Please note this site has financial relationships with American Express and this post may contain affiliate links. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here to learn more about my partners.
United has a sense of humor I think because they copy many of Delta’s negative frequent flyer related changes exactly. It is such an exact copy that it is almost funny. When Delta announced they were increasing their revenue component to earning elite status a little while back for 2016 elite status I said somewhere that “at least we now know what United will do”. There was a little sarcastic humor in my comment, but really it was the truth.
United has now released their elite qualifications for 2016 and (surprise) it exactly mirrors Delta’s elite qualifying dollars component. The only real difference is that Delta still allows travelers to earn their top tier status without the revenue component as long as they have $25,000 in annual spending on their co-branded card, and United does not extend the waiver for those going for top-tier 1K status.
Here are the 2016 United Premier Status Requirements:
Silver Status: 25,000 premier qualifying miles and going from $2,500 premier qualifying dollars to $3,000 premier qualifying dollars
Gold Status: 50,000 premier qualifying miles and going from $5,000 premier qualifying dollars to $6,000 premier qualifying dollars
Platinum Status: 75,000 premier qualifying miles and going from $7,500 premier qualifying dollars to $9,000 premier qualifying dollars
1K Status: 100,000 premier qualifying miles and going from $10,000 premier qualifying dollars to $12,000 premier qualifying dollars
In 2015, the Premier Qualifying Dollars requirement is waived for Premier Silver, Premier Gold and Premier Platinum qualification if you meet one of the following criteria:
- You spend at least $25,000 in Net Purchases during that calendar year on MileagePlus co-branded credit cards issued by Chase Bank USA,
- You hold a United MileagePlus Presidential PlusSM Card (that is no longer available to new customers)
- The PQD waiver does not apply for Premier 1K qualification.
- You have an address outside of the United States
- If you use a military or diplomatic address (APO, DPO or FPO), you are exempt from the PQD requirement for all Premier levels, including Premier 1K.
To be eligible to qualify for any Premier level, you must fly a minimum of four paid flight segments on flights operated by United, United Express and/or Copa Airlines during a calendar year unless you hold a MileagePlus Presidential Plus Card or a United MileagePlus Club Card.
This means your average paid flight will have to average a cost of 12 cents per mile in order for you to hit the Premier Qualifying Dollars component of United elite status. That is up from 10 cents per mile this year, and up from no revenue component the year before that. This won’t likely impact most who earn status primarily on business travel, but it will further chip away at those who earn status by a combination of lower cost leisure travel and business travel.
If you can put $25,000 annually on a United co-branded credit card you will be safe from the revenue component of elite status through the Platinum level, but if you want 1K you better be flying on higher fares or have an address outside the US!
Will this impact your plans for United elite status in 2016?