Delta Is Letting You Pay To Secure Elite Status For 2018

Filed Under: Delta

It’s the end of the year, which means a lot of people are looking at their frequent flyer accounts and trying to figure out how to squeeze a few extra miles out of their travel so they can qualify for the next elite tier.

Towards the end of the year it’s pretty normal for airlines to let you “buy up” to the next elite tier, should you be a few thousand elite qualifying miles short.

A few weeks ago American announced their Elite Boost promotion, allowing you to pay to secure the next elite level if you’re within a certain range of qualifying. The costs are sort of ridiculous, especially when you consider that elite status is worth less than it used to be.

Delta has now revealed their end of the year promotion for buying up to status. Through February 15, 2018, you can purchase a bundle consisting of Medallion Qualifying Miles, Medallion Qualifying Dollars, and Medallion Qualifying Segments. This will count towards your 2018 status.

Here’s how Delta describes what this means for your status:

  • The dollar amount you spend on MQMs and MQSs will then be credited to your 2017 MQDs balance and will apply towards your 2018 Status.
  • Any MQMs purchased that exceed the amount needed to achieve Medallion Status for 2018 will roll over and count towards your 2019 Status.
  • MQMs, MQSs and MQDs will post to your SkyMiles account within 24 hours of purchase.
  • Keep in mind: MQMs, MQSs and MQDs purchased through this offer are non-refundable.

And here’s who is eligible for the promotion:

  • If you are a Platinum, Gold or Silver Medallion Member, you are eligible for Elevate Your Status unless you received complimentary Status for a Tier above the Tier you earned Status for.
  • If you are a General SkyMiles Member, you must be within range to reach Silver Medallion Status by purchasing the maximum bundle of MQMs, MQSs and MQDs, in order to be eligible.
  • If you are a Diamond Medallion Member, you are not eligible, because you have already reached the top Tier of Medallion Status.

I’m not eligible for this promotion since I have Delta Platinum status through all of next year thanks to a status challenge.

However, it looks like some of the prices are insane. For example, Rene’s Points shares the following bundle offers:

  • 1,000 MQMs + 3 MQSs + $1,695 MQDs for $1,695
  • 2,500 MQMs + 6 MQSs + $ $2,195 MQDs for $2,195
  • 5,000 MQMs + 9 MQSs + $2,495 MQDs for $2,495
  • 7,500 MQMs + 12 MQSs + $2,795 MQDs fo $2,795
  • 10,000 MQMs + 15 MQSs + $2,995 MQDs for $2,995

Surely this pricing can’t be serious?!?!? Under almost all circumstances you’d be better off just getting on a plane, but I guess this is worth pointing out in case you value status hugely but can’t bring yourself to get on a plane again in 2017. Still, this pricing is painful.

If you’re eligible for Delta’s “Elevate Your Status” deal, what does your offer look like?

  1. they’re supposed to be painful. All 3 choices by those who faces such a decision leads to a win for the airline anyway – 1. they mileage run, thus filling up more seats that might’ve gone out empty, esp in early Dec, 2. they cough up a pretty sum to the airline that’s almost pure profit, or 3. they miss the status and costs DL less in elite benefits next year.

    if statuses could so easily be purchased at a “fair” cost, with “fair” defined by us, then there’s no need to unnecessarily chase status anyway. just buy it whenever you need it.

  2. Insanity. I’m 2,000 MQM’s short of Diamond, and doing a $120 roundtrip MSP-DEN in one afternoon. Easy as it gets.

  3. I’m already Gold. My wife is seeing $295 for the 1000 MQM level. She’s going to be ~600 MQM short after the remainder of our planned flights for the year. I’m sure there’s a quick, short round trip that could be done cheaper, but I’m fine with doing it for $295 and having the day back.

  4. The pricing is based on what medallion level you’re already at. The idea is that buying access to lower levels is cheaper than buying access to higher levels. So upgrading from say PM to DM is very expensive, whereas SM to GM is “cheaper”.

    I’m SM, although about to hit GM on my next flight. My pricing as an SM right now is:
    1k MQM, 3 MQS == $595 (MQD)
    2.5k MQM, 6 MQS == $795
    5k MQM, 9 MQS == $995
    7.5k MQM, 12 MQS == $1,195
    10k MQM, 15 MQS == $1,395

    If I were crazy, and wanted to just burn money, I could spend $1,395 to get my MQMs up to 58.4k and MQD to $7.3k and then just be 14k MQM and $2.7k away from DP (with a third of that already in booked flights) … but even I know that’d be dumb as hell.

