Why You Should Consider a Custom Delta Elite Mileage Run Now (vs paying dearly later)!

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Yes these are “Bat Crazy” buy prices!

For the past four years Delta has, in November or December, offered the option for most elites to buy MQMs. While the prices have at times fluctuated depending on who you are or how many points you had the max prices each year were:

  • $ 995 for 10,000 MQMs in 2012 or ~10 cent each
  • $1995 for 10,000 MQMs in 2013 or ~20 cents each
  • $2095 for 10,000 MQMs in 2014 or ~21 cents each
  • $2995 for 10,000 MQMs in 2015 or ~30 cents each

You can see a scary pattern going on here and one that I would think will continue this year, that is, 2016. While I have no confirmation that Delta will again sell MQMs, if they do, expect the price to go up yet again. How high can it really go and people still buy points I ask? My guess is this year will see a “modest” jump to $3095 for 10,000 MQMs (still a completely insane number).

But that brings me to the point of today’s post. The only reason Delta has, year after year, sold you elite MQMs is that people are willing to pay for them. They want to reach some medallion level for the 2017 flying year.

For now, one of the best possible values if you are in need of MQMs is the current 70,000 point Delta Platinum Business card that included 10,000 MQMs after meeting the minimum spend threshold. Discounting all the perks like the bonus SkyMiles as well as the $100 statement credit for buying a ticket or even a Delta e-Gift card if you are only focused on the MQMs, the $195 fee means you are in effect “buying” the MQMs for just 2 cents each. Simply compare that math to the “Buy MQMs” above.


Why not book a MR from home?

Can’t or not in a position to get a travel card before the offer is over? I get that and you still have a number of other great choices that are so much less that buying MQMs directly from Delta. The first is simply jump on one of the many elite mileage runs I post here on the blog. The only downside that can add to the cost is that you may not live where these runs originate. There are ways to position to the start city very cheaply, but there is another nice option. Simply mileage run from your own hometown airport with the help of Adam and his team! You can request just what you need like:

  • The exact number of MQMs you need
  • The max price you are willing to pay
  • If you can only run on weekends or no redeyes or so on

The bottom line is you can, even with their modest fee included, for the price of the airfare enjoy a “fun run” from your home airport and stay WAY below the prices Delta is willing to charge you later on this year (assuming they offer it again, that is). I personally have one more mega big run to Hong Kong this year. It is NOT from my home town airport so I used 20k Flexperks points to simply buy a ticket to the start city and will earn for those flights a well as the run to HKG as well.

Are you all set and will end the year at the elite level you need for 2017? – René




  1. Thanks to your advice, Rene, I’m finishing the year solidly as a PM, no mileage run required!

  2. I am also solidly a PM again this year. My husband is doing several mileage runs to get to DM again. We plan to use the GUC’s for a trip to Australia. We think it’s the last year we will be worrying about maintaining status with DL. Too many changes with very negative results. I hate being nickled and dimed to death for everything.

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