Why NOW is the time to start booking Delta elite mileage runs to end 2019 and start 2020!

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My wife went from ZIP to Diamond

Last year i.e. 2018 my wife started the year with zero Delta elite points or MQMs. She did a lot of flying the first 6 months of the year. Also, she got a nice chunk of elite points via Delta Amex card new card bonus points as well as spend bonus goals (you can get some sweet card deals right now as well fyi).

Gate to Gate via Porsche? Yes please!

The result was that by the mid point of 2018 she had earned her top Delta Diamond Medallion status for the rest of that year and all of this year 2019 and it will end on 1FEB20 unless she re-qualifies this year before 31DEC19. She has enjoyed all the perks of this status including some gate to gate Porsche rides courtesy of Delta Air lines (nice).

Uh, NO Delta. Really NO!

Each year in Nov / Dec (well, since 2012 anyway) Delta has offered to sell you MQMs. After a few years they extended the price you paid to credit towards your MQD totals. They have also raised the prices for this privilege of donating your money to Delta each year to mind numbing, bat crazy totals. I just can not comprehend someone paying the above prices for points.

And all of this brings us to today’s post. Chris and I have been working hard to find sweet elite mileage runs and post them on the mileage run tab here on the blog. As an example of live (and dead) runs from the past few weeks:

Again, just some sweet totals for very reasonable prices and most of them in business class (a much nicer way to earn your points). Plus, a number of these runs can be turned into mini-vacation runs and that is also a nice way to combo a run into a real “fun run”.

The other reason to plan ahead and book NOW is to avoid the higher prices booking at the end of the year. I do my best to post the best deals I can in Nov / Dec each year but they are rarely as good as what I am finding right now. And I guess that is the key point – now is the time to plan if keeping your status matters anymore to you this year and next (or even beyond that).

Here is an idea to make it even simpler. Get the Barclays Arrival+ Mastercard (learn about Mastercard offers here) and after minimum spend you have a total of 80,000 points worth $800 off your mileage runs you book and pay for with the card (you can use the points to pay off travel charges and have up to 120 days to do so). – René



  1. Thanks to you and Chris for working so hard to find and post these deals, along with the guidance!

  2. Do you think Delta will grant MQD waivers this year. I will have over 150,000 MQM but might end up $1,000 short of the $15,000 required. Been Diamond for 7 of the last 8 years.

  3. Rene and Chris, I appreciate your posting Elite Mileage runs early in the year. It’s definitely easier for me to find time in my schedule when I have several months to plan – altho I am squeezing in the LAS-BRU run the very end of December.
    Keep up the good work!

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