If you’re an elite member of Delta’s SkyMiles program, or would like to be, this offer merits consideration.
Through December 31, SkyMiles members may buy up to 10,000 elite-qualifying miles(EQMs). The purchased EQMs will post to members’ 2012 balances and apply toward 2013 Medallion status. The prices:
- 2,500 EQMs for $395
- 5,000 EQMs for $595
- 7,500 EQMs for $795
- 10,000 EQMs for $995
The EQMs count toward elite status only; they cannot be redeemed for free travel. Purchases are non-refundable.
Deal or No Deal
For those who travel often, the perks that come with elite status have considerable value. But is a bigger seat (maybe) and a less stressful trip worth paying at least 10 cents a miles for?
The alternative to buying them, for those who wouldn’t earn the required EQMs in the course of their normal travels, is a mileage run: a cheap, long flight taken solely for the purpose of earning status or upgrading from a lower to a higher elite tier.
So how does paying for EQMs stack up against a mileage run? Not too badly, actually.
To earn 5,000 EQMs, for example, would require a round-trip transcon flight. That probably can’t be done for much less than the $317.60 fare for a Los Angeles-New York Delta round-trip in early December.
Or you could buy the 5,000 EQMs for $595. A point in favor of the paid flight: You’d earn redeemable miles in addition to the EQMs.
But buying the EQMs saves you the time and hassle of actually making the flights. If elite status is a priority and you’d otherwise have to complete a mileage run to achieve it, buying the EQMs may well be a sensible alternative.
You’ll pay more, but it’s a premium worth paying.
Reader Reality Check
Did you earn your Delta elite status the old-fashioned way, by flying? How do you feel about making elite perks available to those who bought their status instead of earning it?
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