Losing Silver

Old Dec 27, 19, 5:42 pm
  #1  
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Losing Silver

Ok. Admittedly Iím not a huge flyer, but when I do - I like the perks.

Last year, I did a bunch of traveling and got United Silver. Itís expiring. I know I can get a united card - but it doesnít get you premier check in and priority bags plus an upgrade to plus if available.

I know those are petty things to 1k etc - but any way to get back to Silver? Do they match Marriott gold, etc? Any tricks.

Thank you!
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Old Dec 27, 19, 5:44 pm
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Get the club card and the economy plus subscription and you will basically have Gold+
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Old Dec 27, 19, 6:00 pm
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Originally Posted by serialportme View Post
Ok. Admittedly Iím not a huge flyer, but when I do - I like the perks.

Last year, I did a bunch of traveling and got United Silver. Itís expiring. I know I can get a united card - but it doesnít get you premier check in and priority bags plus an upgrade to plus if available. ...
The credit cards give you Premier Access (BG2) and a free checked bag for you and a companion) (on United) (Club card is 2 bags)
No card provides E+ access (that can be purchased as a subscription -- starting at $600)

Marriott Gold gets nothing on UA.
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Old Dec 27, 19, 6:07 pm
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Originally Posted by united 1k flyer View Post
Get the club card and the economy plus subscription and you will basically have Gold+
Why the Club when the Explorer (with cheaper AF) would cover the essential, especially for an infrequent traveler?
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Old Dec 27, 19, 6:13 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by serialportme View Post
Ok. Admittedly Iím not a huge flyer, but when I do - I like the perks.

Last year, I did a bunch of traveling and got United Silver. Itís expiring. I know I can get a united card - but it doesnít get you premier check in and priority bags plus an upgrade to plus if available.

I know those are petty things to 1k etc - but any way to get back to Silver? Do they match Marriott gold, etc? Any tricks.

Thank you!
An explorer card gets you all the benefits of silver, except for free E+ and upgrades (latter rarely happens anyway). That includes priority access (priority check in line, priority security line (made obsolete by Pre-check for many), priority boarding and priority bags (in the cases it actually works)). Card also gets you 2 Club passes. E+ can be bought for each instance, or as part of a subscription (which are better than the silver benefit anyway, as you can select a seat at booking vs. taking whatever is left at check in). Upgrades can also be bought relatively cheaply, at least domestically, anytime from booking to departure (based on availability). So all those benefits for silver can be bought...most of them at $95/year. That's one way. Depending on how much you traveled this year, you may be offered an opportunity to buy silver back at some point in January, but its typically not a price I would ever pay.

So there are ways to get basically everything you had as a silver, without traveling that much to have it.

Many more will be close to losing these benefits around this time next year, when the Premier program basically becomes a club for only those traveling for business, or those who do as few as 1-2 long-haul trips a year in paid premium cabin. I know this 10+ year UA premier member of all levels between Silver and Platinum (and his wife) won't be able to make it next year, and I'm sure we won't be the only ones. I'll probably have a slight preference for UA again next year to use the benefits I still have, but will be transitioning towards full airline free agency. While UA does serve the places I go well, maybe slightly better than competition, it's not that much better, and since I practically have to make a connection every time from where I live to where I'm going anyway, whether that happens at ORD, CLT, or ATL is mostly irrelevant. I'll base carrier based on best schedule, price and value.
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Old Dec 27, 19, 6:18 pm
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If youíre likely to fly fewer than three RT trans cons then it might be more cost effective to buy E+ a la carte rather than as a subscription.

BG2 is the only reason Iím holding on to the explorer card. I moved almost all my travel off UA this year and am lapsing from Silver to general member, too.
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Old Dec 28, 19, 8:59 am
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Thanks for all the replies.

Explorer Card doesnít get priority checkin or bags, just priority boarding. Those are to things I liked about Silver. I suppose buying E+ is cheaper than any other option, but I probably will never do - I always want the least expensive flights.

Appreciate you confirming Iím not alone in losing Silver and what went along with it. Everyone seems to complain about United benefits because other airlines do it better, but living near EWR no other airline is close in terms of direct destinations.

Thanks! Any other comments appreciated.

Originally Posted by united 1k flyer View Post
Get the club card and the economy plus subscription and you will basically have Gold+
Point taken, but at $1050 - it canít be worth it

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Dec 28, 19 at 12:46 pm Reason: merged consecutive posts by same member
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Old Dec 28, 19, 9:56 am
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Marriott Titanium matches to United Silver
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Old Dec 28, 19, 4:52 pm
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Originally Posted by serialportme View Post
Ok. Admittedly Iím not a huge flyer, but when I do - I like the perks.

Last year, I did a bunch of traveling and got United Silver. Itís expiring. I know I can get a united card - but it doesnít get you premier check in and priority bags plus an upgrade to plus if available.

I know those are petty things to 1k etc - but any way to get back to Silver? Do they match Marriott gold, etc? Any tricks.

Thank you!
I am not certain that you have actually truly lost anything.



