New Promo For United MileagePlus Premier Members

Filed Under: United

While leisure travel is starting to make a rebound in the United States, most airlines are still going to have to do more to help elite members requalify. In late 2020 United Airlines announced how it would be easier to earn MileagePlus status in 2021, and today the airline has announced some further initiatives to reward members more.

United MileagePlus’ “Pick Your Path” promotion

United MileagePlus has today launched the “Pick Your Path” promotion, offering three different offers designed to provide elite members with value, whether they’re ready to travel now, or plan to travel in the future.

This promotion runs from April 29 through July 27, 2021, though members have to register and select their preferred option by May 13, 2021.

For context, here are United’s 2021 elite requirements, and keep in mind that elite members have already been awarded 25% of the adjusted PQP requirement for their status tier as a head start.

Let’s go over the three available promotions.

“Easy PQP” promotion 

With the “Easy PQP” promotion, MileagePlus elite members can choose to receive a deposit of 10% of the PQP requirement without any flying needed. This means that:

  • Premier Silver members will receive 350 bonus PQP
  • Premier Gold members will receive 700 bonus PQP
  • Premier Platinum member will receive 1,000 bonus PQP
  • Premier 1K members will receive 1,500 bonus PQP

In other words, between the head start earlier this year and the additional boost, members would have be 35% of the way towards the adjusted elite requirements without any flying needed.

“Welcome back bonus PQP” promo

MileagePlus elite members who plan to fly in the next several weeks could earn up to 25% of the PQP required for their current status tier by booking three trips:

  • Premier Silver members can earn 525 PQP for their first trip, 175 PQP for their second trip, and 175 PQP for their third trip
  • Premier Gold members can earn 1,050 PQP for their first trip, 350 PQP for their second trip, and 350 PQP for their third trip
  • Premier Platinum members can earn 1,500 PQP for their first trip, 500 PQP for their second trip, and 500 PQP for their third trip
  • Premier 1K members can earn 2,250 PQP for their first trip, 750 PQP for their second trip, and 750 PQP for their third trip

A trip is defined as a unique itinerary that includes at least one PQP-eligible flight segment operated by United. In other words, you could book a roundtrip as two separate one-ways, and then that would qualify as two trips.

“2x miles on MileagePlus X app” promo

If you’re not planning any travel and if you don’t need help requalifying for status (or won’t even bother trying), members can alternatively earn double miles through the United MileagePlus X app. Members are capped at earning 10,000 bonus miles with this promotion.

This is definitely the weakest of the three offers.

Bottom line

It’s nice to see United MileagePlus introduce another initiative that makes it easier for elite members to requalify for status, in addition to what was announced in late 2020. At a minimum elite members can get a 10% PQP boost, or alternatively they can get up to a 25% boost if they take three trips in the coming weeks.

Among the “big three” US carriers, Delta SkyMiles has also announced a rather generous promotion, while American AAdvantage hasn’t, so here’s to hoping that American is next.

What do you make of United’s new MileagePlus promotion for elite members?

  1. There’s too many countries still closed to incentivize chasing status.
    Plus, UA screwed me with the Chase CC spending waiver.
    I’m 1MM Gold for life and I will just fall back from Platinum.
    I wanted 2MM status, but right now I am changing to Hawaiian. They lowered their Platinum mileage requirements and I’m working part-time on Maui anyway and with a monthly commute to the mainland, I’ll hit their highest tier next month.
    If UA had any brains, they’d restart the CC spending waiver for Platinums like myself. Oh well, their loss.

  2. United screwed me with their unilateral abrogation of lifetime club membership terms. I’m mostly flying with AS and DL now.

  3. If only they had ran this a few weeks ago. I just had two one way flights and a round trip flight that would have qualified me for all the welcome back pqp

  4. With United it’s more like pick your poison.

    Maybe if I fly with then enough they’ll use me to wipe down the aisle.

  5. Pretty weak United. International business travel isn’t coming back till 2022 at the earliest so they should extend status for all and be done with it. If they don’t I’ll match to Delta next year or Alaska and see what happens.

  6. Ben, it is great to see Delta and United thinking creatively and valuing the elite members they currently have. With regards to American, I have little hope they will offer anything above their miserly 20% reduction in benefits for several reasons. United and Delta extended systemwide upgrades and companion passes already while American has not provided any updates and they currently expire on July 31, 2021 and June 30, 2021 respectively. American has the highest cost structure of the airlines and the most debt so they need their elite members to show them the F**king Money as Willy Wash from British Airways & IAG previously said. As such, they seem content to bleed elite customers to the other carriers and chase after the Spirit Airlines crowd while having higher costs and thus losing more money per flight since they can’t compete on the cost side with Spirit. Their strategy makes no sense to me since they need a revenue premium but they are chase the bottom of the market.

    This American Airlines EP who has held status with them for over a decade, doesn’t have a single flight booked with American Airlines since they have handled the pandemic in a painful fashion and have shown they only care about one thing, having me bend over backwards as they take my cash. As such, I have been putting my money where my mouth is and flying Southwest, JetBlue, United currently with potential upcoming flights on Delta and Alaska. I will burn my existing miles with American as rewards make sense and move my loyalty to either Delta or United even though I am based out Philly. I just can’t stand the lack of empowerment that American Airlines employees have or the policies which make no sense, or the media communications team which puts out press releases but then that information isn’t carried over to the travel wallet on American Airlines website when logged in, etc. I plan to cancel my American Airlines business card when it renews next year and will pick up either a Delta or United Card to help me qualify with status for 2023 once I decide which is a better fit.

