Earning Delta Silver status (30K+ MQM/4K+ MQD) and 90K+ Amex/Delta/Alaska points for $1300

Hey everyone – I wanted to share a great mileage run opportunity involving an Amex offer and long-haul flights on Air France Premium Economy.

The Offer

There’s also an Amex offer out there for 20K MR points if you spend $1000 or more with Air France at their website at airfrance.us or via the mobile app. The exact offer is:

This offer should be available on every card that earns MR points. Due to the exclusions, you essentially have to spend it buying tickets.

Still, this is an amazing offer since you’re essentially earnings 20 points per dollar spent, which is absurdly good for airfare.  Since the spend amount is significant ($1,000+), you’re best off combining this big purchase with a new card to get a sign-on bonus. And I know just the cards for the job…

The Cards

As you know, there are two great offers for the Amex EveryDay Cards:

  1. 20K MR points for $1000 spend with the Amex EveryDay Preferred card
  2. 15K MR points for $1000 spend with the Amex EveryDay card

There are higher incognito offers (30K/25K for $2000 spend) which the links describe, which mean you can earn even more if you can snag those offers.

If you already have the key Amex cards, you can still benefit. For example, you can use the Amex Personal Platinum to earn 5K+ MR points with this offer, for a total of 25K+ points for $1000+ spend on Air France.

If you used one of the cards above, you’d earn 15K/20K+20K = 35-40K points and cover the minimum spend. If you got an incognito offer then you’d need some more spend, but you could earn up to 50K MR points (30K MR signup bonus + 20K Air France booking bonus).

Booking a Flight

So the question is, what flight should you book? Our friends at FlyerTalk found a great routing for Air France Premium Economy between Canada and Asia. There are ~$1300 Premium Economy fares available for Toronto/Vancouver/Montreal to Hong Kong/Shanghai.

Here’s are some examples:

  1. YVR-CDG-PVG round-trip from May 23-May 30 for $1295
  2. YVR-CDG-PVG round-trip with one week in Shanghai and one week in Paris for $1323
  3. YVR-CDG-HKG round-trip from May 31-June 4 for $1556

(Note: Google Flights might say “call Air France to book.” You can usually search on airfrance.us and find the same fare)

Earning Miles & Status

The flight distance for YVR-CDG-PVG/HKG is over 21,000 miles roundtrip. This is a great option for crediting to either Delta or Alaska. If credited to Delta, you will earn:

~22,000 base miles * (0-120% bonus based on your status) = up to 48.4K Delta miles
~22,000 * 1.5 (A fare) Medallion Qualifying Miles = ~33,000 MQM
~22,000 * 20% (A fare) Medallion Qualifying Dollars = ~$4,400 MQD

Spend $1300, earn $4,400 MQD? Not a bad deal at all 🙂

If you credit to Alaska, there is no revenue component and you earn 100% Alaska qualifying miles and up to 125% bonus miles depending on your status. So your earnings would be:

~22,000 base miles * (0-125% bonus based on your status) = up to 49.5K Alaska miles
~22,000 * 1 (A fare) qualifying miles = ~22,000 Alaska qualifying miles

Alaska’s lowest tier requires 25,000 qualifying miles on Alaska+partner flights, so this one routing is enough to almost get you to Alaska MVP. Delta Silver status requires 25,000 qualifying miles and $3,000 MQD, so you’ll hit Delta Silver status off of this flight.

Conclusion

Most people value Alaska miles and Membership Rewards points at approximately 1.7 cents, so booking this package can net you (40K + 50K)*1.7c = ~$1,530 of value, which is more than the cost of the ticket! Those points are very flexible and Alaska in particular has great award options. For example, you can fly from the US to Asia on Cathay’s business class product for 50,000 miles, using up everything you earned on this trip. If you go with the Delta miles option, you’re getting a big boost towards earning/retaining status, though Delta doesn’t publish award charts so the value varies.

Overall, this Amex offer and the Canada – Paris – Asia routing are a very powerful pairing which can generate a lot of points very quickly. The main downside is that you’ll have to spend for a hotel in Hong Kong, and it is a LOT of flying – approximately 22 hours each way of air time. Air France Premium Economy is nice but it is a lot of time to spend in the air.

Please post if you ended up booking this combo!


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