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Premier status qualification

New Premier status qualification requirements for 2020

We’re taking a new approach to Premier® status qualification to ensure that our program is valuable for all Premier members, whether you travel hundreds of miles each week, or a few thousand miles multiple times a year. Premier qualifying miles, Premier qualifying segments and Premier qualifying dollars are going away, and you’ll now earn Premier qualifying credit based on just two factors: the value of the tickets you’ve purchased, and the number of flights you’ve taken.

New Premier status qualification requirements for 2020
A minimum of 4 flights on United or United Express is always required to achieve Premier status

Why are we making these changes?

Measuring Premier qualification based on the dollars you spend and number of flights you take rewards customers equally. We’re making these changes to ensure our most loyal members get the best value from their benefits.

We also wanted to get rid of factors like fare class multipliers, which made it harder to track your qualifying activity.

Today, you earn PQM  and PQS based on  fare class. Confused? We get it.

Read on to delve into the details of 2020 Premier qualification.

About Premier qualifying flights and Premier qualifying points

With Premier qualifying flights (PQF), every flight you take gets you closer to status. And by a flight, we mean a takeoff and landing — no more fare class multipliers and confusing segment math.

Basic Economy tickets will be eligible to earn Premier qualifying points, but will not accrue PQF. Award tickets also do not accrue PQF.

You’ll receive 1 Premier qualifying point (PQP) for each U.S. dollar you spend. Like before, only the base fare of your flight earns PQP. Taxes and fees don’t count toward your spend requirements.

Although spend requirements for each tier are increasing, there are also more ways to earn PQP and meet your spend requirement than before:

  • Base fare + surcharge
  • Economy Plus® seating or subscriptions
  • Preferred seat purchases
  • *NEW* MileagePlus Upgrade Award co-pays
  • *NEW* Paid upgrades
  • *NEW* Flights ticketed and operated by our Star AllianceTM partners

Qualification requirements by Premier status level

Here’s how to qualify for each Premier status level beginning on January 1, 2020, for status in the 2021 program year:

Premier status PQF + PQP Or PQP only
Premier Silver 12 PQF and 4,000 PQP 5,000 PQP
Premier Gold 24 PQF and 8,000 PQP 10,000 PQP
Premier Platinum 36 PQF and 12,000 PQP 15,000 PQP
Premier 1K 54 PQF and 18,000 PQP 24,000 PQP

Earning PQF and PQP on partner flights

Previously, if you flew on a Star AllianceTM partner airline and your flight was not ticketed by United, you couldn’t earn Premier qualifying dollars. With the new program, you’ll receive spend credit on these flights in the form of Premier qualifying points. Your PQP will be equal to award miles* earned divided by 5 if you’re flying on a preferred partner; for other MileagePlus partner airlines, it will be award miles earned divided by 6.

For Star Alliance airlines as well as Air Dolomiti, Azul Brazilian Airlines, Eurowings, Edelweiss, Juneyao Airlines and Olympic Air:

Star Alliance partner PQP total
Preferred partner PQP Award miles divided by 5
MileagePlus partner PQP Award miles divided by 6

For example, if you earned 360 award miles for your flight, you’ll receive 72 PQP if you flew with a preferred partner, and 60 PQP if you flew with a MileagePlus partner.

You’ll earn PQF on partner airlines as well, except when flying on light fares, basic fares, and award tickets. Learn more about earning with partner airlines.

While we no longer waive the spend requirement for members with international addresses, we have expanded the ability to earn spend credit for these members, which makes qualification consistent for all of our members.

*The number of award miles you’ll earn is equal to the base award miles plus your fare class bonus award miles, if eligible. Premier bonus miles earned are not included in this calculation and are not eligible for Premier qualifying points accrual.

For program year 2020, MileagePlus members who are also primary United MileagePlus Chase Cardmembers are eligible to earn PQP based on their annual credit card spend.

