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Premier status qualification

We’re looking forward to clearer skies in the year ahead and we bet you are too. We’d like to help you keep or reach Premier® status through 2022 by making it easier to qualify with reduced qualification requirements, PQP deposits for Premier members, a PQP bonus offer and more exciting updates. Learn more.

Premier status qualification requirements

Our approach to Premier® status qualification is designed 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. Now, you'll 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.

Previous qualification requirements -> Qualification requirements for 2020 and beyond. You can also achive status by reaching a higher threshold of PQP only.

A minimum of 4 flights on United or United Express is always required to achieve Premier status

Why did we update our program?

Measuring Premier qualification based on the dollars you spend and number of flights you take rewards customers equally. We updated the program 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.

Previously, you earned PQM and PQS based on fare class. Confused? We get it.

Read on to delve into the details of 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. Only the base fare of your flight earns PQP. Taxes and fees don’t count toward your spend requirements.

The following purchases earn PQP:

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

Qualification requirements for Premier status through 2022

We lowered our requirements for all Premier levels so it’s easier to qualify through 2022. Here’s how to qualify for each Premier status level beginning on January 1, 2021, for status through the 2022 program year1:

2022 Premier status PQF + PQP Or PQP only
Premier Silver 8 PQF and 3,000 PQP 3,500 PQP
Premier Gold 16 PQF and 6,000 PQP 7,000 PQP
Premier Platinum 24 PQF and 9,000 PQP 10,000 PQP
Premier 1K® 36 PQF and 13,500 PQP 15,000 PQP

We’re giving you more PQP to help maintain your status

We’re going to automatically give PQP to Premier members at the beginning of 2021 based on the 2021 Premier status you hold at the end of 2020 in order to give you a jump-start on earning status through 2022.

Learn more

Jump-start your journey toward 2022 Premier status

We’re offering a bonus PQP promotion for the very first time and all MileagePlus members are eligible. From January 1 through March 31, 2021, MileagePlus members and current Premier members can earn bonus PQP for the first three PQP-eligible trips you take with United. And the more trips you take, the more PQP you’ll earn, which means you’ll reach Premier status even sooner.

Learn more about this special offer

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. Today, 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:

Airline 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.

The maximum PQP that can be earned per flight on tickets issued and operated by Star Alliance partners and select MileagePlus partner airlines are as follows:

Class of service Preferred partner PQP MileagePlus partner PQP
First/Business 1,500 1,000
Economy/Premium Economy 750 500

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.

Information for co-branded MileagePlus credit cards

For the 2021 program year, we’re making changes to the way some of our cards earn PQP and qualify for Premier status. Now you can apply PQP earned from your United MileagePlus credit card toward Premier 1K status, when the PQF requirement is met. Learn more

Frequently asked questions

Premier qualifying points are a metric we have for awarding Premier status for 2022, which is earned based on 2021 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

As a special promotion in 2021, we’re making it easier to earn extra PlusPoints after you reach Premier 1K status. Once you reach 1K status and earn 15,000 PQP you’ll receive an additional 20 PlusPoints for every 2,000 PQP you earn thereafter, instead of every 3,000 PQP.*

*As in 2020, PQP earned from your United MileagePlus credit card does not count toward extra PlusPoints after reaching 1K status, except for the UnitedSM Presidential PlusSM and UnitedSM Presidential PlusSM Business card.
You’ll continue to track your qualification progress through and through My Account on and in the United mobile app.

Qualifying for Premier status through 2022

The 2021 requirements are a reduction from the standard Premier status qualification levels we originally announced for the 2020 program year. In April 2020, we reduced the standard Premier status requirements by 50% for 2020 activity due to interruptions caused by COVID-19.

We recognize that while many members are returning to travel, most members aren’t necessarily flying as much as they used to. For this reason, we updated Premier status requirements for status through 2022, introduced our first ever bonus PQP promotion to help you jump-start your journey toward status, will automatically deposit PQP in Premier accounts based on the 2021 Premier status you hold at the end of 2020, and we will allow PQP earned from your MileagePlus co-branded credit card to count toward 1K status. Best of all, the MileagePlus program is simpler than some other frequent flyer programs because there’s no distance requirement for Premier status, meaning every flight gets you closer to status, no matter how far you fly.

If your status was extended through the 2021 program year, flight activity during 2021 will determine if you have status during the 2022 program year and will help you maintain status after January 31, 2022.

In addition to the normal travel you’ll do in 2021, the easiest way to qualify for status in 2021 through the 2022 program year is to take advantage of our PQP bonus offer and take at least three eligible trips between January 1 and March 31, 2021. For details on what qualifies as an eligible trip, see terms and conditions. We want all members to benefit from this promotion which is why you’re automatically eligible for this offer without registration and regardless of when you booked your trips. If you’re not flying as much, you can take comfort in the fact that PQP earned from your eligible co-branded MileagePlus credit card will count toward Premier status all the way up to 1K status. Members must still fly a minimum of four United flights to be eligible for status, and members using PQP earned from their eligible credit card toward 1K status must also satisfy the PQF requirement for 1K.

  • 1 New qualification requirements will be effective on January 1, 2021, for status in the 2022 program year.