United Airlines Elite Status Changes For 2024: What They Mean

United Airlines has announced modest changes to elite status for 2024. In a nutshell, co-brand card spend can contribute somewhat more towards status and they’re again giving current elites a jumpstart towards requalifying for status.

The requirements for earning elite status in 2024 for status valid the rest of that year and for the 2025 program year remain the same:

  • Silver: 12 qualifying flights and 4,000 qualifying dollars, or 5,000 qualifying dollars
  • Gold: 24 qualifying flights and 8,000 qualifying dollars, or 10,000 qualifying dollars
  • Platinum: 36 qualifying flights and 12,000 qualifying dollars, or 15,000 qualifying dollars
  • 1K: 54 qualifying flights and 18,000 qualifying dollars, or 24,000 qualifying dollars

Existing elites with earned (not trial) status receive the following head start February 1, albeit less of one than last year:

  • Silver: 250 qualifying dollars
  • Gold: 500 qualifying dollars
  • Platinum: 750 qualifying dollars
  • 1K: 1,250 qualifying dollars

And card spend counts farther towards status levels.

  • Earn 25 qualifying dollars per $500 in purchases – that’s 20% faster earning than before and you don’t have to reach $12,000 spend thresholds to benefit.

  • Card-earned credit will count towards 1K status (which is new).

  • The cap on qualifying dollars earned from the Club Infinite card goes up from 8,000 to 10,000 and the 15,000 qualifying dollar cap on earning across cards goes away. They want you getting a bunch of Chase co-brands and spending a lot on those (odd they make you get multiple cards to do it).

This is generally good news for United elites, mostly by omission – nothing really bad here. It doesn’t seem like the time to be pushing frequent travelers away (even at Delta).

When United introduced these levels for 2020 they seemed exorbitant. But we’ve had 20% inflation in the U.S. economy since then.

  • United now offers the most achievable status for those qualifying by airfare spend only.
  • American offers the most achievable status for those earning it on all of their activity, whether flights or credit card spend or visits to the gas station.
  • Even with Delta’s slow walk getting to the extreme changes they’d announced status with them is harder than both. And United’s is a little easier with flights and card spend combined now.

With any of the big airlines I think mid-tier status is the real sweet spot, with real access to extra legroom seats in coach, given that upgrades are so challenging for top tier elites these days. Now, if you’re flying enough anyway for top status or generating enough miles naturally (American AAdvantage) that’s great because top tier is better but beyond mid-tier, pound for pound and effort for effort, the juice may not be worth the squeeze for many.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. It would be a positive change of UA did nothing for a “jump start” the spend requirements are so low that they have flooded the 1K status.

    UA has made it easy for many to achieve 1K but then for Global Services very difficult. They really need to focus some change on making 1K for frequent travelers as it was designed initially.

  2. They already promised last year to give head start bonuses in 2024. What’s surprising is that they reduced the head start PQP. A reasonable person would have assumed that they would have remained the same given what they said a year ago.

  3. The change to credit card spend was enough to finally have me apply today for the Club Infinite card. I made 1K the last few years by flights alone and renewed my status yesterday, but the jump start might have been the difference between 1K and Platinum this year. With the reduction in the jump start, I decided to get the Club Infinite card to bridge a bit of that gap (I used miles to pay for my United Club membership, but it’s nice to be getting it from the card instead). I have always avoided credit cards with an annual fee, but if card spend can get me to keep my status, I’ll go for it.

  4. JML: IK still requires a minimum of 54 flights. I can spend a lot but unless I also fly a lot I wont get 1K. Unless I spend so much that I make 24,000 PQP, which (If i understand the math correctly) requires $480,000 in spending. At (say) 400 PQP per flight and 30 flights/year I would accrue 12,000 PQP. That means i still have to spend $250,000 to get to IK.

    Neither sounds particularly easy unless you are a road warrior or control your own budget.

  5. I seem to remember a LOT of bemoaning when Delta introduced MQD earn from credit card spend at 20:1 for the Platinum card, but look here at UA…. “Earn $25 PQP for every $500 spent, that’s 20% faster.” I’m not an expert at math but that looks like 20:1 to me. So credit card spend on DL is equal if not better (because of the Reserve 10:1) than UA.

    Additionally, you state that UA is the easiest for earning status via flying. Don’t they have the exact same spend requirements as DL, excluding 1K vs DM? Also – just holding a single credit DL credit card gets you an even greater head start than UA’s top head start with 1K.

    What am I missing here?

  6. My intent via my comments prior are simple. I Tavel 200k miles a year & I continue to compete with United flyers that travel a third of that. My spend is $65K the last few years & no GS but yet others are 1K the same as me but continually are upgraded before me based on one flight paid airfare.

    My friend’s revenue was $4-6K more the last 2 years and he has been GS.


  7. I just don’t understand why people are supposed to care about earning status on United. There are so many frequent flyer programs that you can credit United points to that have lower qualifying requirements and with all the devaluations frequently require less points to redeem for flights.

    I was a 1K for decades but stopped caring about United when it was clear that every year brought some kind of devaluation. I hardly fly anymore but when I do, judging by what people are posting from their trips on United in frequent flyer boards and blogs, I’m getting a better ride on other airlines.

  8. I totally agreed with reader EndlosLuft’s comment. That was my strategy also. United MileagePlus program is devaluating each year.

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