Delta Medallion Qualifying Mile Sale Promo In the Works

by on November 8, 2012 · 12 comments

in Delta, Elite Status

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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.

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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  • Robert Eaton

    According to the website you linked, the Delta Reserve card earns even more than the 15K MQMs that you cite above “Spend $30,000 and earn 30,000 MQMs and 30,000 Bonus Miles” :)

  • Chris Yetter

    I’m 2788 MQMs short of Platinum. I’d pay $295 if they’d front me the additional 278 MQMs but that seems unlikely. Looks like a mileage run is in my future.

  • Jetstream007

    Can you apply for the Amex Delta platinum card? 5000 MQM’s after first use @ $150 yearly fee….

  • Wcampb49

    I already have a Delta Gold card, so the initial 10,000 MQM’s don’t count.

  • Chris Yetter

    I already carry Amex Delta Platinum personal and Amex Delta Reserve business. Also already hit both spend bonuses on the Reserve. I could apply for the Amex Delta Platinum Business, but now isn’t the best time for me to be applying for credit cards.

  • Guru

    not true, i just talked to amex about upgrading the platinum card. she said i would get 10k mqm’s with first purchase. $450 annual fee but i can downgrade at anytime and i would keep the points. i think it’s also possible to get credit on the annual spend but not positive (additional 30k mqms possible)

  • TW

    Is this a typo or did they change the program? I have both the personal and business Reserve SkyMiles card and it’s always been 15k MQM at $30K and another 15k MQM at $60K. I am about to hit $60k and would sure love 30k MQM as opposed to the 15K I was expecting! The links below lead me to believe it’s a typo.

  • Ralle

    Guru, same situation, diffrent answer. I have Platinum for two years and asked for a Reserve upgrade last week: They told me it will be only 5k MQM’s for upgrades :(

  • Jared

    What if you bought the reserve card in addition to the platinum, would you get the 10k MQM bonus?

  • Mbtucker11

    I’m 530 mqm short of gold status. I have just opened platium card to get 5000 mqm, any other creative and cheap ways to get so few mqm that I need in the next week?


  • Brad Reinders

    Regarding getting MQMs before the end of the year:

    I needed 4,500 points – here is what I did:

    Dec 15 – instant enrolled in AmEx Delta Platinum card
    - this provides an instant account number and temporary card id number that can be used only at
    - I then purchased a $99 flight on I unfortunately had no need to buy a ticket so bought a throw away ticket for the lowest amount I was able to find
    - the card was expected to take 7 days to get to me (couldn’t be rushed because it was instant enrollment) so I didn’t feel I could wait to make the first purchase until it arrived.

    Dec 19 – the MQMs have posted to my Sky Miles account and it now confirms my Gold status

    This cost $150 annual fee + $99 ticket = $249 so cheaper than buying MQMs plus the benefits of the card.

    I could have enrolled in the AmEx card the regular way and had it rushed to me and then made a purchase but AmEx kept telling me that could take 2 to 4 weeks. This seemed a faster way to do it and it worked. Will never know if I could have avoided the throw away ticket.

  • PDXfly

    Well crap, wonder if the quick MQM posting was unique to your situation or could be this fast in general.

    I was ~3 K short of keeping my Silver status. Rather than buy 5K of MQMs for $600, I thought it’d be smart to upgrade an ordinary old Delta Options card to a Delta Reserve on Dec 18, which would give me 5K of MQMs (already have a Platinum card).

    As you mentioned above, I didn’t have the new card in hand (but wonder if making a purchase with the old Options card would have worked as they were technically the same card now), so I waited. Went on vacation. Decided to call up yesterday and ask for when the MQMs would post. They said 2-4 weeks! So essentially there was no way, according to them, I would get my MQMs for 2012, since I hadn’t even made my purchase by then, 12/24.

    The card was completely cancelled then. Actually kind of pissed how this occurred, since I said, “Connect me with cancellations,” and the next thing I knew, the representative said, “Ok, I’ve cancelled it completely.”

    Anyone else with comments on how fast their MQMs posted after the 1st purchase?

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