Through December 31, 2012, Delta is selling Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) for those that are a bit short of their desired elite tier. You can purchase up to 10,000 MQMs, in the following increments:

The MQMs will post within 24 hours, and count towards 2012 elite status.

As you can see, you’re looking at a minimum of ~10 cents per MQM, so this really isn’t a good value. If you have more money than you know what to do with and don’t have time to take a last minute trip I guess it could make sense to take advantage of this if it gets you to the next elite tier. That being said, if you have the time to make a trip you can almost always find flights for under 10 cents per mile, so I’d go with that, especially since you’d earn redeemable miles as well.

Keep in mind that one of the things that makes the Delta SkyMiles program unique is that they have rollover miles, whereby any MQMs earned above the amount required for the elite tier you reached roll over to the next year. Therefore many SkyMiles members actually make it a goal to end the year just below an elite tier, so they have a “head start” on the following year.

For example, Platinum status requires 75,000 MQMs, while Diamond status requires 125,000 MQMs. Many don’t mind the difference between the two levels to be worthwhile, so will intentionally end the year with 120,000 MQMs, so that they earn Platinum status and have a 45,000 MQM head start the following year. So while with all other airlines excess elite qualifying miles are “wasted” that’s not the case with Delta, which makes this potentially even less tempting.

But hey, different folks, different strokes. If you don’t have time to fly and really want to achieve the next highest elite tier, I guess taking advantage of this could make sense.

  1. November 14th, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    1K said,

    Why hasn’t Wandering Arrogantmeanie already chastised you for posting a bad deal?

  2. November 14th, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Ryan S said,

    I don’t get this part- “So while with all other airlines excess elite qualifying miles are “wasted” that’s not the case with Delta, which makes this potentially even less tempting.”

    Wouldn’t that make it MORE tempting? Would it really be better if the extra MQMs were wasted?

  3. November 14th, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Ryan S. — Maybe I didn’t express myself clearly. Let me give an example of what I’m trying to say. Say you end the year 65,000 United elite qualifying miles or 65,000 Delta elite qualifying miles. You’d have MUCH more of an incentive to go for 75,000 elite qualifying miles with United than Delta. With United it would get you to the next tier and otherwise those “excess” 15,000 miles would be wasted. With Delta, on the other hand, those 15,000 bonus miles would otherwise roll over to the next year, so they’re not really lost like they are with United.

    Does that make any sense?

  4. November 14th, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    JBG said,

    Lucky, can I use a voucher to purchase? I need 1900 MQMs for Plat, but am mostly booked for the year. I’ll make it happen no matter, but for me buying up would make life easier.

  5. November 14th, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    lucky said,

    @ JBG — I don’t believe you can, unfortunately.

  6. November 14th, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    mike said,

    Has United ever matched?

  7. November 14th, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Robert said,

    What if you end the year a couple thousand MQM’s short of silver, do they all roll over or do they all expire?

  8. November 15th, 2012 at 12:28 am

    AK said,

    A better deal that I pointed out is to apply for a Reserve or Platinum Delta SM Amex, since one or both will have MQM bonuses on signup depending on your account.

  9. November 15th, 2012 at 12:56 am

    Brabbit said,

    I think the $995 for 1000 is a $100 increase over last year as well…

  10. November 15th, 2012 at 1:06 am

    lucky said,

    @ mike — In the past I believe they’ve retroactively offered buy ups, though I don’t remember them offering anything this structured.

    @ Robert — Nope, rollover MQMs only apply if you reach an elite tier.

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