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Welcome to the Q&A Page for SkyMiles !

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  1. I have a flight booked this Friday from LHR > ATL direct, which will get me 4,189 MQMs. I’m looking to increase the MQMs for the flight by changing the route. If I go to book a one way from LHR > ATL going through MSP, shows that the flight would be worth 7,382 MQMs. When I go to change my current flight from an LHR > ATL direct to the same LHR > MSP > ATL, on the confirmation page, it shows me the the flight would only earn 4,921 MQMs. Any idea why there is an almost 3,000 difference in the number of MQMs that I would earn by doing a change vs booking the one way? Thanks!

    • @CJ – The Delta MQM calculator on Delta.dumb has been buggy this past week if you check posts. Now what you can check with is a tool from our friends at
      Ignore the SkyMiles part as it is based on the OLD system. The MQMs never changed so that works. If we plug in LHR>ATL direct we find it shows you would earn 4211 MQMs or about the same as Delta tells you. If we plug in LHR>MSP>ATL we find 4921 MQMs and that sounds about right.
      The ONLY way you would get a much higher number would be fare class. If we use an “A” business class fare we find the LHR>MSP>ATL route would yield about 7381 MQMs

  2. Would love to see a post on intrepreting the Skymiles Account Activity on Just noticed that I received 4,707 miles from ATL-LGA but only 1,260 from LGA-ATL. Flights were booked as one-ways.

    • @Mary – SkyMiles earned is NOT based on distance. Distance means nothing. It is only the price you paid (in your case each way) times your status i.e. 5,7,8,9 or 11x the base price of the ticket (not including tax and fees). It is that simple. Distance plus fare class (not price) matters when you are talking MQMs or elite points.

  3. I’m 12,200 MQMs or 38 MQSs from Gold status with no remaining flights planned in 2016. Should I work to get to Gold status through some promotions (e.g. applying for the AmEx card), or is there perhaps advantage in finishing 2016 just short of Gold status to help make it easier to achieve Gold in calendar year 2017?

  4. Can you still get Delta MQMS and miles when flying Alaska airlines? I hear there once nice union is heading to splitsville…

  5. Rene:
    Recently booked RT to India for November 2016. Operating carriers DL, AF, 9W (Jet Airways).
    Marketing carrier is Delta on one ticket.
    One of the 9W flights is Domestic BLR-BOM, connecting to International BOM-AMS.
    (DL 7538, 7533).
    9W is not listed on the Delta partners page.
    Will these segments accrue SkyMiles, of should I present my JetPrivilege card?
    Thanks in advance for considering this question.

  6. Thanks so much for your lightening fast and much appreciated response.

  7. Hi Rene,

    This year I booked two first class tickets while logged into the Delta app using Miles + Cash. To my surprise I earned MQMs on the trip. No, this was not Pay with Miles, but absolutely Miles + Cash. Was this a glitch in my favor? Heard of this happening to others? I am not complaining as the 1.7 CPM that resulted was very nice!

  8. Rene
    Just got back from a short trip to Mumbai from DTW. Flew Business Class with a ticket price in excess of $10,000. When I check my Sky Miles account it is telling me that the maximum miles that they will award on one ticket is 75,000 Miles. I had never seen this restriction. If I had booked this trip via two one-way flights, would I have overcome this restriction. As a Diamond flyer, I have lost significant award miles by choosing to fly Delta.

  9. Rene,

    My credit is only so-so, but I was able to get qualified to get Delta Gold AMEX (only a $1k limit but it’s a start). I hear about MS strategies all the time, so I am using the card for MDGC and paying my student loans through Plastiq. I’m worried that AMEX will report back spend to Delta minus the MDGC/VDGC spend). Have you heard f them doing that? I try to get other things from Kroger on top of the DGC, just so spending fluctuates a bit. Thanks for any answer u can give me!!

  10. Hey, René! Looking forward to seeing you later this month at FTU! Speaking of, I have a related question. I’m thinking of booking a paid First (P) ticket on AS for the return, crediting to DL. Have never flown them before, so I’m curious, and the nonstop flight is timed well for me. If I’m looking at the table correctly, it seems that for this 2,177 mile flight, I would earn ~4,354 SkyMiles (200%), ~4,354 MQMs (200%), *and* then an additional ~1,741 SkyMiles for being PM. Am I seeing that correctly? This seems like a pretty good haul for $429 up front, yes? (By contrast, the lowest nonstop coach on either AS or DL is $280.) Thanks a bunch!

  11. Oh, I did that, René, which is why I was shocked (as earnings on paid First appear much better than on actual DL metal ). I guess I was just looking for agreement from someone in the know that I was interpreting this correctly. 🙂

  12. René, I booked a flight to Asia from NY using Skymiles back in Feb. Based on what I have read in numerous of your articles, I should be eligible for MQMs for this trip since I am an AMEX Delta card holder. Please confirm because I am having a hard time getting Delta to credit me the miles. Thanks.

    • @Ben – If you booked and award trip or Miles & Cash then NO. Zero. If you booked a PWM or Pay With Miles ticket then you can earn MQMs YES!

  13. It seems Delta has raised award prices on partner Aeromexico between US and Mexico. I have not seen this reported yet.

  14. Rene – I booked a ticket using Skymiles. Is it eligible for MQMs?
    Is it different from booking using Pay with miles? Delta tells me it is not eligible since I used Skymiles. Thanks.

    • @Ben A – You do not. SkyMiles ticket or Miles & Cash do NOT earn MQMs. Only “cash” and PWM tickets earn MQMs.

