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New Premier Qualification Requirements for 2020: Only Spend or Spend + Flight Sectors

New Premier Qualification Requirements for 2020: Only Spend or Spend + Flight Sectors

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Old Jan 5, 20, 6:01 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: SPN Lifer
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tl;dr - PQMs/PQDs/PQS going away, replaced with PQPs. $1 = 1 PQP. See chart below for thresholds:
ex







New Status Measures
Premier Qualifying Points (PQP): Basically the same as PQD. Everything that was a PQD continues to count, plus:



  • Copay component of miles+copay upgrades
  • Paid upgrades (TOD or "sticker-type")
  • Travel on partner airlines on partner stock (awarded as a fraction of the distance, similar to DL)

Premier Qualifying Flights (PQF): Same as BIS segments (no class of service bonus) except Basic Economy and award tickets don't count.


PQP Earning on Partners
You can now earn PQP on non-016 tickets when flying eligible partners.

"Preferred" Partners (mostly JV partners): 1/5 of the RDM earned, excluding status bonuses (but including fare class) on AC AD AV CA CM EW LH LX NH NZ OS SN.
Others: 1/6 of the RDM earned, excluding status bonuses (but including fare class) on other airlines with MP earnings available.

Note: Because all partners earn RDM by distance when not on an 016-ticket, this effectively awards PQP by distance, from 40% in many JV First and Business cabins to 5% in things like LX K.

Preferred partners:

  • Air Canada
  • Air China
  • Air New Zealand
  • All Nippon Airways
  • Austrian Airlines
  • Avianca
  • Azul Brazilian Airlines
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Copa Airlines
  • Eurowings
  • Lufthansa
  • SWISS International Airlines
MileagePlus partners:

  • Aegean Airlines
  • Air Dolomiti
  • Air India
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Croatia Airlines
  • Edelweiss
  • EgyptAir
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • EVA Air
  • Juneyao Air
  • LOT Polish Airlines
  • Olympic Air
  • SAS
  • Shenzhen Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • South African Airways
  • TAP Air Portugal
  • Thai Airways International
  • Turkish Airlines

Bulk Tickets
Per UA Insider in this post: Yes you will now earn PQP on bulk tickets but not necessarily for the cash value since the price of the ticket is opaque. Bulk tickets will be equal to the award miles you earn for the ticket (excluding Premier bonus miles, if any) divided by 5.

Foreign Addresses
The PQD waiver for foreign MP addresses will no longer apply beginning in 2020.


Credit Card Holders
The PQD waivers and PQM earnings from all Chase cards are ending. Instead, Chase cards allow you to earn 500 PQP for every $12,000 of eligible spend, but only up to the following limits:

1,000 PQP / $24,000: MP Explorer, MP Club, MP Awards, and MP cards, plus their business equivalents (bonus PQP do not count for 1K)
3,000 PQP / $72,000: MP Select and MP Platinum cards
10,000 PQP / $240,000: Presidential Plus and PP Business cards

Existing Flexible PQM (FPQM) on eligible cards will become FPQP at a 5:1 ratio on 01-Apr-20 and will only be applicable through Platinum status.

Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
United is updating the way MileagePlus members qualify for Premier status in 2020 for the 2021 program year. We recognized that distance was not the best way for us to measure customer loyalty, which is why we are introducing a new qualification structure to better deliver Premier benefits to our most valued customers. In 2020, members will only need to account for two factors to earn status: number of flights taken (Premier Qualifying Flights) and value of tickets purchased (Premier Qualifying Points).

Premier Qualifying Flights (PQF): every flight, a takeoff and landing, will count as a PQF except Basic Economy and tickets booked using miles.

Premier Qualifying Points (PQP): 1 PQP = 1 U.S. dollar spent. You will earn PQPs on the base fare of your ticket (no taxes and fees), Economy Plus and Preferred seat purchases, and now on paid upgrades, MileagePlus upgrade award co-pays and credit for Star Alliance partner flights not ticketed or operated by United.

Qualification requirements for 2020
Hereís how members will qualify for each Premier status level starting January 1, 2020 for status in the 2021 program year:



United Cardmembers who are eligible for a PQD waiver, PQM, or Flexible PQM (FPQM) based on annual card spend will be offered new ways to earn Premier qualifying points (PQP) based on annual card spend. The ability to earn a PQD waiver, PQM, or FPQM on these cards will end on December 31, 2019.

