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Premier Qualifying Dollar waiver for United credit card holders extended to 2016

by on Wed December 16, 2015 • 5 Comments


If you’re getting ready to plan flights to start qualifying for United MileagePlus Premier status in 2016, you know that the requirements have become a lot more complicated ever since Premier Qualifying Dollars were introduced in 2014.

With United MileagePlus (and Delta SkyMiles) you don’t earn elite status just based on the number of miles you fly.

You also have to cross a hurdle of dollars spent on airfare as well.

With United MileagePlus that’s currently these amounts for each Premier level:

  • Silver: $3,000 + 25,000 miles
  • Gold: $6,000 + 50,000 miles
  • Platinum: $9,000 + 75,000 miles
  • 1K: $12,000 + 100,000 miles

If you hold a United MileagePlus credit card from Chase, like the MileagePlus Explorer Card, and spend at least $25,000 on it during a calendar year, you are exempt from needing to meet the airfare requirement for Silver, Gold, and Platinum. For the top 1K level, you have to hit both the spending and flying requirement no matter what. There is no credit card waiver for reaching 1K status.

Or, if you have an old Presidential Plus card, which costs $395 a year and isn’t open to new applicants, you get the credit card waiver for Silver, Gold, and Platinum no matter how little you spend on the card.

The credit card exemptions for reaching Silver, Gold, and Platinum aren’t set in stone – they’re actually something that United revisits each year to decide whether it will renew or not.

And according to the United representative on FlyerTalk, there will be no change to the credit card spending waivers in 2016.

That’s good news, since we don’t know whether United will decide to increase the dollar thresholds needed to earn Premier status in 2016.

Right now, United has the toughest requirements for earning elite status among the big global U.S. airlines.

  • Delta has the same airfare thresholds, but it waives the airfare requirement all the way up to its highest Diamond Medallion tier if you spend $25,000 a year on a SkyMiles credit card. Though Diamond requires 125,000 qualifying miles a year versus just 100,000 for United 1K status.
  • American has no airfare spending requirements to earn its elite status. It’s purely based on how far you fly, and what types of fares you buy. Its top Executive Platinum status requires 100,000 qualifying miles a year.

Whether United keeps its thresholds as strict next year is open for debate. They just matched American in offering even more qualifying miles when you buy First and Business Class fares.

One way to be more lenient would be to extend the credit card waiver to Premier 1K qualification. That would make it more lenient than Delta, which has a higher flown mile requirement (125,000 vs 100,000 with United), while still more strict than American.

Or, it could extend the credit card waiver to Premier 1K while also increasing the number of miles needed for 1K to 125,000 per year. That would put it exactly on par with Delta, assuming Delta keeps things the same for next year.

And it would still be more strict than American’s policy.


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