How my $320 mileage run will result in 54000 Delta SkyMiles

Mileage Run Booked!

Last week I asked readers for help in constructing a mileage run to get me the last 4,288 miles needed to get to Platinum status on Delta. Darren showed me that I could accomplish this through an overnight layover in Sacramento. Scott showed that it was possible to do it all in one day via Ontario California. Burj found a flight to Sacramento with a red-eye back to Detroit. In the end, I cobbled together all of these suggestions into a one day trip that works for me: 8:10 am leave Detroit, stop in Salt Lake City, and arrive in Sacramento at 12:15. On the return, leave Sacramento at 2:25, stop in LA, and arrive in Detroit at 12:09 a.m. Total cost $320. Approximate miles to be flown: 4,350. At 7.3 cents per MQM, this doesn’t qualify as a great mileage run (hard core mileage runners look for ~ 3 cents per mile or less), but it will do the job. If all goes as expected, I’ll reach Platinum, and thanks to this trip, I will be 54,000 Delta SkyMiles richer.

Gratitude Awarded!

So, in my previous posts (Day 1and Day 2), I promised my undying gratitude to whoever suggests a plan that I use. Since I combined ideas from three people, I’ll divide my undying gratitude into thirds and distribute to all three (Darren, Scott, and Burj). Do you feel the love, guys? If any of the three of you would like to trade in the 1/3 gratitude for some Delta food/drink vouchers or a size-large Boarding Area t-shirt, let me know via the comments below. I only have one t-shirt to give away right now, so first request gets it!

Bonus Miles Galore!

Are you wondering how a mileage run flying less than 5000 miles can result in 54,000 Delta SkyMiles? Here’s how:


4,350 Miles

Miles flown

Gold Elite Bonus

4,350 Miles

Elite members earn 2x bonus miles

Credit Card Miles

640 Miles

Double miles for airline purchases

Platinum Choice Benefit

20,000 Miles

Platinum members receive choice of gifts. One option is 20,000 miles

Exclusive Reward

25,000 Miles

I received a targeted promotion from Delta which gives me 25,000 miles for maintaining Gold status and an extra 25,000 miles for reaching Platinum


54,340 Miles



About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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  1. well done! the only thing that would have made this over the top good would have been to pay for it all with ETV’s from a bump so DL was paying you for the run 😉

    PS – welcome to PM! 🙂

    • DeltaGoldFlyer: Thanks! Hey, wait, you’re Platinum? You need to change your name! DeltaPlatinumFlyer doesn’t quite roll off the tongue though. How about DeltaDiamondflyer? That sounds good!

  2. With the 20k and 25k it sure makes it worthwhile. But, depending on your 2012 travel plans, it may have made more sense to slow down and start with the rollover MQM’s? So, it appears you used the Chase Sapphire card instead of the Amex Premier Gold Rewards card (3 pts per dollar for airfare)? Welcome to the Platinum land. That reminds me, I totally forgot about that exclusive reward, I do have the DL email saved somewhere!

    • gpapadop: Yep, I decided to roll the dice and go all-in this year for Platinum. It’s definitely good advice for many people to roll over the MQMs if you are at risk of not making Gold the next year. I usually would use the Sapphire card and go through Travelocity on the Ultimate Rewards mall to get a total of around 4 points per $ (it can be less because the mall doesn’t credit taxes and fees or it can be more because of the annual 7% bonus). This time, though, I needed to make a first purchase on my Reserve card so I went ahead and used that to get double miles. That’s why I listed 640 miles for $320 in purchases.

  3. @FM – yeah…. like most FT’er I will be stuck with it no matter what level I am at what ever year. Me like GOLD!

    Thanks for lett’in enjoy all the kudo’s from your lucky-vs-gary text. I think we made a few smiles here and there.

  4. Congrats on constructing a great run! Your written gratitude is enough for me, so I’ll pass on your generous offer. 🙂

    Hope you have a great run and I’m certain you’ll enjoy the perk of Delta Platinum through 2012.

  5. Wow that is a WHOLE lot of miles makes taking this trip pretty darn worth it! If you have extra coupons I’d be happy to get some…

  6. I would love a drink chit or two if you have some to spare. I’m flying DL to visit the in-laws over Christmas so it will be much appreciated!

  7. Hi FM, but you can get these bonuses bc you already have gold status. what strategies r there to go from the occasional flyer (once/2 mths) or so flying btw bos-iah to doing mileage runs, using cc to get miles/points so i can go from nothing to gold. i am recently unemployed and have time to fly.

    whats best plan? united and aa seem to be best airlines since im in boston

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