  15. Here’s an odd situation, I logged into my account today and found 15k MQM more than expected. I did some digging and I found this entry dated Dec 31 2016, which caused a recalculation of my rollover:

    2016 SkyMiles AMEX $30K Threshold MQM – Keep
    POSTED ON May 06 2017

    I am 99.9% sure I deposited these last year in June when my statement hit. Even if you forget, the email says they will be auto-deposited in 90 days. just for information sake, I also hit $60k spend around October, and also hit $25k spend on my platinum which posted in January (bumping me to diamond).

    Any idea why I seem to have been gifted 15k MQM?

  16. Rene,

    I am starting to think that mileage boosting ($59 for 3000 SM) is a decent deal. I did some research and I couldn’t find anything on FT that was more recent than 2012. Skymiles valuation math has changed drastically since then. I hope to get 2 cents per mile for my skymiles on redemption. I know it is possible to squeeze more out of them, but I think it is a win if I get that, in aggregate. The way I get higher value out of them is to get more miles and redeem them for long haul (or probably the greatest value of D1 long haul). So, that being said, is there a reason I shouldn’t be boosting every flight? At worst, it’s a break even (assuming in aggregate that I’m getting 2 CPM). At best it gets me to those higher value flights faster, allowing me to squeeze more out of my miles.

    One thing that I saw on FT, was that I should wait until they do a transfer bonus special. With the 1:1 “double miles” special that they say runs from time to time, you can squeeze 1.1 CPM out of these. Do you know if they still run these double mile transfer bonuses?

  17. Can you elaborate on that at all? Is my math or reasoning flawed or is it because there are too many other resources to pay less? If so, what are they?

    Also, do you know about the double mile bonus transfer offer? Do they still run this?

    • @Clinton – First off, with no award charts why do you even want to collect SkyMiles. If you have a goal for some trip in mind consider other points that you can earn at a better rate than simply buying SkyMiles at 2 cents each! For example, AMEX SPG cards, after spend, yield 25,000 points for 20,000 transferred. Just one of many examples of better value.

      Beyond that AMEX has not offered any kind of bonus points for transfers for MANY years now. SPG is the only one that I know of that offers a transfer bonus as shown above.

  18. Jacklexis Wallzil Reply

    Hey Rene, I am hoping to reach Gold Medallion by the end of 2017. It is my first time so I am not sure what my status will be for 2018. Do I keep my Gold for the whole 2018 year or I lose it after Jan 2018? Thanks!

    • @Jaklexis – You have it “free” this year. You fly / enjoy it next year (2018). If you do nothing else it ends on 1FEB2019.

  19. Hi Rene;

    When I book flights, I track the amount of MQMs it earns and chart it, to keep track of yearly qualification. In the last week, I’ve booked the same flight for someone and noticed the earned miles is suddenly 500 MQMs less. Hope it is just an IT glitch or have you known it to change for some reason?

    Thank you!

  20. Hi Rene,

    When using a global upgrade on KLM the fare class get rebooked into Z and the flight number is changed to a KL flight #. Usually in the past when this gets credited to my account it gets treated as a revenue Z (hence the MQM bonus). I know for any DL flights it will just credit as main cabin. When I talked to Delta today they said it should credit only as main cabin (which is the case for all other paid upgrade fares). Has this been your experience? Otherwise Delta IT has a major problem with Z-fare GUCs.


    • @Nick – It is a known bug and a nice perk. Try not to talk about this one much nor blog about it. Delta may one day fix it.

  21. Hi Rene, I have a relative who has about 42,000 miles in his account. Due to his health, he will be unable to ever use them. Gifting the miles seems useless due to the fees. I am DM with Delta and I only fly domestic. Can he convert them to upgrades and I use them? Or possibly use them to purchase Delta gift cards that his spouse or I could use? Your thought please.

    • @Tony C – Here is the fix – just book tickets for YOU from that account.

  22. @Rene, I know you’ve been writing about the various devaluations with Delta, but it’s time somebody really calls them out on their pricing relative to their main two competitors (AA and UA). Just today, I searched for Biz class fare one way from PHX to BUE (EZE) on 12/10. Both AA and UA have biz class for 57.5k and 60k miles respectively. DL is 280k. I also searched today for domestic one way from MOT to PHX. UA has 12.5k miles and DL is 54k. These aren’t one-offs. DL is consistently pricing mileage fares at exorbitant amounts. As someone who enjoys the ability to get Diamond status through spend, I am increasingly realizing the resulting skymiles are not worth the effort. How can they be so far off from their competitors and continue to thrive? I guess we’ll have to vote with our wallets.

  23. I am looking to attain Million Miler status, but reluctant to use miles for travel as I believe that miles flown on an award ticket do not go towards obtaining Million Miler status. Is this correct?

    • @Alan – Pay With Miles tickets earn full MQMs and all MQMs count towards million miler ( including credit card MQMs ).

  24. Can you explain Delta’s rationale for waiting 120 days to post MQM to Skymiles account from meeting the AMEX Delta Reserve threshold? The bonus miles have been credited, but according to an email it will take 120 days for the MQM’s to be credited. They blame AMEX and suggested I contact them. AMEX says, per phone, nope, it is all in Delta’s hands.

  25. Rajat Aggarwal Reply

    I feel like this is a very unique situation. I am a Delta Platinum.

    I am looking to book ticket from AMS-NWI for 1 day trip. I will already be in AMS for vacation and have a last minute work trip come up. This ticket is a P class fare with KLM which means I will earn 20% of distance flown (350 miles total) as 70 MQD’s and the ticket price is around $700. What am I missing here? It seems absurd to pay $700 for 70 MQD’s, what do you suggest are my options here?

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