United Waiving Minimum Spend Requirements Towards Status for Some Members

Loyal reader Mark P. sends me this note:

United extended my 1k status for 2015 due to my “long term commitment to United”. I flew over 126,000 miles, 48 segments, and [had] $7000 in [Premier Qualifying Dollars]. I also had over $25,000 spend on the United [credit card] to qualify for the waiver to get me to Platinum.

United imposes a minimum spending requirement to achieve elite status.

For 2014 spending towards 2015 status you had to spend at least $2500 for Silver, $5000 for Gold, $7500 for Platinum, and $10,000 for 1K status.

For 2015 they increased the spending requirements by the same 20% as Delta.

As before these requirements should only apply to members with US addresses (they’ve cracked down on address changes), 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. (United isn’t even all that good at tracking revenue.)

Spending on the United credit card doesn’t exempt members from the minimum requirement for 1K status. You can spend $25,000 on the United Explorer card (or other United cards) and then it doesn’t matter how much revenue you give United your flying alone can earn Mileage Plus Premier Platinum status. But no matter how much you spend on their co-brand cards, you have to meet the minimum spend requirement in addition to flying requirements for 1K status.

Except when you don’t, as in Mark P’s case where he flew enough for 1K status but didn’t spend enough and United, it seems, gave the status to him anyway.

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. […] Last year United added a revenue component to elite status qualification, compelling MileagePlus members to spend $2,500, $5,000, $7,500, and $10,000 on United fares in order to qualify for Silver, Gold, Platinum, and 1K status, respectively, in addition to the usual mileage or segment requirements. However, TPG reader Greg recently emailed to report that even though he had fallen short on PQDs, United sent him a message confirming his 2015 Premier 1K status. That experience has been echoed by other TPG readers and elsewhere. […]


  1. Can you give any tips on how you got your status extended? I only flew enough PQM / pqs to qualify for gold this year (due to family reasons) , but spent over $11,000 which surpassed the min spend even for 1k. I reached out to a few execs without any luck. I’ve been a platinum member since 2010.

  2. I may be sorry I quit at 97,515 PQM. I spent the $25k on my Chase card but only had approx $6000 PQD’s so didn’t see any point in doing a mileage run to go over 100k.

  3. Interesting they did this and wonder if they did this for a lot of people. If so, maybe PQD is just a marketing tool to make the status grabbers spend more money + give the illusion that the status is more exclusive.

  4. Based on my conversation with the 1k desk, they make exceptions on a case by base basis. I never asked for an exception, but it seems it was done manually.

  5. Log into mystatus.united.com again today. It was down Sunday night and much of today for maintenance. I suspect Mark P. will find that his status has not been extended,

  6. I called the service desk on Friday and asked about getting a situation due to my spend and long term loyalty and was told that marketing had not yet given them guidelines for exceptions and to check back in a few weeks. The phone system already updated saying that I was now a gold member, but the mystatus.united.com shows my platinum status through January 31st.

  7. Thank you for recognizing our “loyalty” Factor and giving us this one year extension. For me it was Gold Status!

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