Need MQMs, best angle to try?

Old Dec 31, 18, 2:29 pm
  #1  
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Need MQMs, best angle to try?

NEED MQMs. I flew a lot while working but now am retired. I will fly much less now but still fly Delta and love the perks of elite status. I am 50,000 MQMs away from lifetime GOLD status. I would like advice on getting that status.

When I retired I sadly cancelled my expensive Delta Reserve card, and gave up on AMEX Delta. But after a few months I got an offer in the mail to sign up for Delta Platinum with some generous up front MQM points. I did it. Now a year later I must decide again. I am thinking about cancelling my Platinum, then hunting for some other way to get MQMs. Perhaps they will offer me a new incentive for a Platinum card (even tho I just cancelled it). Or perhaps I might even go for a Reserve again if the bonus was high enough in MQMs. Is there a bonus if the customer initiates the application? Or do they only send incentives out to select potential customers?

A final question/thought. I know people do mileage runs and that non Delta partners do not always result in full mileage credit. But I don't understand how MQMs work on mileage runs. I'm a little old for this. But while shopping for my ticket to Bangkok I found a few tickets to BKK on delta partners for a very low cost. Maybe I could go to BKK, or Shanghai, and just spend a short weekend. But do you get full MQMs no matter what class or price of ticket you buy? What are the tricks of mileage runs if MQMs are your goal?

So, knowing my main goal is MQMs and that I seek more MQMs than just the standard bonus from annual spending, does anyone have suggestions? Is there perhaps some angle I don't know?

Last edited by bbbacres; Dec 31, 18 at 2:48 pm
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Old Dec 31, 18, 2:49 pm
  #2  
LBJ
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They won't give you multiple signup bonuses for the same card. You can potentially earn additional sign-up bonuses by signing up for the Business versions. There's also the annual spend based MQM Boosts (10K MQM's for first and second $25K in annual spend on the DL Plat card).
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Old Dec 31, 18, 4:44 pm
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You get full MQMs on any DL coded flight based on flight distance. Partners it's a percentage of total distance (can be 100% you have to check fare class against partner tables on DL.com.

Note it's typically the reverse for RDMs where DL is tied to spend and partners is tied to distance.

A couple runs to SIN should do it.
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Old Dec 31, 18, 4:44 pm
  #4  
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If you can do the $25,000 spend, you should certainly keep your DL Plat AmEx credit card as this will also allow you to ignore MQD requirements before you achieve your "lifetime" GM goal.

You need to explore the charts on DL website for partner MQM earning. Unlike DL flights, partner flights can earn few or no MQMs depending on the airline and fare class. Otherwise, you might feel that it's safer to stick with DL flights that earn 100% MQM (more for premium cabin or very high coach fare classes).

It's not bad to be 50,000 MQMs from "lifetime" GM status as that many MQMs can be earned quite easily. However, you might want to consider the benefits of GM status versus what you would naturally have in the interim (FO I assume since you must already have "lifetime" FO) based on your anticipated travel patterns and decide whether it's worthwhile to accelerate your earning of "lifetime" GM status versus versus just traveling as you otherwise would and waiting for it to happen naturally. Onc difference is lounge access on SkyTeam international itineraries, but there might be other benefits that matter to you.
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Old Dec 31, 18, 4:46 pm
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Originally Posted by bbbacres View Post
NEED MQMs. I flew a lot while working but now am retired. I will fly much less now but still fly Delta and love the perks of elite status. I am 50,000 MQMs away from lifetime GOLD status. I would like advice on getting that status.

When I retired I sadly cancelled my expensive Delta Reserve card, and gave up on AMEX Delta. But after a few months I got an offer in the mail to sign up for Delta Platinum with some generous up front MQM points. I did it. Now a year later I must decide again. I am thinking about cancelling my Platinum, then hunting for some other way to get MQMs. Perhaps they will offer me a new incentive for a Platinum card (even tho I just cancelled it). Or perhaps I might even go for a Reserve again if the bonus was high enough in MQMs. Is there a bonus if the customer initiates the application? Or do they only send incentives out to select potential customers?

A final question/thought. I know people do mileage runs and that non Delta partners do not always result in full mileage credit. But I don't understand how MQMs work on mileage runs. I'm a little old for this. But while shopping for my ticket to Bangkok I found a few tickets to BKK on delta partners for a very low cost. Maybe I could go to BKK, or Shanghai, and just spend a short weekend. But do you get full MQMs no matter what class or price of ticket you buy? What are the tricks of mileage runs if MQMs are your goal?

