Delta Air Lines announced it is simplifying its SkyMiles loyalty program, basing rewards solely on expenditures rather than on a combination of spending and miles. In addition, the carrier will implement stricter access rules for Sky Club lounges in a continuing effort to reduce crowding.

The SkyMiles changes will not take effect until Jan. 1 for status levels to be earned for 2025. Initial changes for lounge access go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024, with more changes to come in 2025.

Under existing SkyMiles rules, members earn loyalty status through a combination of meeting minimum spending thresholds and flying either a minimum number of qualifying miles or qualifying flight segments. The simplified accrual system will do away with qualifying miles and segments. Instead, flyers will qualify for Medallion status through expenditures only.

SkyMiles members will earn one qualifying dollar per dollar spent on Delta-marketed flights, including on partner airlines. They’ll also earn one qualifying dollar per dollar spent on Delta Vacations packages and on car rentals and hotels booked via Delta channels.

In addition, holders of Delta co-branded credit cards will earn one qualifying dollar per $10 they put on SkyMiles Reserve or Reserve Business American Express card and one qualifying dollar per $20 they spend with a SkyMiles Platinum or Platinum Business card.

SkyMiles members will earn 2025 Silver Medallion status with 6,000 qualifying dollars; Gold Medallion, 12,000; Platinum Medallion, 18,000; and Diamond Medallion, 35,000.

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With the new lounge restrictions, those who book a basic economy ticket will no longer be allowed access starting Jan. 1, 2024, regardless of whether or not they carry a Platinum Card or any other premium credit card.
The airline said it plans to cap the number of entries to its Sky Clubs starting Feb. 1, 2025, for premium card holders. Those holding the Platinum Card will be allowed six visits per year, while Delta Reserve Card holders will get 10 annual visits.