MQDs calculation from the flight receipt

In 2015, Delta Air Lines was the first of many US-based airlines to add a revenue requirement on top of distance flown to earn (and maintain) elite status. Fast forward to 2024, Delta has followed suit with most full-service airlines, eliminating the flight requirements for status and basing everything off flight + co-branded credit card earnings through the calendar year.

Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQD) is the method of earning status and has two calculations (one much easier than the other) based on the type of ticket. Below is the information you need to calculate the earnings from the flight receipt on Delta Air Lines.

Calculation for Revenue Tickets

Understanding how to calculate MQD earnings from a revenue flight receipt

Base Fare

  • On the flight receipt, the Base Fare is eligible for MQD earning (rounded to the closest whole dollar).

Taxes and Fees

  • In the (endless) taxes and fees section, only the Carrier-Imposed International Surcharge (YR) is eligible for MQD earning (rounded to the closest whole dollar).

Flight Receipt

In this example, I paid $2048.86 for a round trip flight from IADATH, the Base Fare was $978 and the Carrier-Imposed International Surcharge (YR) was $956. The Medallion Qualifying Dollars for this flight was $1934 MQD (approximately 94% of the out-of-pocket spend).

Calculate MQDs from a revenue flight receipt

More Information

  • Destinations in the United Kingdom are notorious for heavily taxing airline tickets, especially those in premium cabins. These taxes are not eligible for MQD earning.
  • A full list of taxes and fees can be found on

Calculation for Award/Miles Tickets

Understanding how to calculate MQD earnings from an award/miles flight receipt

Based on how many miles spent

Calculating Medallion Qualifying Dollars earned on a miles tickets is much easier as the only calculation is dividing the total miles spent by 100.

Flight Receipt

In this example, I redeemed 138,000 miles for a round-trip flight. The Medallion Qualifying Dollars earned for this flight were $1380 MQD.

Calculating MQD from an award flight receipt
  1. Debra London says:

    I’m receiving an MQD “boost” for either Amex Reserve Card or my current Diamond status or both. The agent cannot get me an explanation. I’d love to know more!

  2. I am trying to get 1179 MQDs before the end of 2023 for medallion status. It is Dec. 7 as I write this, so time is tight. Suppose I fly from where I live in the U.S. to London on Dec. 29, and fly back from London to the U.S. on Jan. 2.

    1 – Is it correct that I will receive MQDs (and MQMs, but not worried about those) for 2023 for the Dec. 29 leg? I know I wouldn’t receive them for the Jan. 2 leg, at least I assume I would not.

    2 – Would I simply receive half of the total MQDs for 2023? What if I upgraded my seat for Dec. 29 but not for Jan. 2, would I get more MQDs for the Dec. 29 leg? Is there a way to see how many I would get for each leg?

    If I can’t figure this out soon, I know I can get my MQDs for Dec. 29 by booking two one-way flights (one there, one back), but that’s less cost-effective overall. I would pay more and get less. Thanks for any suggestions!

    1. Yes you will receive your MQD’s for the December 29 flight before the end of the 2023 year and the January 2 flight will be on your 2024 earnings. Just completed one leg of a round trip flight and upon arriving at my final destination Delta credited the first leg.

  3. I am in the same boat. According to Delta, you will get the total MQD amount once the trip is completed. It will be January 2 for you. They will not split the MQD for each leg of the trip.

  4. After 2 Delta agents said otherwise, new Delta agent says I will not receive MQDs for $900 carrier imposed international surcharge. When did this policy change? Or is this agent wrong? No infor about flight is appearing in my profile and flight was booked 3 weeks ago and half has been completed.

  5. ANDREW W JACOBS says:

    Do you earn Delta MQDs if you just use Miles? I was told MQDs are calculated at miles redeemed / 100. So if you redeem 200,000 miles, that would earn you $2,000 MQDs. Is this correct?

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