Mileage Run

Rookie Wednesday: Is a “family friendly” mileage run possible (or smart to do)?

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


RenesPoints Rookie

Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.

sheration sju

Normally no one in their right mind would drag a family on a mileage run. Sure, you may ask them to put up with a little longer flight on the way some place nice to get a few more points, but not on a 1-2 day nonstop flight to flight marathon (only us who love to fly and want a ton of MQMs would do that, right?)

But is there a way to get a “decent” value on a mileage run and bring the family along for part of the ride? Yes! I am not saying you should book this but here is an example for you to consider.

san juan to anchorage alaska

I so many times get tweets or E-mails that there are NEVER EVER good deals out of Detroit as a Delta hub. You know what I always say is that the location does not matter. But what if you can combo your trip? The above shot is 2 days nonstop flying from Puerto Rico to Alaska. You are racking up a TON of MQMs (12,000+) in two days. This would be a bit tiring and the CPM or “cost/cents per mile” is just so-so at just under 5 CPM. But look at this example:

detroit to san juan

What if you say used your Barclay’s Arrival points to buy tickets to fly to San Juan. The current 40,000 Barclay’s Arrival card, after spend, you can just about cover the trip down for your ticket. You can bring the family and then use say SPG points to stay at the Sheraton Puerto Rico for 10,000 per night for free lodging (even use 5th night free / 40,000 all-in) or use the “cash and points” option. The current 30,000 (offer has expired) SPG AMEX card along with the business 30,000 (offer has expired) SPG AMEX, after spend, would take care of your lodging. You could even save up 30,000 (30k FlexPoints = up to $600 ticket) US Bank FlexPerks points to pay for the mileage run itself. You then let the family enjoy the sun and water and you fly up to Alaska and back :-). Lastly you take an extra day for yourself on the beach to recover after pocketing 17,000+ MQMs total for the trip down, the trip up to Alaska, and the trip home.

Your total all in run cost, if you just paid for both tickets for yourself is $1031 and 6CPM. Not that great a cost for a mileage run but for a combo vacation and run not so bad.

A word of caution to end today, make sure your family is onboard for this kind of adventure silliness. I never drag my Lisa on a mileage run (well almost never that is). There are times at the end of the year where I may need a few more stays at some hotel (like I will this year) where Lisa is happy tolerant with a quick trip for fun and she knows in advance we will be either hotel hopping and/or taking some extra flights. The rest of the year when it comes to vacations I try to book business and the shortest best flights I can. Happy wife = happy life – right? – René

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses 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.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

7 Comments

  1. In general a real mileage run with family (be that kids or a semi-reluctant spouse) sounds like a bad idea, but I think “vacation runs” are totally different. If you can get good CPM return and work in a quick getaway to somewhere you want to go with your family that can be fun! Of course, then your cost is very different and not everyone in the family might be chasing status, so you have to actually really want to take the vacation in that case.

  2. Happy wife = Happy life = Long life with traveling wife!

    Off to Sweden in December!

  3. My BF and I love flying and went on our first mile run back in June. Everything went terribly wrong and we ended up in LA for just enough time to get some In & Out and then head back home. We now have a great story to tell.

    We are looking for a few more to cap off the year with the status we want. This is not for everyone but it works for us (maybe we are crazy… ok I guess we are).

    Thanks for the post!

  4. I get nervous just thinking about how I would even approach the subject of her making a MR with me….

    I can hear the divorce court bailiff now, “All rise. Court is now in session, the Honorable Judge Deltagoldflyer presiding.”

  5. phill gold Reply

    wife once let me turn a MR to a MW with a cheap fare to SEA and instead of a same day turn did a weekend. I got my miles and she got a weekend away

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