Learn more: https://mileageplusupdates.com/milea...qualification/
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Old Oct 16, 19, 1:30 pm
  #1501  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: SEA, DUD, GLA
Programs: NZ Elite (*G)
Posts: 491
Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
That's the future. Partners AC and NZ do it, too.
Yes, but thankfully for me the NZ auction allocation occurs after all upgrades have been processed.
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Old Oct 16, 19, 1:34 pm
  #1502  
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Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
Have you forgotten how quickly the economy collapsed in 2008? Things can turn upside down very quickly. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKBN1WV1NG
A lot of people have brought up the issue of a recession. I think the issue is that recessions are short and expansions are long. United should plan to maximize profits when times are good. Recessions should be weathered and not embedded in strategic planning.
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Old Oct 16, 19, 1:41 pm
  #1503  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Well, it's clear United doesn't value most of its frequent flyers. That's their choice. I'm pretty surprised they took it this far (but not shocked by anything they do nowadays). And I realize they don't care, but I know a lot of people who fly mostly internationally who currently only choose United most of the time because the high level status they earn and its benefits. Pretty much all of them prefer to fly their home country airlines if the benefits are similar. It's a slam dunk certainty that nearly all of them are going to fly United a lot less after 2020. But it's clear that United must have decided they don't want these customers because these changes are designed to disincentivize them to fly on United the most.

Personally, even though I stopped chasing status a couple of years ago, these changes definitely seal the deal. My business trips are at low negotiated fares often cheaper than I can get on personal trips. And they are all in economy, by employer mandate. So it would be absurd for me to artificially spend much more than I need to and fly extra segments unnecessarily to maintain premier status going forward. My only regret is that I chose United miles to convert my boatload of Marriott points a year or two ago. I should have known better. It's unlikely now that I am going to find a very good use for them.
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Old Oct 16, 19, 1:42 pm
  #1504  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Programs: Delta Plat; UA 1MM (former 1K)
Posts: 1,234
Before bolting for Delta, I last made 1K in 2017 with 12,840 PQP ($14,798 gross) and 30 PQF (123,120 PQM). I've been contemplating a return to United, but this wouldn't even qualify me for Platinum. And I already have Gold for life, so why be loyal?
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Old Oct 16, 19, 1:45 pm
  #1505  
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Originally Posted by PaulMCO View Post
Now the 30+ years UA flying, I did manage to reach 3MM, so now I wait for UA to announce that they are changing the MM program, or prioritize upgrades based on PQPs
Thatís a change that I could see happening. I donít for a moment agree with those that believe that there will be any major change in the MM program. The entry requirements could change in the future, but not the program itself. What I could see happening is what you suggest, prioritization of upgrades, most likely within elite levels, of PQPs or just spending. Thatís a change that would impact everyone.
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Old Oct 16, 19, 1:51 pm
  #1506  
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Originally Posted by quantumslip View Post
It will be interesting to see what happens if UA does get it wrong and moving to such high requirements backfires, and they end up reducing the thresholds. Has there ever been an instance where a FF program actually walked back / reduced requirements in a significant way (and not like a one-off like Double EQM during the recession with pmCO?)

But it seems like UA (at least in their view) is fairly confident about the thresholds, so people hoping for things to be made easier probably won't get it.
I donít recall any major rollbacks, but, as you said, they could temporarily tweak things: add a multiplier to segments or spend something like that. I donít see a wholesale reversal on the cards.
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Old Oct 16, 19, 1:51 pm
  #1507  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: UA MileagePlus (Premier Gold); Hilton HHonors (Gold); Chase Ultimate Rewards; Amex Plat
Posts: 2,604
Originally Posted by GrizShel View Post
Well, it's clear United doesn't value most of its frequent flyers. That's their choice. I'm pretty surprised they took it this far (but not shocked by anything they do nowadays). And I realize they don't care, but I know a lot of people who fly mostly internationally who currently only choose United most of the time because the high level status they earn and its benefits. Pretty much all of them prefer to fly their home country airlines if the benefits are similar. It's a slam dunk certainty that nearly all of them are going to fly United a lot less after 2020. But it's clear that United must have decided they don't want these customers because these changes are designed to disincentivize them to fly on United the most.
I'm actually surprised that they are making it this blatantly obvious what they want. If they had gotten rid of PQD but reduced earnings on S and lower fares to 10-30%, H fares to 50%, etc., and made buy-ups earn some bonus amount of PQM, increased PQM earnings for paid F and J to be some multiple of fare class, and made partner PQM earned depend on whether they were a "preferred" partner or not if not flying on a 016 ticket, they probably could have accomplished the same thing but we wouldn't be talking about it the same way. It probably would have taken FT collectively about a week to process the new changes and even then, it's not as obvious because you don't know how many cpm you're paying for a G fare, etc.

