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See if you're eligible for a United Global Services status challenge

Aug. 12, 2020
3 min read
See if you're eligible for a United Global Services status challenge
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Last week, United surprised its most profitable passengers with another year of perks, extending their beloved Global Services status through Jan. 31, 2022. Now, the airline is offering "GS" to another group of flyers — those who qualified for the tier last year, based on their flying in 2018, but didn't make the cut again for 2020.

Before you get too excited, know that you're going to have to spend quite a bit to meet the requirements — $12,000 on United and United Express flights within 90 days, calculated based on fare and carrier-imposed surcharges. Adjusted for 12 months, that's a whopping $48,000 in United flights — a figure that might otherwise qualify you for Global Services the old-fashioned way, but — given that requirements aren't published — that's never a guarantee.

You can enroll by calling your current Premier phone number, or emailing mileageplus@united.com. If you're eligible for the challenge, you'll receive a link to a registration page where you can choose the start date for your 90-day travel window.

Global Services members receive top priority for upgrades, including to the Polaris business cabin when applying PlusPoints or a MileagePlus upgrade award. Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.

Given where fares are at the moment, it's going to take a lot of flying to pull this off — or, if you'd prefer, overpaying for tickets by booking a higher fare class. The good news is that United is being especially flexible about your start date — you can begin the challenge as late as Jan. 1, 2021, or even backdate it to July 1, 2020, which could make sense if you've managed to fly a significant amount during the previous six weeks.

If you're starting from scratch, Global Services hopefuls may decided to chose United's priciest domestic routes instead of international routes, which remain largely out of the question at the moment thanks to drastic schedule cuts and border rules and restrictions that apply to Americans. The premium Newark (EWR)-San Francisco (SFO) route can be booked on most dates for $896 round-trip in business class, though only $876 of that will count towards the challenge. Even then, however, you'd need 14 round-trips to meet the $12,000 requirement.

Even domestically, travelers also have to factor in mandatory quarantines in place at a handful of U.S. destinations — three months of weekend trips to the remote Northern California coast may sound lovely to a New Yorker, but unless the quarantine requirement is lifted, you'll need to spend all of your time in quarantine when you return back home.

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As valuable as Global Services perks can be — including United Club access on all itineraries, beginning this January — it'll likely be more difficult to take advantage in 2021 as it has in past years given the ongoing decline in business and leisure travel and fewer flights to choose from. That said, for travelers certain they'll be able to benefit, and those with a significant amount of premium travel planned by the first quarter of 2021, it could be worth reaching out to United to enroll.

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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
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

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
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.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
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

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • 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.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023