flying sbn-dtw-dsm-msp-sbn from great circle mapper

Would you burn 18,000+ Ultimate Rewards points to prove a point? I did, and even spent a day mostly on my favorite jet that is CRJ200s! :-(

What I said on FT about the thread

You see, as happens now and then, people put up posts on Flyertalk and think they know all the answers. Now when I don’t know I either go to Delta and get an answer or I test. Sometimes those at FT still think I am wrong, but I can rest easily knowing I have the facts right. I commented about a thread that the info was bogus and there was “nothing to see here – move along”.

my reply at FT

That drew a sharp response from FTer “timmy83 as you can see from the above. Now I knew deep down, even though I had not flow UR points myself, that Chase Ultimate Rewards would earn FULL credit with Delta including MQDs.

all points

So I went ahead, at a horrid 11CPM, and purchased a day trip to Des Moines, Iowa. Why not. I mean lots of quality time on CJR200s is what I live for.

my ticket from UR points how much

Much like when I buy a ticket with FlexPerks points, that incidentally also earn FULL credit with Delta including MQDs, shows up as purchased with a Mastercard. I was expecting to get 173MQDs for this trip.

rene ultimate rewards flight full mqds

So now I have flown it, and the points have posted, and I was off by one point as Delta rounded up the MQDs (so even 1 penny over will round up – sweet) and I ended up with 174MQDs and full Skymiles including my medallion bonus. Also, my fellow blogger MJ on Travel had a similar trip and also earned FULL points across the board so we have two data points in the same month btw.

So we have yet one more FT rumor debunked and know that if you pay with:

  •  A Capital one card (and then pay yourself back with points)

 

In all of these situations you will get FULL credit for your Delta trip. Will any of this change under Skymiles2015? I would not see any reason why it would.

The only possible thing that could happen, as HAS CONFIRMED happened with AMEX Travel, is that Travelocity, the booking engine they (UR & FlexPerks) uses to book Delta tickets, could start using consolidator fares. This is NOT the case now, but that could happen one day. Then the only way to be safe is use say the Barclay’s Arrival card and book directly at Delta.com to be 100% in the clear and still be able to redeem points for the trip. – René

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Posted by Delta Points | 11 Comments

earn an extra bonus point when flying delta if you start at amex travel

With the advent of Skymiles2015 Delta has been pushing the Delta AMEX to book to get 2x more Skymiles when buying tickets on Delta.com. I put up a post that you are missing out on an “extra” 2x points if you do that as the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold card pays you 3x on airfare and you can get an extra 1x by booking not on Delta.com but on the AMEX Travel site.

However, there are a few downsides of NOT starting at Delta.com. One is if you have to cancel inside the 24hr-ish mark and get a full refund it is free and simple at Delta.com but a small fee at AMEX Travel. Not a deal breaker but one to be aware of. As long as we are earning FULL credit for trips that is great.

We all know Delta Vacations does NOT pay MQDs as they do use consolidator fares at times to book at the lowest price. Well it seems, at least from AMEX Travel UK, this could also now be the case. Look what James e-mailed me (and told me I could post):

Hi René

Thanks for your blog; I read it every day.

I just thought your readers might like to be reminded of Delta’s “exception fares” which – even today – earn a fraction of the full mileage. I didn’t think I was a miles and points rookie, but I just got caught out with this one.

I booked a ticket (on Delta stock) via American Express Travel Service in the UK. The return fare for LBA-AMS-ATL-DFW was identical to Delta’s own fare but AMEX were running a promotion for bonus MR points so I booked via them. Both Delta and Amex were booking into V class.

I’ve just completed the outbound flights and was horrified to realize that Delta must treat these tickets as one of the “small number of unpublished fares now earn miles at a reduced rate and will not be eligible for bonus miles or MQM promotions.

I’ve booked through agents before and always received full mileage credit. It never crossed my mind that Amex [travel] would be selling these unpublished fares.

Instead of earning 11,262 MQMs / 22,524 redeemable, I’ll end up with just 2,710 MQMs / redeemable. I’m gutted!! It means I can almost certainly kiss good-bye to Gold Medallion status next year.

I don’t know how you’re supposed to tell which agent is selling these unpublished fares – they carry the same booking class letters as Delta’s own. This has made me seriously start to consider a status match to another airline…

Best wishes – James

YIKES! This could be really BAD news kids. But I need more data points. I have talked to many many many flyers who have booked at the USA AMEX Travel site and get full credit as well as using the Ultimate Rewards site to book Delta and got full credit across the board. Have you ever on any of these sites, booking Delta tickets, NOT got full credit you were expecting? What about travel agents or other portals? Please comment and let me and all of us know. – René

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Posted by Delta Points | 9 Comments

part of renes digital delta boarding pass on phone from a screen shot

The Delta phone app really is a nice tool. You can do so many things with it and conveniently pass through TSA and board your flight all with your electronic boarding pass. Old boarding passes are saved, for now, up to 7 days after your flight.

request mileage credit delta-com for missing points

There can be an issue with this; what if you don’t get credit for your flight for some reason. Most times, all it takes is a quick email to Delta with the flight you were on that you did not get credit for and very quickly you are given credit.

account discrpancies from delta 2014 skymiles membership guide

The only problem that can occasionally happen is what if you don’t get credit. According to the 2014 Skymiles guide page 15 it says it is up to us to keep old boarding passes to be able to submit them, if needed, for full credit. If the digital boarding pass is gone you don’t have this proof anymore.

credit from a flight that did not get miles delta points blog

I have reached out to Delta about this and we will see if a change is made to have longer access but for now I would take the extra step to take a screen shot of your boarding pass or save them to a PDF or something like that. After all, every single RDM, MQM & MQD matters to us! – René

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Posted by Delta Points | 2 Comments

mqs

How much do you fly? No, not miles, segments or MQS / Medallion Qualifying Segments. You talk to those people who fly 100+ up’s and down’s and they are the “real” flyers. Delta does reward them with Medallion status at 30, 60,100 & 140 segments moving up the ladder + MQDs also this year. If you are a DM from 140 segment you have both my respect and condolences. I cry for how much CRJ time you have had in your life.

Here is the deal (and this in no way new news to many), these hard core loyal Delta flyers get NO perks of rollover unlike the rest of us. If they have 130 MQSs at the end of the year, the extra 30 are just gone! Yep, if they end up just one short, they sure should have taken that one more last leg. Oh, and even those of you who were “forced” to overpay for MQMs this year from Delta, MQS flyers could not buy even 1 single MQS at ANY price to get over the top. How is this fair at all? Seriously Delta?!?

First, the possible Delta logic (don’t hate on me, I am just trying to come up with any kind of idea that can hold water at all). Is it because segment flyers just don’t pay as much as MQM flyers? Doubt it, as many pay a TON for short hops. And if this were the case why not allow rollover MQSs if they are worth so much less? Is it because there are so many less segment flyers? Then why have all the tech in place and charts to reward these flyers. I just don’t get it I guess. Do you?

Personally I would love to see MQSs added to the rollover equation. With MQDs in place, there is no reason this could not be done. I hope if you are an MQS qualifier, you will e-mail again and again to Delta that you would like to see this “enhancement” in 2014!

OK talking about MQDs, would an MQD rollover be a good idea? I know a bunch are asking for that but I am not so sure on this one. Delta has created MQDs to do two things. One, reduce the number of medallions and reward those who spend with Delta and AMEX. I can see the airline logic of requiring spend year after year. If both MQMs and MQSs were rolled over, then sure I really am OK with NO MQD or extra over spend on AMEX rolling over. Now understand, I spend $120,000+ on my two Delta AMEX Reserve cards and would love a multi-year exempt spend rollover but just don’t see it happening. It would again cause an inflation of too many medallions.

I think 2014 is going to be a learning year for Delta and I think what we say, and do, will mold what is to come – René

mqd exempt spending

BTW, so far ALL tested MQD spending is counting :-)

 

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Posted by Delta Points | 6 Comments

DELTA MQMs

From emails to tweets I should have a stock reply ready this time of the year. You see, in 2012 rollover happened on 8JAN2012 and then last year as soon as 2JAN2013. What will that date be this year?

