New Delta Promo: Buy Elite Miles (MQMs)

by on November 29, 2011 · 23 comments

in Delta, Elite Status

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If you are going to come up short of your Delta elite status this year, you may have an easy option to get the necessary elite miles to get you to the next level. Until December 15, 2011 Delta will let you buy up to 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles - but they won’t be cheap.

You can buy in increments of:
2,500 MQMs for $295
5,000 MQMs for $495
7,500 MQMs for $695
10,000 MQMs for $895

Maximum total purchase of 10,000 MQMs per member.

This is a decent deal if you are in a desperate situation and you don’t feel like doing a mileage run (which 10,000 miles can usually be had for ~$500 or less if planned carefully).

Frankly, if I needed the MQMs it would be cheaper to get the Delta Reserve card which gives 10,000 MQMs with your first purchase and has an annual fee of $450 (but also gives you a bunch of benefits like SkyClub access and a free domestic first class companion ticket). Plus, if you ever decide that the card isn’t right for you, you can downgrade to another Amex card and get a rebate of your prorated annual fee.

Delta is also giving 1,500 MQMs if you sign up for SkyClub membership by December 31, 2011- but that’s not very cheap either since membership starts at $450 for non-elites (And is as low as $300 for Platinum/Diamond Medallions). You could use your $200 Amex Platinum airline rebate to offset that cost, but it’s still likely more expensive than just buying a mileage run ticket.

Related reading: Maximizing Airline Elite Status Series: The Basics and Why People Mileage Run
Maximizing Elite Status Series: Using ITA Matrix to Find Cheap Flights

Hat tip The Ticket!

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • JimBobDuggarIsABusyMan


    Will the $200 AMEX Plat airline fee cover this? I stil haven’t used most of mine. (gotta love DL Medallion status, BTW) Just curious, because if I can it would effectively cost me only $95 for 2500 MQMs–at 3.8 cents per mile.

    20 and Counting,

  • nychuzai

    Delta Amex promotion to get MQM by first purchase is not active right now, I think.

  • Alex

    It’s still active, you have to go to the application part and it tells you that you get 10k mqm with first purchase that will be posted within 2-4 weeks.

  • Kathy K

    I was on the Delta website and noticed this today too. Odd, I didn’t see any public announcement about it. I wonder what they’ll do about waiving in the people who are only about 100 or 200 MQMs short of a status level – there were years where my MQMs only amounted to a little over 24,000, and after inquiry to Delta, was allowed to remain silver.

  • Guest

    I guess this means that there won’t be a year-end opportunity to gain MQMs by making charitable donations to organizations of Delta’s choosing…

  • nychuzai

    Thank you. Let me try.

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  • Michael Simon

    I would imagine that the $200 Amex Plat fee would cover this.

  • Mooper

    Because of the site directory in which this resides is shared with permanent RDM buy/gift/transfer options, I suspect this option will be permanent too, despite the Dec 15 2011 expiration listed at the moment. They might disable it certain times of the year and change the price and/or offer bonus miles at others, but I’ll bet it remains in some form. Good move by Delta. For those who have the Amex Plat MR card that gives $200/year in airline credit, and interesting trick for someone who doesn’t intend to use the credit (or is about the cancel the card and still has the credit to use) would be to buy 2,500 MQM for $295, get the $200 back, and effectively pay $95 for 2,500 MQMs. Still not incredibly cheap, but half-decent.

  • Fa11man

    Thanks for the info Brian! Does anyone know if you still qualify for the MQM bonus for getting the Reserve card if you already have the Delta AMEX Platinum? If not, any suggestions for how to go from Plat to Reserve and get the bonus?

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  • William

    I’m at 45K MQMs now and have gold status secured for next year through the promotion Delta ran earlier in the year automatically upgrading you to the next tier status.

    It probably doesn’t make much sense for me to try to get over the 50K MQM threshold, right? My thinking is that I’m going to lose everything up to 50K so I’d need to be over that for anything to carry over.


  • StaChe

    Can you point me to a way for me to earn ~10,000 MQM for ~$500? I am all-in if I can do that, but I am not able to get anywhere near that.

  • Anonymous

    Can anyone confirm this? I’m in the same situation. Even better, could I buy them on my wife’s Delta account where the MQMs would roll over?

  • Rocky Horan

    Wait….if I go the delta reserve card, pocket the 10,000 mqm and then cancel the card, get a refund on the fee, (maybe keep in for 2 months, so looking at a refund of ~ $400) would I get to keep the MQM?

  • Rocky Horan

    This weekend LAX to NYC = $198 sell (now expired), each r/t would of been ~4940 miles

  • Alexandra

    Same situation for me. I have the Plat card, just asked to upgrade to reserve in hopes I can get me another 10k mqm.

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  • MJaM

    Extended through 30 December 2011

  • Murphia

    I bought 10,000 MQMs for the $895 and I have AmEx Platinum. I called for the $200 credit and they said buying MQM’s is not a qualifiying expense. Anybody else experience this?

  • Scott

    Same experience for me. I was hoping to get some credit back for this purchase but no go. The AmEx representative ran it up the flagpole and was told this wasn’t a reimbursable expense.

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