as well as:

  • Guaranteed full-fare Y-class reservation on sold-out long-haul flights, at least 24 hours prior to departure.
  • Access to airport lounges worldwide, whatever the class of travel, for members in possession of a boarding pass, accompanied by a guest.
  • Priority baggage handling on arrival, whatever the class of travel
  • Extra baggage allowance
American Airlines Business Class Review (777-200) During COVID 2021

Other Details to keep in mind with the offer

  • Members who earn Platinum, Gold or Silver Medallion Status beyond the 3 month period through the promotion will be updated in the system within five business days of completing the requirements.
  • Members who successfully complete the Status Match Challenge are eligible for Rollover MQMs based on their earned Medallion Status.
  • You can enroll in this offer once every 3 years

Final Thoughts

Generally it only makes sense to enroll in a challenge when you have travel planned that will help you satisfy the challenge requirements. Enrolling in the challenge is pretty straightforward and there are a ton of shortcuts to meet the challenge requirements like long distance and/or premium cabin flights on partner airlines which award you MQMs and MQDs based on the specific partner, the distance and the fare class. Here's a post explaining how to calculate the miles for flights: Easily Calculate How Many Miles You’ll Earn for a FlightYou can also skirt the MQD requirements through a credit card waiver, so Delta definitely gives you lots of options.

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