New United MileagePlus credits have started posting
In October, United shocked frequent flyers by announcing that you’ll no longer earn miles toward status tiers. Instead, qualification will be based solely on two new metrics: Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) and Premier Qualifying Flights (PQFs).
This is a big change. As TPG's United guru Zach Honig wrote at the time, beginning Jan. 1, 2020, spending requirements would go up across the board. If you want United status, you'll need to spend at least the following (before taxes and fees) in order to qualify for each level:
- Premier Silver: $4,000
- Premier Gold: $8,000
- Premier Platinum: $12,000
- Premier 1K: $18,000
Previously, United elites earned status with a combination of Premier Qualifying Miles (PQMs), Premier Qualifying Dollars (PQDs) and Premier Qualifying Segments (PQSs). Now, all three will be replaced with Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) and Premier Qualifying Flights (PQFs).
Unfortunately, it wasn't a smooth transition for the new system, with credits for flights taken not recording on the status tracker. At the time, FlyerTalk user UA Insider, purportedly a United employee, said on the site that "any activity starting January 1, 2020, is being counted on our end and will be displayed correctly" on Jan. 3.
It appears that that information is correct, and the activity has begun posting to accounts with the new guidelines via the United website, though the app still isn't displaying correctly.
If you're wondering how to get or keep United status, you may want to go the route of flying partner airlines. You can earn United PQPs on Star Alliance partners and select MileagePlus partner airlines, as TPG's Summer Hull reported in November.
On a preferred partner, your PQP earnings are equal to the number of award miles credited to MileagePlus divided by 5. Preferred partners include Air Canada, Air China, Air Dolomiti, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, Austrian Airlines, Avianca, Azul Brazilian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Edelweiss, Eurowings, Lufthansa and Swiss International Air Lines.
Additional reporting by Carissa Rawson.