Some on FlyerTalk have speculated as late as 1MARCH and many other dates. I have long ago stopped worrying about the date as I know they will happen eventually and most times sooner than anyone thinks. But, just to put readers at ease, Delta was kind enough and reached out to me to give us this info:

“Rollover MQMs will be available once all 2013 activity has posted, which is expected by late January 2014. After that time, customers will be able to view Rollover MQMs in their account activity summary at delta.com.” – Delta Corp

With MQDs and all the new tech that is starting this year a slight delay over the speed of posting from the past few years does not surprise me at all. Also, even though not quoted, we can also see on our Fly Delta apps the same summary we see on Delta.com.

tracking mqm mqd exempt spend on delta fly app

At least now we can take a deep sigh and know that by 1FEB2014 we should all be able to see our rollover MQMs posting and updated from previous years! – René

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Posted by Delta Points | 4 Comments

rene deltapoints mqm totals before amex 15k from delta reserve card

I hate to push it. I am always early to the airport; early to any event I attend really. This same thing applies to my Delta AMEX Reserve card spend to get my bonus MQMs. I often get questions about what if I make a purchase on 31DEC2013 will it count for this year and I think to myself, “are you crazy”? Personally I would never push it as a charge may not post until JAN2014. Why not relax and get it done well beforehand.

rene deltapoints mqm totals before amex 15k from delta reserve card 2

So as I blogged about HERE, once you meet the $30,000 and or the $60,000 spend levels you can then either claim the MQMs for yourself or send them to someone else like I did with my last round. Keep in mind if you DO NOT send them somewhere Delta will deposit them into your account. And although I have answered this in the past, you can not wait until 2014 and have them count for 2014. They will count in the year you earned them. Only spend after 01JAN2014 counts for 2014 flying year and the 2015 qualifying year.

rene deltapoints mqm totals after amex 15k from delta reserve card

Also, as you can see from the screen shots from my “My Delta” page the MQMs posted almost instantly and my totals for the year went up by 15,000 as well as my lifetime million miler balance as any and all MQMs do count toward this total.

I have only one more paid for trip this year (the rest are on points) so my mileage run with MJ will do it for me for the year. I will exceed my goal just by a little bit and end the year with 230,000+ MQMs, rolling over 105,000-ish. What this means is once I spend $30,000 in 2014 on my personal or business AMEX Reserve cards, I will be MQD exempt, get another 15,000 MQMs and have 120,000 MQMs – only 5k short of Diamond Medallion until FEB2016. Actually I jumped on the $153 MKE-SFO mileage run deal and will fly that early in January so by the first week of February 2014 I should be all done! That is really planning ahead but that will give me flexibility to look at what else I may want to do for the year. – René

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Posted by Delta Points | 20 Comments

could mqd impact your search for low level award seats on delta maybe

I sorta know a few things about the airline we love to fly. After enough time you get a “feel” for the way things work. Almost two years ago I did a post about the “real” names behind medallion statustiny arrow and with MQDs this has proved all but prophetic.

This is speculation on my part but let’s break it down. Delta has clearly demonstrated one thing you can do to be valued by Delta is spend spend spend. Not just spend, but do it only on Delta. Partners, careful, many times unless code share you are not showing Delta love!

We already know that Delta loves AMEX and AMEX loves Delta. Delta is happy when you get a Delta AMEX and will often times, as blogged in the past, give up more low level seats to AMEX card holdertiny arrow (this is tidbit #1). Also with AMEX, we know they give more upgrades to Reserve card holders (as CWSI.net shows youtiny arrow). I am near 100% as a Diamond Medallion on upgrades this year, and I know many Diamond Medallion do not have the Reserve card and complain that they might as well be Platinums since their upgrade percentages are so low (this is tidbit #2).

delta million miler tag

I have no proof of this, but I see the trained response by crews and other Delta employees to million milers (they know who you are). I am getting closer to million miler status and would love some feedback if you have found more low level seats after crossing the 1 or 2 or 4 million mark. If you have not yet, don’t be shocked if you see this moving forward. This seems to be an achievement the airline is focusing ontiny arrow now (this is tidbit #3).

