Elite Levels (UA)

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Premier Qualification Period

Premier status is granted when the requirements are met in one calendar year (January 1st - December 31st). Status earning is cumulative and you do not "reset" to base zero on achieving each level of status. There are 4 levels of Premier Status granted on the basis of Premier Qualifying Miles or Segments in a calendar year:

  • Premier Silver
  • Premier Gold
  • Premier Platinum
  • Premier 1K

There is also an invitation level, not based on miles or segments, except for 4 Million Lifetime Miles:

  • Global Services (GS)

Global Services is usually a direct invitation from United to a Mileage Plus member that has reached certain (unpublished) revenue levels for United Airlines. GSes have unpublished benefits, but for the most part these benefits appear to exceed those of 1Ks. As of late 2007, all GS members are made 1K automatically, regardless of their PQM/PQS status. (Previously, GS members were made 1P automatically, but could earn 1K the "usual" way.)

A 2P, 1P, PP or 1K status level can be attained at any time during the year and will be in effect through the rest of that year, the following year, and through the last day of January of the year after that. So for example, if a non-premier achieves Silver in April of 2012, he will be Silver until January 31, 2014, unless he achieves Silver status again in 2013, or in the first month of 2014 (in the former case, he would be a Silver through January 31, 2015, in the latter case he would be a Silver through January 31, 2016).

Qualifying for Yearly Premier Status

There are two different counters that can be used to qualify for Mileage Plus Premier Status:

  • Premier Qualifying Miles (PQM)
  • Premier Qualifying Segments (PQS)

Generally, PQM and PQS are earned by flying on flights operated by UA and UX or qualifying flights operated by other Star Alliance airlines. (Some Star Alliance-operated flights do not earn PQM/PQS, or earn partial PQM/PQS. (FT)) Several years ago, United allowed some PQMs/PQSs to be carried forward to the next year as a reward to members that achieved certain PQM/PQS milestones, but that program is long gone. In addition, United's Mileage Plus Visa card will allow miles earned on the card to be redeemed for EQMs via the "Choices" program. The Platinum Class Mileage Plus Visa Card will also grant a Mileage Plus member 5000 PQMs after the first time the card is used, 1 PQM per $1 spent on airfare purchased on united.com (up to 5000 PQMs annually), and another 5000 PQMs (annually) for spending more than $35,000 during the calendar year.

Some airfares also provide a 50% PQM/PQS bonus, including non-discounted economy fares (B/Y), and paid business (Z/D/C) and first class (A/P/F) fares.


Qualifying for Premier Status Summary
Qualification Method Premier Silver Premier Gold Premier Platinum Premier 1K
Flight Segments (PQS) 30 60 90 120
Premier Qualifying Miles (PQM) 25K 50K 75K 100K

Note that there have been reports of UA granting an elite status well before the end of the calendar year, and reports of UA granting elite status in January for members who fell well short of the required numbers of PQMs or PQSs.

Source(s): Levels (UA)

Benefits of Premier Status

There are many benefits to having Premier Status, and they differ by status level.

Meaning of color key:

