Planning for year end & 2015 Delta Mileage Runs!

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Time for a full court press as it is that time of the year, that is the time when you are looking at your Delta numbers, looking at how much flying you will be doing next year, and just where you want to end the year with our Delta. First some things to think about when it comes to status. You need to ask yourself a bunch of questions before you book ANY Delta Mileage Runs.

1) Is it worth it? That is really the key and most important one. Now what is worth it to you could be very different from someone else. As touched on, are you flying a ton next year on medallion heavy routes and want the top status you can get? Or, for me, I never want to be lower the Platinum ever since it gives the one TOP perks (again for me) that is free award changes all I want up to the 72 hr mark. But before you book a run answer this most important personal question.

2) Do you have the time? For some it is no big deal to take a day or two off midweek and fly around the planet. Others it is weekends only and that limits you. Clearly where we start does not matter for a run i.e. you don’t have to find a run from your home town as we can all position to the start city, but the downside is the extra time. Sometimes you can start VERY early and position the same day as the run and even fly back late after the run, but this is not always the best choice.

3) Is it cost effective? This sorta is part of point one but not always. If you are paying out of pocket for a run it matters a bunch. If you have an expiring voucher or a ton of FlexPerks points to burn the personal cost to you may be almost nothing out of pocket.

4) What are your Rollover MQMs? (I will cover this later on).

These really are the main things to consider for trips that take off, that is are scheduled to be off the ground, before the stroke of midnight on 31DEC2014 (that is the key as to if you get credit on this year or next – no matter when they post).

Now just because I get this question all the time I will again answer it here. Yes, we will still be mileage running in 2015. Why? Because the MQMs DO NOT CHANGE in 2015. So, mileage running in 2015 is just the same as mileage running today. We do not mileage run for the Skymiles rebate, we run to earn status and the perks that gives you. Those who do not understand this are either UBER newbies or in the mainstream press who also don’t have a clue what mileage running in this day and age is all about. Having said all that, the Skymiles we do get are a nice rebate and can factor into our current willingness to pay a slightly higher price NOW than we will in 2015 when the return will be so much less on the rebate side of the equation.

Also there is the MQM and MQD math (assuming you are not MQD exempt that is). For example, say you have $5000 in MQD spend but 75,000 MQMs. You have enough MQMs for Platinum but your spend keeps you at Gold. You thus rollover 25k MQMs and that could be a good thing depending on your math and flight plans, that is starting with 25k MQMs could help you get to Gold or higher again in 2015 rather than going for Platinum and starting 2015 with zero MQMs. Due to MQD spend you could have some crazy rollover numbers. For example you could, in some strange way, have 100,000 MQMs and just $4500 MQD spend and rollover 75,000 MQMs starting the year as Silver and then when either MQD exempt or meet the $7500 spend instantly pop up to Platinum Medallion! I hope you see my point that rollover MQMs do matter in your planning for both this year and next.

Lastly, do always keep in mind, getting the Delta AMEX Reserve card and the 10,000 MQMs that come with it and 1st purchase (both personal and business) for the $450 fee is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to score a bunch of MQMs without leaving your home! Often a much better choice than the Delta AMEX GOLD card that while good comes with NO MQMs at all.

Are you confused on any of this? Got questions? Fire away, but just don’t ask me if YOU should go for some level as that is really a personal choice as you can see from above. Now if the question is about perks – sure – fire away. – René
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6 comments

  1. Glad it’s not another Sky is falling 2015 rant! Looking forward to more skymiles and one way awards.

  2. I’ve got my end of year booked to requalify for Diamond — with about 15,000 rollover miles to spare and just a few extra $s. Work trips DCA-SEA, DCA-PHX, a combined work/pleasure trip DCA-ORD-LHR using VS premium economy booked on DL stock for some MQM bonus miles (and the price is about the same as DL economy but much more comfortable and the mileage bonus), and a trip to PEK and HKG at a very good coach fare using my last GUC in one direction. And still have time to use some miles for a last week of the year trip to SIN.

  3. Rene,
    I’m about 270 MQMs short of my next medallion level for next year. I think I remember you posting about how to earn MQMs without flying. I have already gotten the MQM bonus on a business and personal Amex and am wondering if there are other ways to get these few miles without flying before the year ends. Is there a post about this and I am just not finding it? Thanks!

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