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Delta - Is Elite status awarded in month earned or at year's end?

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When this was NW airlines, before Delta, an Elite member was awarded status at the time they reached a certain goal. For instance, if you flew 25,000 miles by March, you were immediately given Silver status for the rest of the calendar year and for the following calendar year. Does anyone know if this rule still holds?

I have enough miles to be Silver Elite next year and nearly enough to be Gold. I could carry over almost 20,000 miles at the end of this year or do a mileage run to achieve 50,000 miles. Would it be better to do a mileage run to achieve Gold Elite for 2013 or to carry over the miles, pile on the miles early in the year and achieve Gold Status for most of 2013 and then all of 2014? Does it still work like that?

I know there are people on Flier Talk that could probably answer this question, but I find it impossible to weed through the multitude of posts on that site. There are posts from as far back as 2003, with some posts having 100+ pages of responses. Its a mess.

Does anyone here have a clue? Thanks.

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