  5. I’m a Silver Medallion, and the pricing for me shows 295/495/695/895/1,095. I’m in the same boat as Ed’s wife.

  6. No offer here, but I’m almost within 10k miles of FO. Won’t make it this year, which is a shame considering how I’m going to by flying DL more often.

    More long lines for me.

  7. I already spent $240 to waste a Saturday on a quick RT out to SFO for PM status. Would have happily paid another $150 to have my day at home with the family. Oh well.

  8. Guys, this is supposed to be ‘painful’. Why the hell should people who pay everything with an airline credit card be treated as elite frequent flyers? You’re not. Get on those planes like the rest of us if you want to be a frequent flyer.

  9. when I try to access it shows an Error Msg and “Access Denied”. Anyone else seeing that? I have Silver and am within 10k MQM to Gold.

  10. It won’t let me check how much my status bying would cost. I only have 10k MQM right now, but I have a trip in a week where I’ll earn another 10K, so I’ll be within their range to buy status. Wish I could check how much it would cost for me right now.. it seems to me though that in most cases it would be cheaper and make more sense to simply buy the cheapest transcon flight you can find and get on it. Plus, you earn regular miles on that.

  11. Anyone know if this purchase would be picked up by the $200 airline credit from Amex and/or earn 5x points?

  12. I could use some help and guidance on whether to pull the trigger on this deal. I am not a frequent flier, flying maybe 3 or 4 times a year on business or trips with my family. I have been offered the Elevate Your Status to Silver Medallion and like Ed’s wife it’s $295.

    The other costs will be (from the email):

    1,000 MQMs + 3 MQSs + $295 MQDs
    for $295.*
    *This bundle is recommended based on your MQMs, MQSs and MQDs as of December 1, 2017.

    I do like the upgrades to Economy Comfort when I fly. I have rarely ever been upgraded to First Class (only once on a hopper flight from Eugene, OR to Portland, OR) since there are so many Diamond, Platinum and Gold members ahead of me when I have had Silver Medallion status in the past.

    Reading through all the MQM’s, MQS’s, MQD’s is a bit like reading stereo instructions.
    Another question is will I be upgraded on my Delta Sky Miles card Companion Certificate? I can’t seem to find the answer to that.

    Thanks all.

  13. @ Kathy — How much would it cost you to just buy Economy Comfort on the 3-4 flights you’re going to take next year?

  14. Hmmm….Depending on which market I fly it is typically $70 to upgrade each way.
    One question…do SM’s have access to the Clubs?

  15. I did a last minute trip to hit my MQDs, to keep silver… Turns out on the base fare i was 5 MQDs short…

    I am going to call and see if I can get it based on paying the gap, similar to these packages.

    I spend thousands with them every year, so $5 really seems like a joke to work with me on.
    I will report back after we chat.

    My current offers match the level noted above.
    1,000 MQMs + 3 MQSs + $295 MQDs
    for $295.*

  16. Im torn. I was silver in 2017, And 2017 ended with me 1700MQMs shy of gold. Now its 2018 and im still silver, and with the rollover MQMs and MQD waiver, and a recent flight, my status shows i’ll be silver again for 2019 status at 26k MQMs as of Feb 1. I got an offer as well now for the new feb 28 deadline but im confused a bit. If i take the offer and it gets applied to my 2017 earnings to be gold for 2018, does that mean my current MQM will go down to 1k and instead of eanring toward gold for 2019 i’ll be earning toward silver again?

  17. My offer was for about $895 to bump up, however, I wanted to just say that I think it’s pretty ridiculous that people are so outraged over the prices. Technically, they’re frequent flier miles right? Which requires you to fly. The fact that you can just buy your way to the next tier, if you are “within range” is a benefit for those that find it worth it. Frankly, If i had 895 to burn through, I would do it since I’m flying far more frequently than I used to. I see it as win win for both- you get what you want, they get what they want. Feels like those that are outraged just want a “well I tried really hard, so just give me the status at a price that I want” benefit.

  18. I had 52000MQM, and $1770MQD and $23000 in Card spend for 2017 and missed qualifying for Silver Medallion Status. I also missed the deadline to elevate your status which was Feb 28, 2018. I am losing the roller of 27000 MQMs to 2018 which could help me qualify for Gold Medallion membership. Any recommendations what else I can do?

  19. I am silver now and wow I have plenty of miles, I still need $843 to make silver next year. Their offer is for me to pay them $1199.00. what world does Delta live in to think it’s worth that much to have silver Status?

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