United has two new ways to earn elite status for next year. One lets existing elites keep their status for modest spending, while the other gives those who don’t currently have status or have already re-qualified a boost in reaching a higher elite tier.
Last fall United announced 2021 elite qualifying would entail:
- lower status requirements
- a hard start for current elites towards status
- bonus qualifying spend for status in the first quarter
- relaxed restriction on using credit card-earned elite qualifying spend towards top status
Here’s the reduced qualification levels for 2021:
|Status||Normal Qualifying Spend/Flights||2021 Qualifying Spend/Flights|
|Silver||$4000 + 12 Segments or $5,000||$3,000 + 8 Flights or $3,500|
|Gold||$8,000 + 24 Flights or $10,000||$6,000 + 16 Flights or $7,000|
|Platinum||$12,000 + 36 Flights or $15,000||$9,000 + 24 Flights or $10,000|
|1K||$18,000 + 54 Flights or $24,000||$13,500 + 36 Flights or $15,000|
Existing elite members got an automatic head start towards earning status next year, based on the current status they hold:
|2021 Status||Qualifying Spend Deposit|
United has run several promotions since then to help members earn their revenue-based status without revenue. Now, though, that’s more or less all out the window for those who just want to re-qualify since it just got easy for many.
Existing Elites: Promotion To Requalify
Current elite members can re-earn the status level they held on July 27, 2021 by hitting 20% of the reduced 2021 qualification threshold by November 30, 2021 irrespective of how much they’ve already flown and earned.
|Flights + Spend||Spend Only|
|Silver||4 + $600||$700|
|Gold||6 + $1200||$1,400|
|Platinum||8 + $1800||$2,000|
|1K||10 + $2700||$3,000|
Zach Honig reports that corporate flyers (anyone who flew ticket booked with a corporate tour code since January 1, 2019) get a boost towards the challenge:
- Silver: 100 qualifying dollars
- Gold: 200 qualifying dollars
- Platinum: 300 qualifying dollars
- 1K: 400 qualifying dollars
Those who don’t re-earn status this way will automatically qualify for the other bonus instead for non-status and re-qualified passengers that I’ll describe next.
Note as well that Global Services members have already had their status extended without additional requirements.
Bonus For Those Without Status, Or Who Have Already Requalified
Members without status, or whom have already re-qualified for their current status, receive elite qualifying spend bonuses for each of the first 3 trips between now and November 30:
|Current Status||Trip 1 Bonus||Trip 2 Bonus||Trip 3 Bonus||Total Potential|
Under this offer, one award trip will qualify for the bonus. (In 2021 and 2022 Delta is counting all award travel towards elite status.)
And members can earn one qualifying flight for every $4,000 spent on United co-brand credit cards, up to two flights at $8,000.
United Wants Customers To Spend (A Little) To Keep Status
American, after offering several promotions, is letting everyone keep their current status for $2000 in travel spend or $15,000 in credit card spend during defined periods.
United’s thresholds are tougher, but do offer a benefit for customers who are earning first-time status or trying to earn higher status. This new set of offers appears to suggest United won’t do a straight status extension, though Live and Let’s Fly reports targeted offers are under consideration for members in the Asia Pacific region.