I plan to post more about this later, but wanted to share the news as soon as I read it. This is bad news for those who like mileage running for their United elite status (or for those who just fly on low fares) since there will now be hefty spending minimums to go along with each elite threshold. The silver lining (at least for next year) is that those who can put 25k in spending on their co-branded United card (or cards as the net spend on several cards will count) will be spared at the Silver, Gold, and Platinum level, but wow. There is no credit card spending waiver for those who want 1K. This is pretty major, though I suppose not unexpected given the industry trend. My gut reaction is this is just too much, though it is very similar to what Delta announced for themselves. I believe Delta’s revenue requirement is actually slightly higher for their top tier, though their top tier revenue requirement can be waived with credit card spending, unlike with United.
Here it is from UA Insider on Milepoint:
Today we’re announcing some upcoming changes to our Premier qualification requirements for 2014. We’ve posted complete details and a FAQ at www.mileageplusupdates.com, but I wanted to share an excerpt of the key points with you directly:
Starting in January 2014, Premier qualification for members living in the United States will include a minimum annual spending level. We will track this new requirement with Premier qualifying dollars (PQD) – dollars spent on most United tickets, including partner flights, and Economy Plus purchases. The changes will not affect Premier qualifying miles (PQM) or Premier qualifying segments (PQS). The new criteria will look like this:
Premier Silver: [25,000 PQM or 30 PQS] and $2,500 PQD
Premier Gold: [50,000 PQM or 60 PQS] and $5,000 PQD
Premier Platinum: [75,000 PQM or 90 PQS] and $7,500 PQD
Premier 1K: [100,000 PQM or 90 PQS] and $10,000 PQD
A minimum of at least four paid flights operated by United, United Express, or Copa Airlines will be needed to qualify for any Premier status.
For 2014, the PQD requirement is waived for Premier Silver, Premier Gold, and Premier Platinum qualification for members whose address with MileagePlus is within the 50 United States or the District of Columbia and who spend at least $25,000 in Net Purchases in 2014 on a MileagePlus co-branded credit card issued by Chase Bank USA, N.A. There is no PQD waiver for Premier 1K qualification.
As mentioned above, there are more details and a FAQ posted at www.mileageplusupdates.com, and over the next few days we’ll be communicating this information to our members. In the meantime, if you still have any more questions after going through the FAQ, please post them here and I’ll do my best to clarify.
The following spending counts toward the PQD requirement:
- Base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges
- Flights flown by United, United Express, or Copa Airlines
- Flights operated by a Star Alliance or a MileagePlus partner airline and issued on a United ticket (ticket number starting with 016)
- Economy Plus purchases
These changes apply to 2014 qualifying activity for status through 2015 and do not affect your 2013 qualifying activity for 2014 status, so continue on your current path this year, but be ready for the changes next year. Also note that the Premier qualifying dollar (PQD) requirement only applies to members whose primary MileagePlus account address is in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia. Members who use U.S. military or diplomatic addresses (APO, DPO or FPO) are exempt from the PQD requirement.
The FAQs also state that for 2014, the Premier qualifying dollars (PQD) requirement is waived for existing Presidential Plus Cardmembers for Premier Silver, Premier Gold, and Premier Platinum qualification. There is no PQD waiver for Premier 1K qualification. For 2014, we will continue to waive the four segment minimum for Presidential Plus and MileagePlus Club Card Cardmembers as long as their card account is open and not in default at the time of qualification. The Presidential Plus Card is no longer available to new applicants.
Thoughts?? Anyone moving to Canada? (I kid, I kid).