New Delta Promo: Buy Elite Miles (MQMs)
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
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!