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Will Delta Arrogantly Offer to Sell You MQMs and MQDs During COVID in 2020?

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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.


The above is $4,000 in cash or just half another bundle of $20s short of what some Delta elites were mind-numbing offered as a buy MQM and MQD offer on November 5th of 2019.

Oh, how different things look today!

Beginning in 2012 and continuing during 2013 and 2014 and 2015 and 2016 and 2017 and 2018 Delta kept increasing the number for folks to simply buy their way to whatever status level they wanted to reach.

The last few years Delta has been so reprehensible with these overpriced offers to offer higher targeted offers for some and lower ones to others.

Yes – unbelievable – but true!

For those of you who have been following along, rather than donate money to Delta, myself and a group of Delta elites flew to Belgium for dinner. It was a blast and a great way to end 2019!

But I am honestly so curious if Delta is going to, over the next few weeks (or months) offer folks the chance to buy MQMs and MQDs in the middle of the pandemic?

I get that Delta is “burning” millions of dollars a day (i.e. losing way more than they are taking in) and are desperately hoping that sometime in 2021 they will switch again to profitable days. Thus any kind of “gifted” cash is welcome cash for the company.

But if they offer it – who in their right mind would buy in?

I mean on a “normal” year the prices are beyond bat crazy but during COVID even the idea of buying up status is ridiculous.

I guess totally reaching for any straw to grasp at would be that it is not practical or even possible to take a cheap round the world-ish elite mileage run in 2020 so donating cash to Delta is safer than flying now?

Even with all the BIG spend promotions Delta has rolled out with the Delta co-branded Amex cards, they were not enough this year to prevent me (for a period of time still to be determined) from downgrading my Delta Amex Reserve card and shifting my spend to other more profitable cards.

I guess I would love your input. Do you think Delta will offer MQMs for sale this year (with MQD credit along with it) or do you think this is the one year they will skip it? If they were to offer it – would you buy-in? If so, what price? Would you consider the 2019 buy-in levels or would it have to be substantially lower?

Let me know! – René

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.

10 Comments

  1. Don George Reply

    I honestly don’t know why Delta doesn’t sell Diamond Medallion status for $15,000. That is the MQD that is required for that level. If they flat out sell it for $15,000, that 15K is pure profit. If someone earns DM the regular way by flying, the $15,000 they spend on flights is not all profit, because there are operating costs involved. If it’s money Delta wants, selling DM for 15K is more profitable.

  2. Barry Graham Reply

    @Don if you want status without flying then what’s the point of the status?

  3. @Barry Well, because you can be a very frequent flyer and still not be able to reach Diamond status. Heck, you can fly NYC to ORD every week of the year and you won’t come close to making DM, at least not if you don’t spend a lot on the Reserve card.

    • Barry Graham Reply

      @Bill you have a good point, although my thinking was that since this site is for people that like to earn status through credit card spending, that in a case like yours you could earn the MQM by credit card spending. For me the MQD is the hardest by far. I now have enough MQM to be Diamond the year after next, if I can get the required MQD next year. I’m actually less and less hopeful that things will go back to how they were though, as people get more comfortable with Zoom and the like. I was actually thinking that today as I was participating in a video conference myself and I am one of the staunchest advocates for face to face meetings. I hope I am wrong but I think air travel and the airline industry is going to look very different in two years’ time.

      • I, too, am a believer in the face-to-face, in-person meeting. Far and away, they’ve had more productive outcomes than video conferences. At least, in my business experiences in the past (many) years 😉 .

        I think (or maybe it’s my hope clouding my logic!) that air travel will be well on the road to recovery in two years.

        Just want to clarify: the blog is for people who want to earn status with credit cards, yes — but also those who crave status with mileage runs, wish to save money and earn points with credit cards and everyday deals, etc.

        Barry — I’m hopeful that some Aeromexico runs might get you the MQD the need for 2022. Fingers crossed!

  4. Rene,
    If I were at Delta, I would offer it. Why not? Let the buyer decide. I myself, would not buy it, but that’s the point. Only buy it if it somehow makes sense to you.

    • @Mike – IMO it would be a “tell” if you will to see if Delta, as we slowly one day move past COVID, is going to wise up and roll back some of the stupid choices they have made in regards to loyalty or to keep down the path of devaluation and “KeepDescending” moves. We shall see.

      • Don George Reply

        Amen, @Rene. DL is treating us nicely now during the pandemic when they want us to come back. Let’s see how they treat us if/when we come back.

        • Barry Graham Reply

          The reason I use Delta is because they treat me so nicely all the time.

  5. If all our MQMs are rolling over why would ANYONE spend money to advance their MQMs in 2020. You are at a distinct advantage to upgrade right after the new year starts. Am I missing something?

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