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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
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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, 5:11 pm
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: EAU
Programs: UA 1K, CO Plat, NW Plat, Marriott Premiere Plat, SPG Plat, Priority Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 4,592
Originally Posted by GetSetJetSet View Post
I assume partner flights that are not UA code shares won't count towards PQD?
If it tickets to 016 stock, it counts. If it doesn't, it doesn't.
raehl311 is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 5:11 pm
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: DEN
Programs: UA 1K, Delta Silver
Posts: 23
With US Airways leaving and this, I'm out. Last year I flew 56,000 *A miles and I spent less than $2k on United directly. A trip with Lufthansa and another through US Airways gave me about 20k of those miles. What's the point flying in an alliance if those flights don't count for much?

Good thing I didn't book my fall flights yet, Southwest still has good deals out of DEN!
embe is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 5:12 pm
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: LIS/ATL/other
Programs: UA 1K, Avis PC, Hertz PC, Sixt Plat, Marriott Gold, Carlson Gold, HH Silver
Posts: 1,972
Originally Posted by exerda View Post
They can ask for proof of residence, but they cannot ask for receipts from other airlines.
The requirement is not that you have a foreign residence, only that you get your MP stuff mailed outside the US.

"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"
Does not say you have to live there.

That is quite different from Delta, who says "U.S.-based members". So for DL it matters where the member is based, for UA it matters where their mail goes.
CaptainMiles is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 5:12 pm
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Central Florida
Programs: MP 1K/Onepass Plat 1MM, SPG Plat, Marriott Plat
Posts: 540
Originally Posted by demkr View Post
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)

+1. I'm done.
This will be a Harvard Business School case study on how to lose the most profitable and loyal customers in the shortest time possible.

What a legacy to leave!
walkerci is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 5:12 pm
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: SFO/SJC
Programs: UA 1K&1.99MM (really), Bonvoy lifetime Gold with 14 years of Plat!
Posts: 1,748
Originally Posted by ACVBear View Post
I disagree. you've basically eliminated a large number of silver and probably a certain percentage of gold who don't fly high revenue but also aren't mileage running. As a result of this spend threshold it is so utterly useless to be silver any more. Why do it? At that spend rate? I can hit silver for less than 2500 and it has nothing to do with gaming the system and is still a situation in which I am giving UA more revenue than say Southwest. But if I can do so and get no benefits why make sure I hit the spend? Same with gold?

Gold/Plat I think the spend are going to happen anyway though I think it is quite the punishment to look at the end of the year say look I've flown 54kmiles been loyal on united metal on all of those and no mileage run and still get dinged because I only spent about $4000 (a very serious possibility for me this year) Don't want my loyalty? Fine I don't need to fly 54k exclusively on you.

and the point comes back to an original argument the last time they changed MP. Yes the HVF is huge. Obviously. and losing a lot of 1k GS has killed them. But nickle and dime enough Silver and Gold and you're going to have the bottom fall out from under you.
I guess I question how many people there are out there who are hitting 25,000 miles without spending $2,500 (ignoring the 016 stock and other issues for now).

It's to some extent a question of how stupid UA are or are not. You'd imagine they've looked at the numbers, seen whom they might lose as a result of this, and rationalized that it's going to work. And I'm not commenting on how I would run the airline (top tier status reserved for Cricketers with spend ranging between $8K and $15K) - rather how this is fairly well in line with UA and the industry as a whole (in the US at least).

Trivially, if you have a current population of 100, and you are going to lose 10 people who spent $2K each, but gain more flying out of others that will offset the $20K loss, or as a result of losing those 10 people can remove one more widebody and replace it with a CRJ, then your business looks healthier.

And of course you're betting that AA will follow suit and everyone's loyalty program will be similar. Not exactly a stretch. So then in your example, you currently chose to spend your $4K for Premier Executive on UA rather than the competition for some particular reason(s). You're going to end up with much the same decision to make, except the value you get for your $4K and 54K miles, across the board, will be reduced.
cricketer is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 5:13 pm
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: SFO South Bay
Programs: UA 2MM, B6 Mosaic
Posts: 2,985
At first, sounds good. But wait.....

This new rule will probably thin the herds a bit. And since it does not apply to keeping my Gold status as 1MM, maybe 1MM will be worth marginally more?? And with my hitting 2MM within the next year or so, I am hoping PP will also be worth a bit more with fewer people.

Now for a prediction: I bet the idea of thinned herds will be short lived. I predict that UA will start to offer ways for people to spend their way into PQDs. Like give UA $1000 cash and they will give you $10,000 PQD. Or something like that.

