Buying Platinum and a million miles: 6 month update

I’ve met only one out of two goals, but have managed to rake in over 1 million points and miles anyway…  


In January, I wrote about “my strategy to buy Platinum and a million miles.”  The  basic idea is to put a huge amount of spend on my Delta Reserve and Delta Platinum credit cards in order to earn 50,000 MQMs (medallion qualifying miles).  Combined with roll-over miles and actual flying, that will be enough to get me to the 75,000 MQMs required for me to maintain high level Delta Platinum status.  For details of why I want to do this and how this can be pulled off, see my recent post “Mileage running, from home.”

The plan I wrote about in January was to pump up spending by taking advantage of shopping portal mega-offers: buy merchandise in order to get lots of points, then sell the merchandise for as close to the original buy price as possible.  By doing this well, it’s possible to maximize points earned and pump up credit card spend, while minimizing my out of pocket costs.  At the time, I didn’t know what shopping portal bonuses might be offered nor did I know if there would really be enough to make this plan viable.

Results so far: shopping portals

So far this year, I’ve only taken advantage of two shopping portal mega-offers: Nordstrom 36X through the British Airways shopping portal, and Sears 15X through the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Shopping portal.  See “Weekend Update” and “Sears 15X: Frequent Miler’s almost final results for details.  My Southwest points still haven’t moved from pending to available, but I’ll assume that they will soon.  In total, these two shopping sprees led to a combined 269,000 points.  In order to reach 1 million points over a year, I would need almost twice than number of points in 6 months so I’m pretty far off from that target.

Results so far: credit card spend

Across both Delta credit cards, I need to spend $110,000 this calendar year in order to get all 50K MQMs.  So far I’ve spent $56,000, so I’m right on target!  Except for the shopping portal mega-offers described above, most of this was achieved through 1X spending: Kiva loans, gift card churning (buying gift cards at a discount and selling for little or no loss), and personal spend.

Beyond 1 Million

Even though I haven’t earned a half million points so far via shopping portals, I have already earned slightly over 1 million points and miles this year.  Thanks to Club Carlson’s generous promotions, a few credit card sign-ups, Ink Bold 5X spend, and other tricks, the points and miles keep rolling in.

Reader goals and results

Do you have mile earning goals?  Elite status goals?  What are they, and how well are you doing so far?  Do you have any great success stories to share?

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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8 Comments on "Buying Platinum and a million miles: 6 month update"

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Could you give us an update on your costs as well? In other words, how much you paid for something, minus the value that you resold it for? That would be insightful.


Scott: Unfortunately I haven’t kept track of my costs very carefully. Most of the time I break even (if you don’t count the loss of bank interest income if I had kept my money there). I believe I’ve made a profit often enough to cover the few losses I’ve had, but I’m not 100% sure.


But doesn’t the status only last for a year or so? Like would you need to do all that again in a year to maintain the status?


Lev: That’s right. I’ll do this every year unless/until things change.


I’ve already reached 1Mill with AA, but now I just have to hope that stays and US Air doesn’t buy them, taking away that benefit!


Our plan is to get to 80K UR points, and then give that to my sister-in-law for Christmas. With 80K UA miles, she and her boyfriend can go to the Caribbean, Hawaii, or northern South America round-trip, or alone she can fly round-trip (with open-jaw and stopover) anywhere in the world. We have 40K to go.


i don’t fly enough to get any status.
But thanks to FM, I accumulated around 180k UR points. Southwest 100k, Carlson 200k total-2acts, 100k Hilton, Etc just on regular spending I would have already. Which CCs are planning on getting?


harvson3: Great plan. What an awesome gift!

Mark: Thanks! I’m still working on my credit card sign-up plan, but I’m definitely looking at the AA two browser trick and US Airways