United has updated their elite qualification critieria at united.com to show that next year the minimum spending requirement to earn elite status will go up for each status level by 20%. That’s the exact percentage that Delta is raising their requirement.
So United isn’t looking at their elite ranks and figuring out at what spend level they’ll have a manageable number of elites for which they can deliver consistent benefits. They’re cribbing what Delta is doing, assuming that Delta is smarter than they are and must know what they’re doing. (Of course Delta’s business is materially different than United’s, from their customer base to their corporate contracts to load factor to cities served, so United management may find that “your mileage may vary.”)
In 2015 you will have to fly and spend:
- 25,000 miles or 30 segments and $3000 for Silver
- 50,000 miles or 60 segments and $6000 for Gold
- 75,000 miles or 90 segments and $9000 for Platinum
- 100,000 miles or 120 segments and $12,000 for 1K
… in order to have status in 2016.
These spending levels are 20% higher than they were when United first announced revenue-based requirements for 2015 status.
As before these requirements should only apply to members with US addresses, and members who spend $25,000 or more on a co-brand United credit card during the year can earn up to Platinum status regardless of their spend on United tickets.
Of course, as they raise the required revenue, it’s worth reminding that United isn’t even all that good at tracking revenue.
End of the day, United is requiring a minimum spend of 12 cents per mile flown in order to earn elite status, and their average fare is higher than 12 cents. As a result these are hardly insurmountable numbers. Plenty of flyers will have no problem with them.
It’s also not at all unexpected. When Delta announced last month that they were going to require 20% more spending for elite status next year, commenter Dan wrote,
You may as well duplicate the post, and then do a find on the word “Delta” and replace with “United.” You’ll get a jump on the competition, and be considered a prophet.
Funny line, since United continues managing by doing what Delta does.
Some folks will want to move their business to American which at least for 2015 travel and 2016 benefits will not have revenue requirements for status.
(HT: Wandering Aramean)