Four Easier Ways to Earn Elite Status With United Airlines MileagePlus — Plus…

The amount of Premier Qualifying Flights and Premier Qualifying Points which are required to earn Premier elite level status with the United Airlines MileagePlus frequent guest loyalty program have been further reduced for the year 2022 — plus other initiatives have been implemented with which earning Premier elite level status is even easier for you.

Four Easier Ways to Earn Elite Status With United Airlines MileagePlus — Plus…

United Airlines

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

The requirements for all Premier levels of elite status have been reduced — meaning that the minimum amount of Premier Qualifying Points and Premier Qualifying Flights you needed to earn Premier elite level status across all levels are now even lower than the original requirements for 2020 — so qualifying for Premier elite level status through 2022 is now easier. Here is how to qualify for each Premier status level beginning on Friday, January 1, 2021, for status through the 2022 program year — as well as how to qualify for each Premier status level for status through the 2021 program year; and the typical qualifications and requirements to earn Premier elite level status in any other year:

Premier Elite Level Status Qualifications and Requirements to Earn Elite Status in 2022 Qualifications and Requirements to Earn Elite Status in 2021 Typical Qualifications and Requirements to Earn Elite Status
Premier Silver 8 Premier Qualifying Flights and 3,000 Premier Qualifying Points OR 3,500 Premier Qualifying Points 6 Premier Qualifying Flights and 2,000 Premier Qualifying Points OR 2,500 Premier Qualifying Points 12 Premier Qualifying Flights and 4,000 Premier Qualifying Points OR 5,000 Premier Qualifying Points
Premier Gold 16 Premier Qualifying Flights and and 6,000 Premier Qualifying Points OR 7,000 Premier Qualifying Points 12 Premier Qualifying Flights and 4,000 Premier Qualifying Points OR 5,000 Premier Qualifying Points 24 Premier Qualifying Flights and 8,000 Premier Qualifying Points OR 10,000 Premier Qualifying Points
Premier Platinum 24 Premier Qualifying Flights and and 9,000 Premier Qualifying Points OR 10,000 Premier Qualifying Points 18 Premier Qualifying Flights and 6,000 Premier Qualifying Points OR 7,500 Premier Qualifying Points 36 Premier Qualifying Flights and 12,000 Premier Qualifying Points OR 15,000 Premier Qualifying Points
Premier 1K 36 Premier Qualifying Flights and and 13,500 Premier Qualifying Points OR 15,000 Premier Qualifying Points 26 Premier Qualifying Flights and 9,000 Premier Qualifying Points OR 12,000 Premier Qualifying Points 54 Premier Qualifying Flights and 18,000 Premier Qualifying Points OR 24,000 Premier Qualifying Points

Bonus Premier Qualifying Points Toward 2022 Premier Elite Status

United Airlines

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

A bonus Premier Qualifying Points promotion is being offered for the very first time — and all members of the MileagePlus frequent guest loyalty program are eligible. The more trips you take, the more Premier Qualifying Points you will earn, which means you will reach Premier elite level status even sooner.

You are automatically eligible for this offer — regardless of when you book your trips which are eligible to earn Premier Qualifying Points — and no registration is necessary. Please allow up to 14 days for the bonus Premier Qualifying Points to post to your MileagePlus membership account after each eligible trip is completed.

On each of their first three trips which are eligible to earn Premier Qualifying Points completed between Friday, January 1, 2021 through Wednesday, March 31, 2021:

  • Current members who have earned Premier elite level status will earn double the Premier Qualifying Points
  • Members without Premier elite level status can earn a bonus of 50 percent — or 1.5 times — Premier Qualifying Points in order to help qualify for Premier elite level status through 2022 even sooner. Click here for details, terms, and conditions pertaining to this offer.

Giving You More Premier Qualifying Points to Help Maintain Your Premier Elite Status

United Airlines Boeing 777-222(ER) airplane

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

As a member who has earned Premier elite status, Premier Qualifying Points will automatically be added to your MileagePlus membership account at the beginning of 2021 based on the Premier elite status you earned by the end of 2020 in order to give you a jump-start on earning Premier elite status through 2022.

The Premier Qualifying Points will be deposited into your MileagePlus membership account no later than Monday, February 1, 2021, and the amount will be equal to 25 percent of the Premier Qualifying Points-only requirement for your 2021 Premier elite status level — so maintaining your Premier elite status level will be even easier in 2021…

…or jump-start your journey toward reaching a higher elite status level.

Members who are in Trial Premier status will be given bonus Premier Qualifying Points based on their earned 2021 level, if any.

