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MileagePlus Premier Qualifying Dollar (PQD) Requirement Discussion [ARCHIVE]

MileagePlus Premier Qualifying Dollar (PQD) Requirement Discussion [ARCHIVE]

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Old Jul 27, 14, 7:19 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
Last edit by: iluv2fly
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Please read these sources before posting in this thread:
If you have calculated the PQDs for a trip at less than 80% of the total cost, you are very likely doing something wrong. Have you made sure to include the International Surcharge (YQ)? Have you read all of the materials linked above, and the frequently made points listed below?

Specific Unanswered Questions
Please limit these to specific, technical questions about the implementation of the PQD program.
  • Will there be a calculator that shows PQD, and will that calculator be accurate?
  • What exactly will count toward PQD?
    United states:
    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

    will count towards PQD.

    • The amount of co-pay when using miles to upgrade..
    • The cost of PQMs/RDMs purchased when using the premier / award accelerator..
    • The value of ETCs (or is it considered a discount from the fare?). (still uncertainty on this since prelim PQDs appeared to include) -Note: the Mileage plus site indicates ETC's count towards PQD (12/16/13 imgonnafly)
    • The face value e-certs and travel vouchers.. (still uncertainty on this since prelim PQDs appeared to include)
    • The cost of a paid upgrade..
    • An extra seat purchase (such as for a customer of size or a musical instrument); it does not presently count toward PQM.
    • Change fees.
    will not count toward PQD.
  • How will PQD be determined for UA metal segments without 016 stock ticket?
  • What happens if I depart in December and return in January?
    Just like PQM, PQD for the applicable part of fare for the segment is credited based on the departure date (year) of the segment flown. Segment fares are calculated using standard rules of the past. For the case cited there would be PQD credited in DEC 2013 (no value) and PQD applied to 2014 applicable to 2014 and 2015 status renewal.
  • How will UA evaluate the address issue for the PQD exemption?
  • It is not clear how the timing of achieving the minimum PQD requirement will impact earning RPUs and GPUs. Examples:
    • If someone crosses 75K PQM in say April, but doesn't hit $7500 PQD until December by which time has accrued 200K PQM, will he/she get 10 RPUs all at once? (and 10 GPUs assuming $10k PQD in December)
    • Do only 1Ks/GSs earn additional RPUs by flying beyond the 100k mark?
    • If a 1K crosses the 100,000 PQM mark in January 201x, the $10,000 PQD mark on December 31 201x, and ends up flying a total of 200,000 PQMs for the year 201x, how many RPUs / GPUs will be earned?
    • Will Platinums earn 2 RPUs when crossing the 75k mark but none at incremental levels thereafter (e.g. a Plat who flies 100k EQMs, but does not meet the 1K spend, would *not* earn two more RPUs)?
  • How does IRROPs affect earning of PQDs?
FMP (Frequently Made Points)
The following points have been made repeatedly in this thread (please feel free to add more concise points):
  • You might not be hitting the PQD minimums as easily as you think you are, given exceptions, taxes, and the existence of cheap fares.
  • It is possible for leisure travelers and even some business travelers to average well under 10cpm. This doesn't just affect "leisure 1Ks" and people on the edge of categories.
  • Presidential Plus card members (exempted from Silver/Gold/Plat PQD requirements) are most likely exempted because the FlexPQM program would complicate matters.
  • Manufacturing $25,000 spend might not actually be so hard. There's a whole forum on it.
  • The exceptions don't really make sense where there is a revenue-sharing joint venture in place, such as with LH on TATL routes.
  • Leaving UA for AA over objections to dollar-based status may be futile because all the majors will likely go to this model with the possible exception of the AS program which allows you to bank your DL and AA miles into one account (DL has already).
  • UA is tracking spend on UA metal now.
  • YQ, also known as the "international surcharge," is a carrier-imposed surcharge and is included in PQD.
Related Threads
Moderator's Note:

2014 version of this thread can be found here:


Moderator, UA
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Old Jun 18, 13, 8:45 am
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: wandering expat
Posts: 42,852
Originally Posted by warreng24 View Post
Hopefully they will still honor the Premier Gold for 1MM's.