  • A platinum colored (gray actually) benefit means this is something a 1K gets, and in many cases a lower status receives.
  • A gold colored benefit is one a Gold and/or a Star Alliance Gold member gets (hence some benefits in the 1K column are gold colored). In many cases a gold colored Gold benefit is available to a lower status.
  • A silver colored benefit is something a Silver, and in some cases a Silver gets. A silver benefit can also be something a Star Alliance Silver member gets.
  • A tan colored benefit is one a Global Services Member gets exclusively.
  • An uncolored (white) entry indicates no benefit for a Mileage Plus member of the specified status level.
Benefits of Elite Status Summary
Benefit Premier Silver Premier Gold Premier Platinum Premier 1K Global Services
Dedicated call center lines Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Book Exit Row Yes (Checkin only) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Book Economy Plus for free, plus one companion, even if on different reservation Yes (Checkin only) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Book Economy Plus for free, plus up to eight family members, if on same reservation No No Yes Yes Yes
Complimentary Premier Upgrade (excludes p.s. and Hawaii BusinessFirst Flights), plus one companion Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Domestic Complimentary Upgrade Clearing Window Airport 48 hours 72 hours 96 hours 120 hours
Check-In (UA) Silver Gold Platinum 1K Global Services
Check-In (Star Alliance) Silver Gold Gold Gold Gold
Red Carpet Club (RCC) New Enrollment 1 Year Fee
If a membership has been expired for more than 30 days it is considered a new enrollment.
(Member / Member+Spouse. Costs in USD / RDM.)
$475/$700 77K/112K $450/$675 67K/97K $400/$600 57K/82K $375/$550 47K/67K
Red Carpet Club (RCC) Renewal 1 Year Fee
(Member / Member+Spouse. Costs in USD / RDM.)
$425/$650 70K/105K $400/$625 60K/90K $350/$550 50K/75K $325/$500 40K/60K
Star Alliance Tier Silver Gold Gold Gold Gold
Lounge Access based on Status for Int'l Travel None Gold Gold Gold Gold
Priority waitlist (upgrades, same day travel standby, ...) > general member > Silver > Gold > Platinum Top of List
Priority Star Alliance waitlist (upgrades, same day travel standby, ...) > general member > general member > silver > silver
Economy cabin priority boarding - seating area 2 1 1P / Gold Red Carpet if available or 1K
Redeemable Mileage (RDM) Bonus (AC, LH, UA, UX, US Air, Continental) 25% 50% 75% 100% 100%
Minumum 500 RDM/PQM for each flight segment flown on UA, UX
Non-elites get only actual miles flown on UA, UX. Note that minimums for Star Alliance flights vary by partner airline.
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Global Premier Upgrades 0 0 0 6* 6*
Regional Premier Upgrades 0 0 2** 2** 2 per 25K EQM/30EQS
Waived Mileage Plus Award Fees No No Yes Yes Yes
Expanded Saver award availability Yes (Economy only) No No Yes
Buy Y-fare seats in coach on Oversold Flights No No No between 6 hours and 30 days before departure
Redeem Miles for car rentals, hotel stays, and merchandise Yes Yes Yes Yes
Earn unlimited miles on Mileage Plus Visa Yes Yes Yes Yes
Waive up to $60 Mileage Plus Visa Annual Fee No No No Yes
Discount on In-Flight Duty Free Shopping 0% 0% 10% 10%
Complimentary Checked Baggage Allowance
Per passenger; up to eight non-status or lower status companions on the same reservation (a.k.a. "itinerary" or "confirmation number") as the elite are allowed up to 2 bags of 50 lbs. each except for Silver companions.
1 bag @ 50 lbs. 3 bags @ 70 lbs. each 3 bags @ 70 lbs. each 3 bags @ 70 lbs. each 3 bags @ 70 lbs. each
Complimentary In-Flight Alcoholic Beverages per Year in Coach cabin of UA/UX/Ted Flights (Note: A PP member reported receiving 5 drink coupons after merging of programs) 0 0 0 (see note) 10
United Priority Baggage Handling Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Star Alliance Priority Baggage Handling No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Weather/FAA Delay Accommodation (meals/hotels) No No sometimes Yes
Luggage Tags per Year
Some frequent flier programs provide luggage tags for members. UA is not among them (Apparently changed for 2012; a PP member reports receiving 2 tags.).
1 0 0 (see note) 0

* The 6 GPUs will be awarded immediately upon reaching 100K PQMs or 120 PQs. 3MM Premier 1K and GS members will receive their 6 GPUs on the following Jan 1 if they have not already reached 100K PQM/120PQS. Upon reaching 150K PQMs or 180 PQSs in a calendar year, a 1K receives two more GPUs, and an additional two GPUs for each additional 50K PQMs or 60 PQSs flown in a calendar year. ** The 2 RPUs will be awarded immediately upon reaching 75K PQMs or 90 PQs. 2MM Premier Plat/1K and GS members will receive their RPUs on the following Jan 1 if they have not already reached 75K PQM/90PQS, 2 for Platinums, 4 for 1K/GS members. Premiers receive an additional two RPUs for each additional 25K PQMs or 30 PQSs flown in a calendar year.

