Earn Delta Platinum Elite Status The Easy Way

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Delta offers their Platinum Medallion members complimentary upgrades (even on award tickets), 100% mile bonus, preferred seating, waved fees galore (my favorite the award redeposit fee) and a selection of lucrative choice benefits like 20,000 miles or $200 gift card. These benefits don’t come without effort. The hard way to earn Delta Platinum Medallion status is to fly earn 75,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) or fly 100 Medallion Qualifying Segments (MQSs) in a calendar year.


But there is a much easier way, one you can do primarily (almost to the Platinum level) right from your couch, while earning MQMs towards million miler status and you’ll be able to enjoy those same great Platinum benefits as the folks who actually fly 75,000 miles in a calendar year.

Earn Delta Platinum Medallion The Easy Way

The old fashioned way to earn status was to fly with an airline where customers would earn MQMs or MQSs that would count towards status. But over the last few years I’ve been starting to take advantage of another way to earn status, earning MQMs through credit card spending. And it’s shifted the way I earn miles from primarily flying to primarily earning through credit card spending as you can see from the chart below.


So far this year, I’ve earned 76,726 MQMs which put me over the top of the 75,000 threshold, thereby achieving Platinum Medallion status.


The most recent offer that I took advantage of, added 5,000 MQMs after my first purchase. This was for a special limited time offer to earn 20,000 MQMs and 55,000 Delta redeemable miles. The Platinum Delta Skymiles Business credit card offered 5,000 MQMs after the first purchase and another 15,000 MQMs after meeting the $5,000 spending requirement in 3 months of opening the card.

The most recent 15,000 MQMs from this offer was enough to put me over the 75,000 Platinum Medallion threshold. The 15,000 redeemable miles was a complete bonus in my opinion. I don’t really need the redeemable miles, it was the MQMs I was going after with this offer.


So from the offer above, I earned 20,000 MQMs from directing spending to a specific credit card.

So where did I get the other ~56,000 MQMs?

Simple, a mixture of travel, credit card spending, and rollover miles from the previous year.

I carried over ~25,000 rollover miles from 2012. Towards the end of the year, I knew I was going to hit the Platinum threshold, but Delta allows members to rollover miles that are above a Medallion threshold. Since the next level above Platinum is Diamond which requires 125,000 MQMs, I could carry over up to 49,999 MQMs above the Platinum level.

So I applied for the Delta Reserve card which offered 10,000 MQMs with first purchase, 15,000 MQMs after spending $30,000 in spending up to 30,000 MQMs per year.

The best part about it is the Delta Reserve card comes with arguably the most valuable way to earn MQMs because they can be gifted to another person! Yes, you can earn the MQMs, and when they are received, you can give them to another person to help a friend or family member get to the next status level.

I was able to make Platinum not even including the 30k I’ll get from the Delta Reserve from spending $60,000 on the card in one calendar year. I plan on holding these MQMs back, because if I get near the Diamond threshold, I’ll evaluate the added benefits vs gifting of these MQMs. So I carried over 25,000 MQMs, 10,000 from initial MQM bonus and another 15,000 MQM bonus from the Delta Reserve card.

The balance (~31,000 MQMs) was from actually flying in a Delta plane, which wasn’t that bad, because I had a good percentage of upgrades (enjoying even internationally configured planes with flat-bed Business Elite seats like the 777, the 767 with the new flat-bed Business Elite seats, the 767 with the old cradle Business Elite seats and even the 757 with lie-flat cradle Business Elite seats).

Delta 767 Business Elite

Delta 767 Business Elite lie flat seat

And of course when you are upgraded, you get to enjoy one of the best drinks in the sky, the Woodford Reserve served onboard Delta planes.


Bottom Line

Let’s recap. Delta Platinum benefits are good. In my opinion the best benefits are the complimentary domestic upgrades and reduction in fees.

You can earn this status the hard way flying over 75,000 MQMs or 100 MQSs in a calendar year. Alternatively, you can supplement flying with earning MQMs through the Delta Reserve card (10,000 MQMs after first purchase and up to 30,000 MQMs after meeting spending requirements of $30,000 for each 15,000 MQM increment up to 30,000 MQMs) or the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express (5,000 MQMs after first purchase up to 20,000 MQMs after meeting spending requirements of $25,000 for each 10,000 MQM increment up to 20,000 MQMs).

How do you earn your Delta status?

See More Airline Credit Card Offers Here to help earn more Delta Miles.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This post was accurate at the time of posting, offer may be unavailable on this site at a later time. For details on current offers visit the card issuer’s site.

About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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  1. You might want to hurry up and spend those 2.3 million miles before EOS (“End of SkyMiles”).

  2. anyone heard of a date for delta devaluation? am i safe until Jan. 1 2014 if i haven’t booked for all awards yet? sitting on a pile, and definitely want to burn them before they go up in flames on their own. will they announce this year instead of waiting until jan. 1? anyone?

  3. Nice post. I’m using the same method right now, i should hit platinum by the end of August. Applied for the Delta Reserve, received 25K MQM for the sign up and min. $30K spend. Applied for the Delta Platinum Business AMEX, will spend the $5K before the end of August and generate the other 20K MQM, have 10k MQM rolled over and another 25K MQM from flying. Will try to bank another 20-30k MQM for rollover next year.

  4. Ditto here. Just waiting for the final MQM bonus to post from the Business Reserve card and I’ll be Platinum. I remember the years I was sweating it to get to gold in late December. I like this much better!

  5. We recently upgraded from the Delta Platinum card to the Reserve card. We received the initial 10k MQM for the Platinum card and an additional 5k for moving to the Reserve. We have now hit the $60k in spend for the year and should have received another 15k MQM, all that has posted is 15k bonus miles, no MQM. What gives?
    Normally that stuff posts pretty accurately. Amex said they would have to research it, wtf, you can see what you sent over already.

  6. You have to be careful, MQMs earned from credit card spending don’t seem to roll over. I am Platinum and had 19,000 miles I expected to roll over, but I was disappointed to learn that since I get the 20,000 MQM bonus each year from putting $50k on my business card, they subtract 20,000 from the miles that roll over. I should have used skymiles for those last trips.

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