United’s Offering Hundreds of Thousands of Miles to Former Top Elites

Apr 20, 2016

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Airlines fight hard to win business from top spenders, but aside from some personalized deals for corporate clients, most incentives come in the form of matched status. For example, United frequently offers an opportunity for elites from other programs to move up to Premier Platinum status, while American has been known match all the way up to Executive Platinum.

Now, United is kicking things up a notch, offering tremendous sums of miles to former top-tier elites. What’s especially interesting about this deal is that it’s tied directly to spend (based on Premier Qualifying Dollar calculations), with members earning a pre-determined number of miles after reaching certain “milestones.” This promotion is targeted, but you may be eligible even if you didn’t receive an email from United (you can verify your eligibility here).


TPG reader Raj K. wrote in to share his offer of 180,000 bonus miles after he reached three tiers: 45,000 miles after “earning” $8,000 in PQDs, 60,000 miles after $12,500 in PQDs and an extra 75,000 miles after reaching $17,000 in PQDs. We value United miles at 1.5 cents each, so if Raj meets all of the requirements, he’ll earn miles worth $2,700 — that’s nearly a 16% return.

According to this FlyerTalk thread, United has sent a variety of targeted offers, including:

  • 10,000 miles after $1,000 PQD; 10,000 miles after $1,500 PQD; 10,000 miles after $2,000 PQD
  • 20,000 miles after $3,000 PQD; 30,000 miles after $4,000 PQD; 35,000 miles after $5,000 PQD
  • 30,000 miles after $1,000 PQD; 40,000 miles after $2,000 PQD; 50,000 miles after $3,000 PQD
  • 30,000 miles after $2,000 PQD; 40,000 miles after $3,000 PQD; 50,000 miles after $4,000 PQD
  • 65,000 miles after $3,500 PQD; 85,000 miles after $6,500 PQD; 105,000 miles after $9,500 PQD
  • 70,000 miles after $3,500 PQD; 90,000 miles after $7,000 PQD; 115,000 miles after $10,500 PQD
  • 80,000 miles after $3,000 PQD; 105,000 miles after $5,500 PQD; 130,000 miles after $8,000 PQD

Note that as earnings are based on Premier Qualifying Dollars specifically, you’ll be spending a bit over that amount to reach each tier, as United doesn’t count taxes and fees. Additionally, though you can earn Premier Qualifying Dollars when flying several partner airlines, only PQDs earned from flights operated by United or United Express (including Economy Plus purchases) will count toward this promotion. You must register here by July 6 and travel between April 19 and September 4, 2016.

How many miles did United offer you?

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