The above are my wife’s current Delta totals for 2017. Not exactly impressive are they, but then again she has not been flying Delta all that much recently because we have way too many nearly worthless AA points and must burn them so she has been “enjoying” AA 1st class awards (more on that later this week).
The above will grow a little this year but since I last February gifted her Gold Delta status from my 2017 Delta Choice Benefits she had it all last year and has it all of this year and it ends 1FEB18. It is always important to remember when you gift someone status you are only gifting the status itself NOT the MQMs or MQD spend numbers. Thus, if she wants to be anything more than Gold she has to start from scratch and earn it like anyone else. And that takes me to next year.
Now before I dive in to the numbers and why she / we are doing this, know that much of this is for personal reasons and I am not suggesting others follow this same course of action. However, you may, by my methodology, glean some ideas to help you if you too are chasing status with Delta. With that disclaimer we are doing this because:
- The timing is right for us.
- We run a blog.
- It’s not “that” hard.
- The perks are worth it.
And that is my short list of why. Let’s look at these one by one. I truly have no idea where Delta is going with SkyMiles and the elite Medallion program over the next many years. Right now they are making small positive changes but who knows what is next. The 20×2020 thing is driving folks away from Delta and those who have flown for years get that C+ is not worth status. But for us and the flexibility we have for travel 2018 is the right time to do this if we are ever going to both hold Diamond status at the same time. Plus, she will have Diamond status all of 2018 (once she earns it) as well as all of 2019 ending on 1FEB20.
Next up is why I do so much of what I do with Delta. I like testing and learning and seeing what works and what does not and proving or disproving whatever. It will be fun to go from ZERO to Diamond as fast as possible. Sure, she will have Gold Medallion status during January of 2018 but again, that is only the status, the points will all be from scratch on 1JAN18. My estimates are that by the end of March she will have the 125,000 MQMs (and be MQD exempt as well).
I say it is not “that” hard due to the fact that I hold the Delta AMEX Reserve business card and have for a long time. I can spend my way to 60k rather quickly in Q1 of 2018 and then send my 30k bonus MQMs over to her. Oh, and since she has never had the need for the personal Delta AMEX Reserve card she will get it on 1JAN18 for the 10k Bonus MQMs (and 10k bonus SkyMiles) and also spend her way to 60k spend in Q1. The results will be 75k MQMs without flying, leaving only 50k remaining to be Diamond. Considering what she already has booked and planned it will not take more than a mileage run or two to make up the difference. Nice!
Lastly for us the perks are worth it. I know after yesterday’s gripe post of what I and we all want Delta to fix for us that bragging about the perks may sound strange but for me it is not. I have always been able to spend all of my GU and RU certs with a little bit of effort. I know how to get it done and it works. Plus, for all the hype about +1 upgrades taking upgrades from solo travelers we know that if 2 are waiting for 1 seat #3 on the upgrade list wins vs the 2 who are in #1 and #2 spots. I will like being able to split our reservations when we both fly as Diamonds so at least one of us wins most of the time. Also, the ability for both of us the harvest 3 Diamond Choice Benefits will be huge and I am looking forward that opportunity.
I really think this is going to be fun. It will be fun to see just how fast she can go from zeros across the board to Diamond and have that as a data point. I know it will take a lot of work to crank out about 120k in spend on our two cards and it will be interesting to see what the spending environment is Q1-2018 as well.
Bottom line is I am planning now. I have vouchers to spend for travel and I have a ton of US Bank FlexPerks points I keep getting for free from my Kiva.org efforts and almost free from visiting gas stations with my AMEX FlexPerks card. Not just that, but I have a nice chunk of AMEX Membership Rewards points and getting 50% of them back for my Delta tickets is sweet while earning SkyMiles and MQMs. I will have my AMEX BOGO free in 1st class and can join my wife on a run somewhere warm and nice and assign her as the primary to earn bonus MQMs and I will just be along for the fun (companion earns zero on the BOGO certs). Beyond that I am using my Barclaycard Arrival+ here and there to pay for a few trips and can pay myself back with spend on those. Either way this entire adventure should cost very little out of pocket to achieve. I can’t wait for the fun to begin! – René