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United Reduces MileagePlus Premier Requirements for 2022

United Reduces MileagePlus Premier Requirements for 2022
Joe Cortez

United Airlines is becoming the second legacy airline to reduce their elite status requirements for the 2022 benefit year. Starting in 2021, flyers will have to earn fewer Premier Qualifying Points to earn status, with Premier Silver starting at 3,500 points or eight qualifying flights and 3,000 points.

As airlines look to recover passenger traffic in the coming year, United Airlines is making it easier for flyers to earn elite status. Starting in 2021, the Chicago-based airline is reducing the number of Premier Qualifying Points flyers need to earn, while opening a path to earn even the highest tier elite status through credit card spending.

New Reward Table Requires Fewer Points While Offering Bonuses to Current Elites

In 2019, United reimagined their entire loyalty status hierarchy by moving from requiring flying a certain number of miles plus Elite Qualifying Dollar spending, to moving to Premier Qualifying Points. With the new system, elite status was granted solely on how much flyers spent – assuming they made a minimum of four qualifying flights with United.

Under their latest change, United MileagePlus flyers will be required to spend between 25 and 37 percent less to earn elite status, based on their habits. The points-plus-flights route for all Premier levels has been cut by 25 percent, while the points-only method has been reduced by roughly one-third.

Table courtesy: United Airlines

To encourage current elite flyers to renew their status, the airline is granting deposits towards the 2021 benefit year. Current Premier Silvers will receive 875 points, Premier Golds will get 1,750 points, Premier Platinums will get 2,500 points, and Premier 1K flyers are granted 3,750 points.

“Throughout this year, United has taken a leadership approach in enacting customer-friendly changes,” Luc Bondar, vice president of loyalty and marketing at United and president of MileagePlus, said in a statement. “Today’s announcement of making it easier to qualify for status is just another step we are taking to make United a better airline for our customers.”

In addition to the reduced spend, United is allowing most credit card holders to earn additional Premier Qualifying Points with their spending. Those who hold the United Explorer Card, United Club Card, or their business equivalents can earn 500 Premier Qualifying Points per $12,000 in card spend, up to 1,000 Premier Qualifying Points. Holders of legacy credit cards can earn even more, ranging from a maximum of 3,000 to 10,000 Premier Qualifying Points.

Finally, in hopes of bringing flyers back to the airline in the first quarter of 2021, United will offer bonus Premier Qualifying Points to all MileagePlus flyers for their first three flights of the year. To earn the bonus points, flyers must complete their flights before Mar. 31, 2021.

Loyalty Program Shuffle Continues Ahead of 2021 Benefit Year

With their change, United becomes the second loyalty program to reduce their elite qualification requirements, and the third overall to announce major changes. In October 2020, American Airlines announced they would reduce their elite status requirements for AAdvantage in the coming year, while Spirit Airlines is launching a brand new program which will welcome their first elites in 2021.

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1 Comment

  1. stopdiabetes

    November 13, 2020 at 5:18 am

    Note fine print..there’s a cap on double pqps, so if you spend 2,000 on a trip, your bonus won’t be 2,000, but only 1,500. Also, legacy credit card holders still can’t use flex PQPs to get up to 1K, but they can use flex points generated during the program year, up to 10,000 it seems. But the generous deposit of pqps, generous bonuses in Q! combined with lower targets should entice some of us to fly UA.

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