Many of you have probably heard by now, but in case you missed it, United is adding a revenue component to their elite status qualification beginning for 2014.
Here is the announcement from a UA Insider on Milepoint
Today we’re announcing some upcoming changes to our Premier qualification requirements for 2014. We’ve posted complete details and a FAQ at www.mileageplusupdates.com, but I wanted to share an excerpt of the key points with you directly:
Starting in January 2014, Premier qualification for members living in the United States will include a minimum annual spending level. We will track this new requirement with Premier qualifying dollars (PQD) – dollars spent on most United tickets, including partner flights, and Economy Plus purchases. The changes will not affect Premier qualifying miles (PQM) or Premier qualifying segments (PQS). The new criteria will look like this:
- Premier Silver: [25,000 PQM or 30 PQS] and $2,500 PQD
- Premier Gold: [50,000 PQM or 60 PQS] and $5,000 PQD
- Premier Platinum: [75,000 PQM or 90 PQS] and $7,500 PQD
- Premier 1K: [100,000 PQM or 120 PQS] and $10,000 PQD
A minimum of at least four paid flights operated by United, United Express, or Copa Airlines will be needed to qualify for any Premier status.
For 2014, the PQD requirement is waived for Premier Silver, Premier Gold, and Premier Platinum qualification for members whose address with MileagePlus is within the 50 United States or the District of Columbia and who spend at least $25,000 in Net Purchases in 2014 on a MileagePlus co-branded credit card issued by Chase Bank USA, N.A. There is no PQD waiver for Premier 1K qualification.
As mentioned above, there are more details and a FAQ posted at www.mileageplusupdates.com, and over the next few days we’ll be communicating this information to our members. In the meantime, if you still have any more questions after going through the FAQ, please post them here and I’ll do my best to clarify.
Sr. Manager – Customer Experience Planning
Spend on base fares, airline imposed surcharges, and economy plus purchases will all count toward the PQD requirement. Note that taxes do not count toward the PQD requirement. Flights flown by United, United Express, and Copa Airlines, as well as flights operated by a Star Alliance or MileagePlus partner and issued as a United ticket (ticket number starts with 016) will earn PQDs. (HT MommyPoints)
The very slight silver lining (for me) is that (in 2014) the PQD requirement can be waived with credit card spend. With $25K in spend on a UA co-branded credit card, PQDs are waived for Premier Silver, Premier Gold, and Premier Platinum status. The waiver does not apply to 1K status. Beyond 2014, who knows what’s going to happen… hopefully by then I’ll be working for a company that is fronting some of y PQDs. I currently don’t have a UA credit card, but it is definitely going to be on the list for one of my next two churns.
Overall, I am not very thrilled by this news (I’m sure none of us are) considering that I will be attaining my first airline status with United this year, and it will require a lot more [manufactured] spend for me to attain status next year. If United ever gets rid of the PQD waiver by credit card spend, it will become even harder, and at this point it is unclear how long that will stick around.