I guess I'll drop to Gold. My business travels definitely exceed 100,000 PQM, but I'm probably around 6,500$

I'm only allowed to travel on the "lowest fare." This includes economy TATL and TPAC.
I think the whole point of this exercise is to thin the ranks above gold back down to gold.
halls120 is online now  
Old Jun 18, 13, 8:45 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: body: A stone's throw from SFO, mind: SE Asia
Programs: Some of this 'n some of that
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Originally Posted by Downunder girl View Post
I can think of one major downside of changing to an "international" address: we are usually excluded from all the good promos that are offered to the USA members. Been lots of double miles/status credit promos in the past that anyone outside of the USA were not allowed to register for.
Previously indeed. But that hasn't been the case since the $MI/J tenure.
dsquared37 is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 8:45 am
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: BOS
Programs: UAL Premier Gold, HHonors Gold, B6 Mosaic
Posts: 132
So much for alliance loyalty. Qualified for Premier Gold this year and next, so I'll enjoy the temporary reprieve. I consider myself a pretty loyal traveler, and try to fly on UA domestically and Star partners internationally (LX and LH primarily) whenever possible. When I was based out of NYC this was easier to do on UA metal from EWR, but now that I'm in BOS and going to Eastern Europe every 2 months, my international options are much more limited. Either I pay higher prices and waste more time traveling down to EWR or IAD to fly TATL on UA, or just leave BOS and connect in ZRH/FRA/MUC.

Looks like I'll be signing up for Miles and More, I guess, although achieving Senator status, as I understand, requires double the miles (100k) than for Premier Gold.
gvol21 is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 8:46 am
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Programs: UA Lifetime 1K, MR Lifetime Plat, HH Gold, Delta Base, AA Base
Posts: 477
Originally Posted by goingbananas View Post
The "big winners" in all of this are the Lifetime 1K's.
1) I don't have to worry about spend (unless I go for GS again )
2) I don't have to worry about if I am flying UA or an Alliance, unless I want to get to 4MM and lifetime GS.
3) I can continue to only buy UA when they are really cheap, not worry about the $$$'s and continue to fly AA.
That seems about right, unless you want your GPU's (SWU's).
bkramt1 is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 8:47 am
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: SEA, SFO, NYC
Programs: United: Gold, HHonors: Gold, Marriott: Gold, AA, US, AGR
Posts: 395
Spend $5,000 and still get Zone 2 boarding clumped with credit card users? No thank you! AA is looking more attractive. Or maybe I'll just credit all my miles to a non-US carrier, like Turkish or Asiana.
TakeTheATrain is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 8:47 am
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: PDX
Programs: UA Global Services / Million Miler, Marriott Ambassador / Lifetime Titanium
Posts: 593
I can see it now. In December 2014, emails will be sent with the opportunity to buy up to your min spend limit if you've not hit it yet, although you might have hit the min PQMs... So if you've flown 20 transcons at $500 a pop, are at 100K PQMs but only $9K PQDs (since taxes won't count), it's $1K for 1K... Great.
u2vox is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 8:47 am
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: New England
Programs: Delta Platinum, United Silver, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Titanium, Radisson Gold
Posts: 6,300
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 6_1_4 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/536.26 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/6.0 Mobile/10B350 Safari/8536.25)

So penalize my loyalty? Well I'm done - frankly 1K isn't worth what you're "selling" it for.

MRs are now for awards and upgrades-- no longer for elite status.