Lifetime Status

UA has four tiers for Mileage Plus members that reach multiples of one million lifetime BIS miles or more on UA, UX, or Ted. The Million Mile metric is computed by total Elite Qualifying Miles earned from Mileage Plus and OnePass up through December 31, 2011 and total BIS miles starting on January 1, 2012.

Millions Miles and Beyond Summary
Benefit One Million Miles Milestone Two Million Miles Milestone Three Million Miles Milestone Four Million Miles Milestone
Status for life Premier Gold Premier Platinum Premier 1K Global Services
Spouse status match Premier Gold Premier Platinum Premier 1K Global Services

Other Ways to Reach Elite Status

Prepaid Travel

United has a family of prepaid travel products called PassPlus. This program allows a general member to instantly jump to 2P or 1P depending on the PassPlus product purchased. PassPlus also has a RCC membership, 4 500-mile upgrade coupons, and the RDM bonus is an additional 50% (for a total of 75% for 2Ps and 150% for 1Ps).

2P Fast Track

A general member who is not yet a 2P can become a 2P with just 15K EQM or 15 EQS by purchasing Economy Plus® with Premier® Fast Track, which provides the annual Economy Plus subscription plus the opportunity to earn Premier access for fewer EQM/EQS than normally required.

Nominations

Through the Elite Choice promotion, Mileage Plus members who register for the promotion and who reach certain milestones are granted the ability to nominate other Mileage Plus members to Premier Associate (3P) status (in the past, nominations to Premier (2P) status were also available). (The Elite Choice promotion has run for the past few years, but as with any promotion, is not guaranteed to run every year.)

Targeted Chase Mileage Plus Visa Offer

This FlyerTalk thread says that Chase will sometimes offer a Mileage Plus member a Visa credit card with 3P status for one year.

Promotions

Fast-track

United has, at times, offered "fast-track" promotions to certain members, generally at the beginning of the calendar year to members who failed to re-qualify for a certain status. Generally, such promos offer status (either the target tier or Premier Associate/3P) for 90 days while the member works to complete the fast-track offer. The Premier fast-track usually requires 7,500 EQM in 90 days, while Premier Executive usually requires 12,500 EQM. There is no known 1K fast-track offer at this time.

Status "buy-up"

United has, at times, offered "buy-up" promotions to certain members, generally at the beginning of the calendar year to members who failed to re-qualify for a certain status. Such promotions allow members to buy the "missing" EQM so that they may qualify for the next tier. The promos usually involve a one-time registration fee plus a pro-rated per-mile fee (usually in blocks of 1,000 EQM). Buy-up offers are known to exist for Premier (2P) and Premier Executive (1P) levels; no buy-up offer for 1K is known to exist at this time.

90-day "taste of elite" offer

United is currently offering a 90 day status match challenge as a promotion (http://pss.united.com/web/en-US/apps/mileageplus/promotions/registrationDetails.aspx?promoCode=TB8230). Details as follows:

MileagePlus Premier Status Match Challenge

Ongoing Offer Posted Fri., Feb. 17, 2012

We are pleased to offer you the opportunity to participate in our Premier® Status Match Challenge promotion, offering top-tier flyers of many other airlines a comparable status in the MileagePlus program . This offer is valid for requests received January 1 – December 31, 2012. Customers who have Star Alliance Silver or Gold status are excluded from this offer.

