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Is it worth it to stretch for Plat (over Gold)? [2019 Consolidated]

Is it worth it to stretch for Plat (over Gold)? [2019 Consolidated]

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Old Nov 22, 19, 6:20 am   -   Wikipost
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The value of Platinum status over Gold status is generally a "YMMV" situation. Different people will value different benefits in different ways. Here are the most commonly cited differences that people mention:
  • 2 RPUs (none for Gold), for 2020 it will be 40 Plus Points (good for 2 North American or 1 previous GPU-equivalent W-fare upgrade)
  • Improved chances at CPUs through higher priority
  • 8 companions in E+ on the same itinerary vs. 1 companion
  • 3x 70 lb. bags on UA instead of 2x, although plats and golds have exact same additional bag allowance provided to *G on other Star Alliance carriers
  • Greater RDM earning rate (9x instead of 8x base fare)
  • Free award reservation changes, cancellations, miles redeposits if 61 days or more before departure, otherwise $50
  • Somewhat improved premium cabin award space availability (unclear how the change to dynamic awards post Nov 2019 will impact this)
  • Five drink chits
  • Presidential Circle status with Hertz

Plat is the highest level still eligible for Chase MP-branded credit card spend waiver of PQD requirements and also the highest elite elite achievable using FlexPQMs .

A list of differences is available here: Premier benefits chart

Related threads
[Consolidated] "I need XXX UA PQD's/PQMs/PQSs in 2019 for Elite Status in 2020"

UA/Star Alliance: 2019 Consolidated Mileage/Status/Challenge Runs help needed

Previous thread(s)
Is it worth it to stretch for Plat (over Gold)? [2018 Consolidated]

Is it worth it to stretch for Plat (over Gold)? [2017 Consolidated]

Is it worth it to stretch for Plat (over Gold)? [2016 Consolidated]
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Old Apr 21, 19, 11:57 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2015
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Is it worth it to stretch for Plat (over Gold)? [2019 Consolidated]

So I had thought I would be moving overseas at the end of the year but it has been delayed a year. Unless I get a client requesting a couple of TATL/TPAC flights I suspect I will not be making 1K this year although on track for PQM of 150k. My PQD will be around $10k. I would stretch to $12k but not willing to go to $15k. I really only care about GPUs on red eyes and the reported TODs seem attractive (I rarely see them as I have applied GPUs).

What this means for me is for my red eye flights I will probably book PP (R) and everything else cheap fares (not BE). Historically I book W to use GPUs but when I run out of GPUs I book K and apply miles if I want the upgrade.

I was thinking to use my MP CC to get the waiver for Platinum but I pay for AMEX Platinum and so am thinking of getting rid of the MP CC unless Platinum is significantly better than Gold. As a 1MM I am already at Gold.

I realize as a Platinum I get an RPU but I usually use these to upgrade a friend on a flight. I do not really eat or drink on domestic flights so CPU availability although a nice benefit is not a determining factor for me.

I am starting to think about my flights for Q120 and realized that I can book directly on Star Alliance as I will no longer be beholden to the almighty PQD, and will probably move more of my travel to OAL - which ever is the least expensive flight. I do fly OAL but probably only 20k miles a year. However, trying to determine if I should aim for Platinum.

When I relocate I will move enough travel back to United to make 1K. Just annoyed the timing is not better since PQD will be irrelevant.

Looking for pros and cons of Gold (which I have for life) vs Platinum. TIA.
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Old Apr 21, 19, 12:03 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
I was thinking to use my MP CC to get the waiver for Platinum but I pay for AMEX Platinum and so am thinking of getting rid of the MP CC unless Platinum is significantly better than Gold
My opinion -- no, it's not worth stretching for.
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 21, 19 at 12:27 pm Reason: cleanup after title change; thanks for the link
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Old Apr 21, 19, 12:22 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
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When I was a Plat, the one tangible benefit over Gold I enjoyed regularly was BG1. That no longer exists so if I drop from 1K this year, I don't think I would care to make Plat either.
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Old Apr 21, 19, 12:47 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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I have always been a proponent of being platinum, because whenever using upgrades we are just one step above the golds. I get the occasional CPU on non hub to hub routes and using my RPU on PS service has been fruitful this year, even a 1K buddy has sponsored me a few times and been traveling on the 787- 10 between LAX and EWR In business quite often due to the RPUí clearing. I somewhat think being platinum has helped that. On the other hand even though platinumís and golds board in group one, thatís a non issue for me, However, I have phoned in a few times recently and have noticed that Iím getting 5 to 10 minute hold times, while tthis hasnít happened in the past being a platinum. If you have the mileage plus explorer card itís only $95 a year I too have Amex platinum and I keep them both,

