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The end of the year can be a very stressful time for flyers who are scrambling to hit elite status qualification before the counters reset on January 1. Historically, the only way to get elite miles was to fly, but lately there have been a number of new ways to rack up elite status, including credit cards and partner promotions like Delta’s current Hertz and Hilton offers. Last year Delta outright sold MQMs at the following prices, with a maximum purchase of 10,000 MQMs:
2,500 MQMs for $295
5,000 MQMs for $495
7,500 MQMs for $695
10,000 MQMs for $895
Per Delta’s new Flyertalk Representative DwayneSkymiles who commented on a speculative post about whether Delta will sell MQMs again, it looks like they will be running a similar promotion again this year:
“.. I’d like to jump in to this conversation to say that we know how big of a hit this program is and we’re working on something similar for 2012, but it’s not quite ready. I’ll be back to update you soon and let you know when it’s live.”
So as it seems like Delta might MQM’s again this year. While I don’t know how many they will sell and what the prices will be, my guess would be it would be somewhat similar to last year’s deal, which was limited to a maximum of 10,000 MQM’s per member.
In my opinion, $895 for 10,000 MQM’s isn’t a great deal, but if you are in a rough spot and don’t have the time to do a mileage run, it might make sense to hit that next elite level.
A cheaper way to get MQMs is to get the Delta Reserve card which gives 10,000 MQM’s with your first purchase, 15,000 MQM’s after $30,000 in spend, and another 15,000 MQM’s after $60,000 in spend with an annual fee of $450 (but also gives you a bunch of benefits like SkyClub access, priority boarding, free checked bags, enhanced upgrade priority 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 the annual fee prorated.
Delta is also giving 1,500 MQM’s if you sign up for SkyClub membership by December 31, 2012- but that’s not very cheap either since membership starts at $450 for non-elites (they go 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.
As always, do the math. If you think your elite status will offset the cost of purchasing these MQM’s, it’s something to consider, though if you have the time, a mileage run before the end of the year is probably a cheaper option.