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United Adding Premier Qualifying Points to Elite Accounts To Boost Status

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James Larounis
James Larounis's image

James Larounis

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James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in...

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Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, airlines have extended elite status levels almost universally across the board. As travel starts to creep back to normal, United Airlines has reduced the qualification requirements for status in 2022, and has now further offered an additional incentive to earn status for 2023 through the depositing of extra Premier Qualifying Points.

The Offer

United already reduced the 2022 elite status qualification levels in an attempt to woo back flyers that were grounded for almost 2 years:

  • Premier Silver: $3,000 + 8 flights or $3,500
  • Premier Gold: $6,000 + 16 flights or $7,000
  • Premier Platinum: $9,000 + 24 flights or $10,000
  • Premier 1K: $13,500 + 36 flights or $15,000

These are the reduced qualification requirements, down from higher requirements that would normally be offered in a traditional year. United recently moved to a system where you can earn status solely based on how much you spend or based on a combination of flying and spending, where the spend requirement is slightly lower.

Now, United is further lowering the requirements by offering additional free Premier Qualifying Points. Members will soon receive a deposit of 15% to 20% of their elite status level’s PQP requirements as an incentive to earn 2023 status, though the amount members receive will not be standard, unfortunately.

United will take into account a number of things when determining how many Premier Qualifying Points will be deposited, including:

  • If the member earned Premier status in 2021, and what status level was earned.
  • If the member actually earned status, or if their status was granted as part of an extension program.
  • If a member actually earned status the normal way and met all requirements, they’ll receive the highest of the PQP deposit offers, depending on their tier.

Hot Tip: MileagePlus elites can check their progress towards status in 2023 at mystatus.united.com.

Why Is United Doing This?

United Polaris business dining
United is making it much easier to earn status in 2022 and 2023. Image Credit: United

The airline is really trying to ensure that flyers who previously flew with United are going to fly with United in the future. By making status easy to earn, and taking into account that 2022 has already started off rough with the Omicron variant, the hope is that travelers with status will continue to utilize that status and make an effort to meet all requirements in 2022 for the 2023 elite year.

If an airline doesn’t offer big incentives such as this, there is a risk a customer may switch their loyalty to another airline — a move no airline ever wants to see — so the generosity here is certainly strategic (and welcome if you’re a recurring United flyer).

Hot Tip: See what other accommodations your favorite airlines are making for their loyalty programs in our guide: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Airline Elite Status Extensions, Changes, and Updates.

Final Thoughts

It’s nice to see United extending an olive branch to frequent flyers through an additional PQP deposit. Members will soon see these amounts deposited in their accounts, and these PQPs will provide a head start on earning status in 2023, a process that’s already been made easier through reduced qualification requirements.

James Larounis's image

About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.

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