Once Again, Medallion Qualification Miles are For Sale — But More Expensive Than Ever

Photograph ©2013 by Brian Cohen.


Effective immediately, Delta Air Lines announced today a limited-time promotion where one can purchase Medallion Qualification Miles to qualify for elite SkyMiles Medallion status for 2014. The Medallion Qualification Miles that you purchase will post to your balance at the end of 2013.
When compared to last year, the opportunity to purchase Medallion Qualification Miles has been shortened by 18 days. Last year, the period of time was from November 15, 2012 through December 31, 2012; whereas this year the period of time for this promotion is effective between December 3, 2013 and December 31, 2013.
The bad news is that the cost of each transaction has increased across the board by as much as $1,000.00 or approximately 101.27 percent as compared to last year — depending on what “tier” for which you are qualified.
The Medallion Qualification Miles pricing options are as follows for the following tiers as reported by FlyerTalk members:
Tier 1
  • 2,500 Medallion Qualification Miles for $795.00 — an increase of $400.00 or approximately 101.27 percent from the price last year of $395.00
  • 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles for $1,195.00 — an increase of $600.00 from the price last year of $595.00
  • 7,500 Medallion Qualification Miles for $1,595.00 — an increase of $800.00 from the price last year of $795.00
  • 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles for $1,995.00 — an increase of $1,000.00 from the price last year of $995.00

 
Tier 2

  • 2,500 Medallion Qualification Miles for $595.00
  • 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles for $895.00
  • 7,500 Medallion Qualification Miles for $1,195.00
  • 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles for $1,495.00

 
Tier 3

  • 2,500 Medallion Qualification Miles for $495.00
  • 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles for $695.00
  • 7,500 Medallion Qualification Miles for $995.00
  • 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles for $1,195.00

 
Tier 4

  • 2,500 Medallion Qualification Miles for $475.00
  • 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles for $675.00
  • 7,500 Medallion Qualification Miles for $875.00
  • 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles for $1,075.00

 
If you do not qualify for any of the above four tiers, then you most likely do not even have the option of purchasing Medallion Qualification Miles.
You may purchase up to a maximum of 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles — and any Medallion Qualification Miles that you earn above the desired elite Medallion tier will count as rollover Medallion Qualification Miles towards 2014 status under the current policy of the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program.
Should you take advantage of this offer? That depends on which tier for which you qualify — as well as how many Medallion Qualification Miles you want or need, how much money you are willing to spend, and what are your circumstances — amongst other variables…
Let us say that you decide to purchase 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles for $1,075.00 if you qualify for Tier 4. That prices out at slightly greater than ten cents per Medallion Qualification Mile — or $0.1075 per Medallion Qualification Mile, to be precise. This means that if you are willing to fly on Delta Air Lines or any of its partner airlines on any flights before the end of 2013 where the cost of the flight is ten cents per Medallion Qualification Mile or less, this offer might not be the most beneficial to you. Furthermore, some FlyerTalk members who embark on “mileage runs” usually will not pay above a certain threshold for Medallion Qualification Miles — three cents per Medallion Qualification Mile is the typical threshold, although some will go higher and others will go lower.
If you qualify for Tier 1, you could purchase 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles for $1,995.00. That prices out at almost twenty cents per Medallion Qualification Mile — or $0.1995 per Medallion Qualification Mile, to be precise. Frankly, you have to be truly desperate or have a real aversion to flying to attain elite level status for next year, in my opinion, as I simply believe that price is greatly overvalued — and if you do have a real aversion to flying, I would suggest that perhaps elite level status in the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program is not for you. If you qualify for Tier 1, this option should only be considered if all of the following three factors exist and are taken into account:

  • You are shy of elite level status by 10,000 or slightly fewer Medallion Qualification Miles
  • That the next level of elite status is significantly better enough to justify paying that overinflated cost per Medallion Qualification Mile; and
  • If you absolutely cannot book another flight for the rest of the year for whatever reason.

 
If you do not have the time or inclination to travel, or you cannot find an airfare with a lower threshold suitable to your liking, or if the thought of spending many hours seated in a metal tube with wings when you do not need to do so causes you to shudder, then you might benefit from this promotion.
This is a promotion where Delta Air Lines could add profit to their bottom line with additional revenue by providing another option to you to top off your SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program account with enough Medallion Qualification Miles to either secure the next level of elite Medallion status, or at least help you get there — and there is certainly nothing wrong with what could be a win-win situation for all…
…if the price is right for you and the resulting level of elite status is worth it, of course. You had better be sure that this promotion is indeed worth it to you, as this offer is non-refundable.
You might be thinking about having some or all of the Medallion Qualification Miles purchased roll over from 2014 into 2015. Do not even consider doing this if you do not anticipate also qualifying for the new Medallion Qualification Dollars component, as you will be wasting your money purchasing them this year.
Then again — if Delta Air Lines offers this promotion again next year and increases the prices yet again per Medallion Qualification Mile — that spend should count towards the Medallion Qualification Dollar requirement which was announced earlier this year. That is only fair, in my opinion.
In fact, the cost of Medallion Qualification Miles has been increasing every year. As an example, the pricing in 2011 was as follows:

  • 2,500 Medallion Qualification Miles for $295.00
  • 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles for $495.00
  • 7,500 Medallion Qualification Miles for $695.00
  • 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles for $895.00

 
That is downright cheap compared to the prices this year per Medallion Qualification Mile.
Your SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program account must have been established for a minimum of ten days before you can take advantage of this offer. All transactions are final and cannot be reversed under any circumstances. Other terms and conditions apply.
I personally will not participate in purchasing Medallion Qualification Miles — not at those prices for 2013. Will you?

4 thoughts on “Once Again, Medallion Qualification Miles are For Sale — But More Expensive Than Ever”

  1. ICUDoc says:

    I am just over 4,000 miles short of Diamond – doing a lot of hard thinking about buying the miles – would be nice to have 45,000 miles roll over – making Diamond a possibility the following year – not sure the difference between Plat and Diamond is worth it – don’t have time for a mileage run…..
    Thoughts??

  2. FlightNurse says:

    start with 45K in the bank, makes making DM much easier and less stress for oneself.

  3. chollie says:

    +1
    Start with the 45K in the bank and use the $ you will spend this year towards next year’s MQD requirement.

  4. rylan says:

    Anyone in the tier 1 level has got to be crazy to buy MQMs at that price. You can easily fly in a circle for a lot less, and get miles while at it.

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