Premier Elite Level Status Added to MileagePlus Membership Account
Premier Silver 875 Premier Qualifying Points
Premier Gold 1,750 Premier Qualifying Points
Premier Platinum 2,500 Premier Qualifying Points
Premier 1K 3,750 Premier Qualifying Points
Members who have earned either Premier 1K or Global Services elite level status will receive the same amount of deposited Premier Qualifying Points.

More PlusPoints Benefits: More Time to Use Them; and Earning Extra PlusPoints in 2021

United Airlines

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

If you have PlusPoints which expire on or after Friday, January 1, 2021, they will be extended an additional six months beyond their expiration dates to give you more time to use your upgrade benefits on upcoming trips — which means that earning extra PlusPoints after reaching Premier 1K status in 2021 will be even easier. This includes all PlusPoints earned from activity in both 2019 and 2020.

United Airlines is still the only global airline which is based in the United States to offer its members the ability to earn unlimited extra upgrades after reaching the highest published tier of Premier elite status.

Also — as a special promotion in 2021 — earning extra PlusPoints after you reach Premier 1K elite level status will be even easier, as once you reach Premier 1K elite level status and earn 15,000 Premier Qualifying Points, you will receive +20 PlusPoints for every 2,000 Premier Qualifying Points instead of for every 3,000 Premier Qualifying Points.

As in 2020, Premier Qualifying Points earned from your United MileagePlus credit card does not count toward extra PlusPoints after reaching Premier 1K elite level status — except for the United Presidential Plus credit card and United Presidential Plus Business credit card.

Earning Premier Qualifying Flights and Premier Qualifying Points on Partner Flights

United Airlines

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Previously, if you flew on a Star Alliance partner airline and your flight was not ticketed by United Airlines, you could not earn Premier Qualifying Dollars. Today, you will receive spend credit on these flights in the form of Premier Qualifying Points, which will be equal to award miles earned divided by 5 if you are flying on a preferred partner — and for other MileagePlus partner airlines, Premier Qualifying Points will be equal to award miles earned divided by 6.

The number of award miles you will earn is equal to the base award miles plus your fare class bonus award miles, if eligible. Premier bonus miles earned are not included in this calculation and are not eligible for Premier qualifying points accrual.

For Star Alliance airlines — as well as Air Dolomiti, Azul Brazilian Airlines, Eurowings, Edelweiss, Juneyao Airlines and Olympic Air:

Airline Partner Premier Qualifying Points Total
Preferred partner Premier Qualifying Points Award miles divided by 5
MileagePlus partner Premier Qualifying Points Award miles divided by 6

For example, if you earned 360 award miles for your flight, you will receive 72 Premier Qualifying Points if you flew with a preferred partner airline, or 60 Premier Qualifying Points if you flew with a MileagePlus partner airline.

The maximum Premier Qualifying Points which can be earned per flight on tickets issued and operated by Star Alliance partner airlines and select MileagePlus partner airlines are as follows:

Class of Service Preferred Partner MileagePlus Partner
First and Business 1,500 Premier Qualifying Points 1,000 Premier Qualifying Points
Economy and Premium Economy 750 Premier Qualifying Points 500 Premier Qualifying Points

You will earn Premier Qualifying Flights on partner airlines as well — except when flying on light fares, basic fares, and award tickets. Learn more about earning with partner airlines.

While the spend requirement for members with international addresses is no longer waived, the ability to earn spend credit for these members has been expanded, which renders qualification to be consistent for all MileagePlus members.

United Explorer Cards and United Club Cards Help You Get to Premier Elite Status Even Sooner

United Airlines

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Premier Qualifying Points earned from your eligible United MileagePlus credit card — including the United MileagePlus Explorer Card — will count toward Premier 1K elite level status for the 2021 program year if you also meet the Premier Qualifying Flights requirement. Learn more

Visit the Cardmember page to see how you are being given an opportunity to get closer to Premier elite status with your United Explorer credit card or United Club Card in the 2020 calendar year — and if you are not an Explorer or Club Cardmember, you can learn more about the benefits of each credit card and the new Cardmember bonus mile offer.

Visit the Premier qualification page for full details on earning Premier Qualifying Points on your United MileagePlus credit card.

Summary

United Airlines

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Although many people will favor the initiatives by United Airlines which are outlined in this article, I could not help but highlight the following paragraph, which likely would be considered marketing spin to those who preferred the former system of earning MileagePlus miles by flying as a passenger in terms of distance: “And remember — the MileagePlus® Premier program, unlike some other loyalty programs, has no distance requirement to reach status. You might not know how far you’ll fly in 2021, so rest easy knowing you can qualify for Premier status with just Premier qualifying points (PQP), or a combination of Premier qualifying flights (PQF) and PQP.”

These initiatives from United Ailines follow the reduced qualification levels for elite status earned in 2021 with the American Airlines AAdvantage frequent guest loyalty program.

All photographs ©2016 and ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

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