Not only will United Airlines leave spending requirements unchanged next year to earn MileagePlus elite status, it will make it easier than ever before to earn elite status based on credit card spending. With these changes, Premier 1K status may be within reach for a lot more flyers.
Earn MileagePlus Premier Elite Status On United Airlines In 2024 With Co-Branded Credit Card Spending
Currently, you can earn 500 PQPs for every $12,000 in spending on eligible co-branded United cards. That’s not a great rate and I do not recommend using a United co-branded card for major purchases (a flexible currency card like the Capital One Venture X or Chase Sapphire Reserve is the better option). But some people spend so much money on their cards that they do not care if there theoretically are better options: they like to diversify spending.
Staring next year, United will make it easier to PQP via credit card spending (though still not lucrative):
- Cardmembers will now earn 25 PQP for every $500 in qualifying card spend on eligible MileagePlus credit cards. At this new rate, Cardmembers can earn PQP faster and more frequently through qualifying purchases on their card
- This amounts to 600 PQPs for every $12,000 in spending versus the current 500, an increase of 20%
- All card-earned PQP will now count toward each status level, including the PQP-only requirement for Premier 1K status
- Increasing the total PQP amount you can earn annually with the United Club Infinite Card. In 2024, you can earn up to 10,000 PQP from qualifying purchases on your United Club Infinite Card (versus 8,000 PQP in 2023)
- Other caps include:
- United Explorer Card – 1,000 PQPs
- United Business Card -1,000 PQPs
- United Quest Card – 6,000 PQPs
- Other caps include:
- Removing the annual cap of 15,000 PQP that you can earn from qualifying spend across multiple eligible United MileagePlus credit cards issued by Chase
- Each card will still have PQP caps (for now…)
Two key points. First, the exemption for 1K status is gone. Currently, credit card PQPs only count toward the PQP + PQF requirement (54 PQF and 18,000 PQP) not the PQP-only requirement (24,000 PQP) for 1K status. That no longer applies. Second, with the annual flight cap removed, you can rack up even more elite points (even if you do not have the grandfathered United Presidential Plus Card or United Presidential Plus Business Card) across multiple cards.
Premier Qualifying Flights (PQF) represent segments and Premier Qualifying Points (PQP) represent dollars spent. You can reduce the 1K spending requirements by 25% by flying 54 segments on United Airlines or on a partner in a calendar year.
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What Is United’s Strategy?
Understandably, United wants to drive more credit card spending to its portfolio of Chase co-branded credit card products and this move will certainly do so.
But I also have a number of clients at Award Expert who previously did not have top-tier elite status and now will have 1K status thanks to these changes, particularly counting credit card PQP earnings toward 1K status.
If there are more 1Ks due to this change, it will make upgrades even harder than they are now. That’s not exactly something I am rejoicing in because I still do not see the personal value in increasing spending on a United co-branded card to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.
United is making it easier to earn MileagePlus Premier status next year thanks to a loosening of the limits on credit card spending. This policy change will result in more Premier 1K members and while still stingy compared to credit card spending in a flexible currency, it should have the intended effect of driving more credit card spending to Chase-United.
top image: Chase