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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.

    Thus:
    • 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:


http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...2014-a-15.html

iluv2fly
Moderator, UA
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Old Jun 18, 13, 9:29 am
  #121  
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
If you're seriously thinking about the AA program as presently configured, have another look at elite qualification. On no AA-coded fare is the EQM earning less than 1 for 1 flown mile.

http://www.aa.com/i18n/AAdvantage/ea...s/american.jsp
The "fly more" reference was related to the EQPs. I stated that if one earned status using the EQPs -- based on paying premium fares and thus earning a COS bonus not applied to EQMs -- you had to fly fewer in-seat miles to earn status than if you only qualified under the EQM or EQS measures. And with the EQP measure most discounted economy fares earn 50% credit. So again, those paying higher fares -- ergo having a higher spend -- can achieve their status with fewer in-seat miles. Thus AA currently uses a revenue-based formula, albeit not the one adopted by DL and now proposed for UA.
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Old Jun 18, 13, 9:29 am
  #122  
 
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I hate this decision, but would have a hard time arguing that it doesn't make sense.

I would be so interested to see the analysis that went in to making this decision. I have to believe that it will considerably shrink the ranks, or it wouldn't make sense to do this. The business rationale for doing this would be to get rid of "low-value" premier customers on whom the value of elite benefits exceeds the lifetime value of these customers, or at least doesn't meet a minimum value MP considers to be reasonably profitable.

What makes me curious to see the numbers is that I find it hard to believe that the elite benefits at each level are worth those PQD thresholds. Of course, loyalty programs are a business and we can't expect to get our spend back dollar-for-dollar via benefits. But what margin is MP working with? Inquiring minds would like to know.
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Old Jun 18, 13, 9:29 am
  #123  
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Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
I'm not in a position of authority, but unlike using price increases and shared reservation systems to signal price increases it's harder to imagine liability for announcing a revised program in advance so that flyers can plan accordingly.

Wouldn't we all be pretty outraged if United announced this change on Dec 31, 2013?
The post you were responding to was about airlines signalling to "competitors".

DL usually doesn't give such long lead advance notice to customers about changes that negatively impact DL customers, yet with the EQD/PQD stuff, it chose to do so. What some would give to see the results of a waterboarding of Jeff Robertson of DL SkyMiles infamy to inquire about the motivation behind the long advance notice, especially when some at DL HQ claimed it wasn't necessarily torture.
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Old Jun 18, 13, 9:30 am
  #124  
 
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I have a legit foreign address. If I change my address now, will that affect my co-branded credit card earnings?
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Old Jun 18, 13, 9:30 am
  #125  
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Originally Posted by timbre View Post
UA Insider: I would like an answer to this ... will $$ spend on PQMs and/or miles count towards PQDs?
If they don't end up including them, it will end that particular stream of ancillary revenue. Why bother buying PQMs when they won't help you reach status?

For example, thanks to sequestration, I'm flying less than before. Right now I'm going to end up close to PLAT, absent a last minute uptick in travel. This year if I end up around 65,000 miles, I'll probably splurge and buy enough PQM to lock PLAT in. Next year, no.
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Old Jun 18, 13, 9:31 am
  #126  
 
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Originally Posted by weirdlyndon View Post
What about flights booked with eCerts / travel credits?
Given that the ecerts provide an above-the-line price decrease I suspect that "spend" won't count.
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Old Jun 18, 13, 9:31 am
  #127  
 
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A couple of thoughts

1. 1K are punished in that their spend on UA credit cards doesn't give a waiver, where as it does give a waiver for Silver, Gold and Platinum. Always good to punish the ones who fly the most

2. With Global Service status being primarily based on spend anyways, the wording of the new structure implies that if you just have a high amount of spend and not much in the way of Butt in Seat Miles, you are SOL.

3. While there seems to be a lot of talk of defecting, I think you'll see all of the carriers do this or similar, so I am not sure there is much point.
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Old Jun 18, 13, 9:31 am
  #128  
 
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Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
Might be a good time to change your "official residence" - any downside to this?

Does the Premier qualifying dollars (PQD) requirement apply to members who reside outside of the United States?

No. 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.
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.

Got to say I wish this had been in practice for years. I have been paying easily $2500 or more x 2 (for myself and my child) for flights and sometimes barely making silver but then I hear of USA residents making 1K on $2,500. Spend didnt mean a thing, now it does. Probably too little, too late for me however.
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Old Jun 18, 13, 9:33 am
  #129  
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This is going to hurt some US-based, primarily-international-flying pax. I looked at the base fares for some of my $1000+ international tickets, and those base fares ranged from $250 to $450. Sure, some of the difference will count (whatever portions are deemed "airline imposed surcharges"), but one of the tickets had over $300 in straight-out taxes on it, too. I can see pax getting rather ticked that their "expensive" tickets don't actually count much.

As someone who flies primarily domestically and spends between 12 and 15cpm on average, I am not threatened (yet--UA will surely move these up over time)... but I sure can empathize with those who are.


Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Personally, I think this PQD/EQD thing is going to result in UA de facto encouraging a bunch of its customers to postpone buying tickets in the hopes of getting higher fares that help "better" meet the PQD/EQD criteria -- that is encouraging people to fleece others when using other people's money (OPM).
True for those who are required to buy the lowest fares--they may just wait and see if fares go up. Of course, if UA is counting on that behavior, they may be sorely mistaken when another carrier runs a sale or still has some el-cheapo inventory open close-in and UA just loses that business altogether.

