Back in the summer, as it became imminently clear that I would be relocating to Atlanta, I procured a Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express. One of the benefits of this card is a 10,000 Medallion Qualification Mile (MQM) boost for $25,000 dollars in spending during a calendar year. I just got my last statement for 2012, and as of 12/24, I am a mere $2,500 dollars short of $25,000 dollars in spending for 2012.
Seeing that I only had the card for 5 months during 2012, that is a pretty big amount of spend for me in such a short amount of time. Of course, I put a lot of our move expenses on the card, and there are just a lot of little expenses that add up when you relocate to a new home that might not be directly related to the move itself. Frankly, I was surprised when I saw how close I was to the MQM boost. Then I began to reflect on the last 5 months, and what I could have done differently. I could have put a little less spend on my Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa. Simply making the final payment for our European cruise with the SkyMiles Amex instead of my Sapphire Preferred Visa would have meant I would not even be writing this blog post. I’d have the extra MQMs in the bag. But I would have also missed out on a big pile of Ultimate Rewards points since I was getting 2 of those per dollar for our cruise. And it was some of those Ultimate Rewards that enabled me to do this.
In any event, I have a decision to make. Do I go out and spend $2,500 dollars in the next few days, or do I let the 10,000 MQM boost go? Don’t hate me, but I’ve decided to let them go, and here is why.
- 10,000 MQMs will not push me from Silver to Gold Medallion. Granted, I could roll them over to next year, and be that much closer to status for 2014, but I’m likely to fly enough to promote myself up the elite status levels anyway. If I don’t, oh well. If I were less than 10,000 MQMs from Platinum, or even Gold, I would go for it. I’m not.
- One of my very top rules for the road is that I will not spend money I would not otherwise spend just for the sake of earning miles. If I went out and spent the $2,500 just to get these 10,000 MQMs to be rolled over to next year, that is exactly what I would be doing. Yes, I realize that may make me sound foolish to some, but I am what I am, and I don’t begrudge you if you feel differently.
- Finally, I don’t have any degree of clarity on what SkyMiles will look like in the future. I am absolutely convinced that Delta wants to remake mileage programs and that SkyMiles is going to change to what I expect will be a “revenue based” mileage program. As you know, I don’t look upon this with the same sense of trepidation that others do, but I know it will be different. While any possible changes are not very likely to impact 2013, I don’t know that for sure. Will the Medallion program look essentially the same? Will the only changes be in the way redeemable miles are earned and burned? Don’t know. I expect that’s the case, but only time will tell. In any event, I’m just not feeling compelled to run out and front load $2,500 bucks of spend right now, especially after all the holiday expenses that many of us have incurred this month.
Now, I know that one option is to go out and buy $2,500 dollars in gift cards or load a pre-paid card of some sort. Maybe I’m just a little too beaten down by holiday spending or perhaps its because I just paid the bill from our Mediterranean cruise, but I’m just not feeling the need for these MQMs enough to go out and do that right now. Am I wrong about this? Really dumb? Or really in touch with my finances? What would you do? Feel free to disagree with my take on this. Just be nice.