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Does RewardsPlus Jumpstart Qualification for United Gold Status?

Feb. 19, 2019
3 min read
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"Reader Questions" are answered twice a week by TPG Senior Points & Miles Contributor Ethan Steinberg.

One of the more underrated elements of Marriott Bonvoy Titanium elite status is the RewardsPlus partnership with United, which gives Marriott's top elites complimentary United Premier Silver status. TPG reader Robert has his eyes set on Gold though, and wants to know if the Silver status he earns from this partnership will help him get there faster ...

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[pullquote source="TPG READER ROBERT"]If you get United Silver status from RewardsPlus, do you then only need 25,000 PQMs to earn Gold status or would you still need the full 50,000? Do you need the full $6,000 PQDs for Gold status, or only $3,000 because you're already at the Silver tier? [/pullquote]

Robert is right to be eyeing United Gold status, which comes with bonus points, upgrades, access to preferred seating and access to many Star Alliance lounges around the world. Unfortunately, the RewardsPlus partnership is not going to help him get there any faster. I'm currently in my second year of complimentary United Premier Silver status through this deal, and in that time I think I've taken exactly one flight on United. You can see my year to date Premier Qualifying Miles (PQMs) and Premier Qualifying Dollars (PQDs) both sit at exactly zero.

This question is very similar to one we answered recently about whether you earn elite night credits by spending your way to Platinum status on the Marriott Bonvoy BrilliantTM American Express® Card, but the answer bears repeating. In all of these cases where you're earning status through some deal, offer or shortcut (including status matches or challenges), you only earn the status itself, not the underlying qualifying metrics. If Robert wants to earn United Gold status, he'd need the full 50,000 PQMs (or 60 Premier Qualifying Segments) and the full $6,000 PQDs. Note that he could get a waiver on the PQDs by spending $25,000 a year on the United Explorer Card , but that won't help with his PQM/PQS requirement.

Keep in mind that some cards do offer an actual leg up towards reaching the next tier of elite status, like some of the Delta's cobranded American Express cards. However, the RewardsPlus partnership won't help with Robert's endeavor for United Gold status.

Bottom Line

Even for an infrequent United flier, having Silver elite status is better than nothing, and the RewardsPlus program undeniably adds a unique layer of value for Marriott's Bonvoy Titanium elite members. That being said, any time you earn status through a partnership or credit card instead of the "old-fashioned" way, it won't help you level up to the next tier. For that, you'll pretty much have to resort to flying to earn the requisite number of MQMs/PQMs/EQMs and enough revenue spending to match.

Thanks for the question, Robert, and if you’re a TPG reader who’d like us to answer a question of your own, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at info@thepointsguy.com.

Featured image by (Photo by Jason Leung via Unsplash)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases