Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written and evaluated by experts who know these products inside out. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. See our advertising policy here where we list advertisers that we work with, and how we make money. You can also review our credit card rating methodology.

How To Status Match With United Airlines [In-depth 2024 Guide]

Christine Krzyszton's image
Christine Krzyszton
Christine Krzyszton's image

Christine Krzyszton

Senior Finance Contributor

311 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 98U.S. States Visited: 45

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, deta...
Edited by: Stella Shon
Stella Shon's image

Stella Shon

News Managing Editor

94 Published Articles 669 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 25U.S. States Visited: 22

With a degree in media and journalism, Stella has been in the points and miles game for more than 6 years. She most recently worked as a Corporate Communications Analyst for JetBlue. Find her work in ...
& Keri Stooksbury
Keri Stooksbury's image

Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

35 Published Articles 3230 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 47U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.

Many travelers have abandoned the chase for elite airline status primarily due to the addition of minimum spending requirements with the airline in order to qualify.

Other travelers still find enough value in the perks and benefits that come with being an elite frequent flyer member — like upgraded seats, priority boarding, free checked bags, and free lounge membership — and they find a way to qualify each year.

If you currently have airline elite status, you’re fully aware of the value. But what happens when you need or want to change your airline loyalty? Fortunately, there is a shortcut you can take to match status from one airline to another.

Here’s everything you need to know to request, receive, and qualify for a status match with the United Airlines MileagePlus frequent flyer program.

What Is a Status Match and How Does It Work?

A status match is an opportunity for elite members in one airline’s frequent flyer program to request a similar (matching) status with another airline.

The airline you don’t have status with will review your documented status with your current airline and then grant you corresponding status for a specific period of time.

The elite status you have earned with your current airline, of course, remains intact — and once your status is matched with the new airline, you will have dual status!

Not all airlines offer status matches and/or challenges, but fortunately, United Airlines is one that does.

Hot Tip: United is just one of the airlines that offers a status match, along with American, Alaska, and Delta, among others.

The Difference Between a Status Match and a Challenge

For starters, the airline you don’t have status with can grant you a status match, a status challenge, or a combination of these.

Here’s what that means:

Status Match

No minimum flying requirements are needed. You receive immediate matching status once your request is approved, and it continues for a specified period of time.

Status Challenge

You are required to fly a specific number of miles or segments within a period of time, usually 90 to 120 days. You do not receive elite status until the challenge is completed.

Another version of a status challenge may include an upfront offer to purchase status so that you can enjoy it while completing your challenge. American Airlines has offered this option.

Status Match With a Status Challenge

You receive immediate complimentary elite status, and you keep that status level during the time you spend completing the challenge flying requirements until a specified expiration date.

United Airlines offers an initial status match for 120 days and then requires you to complete a challenge during that time by flying a certain amount of flight segments and meeting spending requirements. If you complete the challenge, you’ll keep your status for the time period stated in your challenge confirmation.

United Polaris Middle Seats
You’ll earn frequent flyer miles faster and premium flight redemptions sooner with United MileagePlus elite status. Image Credit: United

Hot Tip: If you want to learn more about status matches and challenges, read our ultimate guide to airline frequent flyer status matches and challenges.

United’s Status Match Program

United MileagePlus will match your current airline elite status to its Premier Silver, Premier Gold, or Premier Platinum status levels.

Note that United may match other airline statuses at its discretion, but they only publish the matchups for these 7 airlines. Members who hold temporary or a trial elite status in another program aren’t eligible.

Here’s how United’s status matches line up:

SCROLL FOR MORE
Corresponding United MileagePlus Status
Premier SilverPremier GoldPremier Platinum
Delta Air Lines SkyMilesSilver MedallionGold MedallionPlatinum Medallion
American Airlines AAdvantageGoldPlatinumPlatinum Pro
JetBlue Airways TrueBlueMosaicN/AN/A
Alaska Airlines Mileage PlanMVPMVP GoldMVP Gold 75K
Southwest Airlines Rapid RewardsA-ListA-List PreferredN/A
British Airways Executive ClubBronzeSilverGold
Virgin Atlantic Flying ClubSilverGoldN/A

For example:

  • American Platinum status would be matched to United Premier Gold status
  • Delta Silver Medallion status would be matched to United Premier Silver status

Bottom Line: United’s status match program aligns your current elite status with its equivalent elite status and then requires you to complete flying requirements to extend the temporarily granted status. 

How and When To Submit a Status Match Request

Completing the Status Match Request

You can request a MileagePlus Premier Status Match Challenge online by logging into your United MileagePlus account, completing the Status Match form, and attaching a copy of your current membership card for the airline you’d like to match status from. The membership card must clearly show your current elite status and the status expiration date.