Was fun while it lasted
demkr is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 8:47 am
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Charlottesville
Programs: UA Gold, VX Gold, AA PLT, DL Gold, MR Gold, HH Diamond, Hertz 5* Gold
Posts: 469
Originally Posted by Lurker1999 View Post
For leisure travelers this seems like a good time to head for Kayak, which is likely what UA wants anyway.
Not much choice here at IAD unless you want to play at DCA (US) or brave the traffic to drive to BWI.
vandrei is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 8:48 am
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 91,851
Originally Posted by dsquared37 View Post
The losers aren't mileage runners, rather the losers are anyone whose travel isn't paid for by work.

Most of those holding status from this point onward will be those whose don't even pay for their own tix.
Indeed, but that is largely the way it already is.

Another big loser in this are those who are providing the OPM for work travel: businesses/management/shareholders and taxpayers (as government entities are some of the airline's biggest customers). This kind of move by UA provides further incentive to the airline customers to fleece those who provide the OPM for their travel. Not a good thing to try to distort customer purchases in such a way, and that is indeed what UA (and DL) are doing with such a move.
GUWonder is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 8:48 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BOS
Posts: 14,637
Originally Posted by u2vox View Post
I can see it now. In December 2014, emails will be sent with the opportunity to buy up to your min spend limit if you've not hit it yet, although you might have hit the min PQMs... So if you've flown 20 transcons at $500 a pop, are at 100K PQMs but only $9K PQDs (since taxes won't count), it's $1K for 1K... Great.
Stop chasing status.
Fly the best airline at the moment you want to fly for the lowest price.
Amazing that people are so brainwashed that they "MUST-FLY-UNITED-AT-ALL-COST"
Dieuwer is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 8:49 am
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: SFO/SJC
Programs: AMEX PLT, Plat AMB, SPG/MR Gold
Posts: 1,528
This just presents a problem for people running to 1K...technically can still do it on the cheap with CC spend waiving requirements PP. Still a devaluation, but encourages me more to fly mistake/bargain basement fares and still rake in the redeemable miles. Will fly others in discount business when sales are available.
patchan8984 is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 8:49 am
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: SFO
Programs: AA EXP; AS 75K; WN A List; UA 1K 1MM; Marriott Ambassador; Hilton Diamond (Aspire); Hyatt Explorist
Posts: 44,643
Originally Posted by dieuwer2 View Post
Taxes DO NOT count.
I deducted taxes from those fares for the calculation. Those are accurate cents/mile figures.
Kacee is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 8:51 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SEA, but up and down the coast a lot
Programs: OneSky Alliance Elite+ with Zirconium and oak leaf cluster, Braniff Unobtainium
Posts: 18,106
Originally Posted by exerda View Post
The point being they currently do, and no one is sure what their merged program will look like. They may not even have regulatory approval by next year, so pax could go ahead and buy there early next year vs. worrying about UA's 2014 rules.
Chairman's Preferred is not EXP, so actually they don't.

And seriously, you think AA would be willing to sell unlimited domestic space-available upgrades (without competition from anyone below EXP unless they want to pay $ or use an instrument) + 8 SWUs for $4,000 or less? When DL and UA are requiring 10K in airfare spend, and have much worse SWUs and benefits (AA's upgrade from any fare class and use award buckets, IIRC)? OK, then. I wouldn't be making any firm plans continued availability of buy-up, but hey, it's your funeral...
eponymous_coward is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 8:51 am
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: New York
Programs: UA GS, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,291
Originally Posted by trajan81 View Post
That's what hurts the most....go after your most loyal fliers. That being said, it will definitely thin the 1k crowd quite a bit and there will be a bumper crop of Platinums.

As for *A becoming Skyteam, we've seen some signs of that already with the entire Turkish crediting debacle.
I think it could be argued the MOST loyal fliers are the ones who fly a lot AND spend a lot. For everyone else, they can be platinum, which to be honest gives pretty much all the benefits of 1K except smaller RDM bonuses and no GPUs.
villox is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 8:51 am
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: ATL/LAX
Posts: 4,869
To everyone who says AA looks attractive now ...

That's exactly what DL flyers said about UA when we got MQDs
amolkold is offline  

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