Delta requires minimum spending in order to earn elite status in addition to the required miles you have to fly.
And since Delta does, United does also.
Both airlines allow you to avoid the requirement if you spend $25,000 or more in a year on their co-brand credit cards (United won’t let you avoid the requirement for 100,000 mile flyer status — only up to their Platinum 75,000 mile level).
And both airlines allow you to avoid the requirement entirely if you have a primary account address outside the United States.
Naturally the first thought many members had was to simply change the address on their frequent flyer account.
- When Delta first announced that U.S.-based members had to meet minimum revenue requirements, they also instituted a requirement that you had to prove your new address if you told them you were moving out of the U.S.
- United didn’t. Lots of MileagePlus members made a virtual move.
- Untl two months ago — in September United started requiring proof as well.
Delta requires one piece of evidence. United requires two, probably because they weren’t ready with an IT system to require verification when the revenue requirement was first launched and so they’ve been getting gamed for the last 18 months.
Nonetheless, a virtual move remains a possibility for many. Delta will even accept as ‘proof’ a letter from your employer.
Of course at some point they could match your address against public records, or could analyze your flight patterns that would be highly suggestive of a US resident. Until then, no doubt some folks will continue to ‘move’ abroad.