Delta Air Lines Just Announced a Major Change to Its SkyMiles Program

And it includes new benefits for rewards members.

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Delta hasn't toyed with its SkyMiles loyalty program since 2015, but after nearly a decade, the fan-favorite carrier is introducing a revamp, including additional benefits for its higher-tiered travelers.

On Thursday, the company announced the update, directly affecting customers working toward medallion status for 2024. The bad news is Delta is increasing its Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQD) threshold for earning Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Medallion status.

In layperson's terms, it will be even harder to earn a top-tiered status. For gold, you'll need $8,000 MQDs (up from $6,000 this year), while Platinum status will now be $12,000 MQDs (up from $9,000) and Diamond requires $20,000 MQDs (up from $15,000). Silver, however, will remain the same. 

Now that we've gotten that negativity out of the way let's talk about something better. Delta is also introducing new benefits. Loyalty members will snag statement credits on qualifying Delta SkyMiles cards and the ability to gift status to someone else. That goes into effect starting February 1, 2023. 

"These limited SkyMiles Program changes are a necessary step toward both preserving and improving the customer experience for our most loyal and engaged Members," SVP of Customer Engagement and Loyalty and CEO of Delta Vacations Dwight James said in the announcement. "The travel and loyalty landscape has changed considerably since we last made changes to the earn qualifications of multiple membership tiers. We are continuing to invest in the customers who invest in us so those Members experience the best of what Delta has to offer—with our new Choice Benefits, our premium and transformed Delta Sky Clubs, and our expansion of the use of SkyMiles as currency throughout the journey."

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Megan Schaltegger is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist.