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Buy MQMs to Earn Delta Medallion Status for 2016

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As the new year approaches, many travelers are still flying those last few flights that’ll net them elite status for 2016. Of course, with just a month left in the year, some simply won’t be able to earn those remaining miles to reach status via the traditional method of flying (unless of course you’re interested in a grueling mileage run).

Luckily, some airlines do offer the chance to outright pay to reach to a new status tier for next year. In November, American Airlines announced that flyers could buy a boost that’ll bump you up the next tier, including to to Executive Platinum status, and now Delta is offering an opportunity to buy up to a higher status by purchasing up to 10,000 MQMs (matching last year’s 10k cap).

TPG was offered the chance to purchase 10k MQMs for $1,095.
TPG was offered the chance to purchase 10k MQMs for $1,095.

This week, TPG was targeted to purchase up to 10,000 MQMs to reach Silver Medallion Status with Delta at a pretty poor value. He currently has 22,000 MQMs for the year, so he’s short about 3,000 miles, but if he were to purchase the full 10k MQMs for $1,095, he’d end up paying about 11 cents per mile — and it’d be closer to 20 cents per mile at the 2,500 MQM tier — a pretty terrible value.

With that said, $1,095 for 10k MQMs isn’t even the worst rate out there — it seems that some flyers are receiving the same MQM offers at a significantly higher cost, such as $2,995 (or roughly 30 cents per mile). While the exact prices appear to vary from one person to the next, it’s doubtful that you’ll find a price point that makes this deal a no-brainer. Moreover, it does not appear that you’ll earn MQDs when you purchase MQMs, so you could still end up missing out on status because you haven’t met Delta’s spend requirement.

Two transcons can get you close to the 10k MQMs.
Two transcons can get you close to the 10k MQMs for half the price.

Regardless, there are so many more cost effective ways to reach Delta status, even though the clock is ticking. For example, you can earn MQMs with a Delta-branded credit card, such as the Delta Reserve card (although keep in mind these miles must post in 2015). Alternatively, you could even do a mileage run to reach these last MQMs if you have time.

Depending on how many MQMs you need (and if you’re willing to spend a couples days flying to earn them), you could potentially reach your MQM goal on a single flight itinerary — and at a fraction of the price. For example, you could fly round-trip flight between New York and Los Angeles for just $257, netting 4,950 MQMs in the process. If you flew this route twice, you could potentially earn nearly the same number of MQMs for less than half the cost.

H/T: Rene’s Points

What MQM offer did you receive from Delta?

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

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  • Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight - that's a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
  • Settle in sooner with Priority Boarding.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms and Conditions apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
None 15.49%-19.49% Variable $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 0% Excellent Credit