  • Starting on January 1, 2020, United Cardmembers who are eligible for a PQD waiver, PQM, or Flexible PQM (FPQM)2 based on annual card spend will be offered ways to earn Premier qualifying points (PQP) based on annual card spend3. The ability to earn a PQD waiver, PQM, or FPQM on these cards will end on December 31, 2019.
  • We’ll no longer waive the 4-segment minimum for members with eligible MileagePlus Chase Cards. Each member must take a minimum of 4 flights on United or United Express to be eligible for Premier status. Removing these waivers aligns qualification requirements for all of our members.
  • The UnitedSM Explorer Card, United ClubSM Card, UnitedSM Explorer Business Card, United ClubSM Business Card, United MileagePlus® Awards Card, United MileagePlus® Card, and United MileagePlus® Business Card earn 500 PQP for every $12,000 in card spend, up to 1,000 PQP in a calendar year, that can be applied up to Platinum.
  • The United MileagePlus® Select Card and United MileagePlus® Platinum Class Visa Card earn 500 PQP for every $12,000 in card spend, up to 3,000 PQP in a calendar year, that can be applied up to 1K.
  • The UnitedSM Presidential PlusSM Card and UnitedSM Presidential PlusSM Business Card earn 500 PQP for every $12,000 in card spend, up to 10,000 PQP in a calendar year, that can be applied up to 1K.
  • UnitedSM TravelBank Cards do not earn PQP for card spend.
  • Please visit our Premier Qualification page for information about your specific card benefits.

Flex PQM

On April 1, 2020, any residual Flex PQM (FPQM) balances will be converted and can be used as Flex PQP (FPQP) going forward at a ratio of 5:1. For example, a balance of 10,000 FPQM would become 2,000 FPQP. Flex balances that are converted can only be applied up to Platinum.

Chase is not responsible for the provision of, or failure to provide, the 2020 MileagePlus program year stated benefits and services. PQP earned on eligible credit card spend will be awarded within 6 weeks of meeting the spend qualifications.

Frequently asked questions

We’re updating Premier qualification by replacing the Premier qualifying miles (PQM), Premier qualifying segments (PQS) and Premier qualifying dollars (PQD) requirements with Premier qualifying points (PQP) and Premier qualifying flights (PQF).
Premier qualifying points are a new metric we have for awarding Premier status for 2021, which is earned based on 2020 flight activity. For each U.S. dollar you spend on United flights or flight tickets issued by United (base fare plus carrier-imposed surcharges), you’ll earn one PQP. You can also earn PQP for certain ancillary purchases, such as paid upgrades, Economy Plus, preferred seating, and MileagePlus Upgrade Award co-pays.
You can now earn PQP on flights ticketed and operated by Star Alliance airlines and certain MileagePlus partner airlines.
PQP are similar to PQD in that both are spend-based and earned at a 1:1 ratio, but we are adding more opportunities for you to earn PQP and meet your spend requirements to qualify for Premier status.
Premier qualifying flights are similar to Premier qualifying segments, but we’ve removed fare class multipliers. A takeoff and landing is equal to 1 PQF.
While spend requirements are increasing, we’re introducing more ways to earn Premier qualifying points. The new program gives spend credit for paid upgrades, MileagePlus Upgrade Award co-pays, and flights ticketed and operated by our Star Alliance partners. In addition, we’ve lowered the flight requirements for Premier status from the former program’s segment requirements, and we’ve removed the distance requirement.

A member today who flies 15 segments, earns $2,700 in PQD, spends $800 on MileagePlus Upgrade Award co-pays, and earns 3,000 award miles by purchasing tickets on a Star partner, wouldn’t qualify for Silver status. If this member’s activity was the same in 2020, they would qualify for Silver for the 2021 program year: They’d receive the same spend credit they enjoy today on United tickets and earn additional spend credit from MileagePlus Upgrade Award co-pays. They’d also earn PQP credit for Star Alliance flights not ticketed or operated by United, equal to award miles* divided by 5 or 6.

