Delta will increase the threshold for earning its top three loyalty status tiers.
The changes begin with next year's accruals for 2024 status. It's the first such change implemented by the carrier since 2015.
In order to achieve Medallion status, SkyMiles members must reach an annual minimum threshold of dollars spent and couple that with an annual minimum for segments flown or an annual minimum for miles flown.
Delta won't change the current spending requirement of $3,000 to be eligible for Silver Medallion status. For Gold, $8,000 qualifying dollars will need to be spent, up from $6,000. For Platinum, the threshold is increasing to $12,000 from $9,000. For Diamond, flyers will need to spend at least $20,000 in 2023, up from $15,000.
"As Delta exits an unprecedented summer of demand for travel and navigates an evolving industry landscape, the airline remains committed to ensuring Delta SkyMiles membership and Medallion Status levels provide exclusive, earned opportunities for its most loyal customers," the airline said.
Medallion Qualification Dollars are earned through expenditures on Delta flights and flights from qualifying partners. Basic economy purchases don't earn qualification dollars.
Next year's changes won't impact the minimums on flight segments or miles flown.
Delta will continue to exempt SkyMiles members from the Minimum Qualification Dollars requirement for Silver, Gold and Platinum status if they spend $25,000 on a co-branded American Express credit card. Members who charge $250,000 on a co-branded card continue to be exempt from the Diamond qualifying dollars requirement.
New perks for Delta's top customers
As Delta makes it more costly to achieve its top three loyalty tiers, the carrier will also introduce some new perks for loyalty members. Beginning early next year, Medallion members with upgrade certificates will be able to request upgrades digitally as they complete their purchase on the Delta website. The carrier is working on a similar solution for its app.
The carrier will also enhance offerings in its Choice Benefits program, which Diamond and Platinum members are eligible for.
For example, those members will be able to choose items such as a $250 travel credit voucher. Diamond status members will also be eligible for $500 in Delta Vacations hotel and flight credits, while those with Platinum status can choose a $400 voucher.