Originally Posted by GrizShel View Post
Personally, even though I stopped chasing status a couple of years ago, these changes definitely seal the deal. My business trips are at low negotiated fares often cheaper than I can get on personal trips. And they are all in economy, by employer mandate. So it would be absurd for me to artificially spend much more than I need to and fly extra segments unnecessarily to maintain premier status going forward. My only regret is that I chose United miles to convert my boatload of Marriott points a year or two ago. I should have known better. It's unlikely now that I am going to find a very good use for them.
Didn't Marriott devalue their points big time not too long ago? The only way to not "lose" the points game is to not keep large amounts of points in your account in the first place. Points are a currency and a single company has the power to unilaterally devalue them, and often, these companies do.
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Old Oct 16, 19, 1:53 pm
  #1508  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 9,891
Originally Posted by ContinentalFan View Post
...At any rate, it was easy to parse the statement to conclude that there would be a redistribution within the ranks of elites.
Yeah, the more I think about it, the more I think UA knows what will happen. They have all the booking and money data of current frequent flyers in front of them. I think some 1Ks will go down due to $ or flights, but they'll be replaced by some $-only qualifiers who are currently Plat. I think they have an error bar in their predictions at each level that narrows from Silver to 1K - and error at the lowest level is less important.
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Old Oct 16, 19, 1:55 pm
  #1509  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: SFO
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Originally Posted by GrizShel View Post
Well, it's clear United doesn't value most of its frequent flyers. ... And I realize they don't care, but I know a lot of people who fly mostly internationally who currently only choose United most of the time because the high level status they earn and its benefits.
I think it's clear that United doesn't value those who fly long distances; they value those who spend a lot of money. Those are two different groups with a Venn overlap in the middle. I have traditionally flown long international flights a couple of times a year in paid, low-fare business, and maintained my status as Platinum or 1K. Not surprisingly they don't want to continue to reward me for that; they want to reward the road warrior who gets on their airplanes every week and spends a lot more cumulatively than I ever have.

People are still stuck on the concept of "miles" counting for anything - they don't any more. Nada. Zilch. Money counts, and number of flights can also help if you're spending a lot already.
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Old Oct 16, 19, 1:55 pm
  #1510  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: LAX
Programs: UA Plat MM, CM Plat, Amex Plat, Hertz CP, Hyatt Globalist, SPG Gold, Vons Club
Posts: 4,332
Will BE TATL Flights accrue for MM Status

I recently took a flight to BCN and while I only received 50% Flight mileage accrual I did receive 100% towards MM accrual ( I m working on 2MM)

With that said I believe dollars will no longer be accrued on BE TATL fares but Iím unsure about MM status. Iíve been reading most of this thread but I just canít recall seeing this addressed.
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Old Oct 16, 19, 1:58 pm
  #1511  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 9,891
Originally Posted by Flying Machine View Post
...I believe dollars will no longer be accrued on BE TATL fares but I’m unsure about MM status. I’ve been reading most of this thread but I just can’t recall seeing this addressed.
No change in miles towards lifetime miles. 100% for BE.
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Old Oct 16, 19, 2:01 pm
  #1512  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton ♦ , Hyatt Carbonado, Wyndham ♦, Marriott PE, "Stinking Bum" elsewhere.
Posts: 3,369
Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
Didn't Marriott devalue their points big time not too long ago? The only way to not "lose" the points game is to not keep large amounts of points in your account in the first place. Points are a currency and a single company has the power to unilaterally devalue them, and often, these companies do.
Good Advice! Spending them as soon as it's feasible is a wise plan of action

What's interesting is that Hilton keeps devaluing their points but then, in mitigation, adds promos and milestone bonuses that allow people such as myself, who spend a ton of nights in hotels every year (I'm currently around 200), to earn enough extra points to offset most of the devaluation. UA has made earning RDM harder and is going to cut their value massively in November in a knock-on devaluation.
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Old Oct 16, 19, 2:02 pm
  #1513  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat; *A Gold; Marriott Gold
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Originally Posted by ContinentalFan View Post
I donít recall any major rollbacks, but, as you said, they could temporarily tweak things: add a multiplier to segments or spend something like that. I donít see a wholesale reversal on the cards.
I agree, they should be able to handle with targeted bonuses to get the result they want. A few years back, after they'd switched the PS service from JFK to EWR they were apparently having difficulty selling those tickets. So they sent out a targeted bonus of 5,000 PQM for flying PS roundtrip to EWR. I hopped on it by moving around some of my travel and I"m sure so did many others. They could do something similar to help boost up 1K and Platinum ranks and get their loads back up if they sag.
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Old Oct 16, 19, 2:02 pm
  #1514  
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Originally Posted by Max 747400 View Post
I am 200,000 short of MM.

My home airport is SNA so I try to fly from SNA; however, if I can save enough money I fly from LAX.
  • LAX-SFO-PEK-SFO-LAX = 12,826 for $320 = 2.5 cpm (Including the 500 mile minimum for the LAX-SFO-LAX flights)
  • LAX-SFO-HKG-SFO-LAX = 14,854 for $393 = 2.6 cpm (Including the 500 mile minimum for the LAX-SFO-LAX flights)
I would fly anywhere if I can get the cpm to workout between 2.0 - 3.0.
HKG is great. When Iím determining the cpm, I include the hotel and MTA to/from the airport. The overall cost is still excellent.

SNA is a good place to be. In June, using ITA matrix, I found UA flights LAX/MEL for $600. If I left from ONT or SNA (I forget which, I think ONT) the fare jumped up by $30/$40, but added 2,000 miles: ONT/SFO/LAX/MEL/LAX/SFO/ONT.
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Old Oct 16, 19, 2:05 pm
  #1515  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 3,359
Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
I'm actually surprised that they are making it this blatantly obvious what they want. If they had gotten rid of PQD but reduced earnings on S and lower fares to 10-30%, H fares to 50%, etc., and made buy-ups earn some bonus amount of PQM, increased PQM earnings for paid F and J to be some multiple of fare class, and made partner PQM earned depend on whether they were a "preferred" partner or not if not flying on a 016 ticket, they probably could have accomplished the same thing but we wouldn't be talking about it the same way. It probably would have taken FT collectively about a week to process the new changes and even then, it's not as obvious because you don't know how many cpm you're paying for a G fare, etc.
The problem with that approach is it still ties earnings to fare class. As we all know it's possible to get dirt cheap J fares from time to time on UA and others. The challenge for UA was how do they insist on an all PQD approach when their partners (and themselves) won't share PQD data with them. The last thing UA wanted to do was penalize the international traveller who resides outside the US from choosing LH over say UA. However, ironically this is precisely what the system is doing. You can get far more PQP on an AC PY fare than a comparable PP fare.

At the end of the day UA needs to go back to the drawing board and ask them who does this status attract? It's clearly not those flying in Premium cabins since they get the benefits already and all the airlines are fighting tooth and nail for that profitable segment of the market. If I'm spending $3K-$4K flying SFO > HKG in J, do you honestly think for one moment that I'd want to fly UA when there are several other airlines offering superior service (i.e. CX and SQ to name but a few). Instead, it is people like me who have limited discretionary spend on travel, who is willing to stick with one airline if they know their K fare nabs them some of the bennies found in Premium Cabin (i.e. extra baggage allowance and lounge access).

If I was them, I would've kept the program as is, but changed the PQM accruals across partners and UA so that UA always had the most preferable earnings. Loyal customers like me have no qualms flying through the US and dealing with the hassles it entails (i.e. learning immigration and customs, re-checking bags) if we're earning significantly towards a program that values us.



Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
Didn't Marriott devalue their points big time not too long ago? The only way to not "lose" the points game is to not keep large amounts of points in your account in the first place. Points are a currency and a single company has the power to unilaterally devalue them, and often, these companies do.
They did, although some people won in that transaction (i.e. holders of SPG points) whilst others clearly lost (i.e. loyal Marriott members). Your analysis here is spot on, the only people winning in the points game are those who spend those points on premium awards and blog about it on their Instagram profile or website such as One Referral at a Time (ORAAT). The fact that these influencers are soaking in all the bennies whilst I am sitting in cattle class is one of the reasons why I resolved to burn through most of my points in 2020. However, I won't even call the points a currency since aside from a couple of notable currencies (i.e. Reichsmarks and Zimbabwean Dollar) they tend to be relatively stable over time.

Safe Travels,

James
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