Credit CardsPrivate: Credit Cards > Travel
How Does LendingTree Get Paid?
| Advertising Disclosure

How LendingTree Gets Paid

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Advertising Disclosure

LendingTree is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

Is Delta Silver Medallion Elite Status Worth Earning?

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

There was a time when having silver elite status on an airline’s loyalty program meant something. But in 2014, Delta Air Lines became the first U.S. carrier to have its loyalty program, SkyMiles®, go from members earning status based strictly on number of miles flown to a formula based on miles flown, segments flown and money spent on fares. Delta was followed by United Airlines and American Airlines.

The change was designed to add more revenue to Delta’s bottom line and reward travelers who spent top dollars on fares. As a result, travelers now feel silver status has been tarnished.

However, there are perks with Silver Medallion that may still make it attractive to travelers looking to achieve it. We’ll take a look at Delta Silver Medallion status to see how you earn it, what benefits you receive and if it’s worth your efforts. We’ll also see how Silver Medallion benefits stack up against Delta’s co-branded American Express cards.

How to earn Delta Silver Medallion

Travelers can earn Delta Silver Medallion status by doing the following in a calendar year:

  • Earn 25,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) or 30 Medallion Qualifying Segments (MQSs)
  • And spend $3,000 Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs) on airfare.

MQMs are earned based on distance flown and fare class, while MQSs are earned based on the number of flights you take. However, the MQDs needed for silver for a qualification year will be waived if you spend $25,000 or more during a calendar year with eligible Delta SkyMiles American Express-branded credit cards.

What comes with Delta Silver Medallion

  • Complimentary preferred seats. Travelers can choose where they want to sit, near the front of the plane on fares booked in Q class or higher.
  • Delta Comfort+® upgrades. These seats, when available, have up to four inches of extra legroom, dedicated overhead bin space and early boarding. All revenue fare classes (except Basic Economy), award tickets and pay-with-miles tickets are eligible.
  • First class upgrades. This perk is available within 24 hours of departure. Note that higher status levels — Diamond, Platinum, and Gold — are upgraded before Silver. All revenue fare classes (except Basic Economy), award tickets and pay-with-miles are eligible for upgrades.
  • Waived baggage fees. You and up to eight travel companions on the same reservation can check one bag for free on U.S. flights.
  • Priority check-in. You can use a dedicated line at the airport to check in for your flight.
  • Priority boarding. You board with Main Cabin 1, although first class, Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Medallions all board before Silver.
  • Priority phone line. Use a dedicated number to call Delta for help.
  • SkyTeam elite status. When you fly with any of the 20 SkyTeam partner airlines, you’ll receive Elite status, which offers benefits including priority check-in counters, extra baggage allowance, priority boarding, preferred seats and a priority reservation waitlist.

Credit card options to earn MQMs

It’s possible to earn Delta MQMs without setting foot on a plane. The airline has four credit cards that help maintain elite Medallion status:

    • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card: Limited Time Offer: Earn 80,000 Bonus Miles and 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021. Earn 15,000 MQMs and 15,000 bonus miles after spending $30,000 on the card in a calendar year. And you can earn another 15,000 MQMs and another 15,000 bonus miles after spending $60,000 on the card in a calendar year. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.

To see rates & fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card please click here.

    • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card: Limited Time Offer: Earn 80,000 bonus miles, 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs), and a $200 statement credit after spending $5,000 on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer Ends 11/10/2021. Spend $30,000 on the card in a calendar year and earn another 15,000 MQMs. After spending another $60,000 in a calendar year, you’ll earn another 15,000 MQMs and another 15,000 bonus miles. Earn 3 Miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta.

To see rates & fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card please click here.

    • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card: Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021. With Miles Boost®, earn 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs after spending $25,000 on the card in a calendar year. Earn another 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs after spending $50,000 on the card in a calendar year. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels. Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets. Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases. Plus, earn 3X Miles on Delta flights and Delta Vacations®.

To see rates & fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card please click here.

    • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card: Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles, 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs), and a $100 statement credit after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer Ends 11/10/2021. Spend $25,000 or more per calendar year on the card and receive 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs. If you spend $50,000 or more, you’ll earn another 10,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs. Earn 3 Miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and on every eligible dollar spent on purchases made directly with hotels.

To see rates & fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card please click here.

Disclosures |
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
N/A
15.74%-24.74% Variable
$550
Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases. Earn 1X Mile on all other
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 80,000 Bonus Miles and 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 60,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 15,000 MQMs four times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status.  MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Receive a Domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+® or Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card.*Payment of the government-imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Complimentary access into the Delta Sky Club® for you when travelling on a Delta flight.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge or Escape Lounge – The Centurion® Studio Partner when you book a Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
660 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Disclosures |
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
N/A
15.74% - 24.74% Variable
$550
Earn 3 Miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 80,000 bonus miles, 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs), and a $200 statement credit after spending $5,000 on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer Ends 11/10/21.
  • With Status Boost®, earn 15,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to 4x per year getting you closer to Medallion Status.
  • When you purchase a Delta flight with your Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card, you will receive complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge or Escape Lounge – The Centurion® Studio Partner. 
  • After you spend $150,000 on your Card in a calendar year, you earn 1.5 Miles per dollar (that’s an extra half mile per dollar) on eligible purchases the rest of the year. If your purchase qualifies for a category that has a higher mileage accelerator, only the higher accelerator will apply (ex: you would earn 3X miles on purchases made directly with Delta instead of 1.5X).
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when you spend overseas.
  • Earn 3 Miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta.
  • Terms and limitations apply.
660 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Disclosures |
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
N/A
15.74%-24.74% Variable
$250
Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card.*Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
660 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Disclosures |
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
N/A
15.74% - 24.74% Variable
$250
Earn 3 Miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles, 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs), and a $100 statement credit after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer Ends 11/10/21.
  • Earn 3 Miles on every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta and on every eligible dollar spent on purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 1.5 miles per dollar on single eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (that’s an extra half mile per dollar), up to 50,000 additional miles per year. 1 Mile on every eligible dollar spent on other purchases.
  • With Status Boost®, earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year, up to 2x per year getting you closer to Medallion Status.
  • Status-like benefits: First Check Bag Free on Delta flights + Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding.
  • Terms and limitations apply.
660 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

What are the benefits worth?

The most valuable benefits of Silver are free preferred seats and the potential for upgrades.

However, your upgrade chances will be somewhat limited since you’re at the bottom of the pecking order, behind Diamond, Platinum and Gold travelers. Unless you are flying on a non-business, non-leisure travel-heavy day or a less frequently traveled route, it is highly unlikely that you’ll snag that upgrade to first class.

Silver status does allow you an upgrade of sorts by allowing you to choose preferred seats toward the front of the plane for free. The same goes for seats in Delta Comfort+, although again, Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Medallions have access before Silver.

Having that free checked bag for you and eight companions on U.S. flights is a great benefit that saves you a $30 fee for each checked bag. Main Cabin 1 boarding ensures you’ll have overhead bin space for your carry-on bags and gives you time to get settled before general boarding starts.

The bottom line

The perks that come with a Delta-branded American Express can sometimes be better than what you receive with Silver status, depending on what card you’re carrying.

All of Delta’s premium cards come with a free bag, but for up to nine traveling companions instead of eight with Silver status. The cards also come with Main Cabin 1 priority boarding, but not the priority check-in that Silver Medallion members receive.

If you’re all right knowing that you probably won’t get an upgrade to business or first class with Silver Medallion, then the other perks that come with it make it worth having. But if you want a better chance to get those upgrades, along with more perks, then it’s worth it to go for higher Medallion status.