American Airlines status challenges cost money to sign up for and include a minimum spend requirement although the airline also occasionally will directly status match a United or Delta top tier elite member.
In a rare instance of Delta following American (although to be fair Delta was first with minimum spend for elite status) their elite status challenge program requires minimum spend not just minimum travel. And there’s on other change as well.
American allows anyone to challenge status without showing current elite status with another airline, albeit for a fee. There’s no fee for Delta’s challenge but it requires you to show existing competitor elite status with the comparable level you are challenging to.
Delta’s new minimum spend requirement for elite status challenges is one quarter of the normal spend requirement for the year during the challenge’s 90 day period, it’s a 12 cent per mile requirement just like annual status (below Delta’s passenger revenue per seat mile). Spending $25,000 on a co-brand credit card waives the minimum spend requirement for the challenge, just like it does for regular elite status (up to Platinum).
In addition Delta now allows existing Million Milers to challenge a higher status level.
United’s status challenges still do not have a minimum spend component. However one imagines now that Delta has done it…
(HT: Julian Kheel)