Originally Posted by chrisl137 View Post
If youíre likely to fly fewer than three RT trans cons then it might be more cost effective to buy E+ a la carte rather than as a subscription.
Exactly. For the amount one has to spend to be a silver the limited benefit from silver could probably be achieved with less without having to tie one's self to a specific airline
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Old Dec 28, 19, 7:17 pm
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Originally Posted by serialportme View Post
Explorer Card doesnít get priority checkin or bags, just priority boarding. Those are to things I liked about Silver. I suppose buying E+ is cheaper than any other option, but I probably will never do - I always want the least expensive flights.
You get one free bag with silver, and I'm not sure that there's any priority to it. I haven't checked bags on UA in ages, so I'm not sure if they've even gone to a tag it yourself and drop it off like everybody else, but I've done that on AS and WN to check bikes (UA charges so much to take a bike that it's cheaper to fly anybody else, and AS treats bikes like regular bags) and not had to deal with any kind of lines. And get precheck or global entry to get through the TSA lines, even the explorer card offers it as a benefit now - don't bother with the premier lines.

As far as priority check-in, if you're Silver you have to check in at T-24+.000001 seconds anyway to snag your E+ seat. I got so used to doing that for years on UA that I still do it on AS, even though you get their version of E+ at T-48 at their Silver equivalent level.

Last week for the holidays I flew UA out on an award ticket, and DL back on an award ticket from Chase. I got free E+ on UA, and I used some DL miles that I've had sitting around for a long time to upgrade my seat to C+ and it wasn't so bad. If you want the perks, buy a ticket that isn't Basic Economy and then get them a la carte. It's cheaper than doing a lot of extra flying to get status that doesn't give you a lot of benefits, and it takes up a lot less of your time. When I switched back to flying a lot on UA several years ago after not flying a lot, I'd lapsed back to general member, and the E+ subscription plus Explorer card worked pretty well. It also gets you E+ at booking (like Gold) instead of at T-24.
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Old Dec 30, 19, 8:02 am
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Originally Posted by united 1k flyer View Post
Get the club card and the economy plus subscription and you will basically have Gold+
Or if you're not even flying enough for Silver, just buy the premium cabin. Can't be that expensive overall.
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Old Dec 30, 19, 2:19 pm
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Spend your way to Silver without flying

With two of the UA credit cards for 2020 you can basically buy Silver and Gold Status with spending levels. I'm losing my Silver come Feb but with the spending status card won't be hard to get it back. 50K spending on B6 CC got me Mosaic. I fly B6 like 3 times a year. I fly United at least once a month. But this year was a weird year and I ended up on every airline but UA. Only 4 segments this year on UA out of 50+ segments flown . But tomorrow on UA will actually use my *S status to CPU to J.

"The UnitedSM Presidential PlusSM Card and UnitedSM Presidential PlusSM Business Card earn 500 PQP for every $12,000 in card spend, up to 10,000 PQP in a calendar year, that can be applied up to 1K"


120K spend to obtain Silver
240K spend to obtain Gold

Still have to fly 4 segments though I believe.
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Old Dec 30, 19, 3:08 pm
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I bounce between silver and GM on United every few years.

Go free-agent and buy benefits a la carte as you want/need them. I have the Explorer card for BG2 and I buy E+/F when the price is right. Pre is a more useful than priority lines at security anyways.

Loyalty is pointless for flyers in this tier.
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Old Dec 30, 19, 4:55 pm
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Originally Posted by txflyer77 View Post
I bounce between silver and GM on United every few years.

Go free-agent and buy benefits a la carte as you want/need them. I have the Explorer card for BG2 and I buy E+/F when the price is right. Pre is a more useful than priority lines at security anyways.

Loyalty is pointless for flyers in this tier.
I tend to agree. When I was starting out, I made my first mileage run in December LAX-EWR-PBI in order to make silver. I just wanted to see myself on the upgrade waitlist. Now I'm at a different place in life and United does not fulfill my travel requirements very well any more. Alaska does and rather than stress about making status on Alaska, I just pay for first class. I'm sure I'm saving money in the long run vs. chasing status.
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Old Jan 1, 20, 4:16 pm
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Same here. After years of "status", I'm down to genpop this year, had Silver last year mostly because I had the ancient Presidential Plus card that I cancelled. No longer even silver, but the Explorer card gets me most of the same stuff anyway.

Originally Posted by therossinator View Post
I tend to agree. When I was starting out, I made my first mileage run in December LAX-EWR-PBI in order to make silver. I just wanted to see myself on the upgrade waitlist. Now I'm at a different place in life and United does not fulfill my travel requirements very well any more. Alaska does and rather than stress about making status on Alaska, I just pay for first class. I'm sure I'm saving money in the long run vs. chasing status.
Completely agree with this. After 30 years of heavy travel, 2-8 flights per week, I'm a free agent. Did the cheapo credit cards on a few airlines (Jetblue, UA, AA, etc,) so I can get bags and earlier boarding, But these days, doing more international travel and United simply doesn't offer anything better than any other airline, and usually its way more expensive on UA anyway.

I too
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