Editor’s note: This post has been updated to reflect the fact that you can earn Silver status with the one trip.
There’s an incredible opportunity to earn elite status with Delta Air Lines, and in business class no less. The flights are operated by Delta’s SkyTeam partner, China Eastern, and both originate at New York-JFK. One flight will take you to Singapore (SIN) for $2,095 round-trip; the other will take you to Sydney (SYD).
The Sydney trip is pricier but also nets you a lot more Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) and Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs). In fact, the Sydney itinerary nets you more than 9,500 MQDs, more than 36,000 MQMs and more than 50,000 redeemable Delta SkyMiles, according to our calculations. That’s enough to get you Silver Medallion status if you are starting from scratch.
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Rene’s Points was the first to find these trips. The good folks there found flights from New York to Sydney on Feb. 19, 2020 and a couple of days in April.
You can use ITA Matrix to find the flights on China Eastern. You can’t book through ITA Matrix, but you could try replicating the itineraries you find on Google Flights or other online travel agencies (OTAs). I’ve had luck with JustFly.com, Travelocity and Expedia. Some of the flight combinations even give you a couple of days in Sydney.
I was able to find this itinerary on JustFly.com for as low as $2,805.
As I mentioned above, there are also itineraries that take you to Singapore, and if you don’t have much time to take away from work, you can spend as little as nine hours on the ground there for a grand total of $2,095. We were able to replicate Rene’s Points’ find for dates in March and April, but play around with the dates. This trip would give you almost 8,000 MQDs and a whopping 31,000 MQMs.
A search on JustFly.com yielded an even cheaper fare for a Singapore trip — just $1,879 round-trip.
Finally, if you decide to book, add your Delta SkyMiles number to any reservation to ensure that you earn all the miles that you just paid for. For more on how to use partner flights to qualify for Delta elite status, check out our guide to earning qualifying miles and dollars on Delta’s partner airlines.
If you’re looking for a short-cut to status there are several Delta cards that can help with that, so be sure to sign up and check out our “best of” list below.
The best Delta credit cards
Featured image of business class on board China Eastern’s 777-300ER by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy.