Following Delta Air Lines’ controversial 2023 announcement of elite status changes that would be implemented in 2024, the airline is seemingly hoping to gain customer favor by offering a lucrative status match challenge in the new year.
If you currently have elite status with another airline, the Medallion Status Match Challenge allows customers to essentially swap it for an equivalent status with Delta, complimentary, for three months. Additionally, if you complete the challenge, you’ll have the opportunity to extend your Medallion status through January 2026.
Keep reading to find out how to qualify for the January 2024 status match challenge and extend your elite status for the next two years.
How to qualify for Delta’s 2024 status match challenge
Per Delta’s website, to participate in the 2024 elite status match challenge, you must meet the following criteria:
- In the past three years, you have not received a status match, promotional Medallion status or complimentary Medallion status (except if your complimentary status was through your Million Miler status).
- You currently hold elite status with a qualifying airline; however, that status must have been earned through the airline’s requirements and cannot have been complimentary or earned through a promotion. If you hold status with an airline that is not on Delta’s partner list (but you meet the criteria), you can still submit a request to participate in the challenge.
- You must show proof of your earned status by submitting the following: proof of an elite physical or digital card membership with your name on it, plus a statement from the qualifying airline showing your elite status and the activity from that airline on how you earned that status. Both materials must have your name on them. To provide this information, you can upload a photo or screenshot from your app or computer.
- You must be a Delta SkyMiles member who has been enrolled in the program for at least 60 days prior to submitting a status match request.
- In the last three years (as a SkyMiles member), you must have flown on at least one Delta-marketed flight with a fare class higher than basic economy.
Your three-month complimentary Silver Medallion, Gold Medallion or Platinum Medallion elite status will begin within 24 hours after you receive an email confirmation.
Be sure to check Delta’s published chart comparison to determine which Delta status you qualify for.
How to extend your Delta status to 2026
Three months is a nice window of time to enjoy elite perks, but if you want to extend Medallion status, you must earn the required number of Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) during that three-month period. Specifically, you must earn 1,250 MQDs to extend your Silver Medallion status, 2,500 MQDs for Gold Medallion status and 3,750 MQDs for Platinum Medallion status.
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You can earn MQDs by flying on Delta-marketed flights or with one of the carrier’s partners; however, basic economy fares do not count toward earning MQDs. You can also earn MQDs by booking vacation packages through Delta Vacations. If you want to earn status quickly, you can earn MQDs with an eligible Delta SkyMiles American Express Card, such as:
However, the MQD headstart from these four cards — which is slated to take effect in February — does not count toward these thresholds.
SkyMiles members can enroll in this challenge from now until Dec. 31, so it’s important to time your enrollment carefully based on your upcoming travel plans. For example, if you don’t have any plans to fly Delta until April, wait until then to start the challenge. This will allow you to enjoy the perks of your complimentary status while also maximizing your chances of meeting the MQD thresholds.
No matter when you enroll or qualify for the status match, you’ll be given elite status through Jan. 31, 2026 — the conclusion of the 2025 Medallion year — if you successfully complete the requirements of the challenge.
Delta’s 2024 status match challenge is a lucrative offer for those who already have elite status with another airline. It’s an easier avenue to gain notable perks with Delta and enjoy the benefits of this airline. So, whether you’re looking to break ties with a former airline or dip your toes into what Delta’s Medallion status can offer, this is a notable status match that you should look into if you’re frequently on the road.