  7. I am definitely in the camp of now is the time to “thin the herd” so to speak…Keep qualification where it is and make the program better as you are offering it to a smaller pool…I know mine is hardly the popular opinion, but to each his own…

  8. “I am definitely in the camp of now is the time to “thin the herd” so to speak”

    That’s not a bad idea. But this is all about trying to put more butts in seats, and generate revenue. The airlines, and other business as well, are going to struggle until “safety” protocols are relaxed or dropped altogether.

  9. This makes it very clear that they’re gonna do what @SEM wants and thin the herd. The fact that they’re making these offers means that they won’t extend status again next year. Hopefully though at least they’ll offer soft landings for those who have no option to try for status this year.

  10. This sounds great but unfortunately we don’t really get anything for qualifying. As a 1K its impossible to get an upgrade on status and I am successful 25% of the time when using PlusPoints to bump myself up on the wait list (and I have never seen upgrade availability on a domestic flight ever). And I haven’t received the free drink and snack that is a promised benefit of being a 1K in over a year now. Pre-boarding is now the only benefit.

  11. This rules for those of us low-to-mid tier Premier members who are price-savvy, schedule-flexible, long-distance flyers. We were badly hurt by the PQP change (90% of my flying is transcon), so much so that it’s questionable whether this Platinum member might even make Silver.

    But, for next year anyway, between the bonus points at the beginning of the year and this promo, I’m automatically Silver again (which is vastly better than being Nothing, if only for The Phone Number), and I’ll probably make Gold, which I’m totally content with.

  12. It seems strange to hear 1Ks say that it’s impossible for them to get upgrades. I’ve been Silver for three years and get upgraded around 15% of the time. It’s not much but I’m also bottom tier.

    Because of this promotion I’ll be able to hit Gold by the end of the summer.

  13. @DeePeeGrumps What would the spending waiver look like in the PQP world? It used to waive the PQD requirement. But now the whole system is based around spending, not distance. So what would be waived? All I can think of is that it would reduce the quantity of PQP required, and in fact it does that: if you spent the same $25,000 now (actually $24,000), you’d earn 1,000 PQP.

    Unlike the PQD waiver, 1,000 PQP doesn’t scale in value with higher levels of status, so that’s a negative, though if you have multiple United branded cards and can do the spend, you could theoretically jump a whole status level (5,000 PQP for $240,000 spent), so that’s a positive. Not much of a positive, but I digress. What would a credit card waiver look like now?

  14. Thank you for this! I just signed up for my wife and me. This will put me within 1,138 PQP of requalifying for 1K and my wife will requalify for Gold after her third trip, which is already purchased for this summer.

    As #Mary says, 1K benefits are minimal this year but preboarding is still nice, as is the 1K phone line. “Maybe next year” may be the new motto of all US airlines.

  15. Mixed feelings, it will help and I might keep 1K this year (Platinum for life).
    But the rules are a bit strange, I have an international business class round trip in the promotion period and it counts as 1 flight and doing 2 cheap domestic one ways would be 2 flights.
    Now with this promotion and the top off at the start of the year status is much easier to get and as somebody else above already wrote domestic upgrades are hard to get even with pluspoints. International not so much.

  16. I’m mixed. It looks like I will become 1K (currently platinum). The points plus upgrades are certainly appealing and so is the pre-boarding. But it seems as though this move will probably also make it harder to actually use the points plus. I see so many empty flights already and you can only go on upgrade waitlists with those points. Moreover, a 1/3 of the plane currently seems to already be in group 1. I waited 20 minutes at LAX in the “premier line.” and the clubs are back to being mobbed. So what will it look like next year? Everyone pre-boarding? Everyone in the 1 united club (since united refuses to open up more than 1 club at EWR)? Still have 2 bag checkers at an airport premier line for 40 people? It all sounds lovely but it seems as though it could potentially not mean much in the months ahead.

  17. I’m a lowly Gold, but with the bonus points to start the year and the first quarter promo, I’ve already re-qualified even though I never expected too. This new promo will put me in reach of Platinum which was never even on my radar in a good year. I like it. Of course, as flights are now consistently packed full with long upgrade lists, I may never get another free upgrade again, but I can hope. And I agree with those who mentioned thinning the herd a little.

  18. I’ll also mention, I was trying to book vacation tickets next month, but the flights/destination I wanted are so full they’re not even selling tickets any more so it may be difficult to book 3 flights next quarter to the places I want to go.

  19. I have an upcoming flight with Turkish, with a United segment. Booked thru Turkish. Would this qualify as eligible activity, or is it ineligible since Turkish issued ticket?

  20. @Sam
    Yes if you pay with future flight credit, travel certificates, etc. it will count towards this promotion. Award tickets paid for with miles do not count.

  21. Thank you for the information. I have a question though…

    I already took 2 trips in January / February this year and just took my 3rd trip on 4/30 which falls within the promo period. Can I chose Welcome Back option even this was my 3rd trip of the year (but 1st trip within the promo period), OR I am only eligible for Easy PQP option… I would love to take Welcome Back option since it’s more PQP.

    If Anyone can answer to this, greatly appreciated.

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