You can also submit a request for a United Premier status match via email at premiermatch@united.com and include the following information:

  • Your MileagePlus account number
  • Your full name, mailing address, and email address
  • A copy of your current membership card for the airline you’d like to match status from
    • The membership card must clearly show your current elite status and the status expiration date

You can expect a response to your request within 7 to 14 business days.

Requests are currently being accepted through December 20, 2024. However, September 3, 2024, is the last day to start the 120-day challenge period (if you sign up after September 3, qualifying flights between September 3 and your registration date will be considered.)

The Importance of Timing

If you have a major trip or several trips planned on United Airlines, by all means, request the status match to align with those trips!

If you have yet to book any United flights, you may want to time your status match request and completion to maximize the length of time the granted status will be valid.

Consider these timeframes when requesting and completing your status match challenge:

  1. If you complete the status match requirements before July 1, you will have status through the current year and through January of the following year.
  2. If you complete the status match requirements after July 1, you will have status through the current year, for the entire next year, and through January of the following year.

Here are a few examples of how that can work:

  • If you complete the status match requirements in April, May, and June of 2024, you will keep that status for the remainder of 2024 and through January 2025.
  • If you request a status match and complete the requirements in July, August, and September of 2024, you will keep that status for 2024, all of 202, and through January 2026.

Completing the Flying Requirements

Once you’re approved for a status match with United, you will need to complete a set of flying and spending requirements to finish the challenge.

The number of Premier Qualifying Flights (PQF) and Premier Qualifying Points (PQP) you need to earn for your status match depends on the level of status you were matched to.

What Are PQFs and PQPs?

PQPs and PQFs measure the number of flight segments and dollars spent on United flights.

  • Premier Qualifying Flights (PQF): Flight segments flown
  • Premier Qualifying Points (PQP): 1 PQP per $1 spent on United and United Express flights, not including taxes; award miles earned divided by 5 for United bulk fares and flights on Preferred Partners; award miles divided by 6 for all other partners

For example, a $250 (excluding taxes) flight on United Airlines would earn 250 PQP. Alternatively, a Z-class Lufthansa fare from New York (JFK) to Frankfurt (FRA) would earn 1,152 PQP (5,760 miles earned divided by 5).

You must earn all PQF and PQP on United or United Express flights for the status match — this means that partner flights don’t count.

Here’s how many PQF and PQP you’ll need to earn for each status match tier:

SCROLL FOR MORE
Approved United MileagePlus Status Match Elite LevelPremier Qualifying Miles or Premier Qualifying Segments Needed
Premier SilverFly 4 PQF and earn 1,300 PQP on flights operated by United or United Express
Premier GoldFly  8 PQF and earn 2,600 PQP on flights operated by United or United Express
Premier PlatinumFly 12 PQF and earn 4,000 PQP on flights operated by United or United Express

You will only have 120 days after approval to complete the flying requirements, so be sure to plan ahead. If you do not complete the requirements, your temporary elite status will expire, and you may not be eligible for another status match for 5 years.

United flight map
Utilize United’s flight map to search for flights to complete your challenge. Image Credit: United

Creating a Status Match Challenge Itinerary

To achieve the required PQP you will need to spend enough on flights to meet the requirements. This means that Premier Silver requires flying $1,300 worth of United flights, Premier Gold requires flying $2,600 worth of United flights, and Premier Platinum requires flying $4,000 worth of United flights.

Remember that taxes don’t earn PQP, so you’ll likely spend slightly more than the numbers listed above to keep your status.

Plus, you’ll need to ensure you meet the PQF (flight segments) requirements for each tier — 4 PQF, 6 PQF, and 10 PQF for Premier Silver, Premier Gold, and Premier Platinum respectively.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to avoid these requirements during the status match period. With that in mind, make sure to only start the status match if you’re confident you’ll fly and spend enough on United Airlines during the 120-day match period.

United has a flight map to help you search for flights, but you can also use Google Flights, which works better for finding premium fares.

Enhancing Your New Elite Status

Once you’ve completed your status match and are flying on United, you might want to elevate your experience with the United Club Infinite℠ Card.

United Club℠ Infinite Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Perfect for frequent United flyers who want premium perks like United Club access and free baggage benefits.

Perfect for frequent United flyers who want premium perks like United Club access and free baggage benefits.
Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Earn 80,000 bonus miles
$960
$525
21.99% - 28.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-850)

The United Club℠ Infinite Card is a premium card designed for the most dedicated of United frequent flyers who are looking for a card that provides the opportunity to earn extra United MileagePlus miles and receive lounge access via a yearly United Club membership.

