Travel Loyalty Programs

How to Earn Delta MQM During 2021

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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.


This year presents several opportunities for Delta SkyMiles members to earn a wealth of Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM). Plenty of bonus promotions are in play — and you can even score MQM while redeeming points and miles for flights.

So here are all the ways we could think of to earn Delta MQM during 2021.

Flying Delta Air Lines-Marketed Flights

Delta announced in March that SkyMiles members would receive MQM, MQS, and MQD bonuses of at least 50% on paid and award tickets. This promotion is effective through December 2021.

Basic Economy and Main Cabin tickets receive 50% bonuses. “Premium” cabins such as Comfort+, Premium Select, First Class, and Delta One earn 75% bonuses.

So if you fly a Main Cabin itinerary that would normally yield, say, 5,000 MQM roundtrip, you’ll score 7,500 this year. Nice, right?

The first class cabin of a Delta Air Lines Boeing 737-900ER jet, registration number N876DN.

But the premium cabins bonuses are where you can really rake in MQM (except Comfort+).

For instance, Discounted Business (or First) and Premium Select tickets already give flyers a 50% MQM bonus anyway. (That’s a standard policy and not limited to just this year.) So you receive a 75% bonus on top of those 150% earnings.

Here’s a real-world example.

I flew from LAX to Salt Lake City in April. (This was the single-day trip during which I reviewed Delta’s Old Fashioneds, Margaritas, and new SLC Sky Club.) I purchased a coach ticket — but decided to treat myself used SkyMiles for a Business/First Class upgrade.

I snagged 3,104 MQM!

Delta MQM earnings on a LAX to SLC flights.

For the deep-pocketed folks out there, full-fare First Class (F) and Business Class (J) each earn 200% MQM before the 75% bonus.

We publish Delta mileage runs that offer MQM for relatively low prices (whenever we find them).

If you’re sitting on a SkyMiles stockpile, now’s the time to redeem them for Delta flights — especially if you want to earn Medallion status.

Flying Delta Partners

You earn MQM, MQD, MQS, and SkyMiles when you fly Delta partner airlines and credit those trips to your SkyMiles account.

You can occasionally find great business class and premium economy fares on airlines such as AeroMexico, Air France, KLM, and Virgin Atlantic. That’s why “MQD runs” are so popular.

An Air France Airbus is seen at a Terminal 4 gate at London Heathrow International Airport (LHR) in the UK.

Those trips can bring you a bunch of MQM — especially when you ride comfortably for a good price.

We post Delta partner mileage runs and mini-vacations every so often. Our pals at Juicy Miles are also great for helping you find and book Delta partner trips, too.

Delta Amex Card Welcome Bonuses

Four Delta American Express cards currently offer MQM bonuses as part of their welcome offers:

Remember that each card is considered a separate product. This means you can get the welcome bonus for each! Say for example you’re the primary cardholder of a Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card. You’re still eligible to get the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card‘s welcome bonus!

Delta SkyMiles American Express Reserve and Platinum cards

Delta Amex Card Spending Bonuses

Cardholders of the Delta Reserve and Platinum cards (consumer and business) earn bonus MQM after meeting certain spending thresholds during the course of a year.

And Delta is awarding 25% bonuses this year for Delta “Status Boost” MQM!

So, Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card members earn 18,750 MQM for every $30,000 spent on eligible purchases on a Delta Amex Reserve Card during 2021. (This reflects an increase from the standard 15,000 MQM.) Each card is eligible for four MQM Status Boosts each calendar year. So that means one Reserve card can get you 75,000 MQM if you spend $120,000 in purchases during 2021. That would net you Platinum Medallion Status without stepping on a plane.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card members earn 12,500 MQM for every $25,000 spent on eligible purchases on a Delta Amex Platinum Card. (This is an increase from the standard 10,000 MQM.) Each card receives up to two MQM Status Boosts each calendar year. So that means one card can get you 25,000 MQM if you spend $50,000 in purchases this year.

Keep an Eye Out for Random Promotions

I received bonus MQM for taking a Delta survey a few years ago. It happened only once or twice — so don’t hold your breath something like this will come along. (And I earned only 250 or 500 MQM, I don’t remember which.)

That being said, if something like that comes along, jump on it. You can never have too many MQM!

Final Approach

Delta’s bonus opportunities are a great way to help earn MQM this year — especially if you can save some money while enjoying great trips!

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.

8 Comments

  1. We’re going to get MQMs for Award tickets too? I have an award round trip CVG-CDG later this year, and this would bring me to Gold status. I’ve never before gotten mileage credit for an award ticket.

    Thanks!

    Brent

  2. There are still mileage runs for Quito, Ecuador posted in 2019 still available out of certain cities, via aeromexico. 550$ each I paid for 3 flights that will bring me to diamond for 2022. Out of Ohare. Couldn’t beat that price

  3. For 2021 if I book an Aeromexico flight I have heard yes and no on getting the special bonus MQM and MQD this year. I was told by a Delta DM agent it had to be a Delta flight. Can you confirm ?

    • As far as I know, if you book an AeroMexico-marketed flight, you won’t receive the Status Accelerator bonus miles.

  4. Is there concern with AM flights-Delta Codeshares because of the FAA ruling that puts at Cat -2???

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