We also know for a fact that the higher up the medallion laddertiny arrow you go the more low level seats Delta does release to us. I have been shocked at how many more low level seats I can find as a Diamond compared to the lower medallion ranks (this is tidbit #4).

We now get to the point of this post. Delta is prominently displaying your MQDs on your My Delta home pagetiny arrow. Each ticket you buy now shows your MQD estimated spend. My bet is soon either by rank or some way (like the new handsets), just like your medallion status or your million miler ranking, ALL the Delta employees will see if you are a HVC that is a high value customer who has a BIG MQD number with the airline this year. Additionally, since we already know Delta loves to award more low level seats to those who are AMEX loyal and high medallion rank, how simple of a thing will it be to also reward those who spend the most with the most access to low level seats?

diamond mqd spender with delta airlines

Just how far can Delta take this? Truly the sky’s the limit! Boarding is already a messy train wreck so don’t see that as a perk; plus I think most would not like it announced to the world they are Deltas biggest cash cows spenders. But could this be yet another tiebreaker for upgrades? Maybe. What about OP-UP’s that is operations upgrades on international flights when coach is oversold? Why not do this (at least from the USA-overseas as we know coming back is just a mess). Who knows what else they could play with with these numbers but my guess is we are going to see a ton more in this regard when it comes to perks and favors.

We are in new uncharted bean counter shark infested waters moving forward; the next few years flying Delta is going to be interesting times – me thinks! – René

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Posted by Delta Points | 8 Comments

question marks

This seems to be the week of questions and answers and that works as there is just so much new on the way next year that we need to have all of this clear in our heads.

Delta has truly been doing an OUTSTANDING jobtiny arrow of trying to make all of this very clear to us in the verbiage on Delta.com. The FAQs page is detailed and provides just about all the answers anyone could ask. Now if Delta “IT” could also be on the same page it would remove some confusion.

First as to the question of when spending counts. Some readers have stated that you could say buy a ticket TODAY, 09SEPT2013, for travel on 01JAN2014 and you will not get any MQD credit. That is, you must wait till 01JAN2014 for any MQD spending to count. That is incorrect! You get credit for a flight when you have flown it not when you pay for it. The FAQs page points to this.

mdq4

As you can see both times the focus is when the flight is completed as to when you will get credit for the flight. You will also soon see more proof of this in a bit. One other thing it now talks about on the FAQs page is that we can see the estimated MQDs in the trip summary page when getting ready to book a ticket.

mqd1

And as we see, when I do a test book from South Bend to Detroit it is showing the estimated MQDs I would earn had this been 2014. And when we click on the “details” pop-up we get:

mqd2

This not only shows more details about the MQD it again shows that this, along with MQMs etc., all only credit when the flight is complete and that makes perfect sense.

MQD3

The one ongoing bug that Delta has yet to fix is the fact that we can now EARN MQMs (and soon MQDs) with “Pay with Miles” when they are redeemed for 1st class travel.

mqd5

Delta.com clearly in the wording all over the site tells us this but the “IT” is still showing ZEROs where there should be numbers. I have not done a 1st class pay with miles but dozens of other flyers have and can 100% confirm it is working as stated even though Delta.com is displaying ZERO numbers here.

Bureaucracy. It is amazing just how complicated Skymiles is becoming. The layers upon layers of new rules, requirements and exemptions are becoming truly dizzying I will do my best to help you as, despite all this craziness, we can enjoy the perks of knowing the rules when most don’t have the time, energy or desire to keep all this straighttiny arrow! – René

 

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Posted by Delta Points | 6 Comments

rollover mqms going away

Some very interesting math is resulting from the new MQD or Medallion Qualifying Dollars that starts on 01JAN2014 in qualifying for the 2015 flying year.

You see in the past, MQMs were simple. Say you flew between 25,000 but less than 50,000 MQMs with Delta. You would simply rollover whatever number is above 25k but under 50k and so on up the medallion ranks.

Now say you are this year, like me, ending up with a TON of MQMs. You happen to end this year with 225,000 MQMs total thus rolling over 100,000 MQMs. Sounds good, but there is a chance you could lose ALL THOSE MQMs. How could this happen? Let’s take a look.