Also, I see this as being a negative for inventory management, since it would make loads much more difficult to reliably predict in advance. Maybe that means more plane swaps as the date of travel approaches, but that's going to drive pax away who get tired of losing their seat assignments, meal requests, etc., every time their plane changes.
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Old Jun 18, 13, 9:33 am
  #130  
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Originally Posted by CO_Nonrev_elite View Post
A couple of thoughts

1. 1K are punished in that their spend on UA credit cards doesn't give a waiver, where as it does give a waiver for Silver, Gold and Platinum. Always good to punish the ones who fly the most

2. With Global Service status being primarily based on spend anyways, the wording of the new structure implies that if you just have a high amount of spend and not much in the way of Butt in Seat Miles, you are SOL.

3. While there seems to be a lot of talk of defecting, I think you'll see all of the carriers do this or similar, so I am not sure there is much point.
Maybe everyone should just start flying the cheapest airline every time and buy up to F if you feel like. Makes more sense than wasting $$$ on chasing PQDs.
This move just shows you air transport is becoming a commodity business.
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Old Jun 18, 13, 9:33 am
  #131  
 
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Originally Posted by trekwars2000 View Post
That is who I feel bad for. The leisure traveler that takes 5 transcons for $400 each. They get 27K miles for the year. They are not a high revenue flyer but they are a loyal "frequent flyer". They don't even get to book E+ until check-in anymore and are down to the same number of checked bags as someone that shells out $90 for a United CC.

That is the real travesty here.
My travels fit this pattern and here's my plan:
  1. Credit 27K miles to A3. *G status for 3 years (or until that gravy train runs out).
  2. Buy an E+ subscription - $700/yr covers me and wife. We fly SEA-PHL and with a stopover E+ adds up to $400+/trip for the two of us. Subscription pays for itself after the second trip.
For $2700 I get to have baggage and E+ benefits of Premier Gold. I don't get CPUs, but get lounge access for domestic travel. I don't have to worry about the complexities of what counts as PQD. If A3 goes bust, there's *G through OZ (40k miles every 2yrs), though redemption is trickier.
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Old Jun 18, 13, 9:33 am
  #132  
 
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Originally Posted by ddrost1 View Post
well. i guess i better go above and beyond to make it this year, then enjoy next year being a 1K since it will never happen again. here's to kayaking in 2014.
Yep. Although the writing's been on the wall on this one ever since DL did it.

Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
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.
Looks my UA CC just became more valuable as an elite...

Originally Posted by villox View Post
Aaand boom goes the dynamite.
I can kinda understand why the airlines are going this way. The requirement that the ticket be on 016 stock is unfortunate though. If I buy a LH stock ticket IAD-FRA, UA gets revenue through the JV - so why shouldn't it count?

Crappy IT aside...
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Old Jun 18, 13, 9:34 am
  #133  
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Originally Posted by sonic777 View Post
I hate this decision, but would have a hard time arguing that it doesn't make sense.

I would be so interested to see the analysis that went in to making this decision. I have to believe that it will considerably shrink the ranks, or it wouldn't make sense to do this. The business rationale for doing this would be to get rid of "low-value" premier customers on whom the value of elite benefits exceeds the lifetime value of these customers, or at least doesn't meet a minimum value MP considers to be reasonably profitable.

What makes me curious to see the numbers is that I find it hard to believe that the elite benefits at each level are worth those PQD thresholds. Of course, loyalty programs are a business and we can't expect to get our spend back dollar-for-dollar via benefits. But what margin is MP working with? Inquiring minds would like to know.
I understand it as well. Let's face it, the last few years it has been ridiculously cheap to attain status, which has increased competition for what perks that status gives us.

As far as the margin they are working with, I'm guessing that the reason they haven't decided on including any other ancillary purchase other than E+ is that they want to "thin the herd." Which, according to my brother, is exactly what DL is doing.
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Old Jun 18, 13, 9:34 am
  #134  
 
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
The post you were responding to was about airlines signalling to "competitors".

DL usually doesn't give such long lead advance notice to customers about changes that negatively impact DL customers, yet with the EQD/PQD stuff, it chose to do so. What some would give to see the results of a waterboarding of Jeff Robertson of DL SkyMiles infamy to inquire about the motivation behind the long advance notice, especially when some at DL HQ claimed it wasn't necessarily torture.
I understand what the post was about.

The supposed harm is that DL signaled to competitors that it was going to adopt a new FF model with the hope that its competitors would go along, which United did.

The defense (or claimed benefit) is that announcing in advance was not for anticompetitive purposes but rather to provide customers with knowledge of what they would have to do to obtain elite status. Indeed, knowledge of this change may make seeking elite status on DL or UA less attractive relative to alternatives--why be elite on DL or UA if next year you'll want to fly an airline without such requirements so can't use your elite status.

Both the harms and benefits would be considered before determining the signaling might have violated the antitrust laws.
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Old Jun 18, 13, 9:35 am
  #135  
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Originally Posted by RNE View Post
Winners: Premier passengers; they will face less competition.

Losers: Mileage runners; they will face reality.
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.

Originally Posted by RNE View Post
RNE, advising MRs to snag your cheap elite status this year. You won't have it after January 2015.
The truth indeed.
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