Delta Air Lines Promo: Earn Elite Qualifying Dollars from Car Rental and Hotel Bookings


Most US airlines have shopping portals that allow members of their frequent flyer programs to earn redeemable miles through shopping online at a variety of partners. Last year, American Airlines completely revamped the way their members earn elite status. It became the first US airline to allow their members to earn elite qualifying points as well as redeemable miles when using the AA shopping portal, booking with non-air travel partners and spending on AA credit cards.

It looks like another major carrier may be dipping its toe into the same pool.

Until now, Delta has never awarded Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs) for using their shopping portal or booking with travel partners. But today, Delta launched a limited-time promotion that offers one MQD for every dollar spent when SkyMiles members book hotels or car rentals via its “Travel Extras” portal.

The Deal

  • Delta Air Lines is running a limited-time promotion that offers members one Medallion Qualifying Dollar for every dollar spent on hotels and car rentals via its “Travel Extras” portal
  • Must book between 2/27/23 and 3/31/23 and travel between 2/27/23 and 3/31/23

Direct Link to Travel Extras Portal

Terms and Conditions

  • Car Rental and Hotel bookings made on from February 27, 2023 through March 31, 2023 (for travel dates from February 27, 2023 through September 4, 2023) will be eligible to earn (1) MQD per eligible US $1 or equivalent foreign currency upon the completion of a qualifying car rental or hotel booking.
  • Qualifying hotel spend includea the cost of the hotel room, before taxes and fees, charged at the time of booking. Taxes, fees, gratuities, room service, other booking charges, or any element of the booking which is paid or reduced by redemption vouchers or discount codes are excluded from MQD credit and are not included in the Qualifying Dollars.
  • A qualifying car rental booking includes rentals at a participating location for one or more days at rates other than travel industry rates or discounts, wholesale of tour package rates or discounts, wholesale tour package rates, insurance/dealer replacement rates, corporate and government rates, group travel discounts, or rentals in conjunction with a frequent flyer car award, or other corporate agreements applicable to the respective car company.
  • MQDs can only be credited to the SkyMiles Member whose name appears on the credit card used for the reservation. First and last name on credit card must match with name on SkyMiles account provided.
  • MQDs will not be awarded for cancelled, no-show, or unpaid reservations.
  • SkyMiles number must be provided at the time of booking.
  • Only one SkyMiles number can be provided per booking.
  • Please allow up to 8 weeks after completion of eligible stay or car rental for MQDs to be deposited in SkyMiles account.
  • If MQD credit has not been recorded on your SkyMiles account within 8 weeks after qualifying activity occurs, please  contact us and select: Request Mileage Credit > All Other Miles Requests > Other SkyMiles Partners.
  • Bookings completed prior to enrollment into SkyMiles will not be eligible for MQD credit.
  • Hotel currency or status are subject to each respective Hotel guest program and may not be applicable for bookings made on

Quick Thoughts

Taken on its own, this isn’t a terribly interesting promotion. While it’s nice to be able to earn MQD’s on hotels and car rentals, you probably won’t earn hotel points or get elite perks when booking through the portal, so there’s a significant cost in doing so (in my opinion, well beyond the value of one MQD per dollar). Also, the rates offered through the portal seem to be slightly higher than those offered direct or via other online travel agencies.

However, I am interested to see if this is Delta kicking the tires of an elite-earning model that apes what American is doing with their Loyalty Points program. American effectively eliminated their traditional model of earning status through mileage and spending requirements in favor of allowing members to earn elite credit through most shopping and spending activities. The reason is that American earns more money by selling $1 in miles than they do selling $1 of airfare, so they’re incentivizing members in the same direction.

Delta isn’t blind and I imagine following American’s lead is looking more tempting by the day. I don’t think this is last of these types of promotions that we’ll see and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Delta integrate at least some form of shopping incentive into their rewards program in the near future.

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When I saw the email yesterday, I thought the same, nice if you need some extra, but not worth canceling my hotels for. For me at least. Thanks for a better understanding.


Think about it: Disney looks at what a family generates across revenue channels and over a lifetime. The airlines need to be looking at their customers the same way: as lifetime multi-channel revenue sources.