As long as you, next year, under the new system in 2014, spend at least $2500 MQDs you would then have earned Silver status for 2015 (with your rollover MQMs). Now for simple math you earned all that MQD spend on one ticket and it just added 5000 MQMs to your totals. You now have 105,000 MQMs with your rollover BUT you are ONLY Silver Medallion due to spending just $2500 in MQD. If you did not fly any more in 2014 you would then rollover 80,000 MQMs at the end of the year, that is, the amount of MQMs above 25,000 and $2500 MQD for Silver status.

Let’s now say, for whatever reason, you decide to jump ship in 2014 and only spend say $500 with Delta in MQD spend. You have now not qualified for ANY status for 2015 despite having rolled over 100,000 MQMs from the year before (i.e. 2013 into 2014).

So, as we know, you ONLY rollover MQMs above your current status. If you have NO status you rollover NO MQMs. Those are the rules. Thus, in this case, all 100,000 would simply be GONE at the end of 2014 rolling over ZERO into 2015.

I hope this makes you see the importance that during 2014 you either:

1) Meet ANY level of MQD spending (even just $2500) or
2) Meet the AMEX $25,000 exemption requirement via qualified spending on a Delta AMEX card.

I know these situations will be VERY rare and VERY few will fall into these categories, but for the first time there is a risk of losing MQMs that you may have expected would just keep rolling over and keeping you at some high medallion level.

For me, when you look at my current year’s MQD spend totals, I will be banking on the AMEX exemption via spend. A good wake-up call for us all when we do that math! – René

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Posted by Delta Points | 21 Comments

Delta MQDs start to display

If you log in to Delta.com and go to the “Account Activity” page you will see that MQD spending totals are now showing up. I am having a few small issues with displaying all my tickets. Do keep in mind, as you can see by all my red arrows, there is much data to glean.

  • You can use the data search function and then scroll down to see older info.
  • No matter what you paid for the segment, the MQD part is what you get credit for
  • Your grand total for the year is what matters unless you are exempt via AMEX spend or live outside of the USA.
  • You can download a PDF of your current page or current search
  • Keep in mind your MQMs are now just part of the medallion mix.

mqm plus mqd table delta airlines delta points blog

It seems, per the Delta rep on FlyerTalk, that AMEX exemptions spending that is over $25,000 on either personal Delta AMEX card or Business Delta AMEX card or a combination of the two will not be showing up as traceable until after 01JAN2014. This is not really an issue and I currently don’t have any concerns as if the spending you are doing, whatever it is, is counting toward your MQM bonus spend, then it should also count next year toward MQD spend. Clear?

using a credit from delta does earn MQD it seems

Also, over at FlyerTalk, members there are discussing what is counting. It seems that if you take a bump, and pay for a ticket with the bump voucher, you will get whatever credit you would get had you paid “cash” for the ticket. Same goes for say a “Choice Benefit” voucher as well. This is good news but not a deal breaker unless you get a LOT of bumps then it could be for a select few (I did get $5,000 in bump vouchers from Delta several years back).

Other bits. Clearly I am not a Delta HVC (or high value customer). I am at about 2CPM (cost per mile) on my MQMs all in but much of that is from AMEX spend bonus and low cost mileage runs now and then :-) Even when I add back my  2 x $450  AMEX Reserve fees I am only up to 2.5CPM. When you add back all the value I get from RDMs or Skymiles for all my flights and spend I am net on the plus side!

delta my skymiles tab

Also please don’t freak out if all the numbers in your MY SKYMILES (a new little tab btw) don’t quite work out as they should. I am impressed Delta put this out this far ahead of 01JAN2014 so we will all have a chance to see what is working and what is not before this really counts toward our totals for earning status for 2015. Speaking of that, also don’t freak out for 2014. What you spend this year, 2013, does not matter toward your 2014 flying year that ends 01MARCH2015. This will matter next year, in 2014, when you are working to qualify for 2015 that ends 01MARCH2016. Is that also clear?

To me the biggest perk of this for you, the reader, is to see if you will be all good based on your real spending with Delta or if you, like me, will need to go the exempt status way by spending on your Delta branded AMEX cards! – René

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from American Express®
Click here for more information

 

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Posted by Delta Points | 21 Comments

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