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American, Delta and United all offer million miler benefits, but United’s are arguably the most generous, with 1,000,000 miles earning you mid-tier Gold status for life, rather than the entry-level status you’ll get from AA and Delta. Since it’s unusual for one airline to offer more generous perks to its elite members than a competitor does, there’s been a rumor circulating that United was planning to introduce changes to its own million miler program.

Fortunately, that isn’t true — a spokesperson has confirmed that United currently has no plans to change either million miler qualification requirements or benefits.

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To further reinforce this point, TPG reader Anne W. passed along an email she received, as she’s currently approaching the 1,000,000 mark necessary to earn Gold status for life. In addition to what’s pasted above, the note clarifies that while Anne will be able to achieve a higher level with the airline, her status will never drop below Gold.

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As you can see above, United issues Premier Gold status after you achieve one million lifetime miles — those are actual “butt-in-seat” miles, not elite-qualifying or redeemable miles. So, for example, a Newark to Hong Kong round-trip will earn roughly 16,000 miles toward this goal, regardless of your class of service (note, however, that you won’t earn lifetime-qualifying miles on award tickets).

Even if you travel often enough to achieve United’s top-tier 1K status (or even Global Services), lifetime status is still worthwhile to have, since you can share your current service with a companion of your choosing. It’s great to see that United continues to issue lifetime Gold status after 1,000,000 miles, rather than dropping to Silver to match AA and Delta.

Thanks to TPG reader Anne W., who shared this news tip by emailing We’ll be sending out a $200 Visa gift card as a token of our appreciation.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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