Back when Delta was getting dragged through the mud for its unpopular overhaul of earning Medallion Status, executives from United Airlines vowed they wouldn't follow suit. Turns out the airline is actually doing the opposite of its competitor.
United on Thursday unveiled some positive – yes, actually positive – changes for earning United Premier status next year. They're fairly minor: giving current status-holders a head start toward requalifying in 2024 while making it easier to do so by spending on a United co-branded credit card. But most importantly, United is pulling an anti-Delta by simply not raising the requirements to climb the rungs of status.
“We want to stay loyal to our MileagePlus members because you’ve remained loyal to us. That’s why the Premier program requirements will not change in 2024,” the airline wrote in its announcement.
From low-level Silver to top United 1K, United flyers can earn Premier status through either a combination of flying (Premier Qualifying Flights, or PQFs) and spending with United (PQPs), or just by spending outright. Meet those requirements next year, and you'll keep the perks of status all the way through 2024 and 2025 – expiring Jan. 31, 2026, in fact.
Here's how United is making it a bit easier to earn status for 2025 and beyond.
Get a Head Start with Your Current Status
Already got United status? You'll get a leg up on earning it again early next year.
United says it will dole out bonus Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) to travelers who earned status this past year. Exactly how many of these head-start PQPs you'll get depends how far up the Premier ladder you've climbed:
- Premier Silver members get 250 PQPs
- Premier Gold members get 500 PQPs
- Premier Platinum members get 750 PQPs
- Premier 1K members get 1,250 PQPs
Those starting PQPs are a fraction of what it takes to re-earn status, but it's better than nothing. Plus, United is giving co-branded Chase cardholders a few new (or improved) ways to accelerate their march toward Premier status next year.
Earn PQPs with Credit Card Spend Faster
Premier Qualifying Points are the most critical building block of earning status with United … and with a threshold of 5,000 PQPs for even low-level Silver, you need a lot of them to earn status.
Spending with United is the easiest way to rack them up, naturally. Spend $1 with United, you get 1 PQP. But for years, United has offered a fairly paltry way to add to your stash by spending on select United credit cards like the *united explorer*, *united quest*, or the top-tier *united club infinite*: Spend $12,000 on your card and you'll earn 500 PQPs.
That's getting a slight boost, though it may not seem like it at first blush. Starting in 2024, you'll now earn 25 PQPs for every $500 you spend on select United co-branded cards.
Under the old system, spending $12,000 on a top United card would net you 500 PQPs. With this change, you'd get 600 PQPs on that same spending.
It may seem small, but it could move the needle for travelers who are just a few hundred (or less) PQPs away from the next tier of Premier status. Plus, it's nice that you'll earn those PQP boosts by spending in significantly smaller spending increments.
A Higher Cap for Earning PQPs
It takes a lot of spending on credit cards to pile up PQPs in pursuit of United Premier status. To make matters worse, United caps how many of those PQPs you can earn each year through credit card spending among the major United co-branded credit cards:
- *united explorer* cardholders can earn a maximum of 1,000 PQPs
- The airline's mid-tier *united quest* can earn up to 6,000 PQPs a year
- The top-tier *united club infinite* can currently earn 8,000 PQPs a year
But United's top-dollar card is getting a bigger break in 2024: You'll be able to earn up to 10,000 PQPs just by spending on the United Club Infinite Card next year. Caps aren't changing on any of United's other co-branded cards.
To be clear, that'll require a massive amount of spending to max out: $200,000, to be precise. But that alone is enough to earn Premier Gold Status – or vault even higher when factoring in your flights and spending with United.
There's a break for ultra-loyal United flyers with several of the airline's credit cards, too. The airline is eliminating altogether the 15,000-PQP cap across their card portfolio, so you can earn as many PQPs through credit card spending as possible.
A Small Change for 1K Flyers
Top 1K flyers with United wear that status like a badge of honor. A small change could make it easier for big spenders to reach that mark.
Currently, United cardholders who earn PQPs by spending on those cards still need to meet the Premier Qualifying Flights (PQFs) requirement in order to make 1K. That means a traveler who earned 8,000 PQPs by spending a small fortune on a *united club infinite* and other spending with United for a total of 24,000 PQPs still wouldn't get 1K status until they also earned 54 PQFs – taking 54 United flight segments.
No more. That restriction is gone in 2024.
It's incredibly niche … but hey, an improvement is an improvement, right?
United is making a slew of changes to how travelers can make their way toward Premier Status next year, largely by making it easier to spend your way to status on a Chase co-branded credit card.
But the biggest news here is what United isn't doing: Raising the requirements to earn that status. The airline clearly learned a lesson from Delta's massive misstep earlier this year.