Last edited by Flying Machine; Apr 21, 19 at 1:40 pm
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Old Apr 21, 19, 1:25 pm
  #5  
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So lets see if the calculus changes at all from previous years after the devaluation.

Not likely?
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Old Apr 21, 19, 2:27 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
So lets see if the calculus changes at all from previous years after the devaluation.

Not likely?
Yes, I think it does. Now that Plat has merged with Gold for Group 1 boarding, the only significant benefits (as of Jan 2019 are IMO

(1) E+ for 8 passengers (can be significant savings for family trips). However, I now have lifetime gold so the E+ access is irrelevant for my family of 4 as Mrs. B also gets lifetime Gold.

(2) 2 RPUs. After 4 months I have been unable to use RPUs on the transcon flights I wanted which is par for the course - same experience as last year. I would say RPUs have some value but too speculative to justify a mileage run.

(3) Purported access to additional saver award inventory. Currently it is very easy to compare the awards by logging in and out of .bomb. I often see TATL business class saver award options when logged in that disappear when logged out.

But going forward into 2020 I simply expect that I will see the same "saver" awards priced 2x-5x higher as is the case on DL. No thanks.

Also the $50 award rez change fee was potentially a big perk as we often found saver award inventory appears 1-2 weeks before ETD. But now with dynamic pricing those saver awards my be priced 2x-5x higher, so that perk/discount becomes largely worthless.

Ironically I expect to easily qualify for Plat this year, but won't be going out of my way to earn 1K. Might even re-direct some trips to AS partners so I can get valuable elite perks on AS!
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Last edited by Boraxo; Apr 21, 19 at 2:32 pm
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Old Apr 21, 19, 3:56 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by Flying Machine View Post
...If you have the mileage plus explorer card itís only $95 a year I too have Amex platinum and I keep them both,
The MP CC is a hangover from when the fee was refunded and they paid for GE. Moved to AMEX Platinum to access the Centruion and Priority Pass lounges. The lounge access, paying for GE and the monthly uber credits supports the $550 each year.

MP CC gets me extra miles with United but if I move to OAL then the extra miles will not be as attractive and as I will be moving outside the USA do not want a US CC. My AMEX cards have enabled me to get a CC in whichever country I was living. TBH: in Australia I used Diners Club but the US was a difficult place to use this card when I moved to the USA so stuck with AMEX.

The only reason to keep the MP CC would be for the PQD waiver at Platinum but I will make Platinum this year without the waiver and next year will not be aiming for Platinum unless my move will happen before December 2020 but it is more likely to be in 2021.

Gold it is based on all these reports. Will be nice to be a free agent, although will miss the IRROPs protection as a 1K.

Last edited by Aussienarelle; Apr 21, 19 at 5:39 pm
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Old Apr 21, 19, 6:04 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
The only reason to keep the MP CC would be for the PQD waiver at Platinum
One other benefit that you can't get elsewhere is CPU on award tickets.

Originally Posted by Boraxo View Post
the only significant benefits (as of Jan 2019 are IMO
You left out fee waivers. Those can be quite significant.
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Old Apr 21, 19, 6:15 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
You left out fee waivers. Those can be quite significant.
The difference in fees between Gold and Plat is $25 per ticket, and with the devaluation, it's likely that you'll be less inclined to make last-minute changes anyway, as the number of miles required is likely to increase close-in.
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Old Apr 21, 19, 6:21 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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With everything I have read here seems like most are not in favor of platinum versus gold. Thanks, I hope
my upgrades clear before you:-) And donít forget the Hertz benefit

Seems to me the same sentiment as years ago when many were defecting from United to AA, then once UA turned around not everyone liked AA. Personally I actually enjoy flying with United, never have an issue, and when I do Iím compensated in a way that it appeases me. So Iíll continue my platinum status even though I have lifetime gold.

