At some levels - the buy up to preferred makes a lot of sense. If I had 50,001 PQM in my DM account, I could buy up to Chairman (top tier) for $1,299 + 7.5% tax, or just under 2.8 cents per status earning, non redeemable miles. Many here would do a mile run for less than 3 cents per EQM/PQM if timing fit. I would get all the benefits of being CP (over and beyond Gold) including: * No fees on award redeposits * No short notice booking fee * additional 50% bonus miles for flights on US/UA/CO * 2 one-way system wide upgrades for you and a companion available for any regular revenue flight * Better upgrade availability Downsides of buying up to CP instead of earning PQM include: * Lower upgrade priority of buy-up CP to PQM earned CP * Earning PQM earns RDM which is spendable Upsides include: * Huge time save of buying CP * Saves cost getting to and from airport, as well as airport incidentals With fares being higher and lack of good PQM deals (although some hawaii deals do look attractive, coach on that flight does not), it makes sense to consider the buy-up. The biggest downside is the lack of RDM to spend. If you're currently a CP and intend on mileage running on carriers that gives you the 100% RDM bonus, you could earn 100,000 miles, which you can buy for 1.375 cents per mile plus tax which is about $1,478. if you're only gold, your bonus is only 50%, and if you fly on non-US/UA/CO, you don't earn any bonus. At 100% bonus, the buy-up cost + RDM is about 6.75 cents per mile. On the low end, if you're flying on non bonus airlines the cost would be about 4.28 cents per mile. Let's say you spend $30 on a transcon mileage run (getting to the airport or parking, some food, tips for club bartenders etc.) that cost for a 5,000 mile trip costs you about 0.60 cents per mile on the BIS flying side. Without factoring the cost of your time - the equivalent "cost" vs. butt-in-seat flying ranges from 3.70 to 6.10 cents per mile. Buying up to preferred at the 50,001 mark makes a ton of sense. Although pure MRs make little sense at that level - i would still take a few opportunistic short trips to places that I want to go. What are your thoughts? Did I miss anything in my analysis?