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Need a Delta Status Jump Before Year’s End?

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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.


Do you want to jump up a Delta Medallion status level before 2019 ends? Many of us have been there. But how can it be done in such a short amount of time?

Greg Tiber asked us via Twitter this question:

The answer I gave him — and will expound on here — is YES. (Though “realistic” might be a subjective term 🙂 )

25,000 MQM is 100% possible depending on your schedule, budget, Delta Amex credit cards, or some combination thereof without buying MQM from Delta.

First Things First

Decide if your upcoming travel habits necessitate a status jump. If your travel plans (personal and/or business) have you on Delta planes as much as or more than this year, then I say yes. Otherwise, maybe not.

Young businessman at timetable screen board using smart phone.Flight board.
(©iStock.com/Nutthaseth Vanchaichana)

Keep in mind status is valid for the year you reach it and a bit into the following year. Say for example you attain Gold Medallion in March 2020; you’ll be Gold from then through January 31, 2022.

Also, make sure your MQDs are in order for whatever status you wish to attain.

But if you’re game, let’s figure out how to score you 25,000 MQM in a big hurry!

Take a Mileage Run. Or Two. Or Three. Or…

We post mileage runs when we find them. You’ll probably yield the best results from business class runs on Delta’s partner airlines. They incur MQM bonuses, travel long distances, and you’re in business class (or sometimes premium economy), which makes the trip a little more enjoyable. This JFK to Sydney monster earned over 36,000 MQM.

But we’ve seen some good Delta Premium Selection runs, too. $1275 scored almost 21,000 MQM for a Toronto to Tokyo run. A couple of hundred more bucks eclipsed earned 21,127 MQM for an Orlando-Tokyo trip.

AeroMexico 787 Business Class
AeroMexico 787 Business Class

Coachwise, a number of Los Angeles-area to London coach runs were quite affordable (cheaper than many domestic trips, in fact). A couple of those gets you very close to 25,000 MQM.

The best deals might not be from your home airport. You might have to fly a positioning trip to and from wherever your mileage run begins and ends. (Read our post about positioning trips.)

All that said: DO NOT WAIT AROUND AND HOPE WE FIND A GOOD DEAL PERFECT FOR YOU. There are people whose jobs are literally to find mileage runs tailored to your needs, wants, and desires. René and I highly recommend the outstanding mileage run professionals at Juicy Miles. We personally know and trust members of their staff.

Yes, they charge a fee — but you’ll quite likely come out more ahead than if you spent time trying to find your own run that wouldn’t come close to the great results Juicy Miles can get you.

Get a Delta American Express Card(s) You Don’t Already Carry

Four Delta American Express cards include MQM as part of their welcome bonuses:

Remember that each Delta Amex is a separate product. You can hold all four simultaneously (I currently do) and reach each of their welcome bonuses once during your lifetime.  So if you have the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card but not the Reserve, apply for the Delta Reserve Credit Card. (Or vice versa, though a 5,000 MQM mileage run might be faster.)

MQM bonuses, 20% off Delta onboard purchases, and a companion certificate are some of the reasons I love my Delta Amex Business Reserve card.

Keep in mind your Social Security Number should work just fine to get you a business credit card. Maybe you have a side hustle like babysitting, selling stuff on eBay, driving Uber or Lyft — you get the point.

Your Best Bet

Personally, if you haven’t had a Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express or Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card from American Express, get one (or the business flavor). That right there is 10,000 MQM. Then fly your way to 15,000 more MQM. Again, that’s a business class run on a partner airline or a great deal on Delta Premium Select.

Does this all sound like a lot of time and money? It pretty much can be this late in the game. Airlines know people are desperate to hit the next level status this time of year. That combined with holidays create some pretty hefty airfares.

But with the right resources (like Juicy Miles), desire, and investment, it may very well be worth it for you.

–Chris

 

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.

18 Comments

  1. In the end, I bought 7500 mqms to hit platinum. I don’t have many days off to take a mileage run, and the positioning flight and hotel would drain a lot of the value for me. It wasn’t the ideal situation, but I did look diligently for some sort of mileage run that made sense. Nothing else seemed to work for me, so I bit the bullet. I think the $1199 is going to be well worth my investment in platinum with substantial international flights next year.

  2. @marlene. If you cancel and redeposit 8 award tickets between now and January 31, 2021 you will breakeven on your investment. The rest of the PM perks will then be free.

  3. Yaakov E

    How long do the MQM’s take to be credit after you reach the spend threshold?

  4. I have enough miles for Diamond, however, I am $2500 short. What is the best way to accomplish this?

  5. @Yaakov E: MQMs generally hit your account within 24 hours of a qualifying flight landing. MQMs accumulate even if you haven’t met a spend threshold. They only go away if you don’t meet the MQD requirement.

  6. Yaakov E

    Sorry I should have clarified, I meant – if you are approved for one of the Amex cards and meet the required spend i.e. the next day. How long will it take the MQM’s to hit your account? I”m trying to understand if there is still time to apply/get approved/meet the spend threshold by the end of the year.

    I’m about 5-6K MQM’s short for Platinum.

  7. HuntingtonGuy

    Chris, when can we expect the Amex DL Reserve to start the $90K spend bonus? Last year it was bare knuckles to get the MQM’s on that deal but I’ve heard it will be added as a regular bonus level at some point.

  8. @Yaakov E: They hit when your billing statement is issued. If you apply now for the card but reach the minimum spend next year, they’ll credit to 2019 — but rollover. Make sense?

  9. Yaakov E

    Nope, sorry 🙂

    If I’m short for 2019 MQM, by when do I need to apply/spend to receive the MQM’s? Anytime?

  10. What if you were within 10K MQMs of another level for 2019 — would you be bumped up to the next status when the MQMs post early next year?

  11. carolyn rehn

    what would you do if you only need 140 mqm and next year you are retiring so having a lot of rollover points isn’t a need

  12. @carolyn rehn: First, congratulations on your upcoming retirement!

    If you don’t need the rollover MQM, I’d take a cheap mileage run to get over the hump.

  13. My need is several thousand MQD or $100K of Amex spending. Any ideas?!

  14. How quickly do the reserve bonus MQMs post? Not the miles boost—but the 10k for reaching $3,000 in minimum spend? I just got the Reserve and I’m hoping it’ll post in time to count toward my 2020 status

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