Last edited by Flying Machine; Apr 21, 19 at 6:26 pm
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Old Apr 21, 19, 6:42 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Flying Machine View Post
With everything I have read here seems like most are not in favor of platinum versus gold. Thanks, I hope
my upgrades clear before you:-) And don’t forget the Hertz benefit

Seems to me the same sentiment as years ago when many were defecting from United to AA, then once UA turned around not everyone liked AA. Personally I actually enjoy flying with United, never have an issue, and when I do I’m compensated in a way that it appeases me. So I’ll continue my platinum status even though I have lifetime gold.
No one is denying that, all else being equal, Plat is a better status to hold than Gold. The question is, what is it worth? If I'm going to end a year with $8950 PQD or 74,500 PQM, I'll shell out to get to Plat. But if I'm at $8500 PQD or 70,000 PQM, I'll stick with Gold.

The Hertz benefit is a great example, actually -- it's another benefit that was significantly watered down. The new booking site is awful; the rates are poor, and the two-day rental minimum makes it less useful for short trips. And the difference between Gold and Platinum is only an extra 250 miles, and President's Circle vs. Five Star.

This isn't really equivalent to people saying they're going to dump the program; the thread topic is "should you stretch?" I continue to believe that the only status levels worth attaining are GS, 1K, and Gold. There's just not enough incremental benefit at Platinum to make it worth any extensive effort.
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Old Apr 21, 19, 7:53 pm
  #12  
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I strongly agree; Plat is only worth anything if you need the extra E+ access.
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Old Apr 21, 19, 8:31 pm
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
The only reason to keep the MP CC would be for the PQD waiver at Platinum but I will make Platinum this year without the waiver and next year will not be aiming for Platinum unless my move will happen before December 2020 but it is more likely to be in 2021.
The following is copied from the United web site. The United web site said the MP CC provides a PQD waiver for 2018. What about 2019 and future years?

Waiver for PQD requirement

In 2018, the PQD requirement is waived for Premier Silver, Premier Gold and Premier Platinum qualification if you meet one of the following criteria:
  •  
    • You spend at least $25,000 in Net Purchases during that calendar year on MileagePlus co-branded credit cards issued by Chase Bank USA, N.A.;
      OR
    • You hold a United MileagePlus Presidential PlusSM Card.footnote*
    This PQD waiver does not apply for Premier 1K qualification.
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Old Apr 21, 19, 8:51 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by bamboola View Post
The following is copied from the United web site. The United web site said the MP CC provides a PQD waiver for 2018. What about 2019 and future years?...
The wording is standard and is updated each year for the present year. It has never been promised to be more than the present year. No reason to read the present phrasing with a new concern.

Each year this creates some anxiety for fears it may not be extended that year, such as Will PQD waivers (MP credit cards) continue in 2018? The wording has been updated in mid to late January each year.
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Old Apr 23, 19, 2:42 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
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Stretching to Platinum to me is a function of how many FPQMs I have. While I did not need them last year for 2019, I have used a few over the years to maintain Platinum status.
So is it worth a stretch for 2020 status:
I have not taken advantage of the reduced fees or 3 checked bags.
E+ for 8 makes for some value.
Upgrades CPU/RPUs work for me on occasion.
Greater availability of Premium Class award travel has happened, but not as an award upgrade that I am aware of... although that waitlisted upgrade to Polaris on our EWR-LHR flight in May did just come through. Hmmm.
Most importantly we get an actual physical card to obsess over.
Also, I get to be exactly in the middlemost tier of elite flying.

It was more fun when Platinum was truly 1K light in the years right after the merger, but we move forward.
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