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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 …

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?

TPG READER ROBERT

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 photo by Jason Leung via Unsplash.

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