the easiest way to do it is to go to the store through the link in the game. that way, it will take you to only the MW3 applicable stuff, then just download everything that doesn't have the little red shopping bag. some of the "drops" have multiple items in them including activation keys. also, there are a few themes there that are NOT free, so be wary of those.
Elite is actually only a 9 month subscription.
it's a year subscription, it's the "content season" thats 9 months long. personally, i think it's been a very good deal, by the end of this first season, we got more than what was originally promised.