Don’t miss out on the CHEAPEST Nationwide Delta Elite Mileage Run you will find all year!

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You DON’T have to fly this for 10k MQMs!

At the recent Chicago Seminars I gave a talk on an Intro to Mileage Runs. While I do not share slides here on the blog that I use I will share one above that started from Dallas. Since I don’t live in Dallas I had to get there and then the run almost took me back home via the routing. It was a kinda crazy run but a fun one as always. But it did take time and time matters.

This past weekend I covered a topic that so many overlook and a mistake so many make and in the long run it costs them. In a way, since so many simply dismiss business cards, this has in fact opened up an avenue for MQMs that most have yet to take advantage of. This really matters now that AMEX is once in a lifetime per new card bonus.

But back to the topic of mileage runs. With Delta they really are no longer mileage runs in the truest fashion, they are now “Elite” Mileage Runs as you could today fly Delta’s shortest route (I believe from FNT to DTW just 56 miles) and if you could spend some CRAZY number, lets say $1000, as a Diamond Medallion you could earn a massive 11,000 SkyMiles for that flight at least in theory. But as for MQMs for this short flight, you would earn the Delta minimum per leg that is 500 MQMs each way or 1,000 MQMs round trip. Not really much of a mileage run is it and you are stuck on a CRJ-200 anyway. But the point is today it is all about the elite points or MQMs.


Enter the current cheapest elite run you can possibly take and you don’t even have to leave your home. Let’s look at the “value” of this card run.


This Delta Business Platinum card does NOT waive the annual fee so you have paying the $195 up front to get it. But, after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months that is ~$1,700 per month you will be awarded the MQMs and that means the cost to “buy” the MQMs if you will is just 2CPM or 2 Cents Per Mile of MQM (i.e. 10000/195=0.0195 or 2 CPM). When you consider the fact that I personally am willing to get on an airplane and fly who knows where and back and consider paying 4 CPM a good value you can see the simple logic of the value of this current offer. But that is ONLY taking into account the value of the MQMs. Clearly the offer is much more.


$100 Credit? Yes please!

This is a simple credit for buying anything on i.e. a ticket or something like that or on-board. The key is any amount will trigger the credit. Buy a $2 headset onboard, it triggers the credit. Buy a $50 e-Gift card on, it triggers the credit. When I say the credit it is the full $100 credit even if you do not spend the full $100. So if you are not flying the next few months the e-Gift card could be a way to lock in this credit and net out of pocket reducing your real cost to hold the card the 1st year i.e. the $195 fee.

Delta SkyMiles logo

Great value >IF< at a great price!

After you are done with the minimum spend of $5,000 you have net earned 75,000 SkyMiles. You can look at it this way that they are at the bottom level worth at least 1 cent each as you can use them to PWM or Pay With Miles and buy Delta tickets on Thus you are at least getting $750 in raw value. Personally I do not spend my SkyMiles this way but I know many do and for one simple reason – PWM tickets earn FULL 100% MQMs. Yep, if you buy and pay in part a coach or first class ticket you will earn MQMs just like paying cash (note you only earn SkyMiles on the non PWM part of the ticket). This way many keep their elite status and use their SkyMiles to accomplish it.


Can you wait for next year?

Now clearly the card has other perks and they are not to be discounted such as waived bag fees (up to 9 per reservation) and so much more including a BOGOF (See E22) or Buy One Get One Free (plus tax) cert that kicks in year 2 of card membership but these extras are not the point of this post. We are talking all about MQMs and this card can help you do that NOW! But there is one more thing:


Bonus MQMs? You bet I want them!

I am not saying this will be easy but if you can spend either $25,000 posted to the card or even $50,000 by 31DEC2016 you will pick up 10,000 or for the latter 20,000 MORE MQMs for a total of 30,000 MQMs! If you have some big expenses coming up before year end or you have some LARGE tax payments you want to make or you can consider other ways (see this post for help) to reach those spend totals before the end of THIS YEAR you are talking a bunch of MQMs that could be added to your totals. Then after 1JAN17, you can add another 20,000 more if you again spend $50,000 on the card. For some this means with the new card bonus plus huge spend 50,000 ELITE MQMs all-in from this card alone inside of one year. That is truly impressive when you think about it!

Bottom line is if you are considering a mileage run or in need of one by all means take a “fun run” if you find one at a good price. However, if you have not had the Delta business Platinum card before, why not just collect a bunch of MQMs from home (it really is much simpler)! – René



Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


  1. Great post! I think using the Delta cards to pay your taxes makes even more sense now than at the time of your great post to which you link because of the new Chase Sapphire Reserve card. For example, if you spend $50K on taxes on the Delta card, that is $50K that you can divert to the Chase card. If half of that spend is on travel and restaurants, you get 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points, which is worth a minimum of $1,500 on travel. That easily justifies the tax payment fees and annual fee for the card.

  2. Thaks for the tips. Rene, just to clarify, I will not jeopardize my personal reserve MQM points earning potential with signing up for a Business Platinum? I use my same Delta frequent flyer number.

  3. @Charlie – Zero risk. You can hold both and earn on both and both going to your Delta FF number. The ONLY thing you must be careful of is you can MAX at any one time, personal and business total, hold 4 AMEX credit cards. So, in theory, you could hold and earn on to the same FF account:

    1) Delta Personal Platinum
    2) Delta Business Platinum
    3) Delta Personal Reserve
    4) Delta Business Reserve

    If the above were the case the ONLY other AMEX cards you could still get would be CHARGE cards like one example would be the non-Delta AMEX Platinum cards.

  4. I realize that this is only about MQMs, but I would suggest a post about the “value” of those 2-for-1 certs that you get with these cards. As a delta diamond, I find them completely offensive. NO upgrades, which means the back of coach for you AND your travel companion. And they only work on certain fares (although it’s not too painful to apply them). You can’t even give me a sidegrade to a beloved C+ middle seat, Delta? Give me a break!! And don’t even get me started on cancellations within 24 hours! Lose the certificate? Really? Pathetic.

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