We’ve received several messages about how people can ramp up their MQM balances before the end of the year.
This is sort of an unofficial tradition at the blog. Right around October, some readers scramble to accumulate MQM and MQD so they earn or requalify for Delta Medallion elite status.
Delta Air Lines announced that all MQM will roll over to 2022 — regardless of whether or not you hold Medallion status. (The airline did the same thing last year. So there’s a chance you’re sitting on a nice chunk of MQM.)
But how can Delta flyers earn MQM in a short period of time?
We put our heads together and came up with several ways how to earn Delta MQM during 2021.
Flying Delta Air Lines-Marketed Flights
In March, Delta implemented a “Status Accelerator” promotion, giving SkyMiles members MQM, MQS, and MQD bonuses of at least 50% on paid and award tickets flown through December 31, 2021.
- Basic Economy and Main Cabin tickets receive 50% bonuses.
- Comfort+, Premium Select, First Class, and Delta One earn 75% bonuses in addition to any “cabin” bonuses. (I’ll explain in a minute.)
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?
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, tasty Margaritas, and the new SLC Sky Club.) I purchased a coach ticket — but later decided to treat myself. I used SkyMiles to “pay” for a Business/First Class upgrade.
I snagged 3,104 MQM!
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).
This promotion ends on December 31, 2021. (Like, your flights need to depart no later than that day.) So now’s the time to book and fly!
Keep in mind, too, that award tickets earn MQM, MQS, and MQD this year and next. So if you’re sitting on a redeemable SkyMiles stockpile, now might be time to cash them in for Delta flights.
Flying Delta Partners
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.
Those trips can bring you a bunch of MQM — while you travel comfortably for a good price.
We post Delta partner mileage runs and mini-vacations every so often. Our pals at Juicy Miles are also a fantastic resource to help you find and book Delta partner trips, too.
Delta Amex Card Welcome Offers
Three Delta American Express cards currently offer MQM bonuses as part of their welcome offers.
- The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
- The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
- The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
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® Reserve Business American Express Card — you’re still eligible to get the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card‘s welcome bonus (if you haven’t yet already received it).
So if you’ll earn a chunk of MQM if you apply for a card and meet those minimum spending requirements.
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.
So, Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card members earn 15,000 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 60,000 MQM if you spend $120,000 in purchases during a calendar year. That would net you Gold Medallion Status without stepping on a plane.
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, members earn 10,000 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.
Receiving Gifted MQM from Delta Reserve Amex Cardholders
Both the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card allow cardholders to gift their bonus/Status Boost MQM to another SkyMiles member.
This is something both René and I have done several times. (Here’s a quick guide on how to gift your Delta Reserve MQM.) This can really work well in “two-player mode.”
Let’s take my wife and me, for example. In the years before our daughter was born, it was just the two of us traveling together. So I would earn Medallion status and she could be “Medallion lite” — meaning she’d enjoy the same upgrades and checked luggage benefits as me when we flew on the same reservation/PNR.
I’d earn 60,000 bonus MQM across my Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card. Mrs. Carley, meanwhile, would earn either 15,000 or 30,000 bonus MQM on her Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card (depending on our spending habits and budgets for a given year). She’d gift me the bonus miles. So that alone was 90,000 bonus MQM just from credit card spending.
Now that both of us are Medallions, I sometimes gift her my bonus MQM if she needs a top-off to maintain her status.
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 that 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.
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! Load up on them during 2021 — especially with the big Accelerator promotion that awards you between 50%-75% bonuses. And if you haven’t gotten one of the Delta Amex cards offering bonus MQM as part of its welcome promotion, now would be a great time to take advantage of the opportunities!
- To see rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, please visit this link. Terms apply.
- To see rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, please visit this link. Terms apply.
- To see rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, please visit this link. Terms apply.
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