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United Tweaks MileagePlus Status Earning Structure

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Nick Ellis
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Nick Ellis

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United MileagePlus has shared some changes it’s making to its MileagePlus elite status program for 2024.

If reading that instills fear in you after living through Delta’s SkyMiles saga, fear not, because these changes are largely positive.

Let’s dig into everything you need to know!

MileagePlus Elite Requirements Aren’t Changing

The primary takeaway here is that United isn’t making any changes to the requirement thresholds for any of its status tiers — great news for flyers who want to re-qualify for status or make a go at it for the first time.

Here’s what you’ll need to accomplish to earn status with the airline for the next status year (qualify in 2024 to earn status through 2025):

  • Premier Silver: 12 PQFs and 4,000 PQPs or 5,000 PQPs only
  • Premier Gold: 24 PQFs and 8,000 PQPs or 10,000 PQPs only
  • Premier Platinum: 36 PQFs and 12,000 PQPs or 15,000 PQPs only
  • Premier 1K: 54 PQFs and 18,000 PQPs or 24,000 PQPs only

As a reminder, PQFs are Premier Qualifying Flights and refer to a single flight segment. If you take a journey from Omaha (OMA) to Miami (MIA) with a connection in Chicago (ORD), you’ll receive 2 PQFs for that journey.

PQPs are Premier Qualifying Points and they track how much you spend with United — either on flights themselves or other qualifying purchases (taxes do not count toward PQP earnings). You’ll earn 1 PQP per 1 dollar spent on the following purchase categories:

  • Base fares and ticket surcharges
  • Economy Plus and preferred seat purchases
  • Cash co-pays with mileage upgrades
  • Paid upgrades on flights operated by United or United Express
  • Star Alliance partner flights (awarded by a specific rate depending on the airline)

Spending to Status Becomes Easier

While it hasn’t (yet) gone as far as American Airlines AAdvantage and Delta SkyMiles in terms of spending to status, United’s making it easier for its flyers to do so next year, as One Mile at a Time points out.

United Polaris Boeing 767-300
United Polaris seat on the Boeing 767-300. Image Credit: Victoria M. Walker

Starting next year, anyone with a United co-branded credit card will earn 25 PQPs for every $500 in qualifying purchases. Previously, this rate was 500 PQPs for every $12,000 in qualifying purchases, so this change really is a significant improvement.

Currently, there’s a cap of 15,000 PQPs able to be earned from card spend per account holder. As of next year, this maximum across all cards will go away, though each United co-branded card has its own individual cap, which makes things a little confusing:

Also starting in 2024, all PQPs earned through credit card spend will count toward all status tiers, including Premier 1K. As it stands now, PQPs earned from credit card spending do not count toward earning 1K status unless the 54 PQF requirement is also satisfied.

United Elites Get a Head Start on Status

Early next year, United will deposit a lump sum of PQPs into the account of anyone who earned elite status this year (except those who earned their status by way of a match or challenge), according to the following breakdown:

  • Premier Silver members will receive 250 PQPs
  • Premier Gold members will receive 500 PQPs
  • Premier Platinum members will receive 750 PQPs
  • Premier 1K members will receive 1,250 PQPs

Existing United elites should expect the “head start” PQPs to be deposited on February 1, 2024, and it will be welcome news for flyers hoping to re-qualify for status next year.

Hot Tip:

Final Thoughts

United is certainly moving in the direction of where American and Delta have already gone in terms of moving MileagePlus toward a spend-based program. Unlike some of its competitors (ahem, Delta), however, United’s made some meaningful improvements in its offering that should make it easier for many to achieve or re-achieve elite status — for now, at least.

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About Nick Ellis

Nick’s passion for points began as a hobby and became a career. He worked for over 5 years at The Points Guy and has contributed to Business Insider and CNN. He has 14 credit cards and continues to leverage the perks of each.

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