*Please note award miles is your base award miles earning plus your fare class bonus award miles earning, if eligible. Premier bonus miles earned are not included within this calculation and are ineligible for Premier Qualifying Points accrual.
Mileage, or distance flown, will no longer factor into qualification for Premier status. However, our Million Miler program, which awards lifetime status to our longest-tenured fliers, is still based on lifetime miles flown.
As the MileagePlus Premier program evolves, we want it to be relevant for all types of travelers. For this reason, distance will no longer be used for qualification in 2020, and members will instead qualify based on the value of tickets purchased and the number of flights taken. We’re introducing these changes to align the way members qualify for status and to better deliver Premier benefits to our most loyal members.
We expect the total Premier population to grow based on these changes, as we want the program to recognize all of our loyal members. The new program will benefit many members who are limited by the current requirements, such as those who spend more on domestic travel but aren’t meeting the distance or high segment requirements. While Premier status will be accessible to more members overall, members will have to do more to reach 1K status, which will help us preserve the value of the benefits members earn at that level.
These qualification changes do not impact your Premier benefits. The PlusPoints upgrade program, which will be effective December 4, 2019, will replace Regional Premier Upgrades and Global Premier Upgrades.
We’ll start tracking your journey to status with Premier qualifying points and Premier qualifying flights on January 1, 2020, for status in the 2021 program year. You’ll start seeing the new metrics with your first departure in 2020.
There are two possible paths to attain Premier status in the new program. You can either qualify for status through a combination of PQP and PQF, or meet a higher PQP goal.
No, we are not changing the way you earn award miles.
If your ticket was issued by United, the ticket number will begin with 016. You can find the ticket number in your email confirmation.
These changes do not impact the way you qualify for Million Miler status, which is based on the actual distance you fly.
If you’re a primary cardmember of certain United MileagePlus Chase Cards, you can earn PQP based on what you spend on your card during the calendar year.
United Presidential Plus Cardmembers will have the opportunity to apply their Flex PQM to their 2019 activity to qualify for status in 2020. January through March 2020, cardmembers will be able to convert their Flex PQM to Flex PQP at a ratio of 5 Flex PQM to 1 Flex PQP. Any Flex PQM not converted by April 1, 2020, will be automatically converted to Flex PQP. There will be no new earn of Flex PQP.

During the 2020 calendar year, Presidential Plus Cardmembers will earn 500 PQP for every $12,000 spent, up to 10,000 PQP. PQP earned on and after January 1, 2020, will be applicable to Premier status levels up to and including 1K. Flex PQM was previously limited to Platinum status and below.
The PQD waivers for international members and for MileagePlus Chase cardholders are going away because we are providing new ways to earn spend credit toward Premier status. Members can now earn spend credit on flights ticketed and operated by our Star Alliance partners, as well as earn Premier qualifying credit from spend on select MileagePlus Chase credit cards. These changes align the way all members qualify for Premier status.
In 2020, after meeting requirements for 1K status, members can earn 20 additional PlusPoints for every 3,000 PQP thereafter. If you meet the higher PQP goal for 1K status, you’ll get 40 additional PlusPoints upon qualifying for 1K status in addition to your 1K status allotment of 280 PlusPoints. The ability to earn incremental PlusPoints after reaching 1K status remains unlimited.
You’ll continue to track your qualification progress through mystatus.united.com and through My Account on united.com and in the United mobile app.

Terms and conditions

  • 1. New qualification requirements will be effective on January 1, 2020, for status in the 2021 program year.
  • 2. For cardmembers with a Flex PQM balance beginning April 1, 2020, any remaining Flex PQM balance will be automatically converted to Flex PQP at a ratio of 5:1. For example, a balance of 10,000 Flex PQM would become 2,000 Flex PQP.
  • 3. United TravelBank Cardmembers do not earn PQP for card spend. United MileagePlus Chase Cardmembers with PQM and Flex PQM earn will also be notified of this change by Chase.