Smisek is nothing if not a capitalist. He will find ways to make money on this.
blueman2 is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 5:13 pm
Join Date: May 2005
Location: SJC
Programs: UA MM, AA EXP, VS (silver-for-life revoked), DL, WN, AS, Hilton diamond, Marriott gold
Posts: 388
Originally Posted by IflyfromABE View Post
Most of us with status do exactly what you said, you know...
1111 is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 5:14 pm
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,992
So lets take the following example (just run with it):

I am based in London and I make 5 flights a year in coach from LHR - SFO. Round trip that gives me 10,000 miles so X 5 trips 50,000 which would be gold right? Say as a rough example each flight costs £500 (as an average figure) so that is £2,500 which at todays exchange rate is $3,750.

Now lets say I have a twin (I dont but lets pretend I do) who lives in SFO. He likes to come to visit me in London and makes the trip 5 X a year. He will fly the same amount of miles, and lets say he pays the same amount for a ticket. He does not get gold but I do??

If I am correct, can someone please show me where the logic is to this?
FlyerTalker7654 is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 5:14 pm
Join Date: Nov 2009
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 23
Originally Posted by trekwars2000 View Post
Why even have the mileage requirement?
The PQD are fairly low, so a couple *F tickets would qualify one otherwise, with very few PQM/PQS. Luckily the PQD is low enough that most anyone who makes the PQM/PQS should also hit the PQD, unless they are flying exclusively rock bottom fares, based on first glance.
SBFlyerUA is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 5:16 pm
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Bay Area
Programs: DL SM, UA MP.
Posts: 12,730
Originally Posted by FlyingNut724 View Post
Only if the ticket is booked through UA and has a ticket number starting with 016.
How does this work exactly? It means for instance LH flights which are code-shares and booked through UA.com?

The same flights book through LH's web site won't count?

Do the PQDs also include the mileage accelerator purchases?
wco81 is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 5:16 pm
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Chicago
Programs: AA EXP, UA former 1K (1.9MM and gone), Marriott LT Plat, Hilton Diamond, SPG Plat
Posts: 1,111
Originally Posted by bse118 View Post
I'm not so sure a SkyPesos level devaluation will happen.

UA's lucrative relationship with Chase is based on the premise that the miles Chase doles out to it it's customers (Chase's customers, not UA's) have value. Devalue those miles to the point where they are useless and UA risks it's relationship with one of it's most valuable customers (Chase).

Sure miles will be devalued. That always happens - but I think that in some ways the Chase relationship is a mitigating factor, and we have some hope of not stooping to DL levels.
And how hard would it be for Chase to offer a new set of cards with 1.5x or 2x the points of the current cards? Maybe UA gives them a break on the unit cost in exchange for cutting back on some of the other benefits, and Chase has a great hook for next year's advertising campaign.
NiceLanding is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 5:19 pm
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: LIS/ATL/other
Programs: UA 1K, Avis PC, Hertz PC, Sixt Plat, Marriott Gold, Carlson Gold, HH Silver
Posts: 1,972
Originally Posted by SgtRyan View Post
I am based in London...

Now lets say I have a twin (I dont but lets pretend I do) who lives in SFO... He does not get gold but I do??

If I am correct, can someone please show me where the logic is to this?
If you're a nice brother, you'll let your twin brother have his UA mail sent to you in London.
CaptainMiles is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 5:20 pm
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Malibu, CA
Programs: UAL Silver!, Starwood Gold, Marriott Plat, AA Exec Platinum
Posts: 167
Hey United- one more voice to the roar- bad move with new hurdles for questionable benefits. Add to the elite benefits and more will jump. Take 'em away (like 50% vs 100% mileage bonus for Gold) and then add the hurdles, well, not much point, eh?
I guess 2014 will be the last year I work with any dedication to fly United. My loss is your loss UAL.
tritraveller is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 5:21 pm
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Houston
Programs: UA Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 11,315
Originally Posted by raehl311 View Post
That would be great, if UA ticket pricing was always competitive. Or even occasionally competitive. I have a trip coming up later this year, and getting to my destination on all star-alliance carriers is about $1,900. Getting there on a UA ticket is $5,500.
I didn't say you have to fly UA, just that you need UA to issue the ticket with the partner flights on it. UA will issue tickets with other carrier's fares on them.
mduell is offline  
Old Jun 18, 13, 5:21 pm
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Join Date: Aug 2003
Programs: UA 1K .97MM, IHG AMB-Spire, HH Diamond
Posts: 53,623
Originally Posted by bse118 View Post
The mistake people make is believing that loyalty to the airline means the airline is loyal in return...
We know that is not the case.

Yet PMUA gave me and many other ex 1K that vibe. Many specific examples where I felt that way. A helping hand from time to time, options and the like.

That is the best model. They understood they could address structural issues but minimize the in your face reductions. We knew they didn't do it out of generosity.

The new regime is trying to help their financials starting with raking the customer base. Hopefully the strategy fails badly.

Seriously, $2500 on WN gets you X and $2500 on UA gets you Y

X > Y
uastarflyer is offline  

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