United frequent flyers will find that the United Club Infinite card provides an enhanced experience on their United flights thanks to the money saved on each flight and the conveniences it provides.

Pros
  • 4x miles per $1 on United purchases
  • 2x miles per $1 on travel and dining purchases
  • Complimentary United Club membership
Cons
  • $525 annual fee
  • Does not earn transferable rewards
  • Earn 80,000 bonus miles after qualifying purchases
  • Earn 4 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel and dining
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Free first and second checked bags - a savings of up to $320 per roundtrip (terms apply) - and Premier Access® travel services
  • 10% United Economy Saver Award discount within the continental U.S. and Canada
  • Earn up to 10,000 Premier qualifying points (25 PQP for every $500 you spend on purchases)
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.99% - 28.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

In addition to a generous sign-up bonus and 4x miles per $1 spent on United, 2x miles per $1 spent on travel and dining, and 1x mile on all other purchases, you’ll receive VIP perks including:

You’ll also be earning United MileagePlus miles you can redeem for award flights. You might even want to use your miles to try the exceptional United Polaris experience.

Access our complete expert guide for a summary of all the United Airlines co-branded credit credits and comparisons of their perks and benefits.

Additionally, Upgraded Points has published 2 separate posts on the worth of United MileagePlus elite status. One lists United elite benefits before departure and at the airport and another discusses perks related to seating and upgrades.

Bottom Line: If you’re loyal to a particular airline, having the affiliated airline-branded credit card allows you to earn miles faster and enjoy benefits you don’t normally receive from elite status alone. 

Everything Else You Need To Know

If you’ve participated in a United Airlines status match or have received a Premier status exception within the past 5 years, you are not eligible to participate in another status match.

When you are completing the status match challenge, you can only qualify for the status level you were matched to in the program. For example, if you are granted a status match for Silver Elite, you cannot qualify for Gold Elite regardless of the number of miles/segments you complete during the 120-day period.

Those who qualify for Premier Platinum status through this challenge will receive 20 PlusPoints. No other PlusPoints will be awarded through this challenge.

To qualify for a higher status level, you would need to complete the normal annual requirements as published.

If you don’t meet the status match requirements during the 120-day period, your temporary status will expire. All qualifying miles and segments must appear in your account before the end of the 120-day period.

If you have status with an airline other than the airlines listed, you can still request a status match by completing the status match request form or sending an email containing the required documents and information.

Final Thoughts

United status is especially valuable at the Premier Gold and Premier Platinum levels. These status tiers give you lounge access when traveling abroad on Star Alliance carriers, a better shot at upgrades, and free Economy Plus seating when you book.

So, if you need or want to change airline loyalty and you currently have elite status, a status match and/or challenge, is a much better alternative than earning elite status with a new airline from scratch!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a status match?

If you have elite frequent flyer status with an airline, you may be able to ask another airline to match that status. This process is called a status match.

Some airlines will grant you the same status you have with no other requirements. Other airlines will match your status but require you to complete a certain amount of flying on their airline in order for you to keep the status for a specific period of time.

What is a status challenge?

A status challenge is a requirement by an airline with which you’re requesting a status match. It requires you to fly a certain number of miles/segments before the airline will match your current elite status.

Some airlines will even allow you to complete a challenge that gives you a higher level of status than you have currently.

For example, you may have Silver elite status with an airline and request a status challenge with another airline for their Gold level elite status.

An airline may offer a status match, a status challenge, or a combination of both.

How do I request a status match with an airline?

You can usually find the information for requesting a status match/challenge in the airline’s frequent flyer program section on their website.

For example, to find the information on how to request a status match with United, you would make your request via email or complete a status match form (the fastest method).

You can also read our in-depth guides on how to status challenge with American or status match with Alaska or Delta.

How long does it take to get the United status match?

Once you submit your request to United, you should receive a response within 14 business days. If you’re approved, all the terms of the status match/challenge will be communicated to you.

An example of this response may be: “You have been approved for Premier Silver elite status. The status will be effective immediately and continue for 120 days, expiring on June 30, 2024. If you complete 4 Premier Qualifying Flights and earn 1,300 Premier Qualifying Points by that date, your Silver elite status will be valid through January 31, 2025.”

Christine Krzyszton's image

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, detailed content for UP.

INSIDERS ONLY: UP PULSE

Deluxe Travel Provided by UP Pulse

Get the latest travel tips, crucial news, flight & hotel deal alerts...

Plus — expert strategies to maximize your points & miles by joining our (free) newsletter.

We respect your privacy. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA. Google's privacy policy  and terms of service  apply.

Deluxe Travel Provided by UP Pulse
DMCA.com Protection Status