PROGRAM DETAILS

If you meet the criteria to participate in the Premier status match offer, your account will be upgraded for 90 days to Premier Silver, Premier Gold or Premier Platinum status based on the level you hold in your current frequent flyer program. For example:

Delta Air Lines Medallion Levels Silver Medallion Gold Medallion Platinum Medallion Level matched to in MileagePlus Premier Silver Premier Gold Premier Platinum To keep Premier status for the balance of the 2012* program year, you will need to complete a specific number of flights operated by United® United Express® or Copa within the 90 day timeframe. The number of flights you must complete depends on the Premier status level you are matched to:

MileagePlus Premier Status Flight Requirements Premier Silver Fly 10,000 qualifying flight miles or 15 flight segments to retain Premier Silver status Premier Gold Fly 17,500 qualifying flight miles or 22 flight segments to retain Premier Gold status Premier Platinum Fly 25,000 qualifying flight miles or 30 flight segments to retain Premier Platinum status

  • Customers who meet the flight requirement on or after July 1, 2012, will retain their matched Premier status through January 31, 2014, unless a higher Premier level is Go to www.united.com/premier for more information on the MileagePlus Premier program.

SUBMIT YOUR INFORMATION

To be considered for Premier status through this promotion, please send the following information to: Email: premiermatch@united.com Fax: 605-341-6140 Mail: Mileage Plus Service Center Attn: Premier Status Match P.O. Box 6121 Rapid City, SD 57709-6121 Your MileagePlus account number. If you are not already a member, join today. Your name, complete current mailing address and e-mail address A copy of your most recent mileage summary or 2012 membership card that clearly identifies your current elite level in the frequent flyer program you are matching from. Please allow 7-14 business days for processing after receipt of your request.

Confirmation will be sent by e-mail if your request is approved.

Please note:

Offer is not valid for members who have participated in the OnePass or MileagePlus status match program within the last 5 years. A Premier membership card will be not issued for the 90-day qualification period. You may enjoy Premier benefits on United, United Express or Copa-operated flights, by providing your account number when making reservations or at check-in. During the 90-day period, you may not have access to all reciprocal Premier benefits with United's partner airlines including access to Star Alliance lounges. Through this offer, you may only maintain the same Premier status level as your matched status. If you are matched to Premier Silver, you will not be able to earn Premier Gold status through this offer, even if you will fly more than 17,500 flight miles in the offer period. Or if you have been matched to Premier Gold, you will not be able to earn Premier Silver status through this offer, if you only fly 10,000 flight miles. Your MileagePlus Premier status will be returned to general member status, or your earned Premier level, if you are unable to complete the flight requirement within the 90-day period. Qualifying travel must be posted to your MileagePlusaccount. TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Offer valid for qualifying paid travel completed within 90 days from time of account upgrade. Participation does not guarantee Premier status. Matched status will expire after 90 days, unless that level or a higher level of Premier status is awarded prior to that date. Valid on flights operated by United, United Express, Copa Airlines, Copa Airlines Colombia, and not on Unitedmarketed codeshare flights operated by other carriers. Flights must be posted to the MileagePlus account in order to qualify. Travel on Mileage Award flights do not qualify for this offer. Promotional and/or bonus Premier qualifying miles (PQM) and Premier qualifying segments (PQS) do not count toward this offer. Other restrictions may apply. Offer subject to change without notice. United, its subsidiaries, affiliates and agents are not responsible for any products and services of other participating companies and partners. United reserves the right to change or terminate the MileagePlus program at any time without notice. United and MileagePlus are registered service marks. For complete details about the MileagePlus program, visit www.united.com (TB8230)

EARNED 2012 PREMIER STATUS: Customers who earn Premier status through this promotion will have their accounts updated in the system within five business days of completion and posting of required United/United Express/Copaflight miles to qualify for offer received for status level matched. Membership card will arrive within four to six weeks thereafter. Earned 2012 Premier benefits are valid through January 2013. For customers who qualify for this promotion on or after July 1, 2012, benefits are valid through January 2014.