So, knowing my main goal is MQMs and that I seek more MQMs than just the standard bonus from annual spending, does anyone have suggestions? Is there perhaps some angle I don't know?
As for MQMs with partner airlines, it is dependent on the fare class of the ticket you purchase. Delta has a chart of the mileage earnings for their different airline partners.
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Old Jan 3, 19, 1:57 pm
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Thanks for the good thoughts. First of all, I have lifetime silver now. I would like lifetime gold, but the last 50,000 MQMs I need do not sound so easy now that I am flying 0 or 1 time per year instead of 25 times per years. Because I fly so little my MQM earnings will mostly all come from the spend bonus. Once again, because my life has changed, that will be 10k MQMs per year. 5 years of waiting. Too long for an aging guy trying to enjoy his travel now.

Further, I built up all these award miles and want to start using them as I age. So buying tickets (absent an intentional mileage run) is not so much in the picture. I have had the thought you expressed; would lifetime gold really help me? Would I have that much more than the silver I have now? Well I just took a trip on my miles to Thailand. On every flight gold status would have gotten me into the elite lines. Silver does not. Elite lines at Security, often at initial check-in, and always at boarding. Further we stopped at international airports (eg Shangai) for long layovers like 5 hours. They would not let me into the partner lounge even tho I have a Sky Club membership. Sky Club members don't get into the foreign carrier's lounges, but gold elite members do. So these are not huge things in life, but in a sense none of this is. And it can absolutely make a long trip a little more pleasant and a long layover a lot more fun.

So I'm really dedicated to getting those 50,000 MQM miles. Thus I'm trying to understand the cards and mileage runs. I've read if I upgrade to the Reserve Card I get an upgrade bonus, but the spend limit to get the 15,000 additional MQM bonus is a little higher, and I'm close, right on the line at $25k spending. Getting to $30k, well its not as easy as it used to be with my life changes. I don't mean to go on and on, just explaining my situation. I'm glad fliers help each other with collective advice.
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Old Jan 3, 19, 4:34 pm
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Not sure where you are based, a China Eastern rt JFK-PVG-HKG/SIN/KUL can be had for about $2500 in business. With the 200/150% MQM bonus will earn you about 25,000 MQM. So 2 of those this year?
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Old Jan 4, 19, 10:07 am
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Thanks for the thought. First, I would be leaving from the West coast, which would reduce the miles. Second, much depends on individual financial circumstances. $5,000 is far more than I would spend to get this status. Perhaps half that including the stay in PVG when I get there. I hope this is not impossible. I would have to do it with coach seats. Sure coach nets you less than first in miles by far, but at $363 RT for coach on a good day you could do almost 8 round trips for the price of your 1 ticket. Still, doing it with a couple of first class tickets would be the nice way to do it . I appreciate the time you took to answer.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 10:34 am
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Originally Posted by canuck_traveler View Post
As for MQMs with partner airlines, it is dependent on the fare class of the ticket you purchase. Delta has a chart of the mileage earnings for their different airline partners.
Thanks for that link. It saved me from starting a new thread asking whether there is any benefit flying Virgin Australia when I'm in New Zealand and Australia in July (there definitely is). Here's my follow up question: what is the mechanism for Delta learning about my flights? Will Virgin Australia let me use my Delta FF number when booking tickets?
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Old Jan 4, 19, 11:00 am
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Originally Posted by Brandon_Cox View Post
what is the mechanism for Delta learning about my flights? Will Virgin Australia let me use my Delta FF number when booking tickets?
You can enter your SM number when you purchase on the VA www site. Also when checking in for the flights, be sure to check for your SM number of the VA BP.
VA also recognizes DL status for priority boarding, lounge access, etc.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 12:02 pm
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You say you have a lot of miles, Have you considered Pay With Miles?

Hopefully someone else can fill in the details because I've never done it, but at a redemption rate of a penny a point, you could use miles to buy certain tickets that will earn you MQMs.
You'd have to keep your Amex Plat (I think - Someone will correct me if I'm wrong), but that might get you a good long ride somewhere fun, in the front of the bus, that will earn you a lot of MQMs.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 2:11 pm
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I find that if you shop around for Premium Economy fares you can sometimes find them for not too much more than regular economy. For that you get a much more comfortable ride and a 50% MQM bonus. The price can be only a couple of hundred dollars less than regular economy, but it’s definitely not $363. In early December I flew MSP-HND-MSP in PE, which earned just under 18K MQM. The fare was $1594; there were dates in January when that fare was less than the regular economy fares. I also book PE on VS and AF to Europe.

Like you, I am retired. That gives us the flexibility to choose the dates with the lowest fares.
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