Card Know How

Cracking the Code: Mastering Elite Status with United and Cobranded Credit Cards

Title: Demystifying Elite Status Requirements: Everything You Need to KnowAre you a frequent flyer, constantly in search of exclusive perks and benefits? If so, you may have heard about elite status programs offered by major airlines such as United, Delta, and American.

But what exactly does elite status entail? How can you obtain it, and what are the changes coming in 2020?

In this comprehensive guide, we will unravel the complexities of elite status requirements, shedding light on the key factors that determine your eligibility and strategies to achieve and maintain elite status.

Understanding Elite Status Requirements

Elite Status and Revenue Requirements

Earning elite status with airlines like United, Delta, and American requires meeting specific qualifications, and revenue requirements have become an increasingly important criterion. United’s Premier/Medallion/Elite Qualifying Dollars, along with Delta’s Revenue Requirement and American’s Elite Qualifying Dollars, determine your eligibility for elite status.

These requirements consider the amount you spend on flights, ensuring that airlines reward their most loyal customers.

Cobranded Credit Cards and Elite-Qualification Requirements

Another way to fast-track your journey to elite status is through cobranded credit cards. MileagePlus Premier Elite status holders, for example, can utilize their cobranded credit card to meet certain elite-qualification requirements.

These cards offer various benefits, such as bonus miles and waivers for certain spending thresholds, assisting you in crossing the eligibility threshold for elite status.

Changes in 2020 and How They Affect You

United’s Changes to Elite Status

As we step into 2020, United Airlines has introduced changes to its elite status program. Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) and Premier Qualifying Flights (PQFs) now play a crucial role in achieving and maintaining elite status.

PQPs are granted based on the fare class and flight distance, while PQFs are determined by the number of segments flown. This change allows elite status seekers to have more flexibility in earning their desired status.

PQPs and Partner Flights

United’s PQP changes also impact partner flights. Previously, only United and United Express fares counted towards elite-qualification requirements.

However, with the introduction of Preferred and MileagePlus partners, travelers can now earn PQPs on a wider range of flights, both domestically and internationally. These exciting updates open up new possibilities for elite status seekers, allowing them to leverage a broader network of flights to achieve their goals.


By understanding the intricacies of elite status requirements, you can navigate your way through the process more effectively. The revenue requirements set by airlines like United, Delta, and American, as well as the benefits of cobranded credit cards, offer valuable opportunities to accelerate your progress towards elite status.

Furthermore, by staying informed about the changes implemented by airlines, such as United’s switch to PQPs and PQFs, you can adapt your strategies and maximize your chances of achieving and maintaining the coveted elite status. In conclusion, elite status programs provide exceptional perks and benefits, rewarding frequent flyers for their loyalty.

With the insights shared in this article, you now have the knowledge and tools needed to embark on your elite status journey with confidence. Happy flying!

Earning Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) with United Credit Cards

United Cobranded Cardholders and PQP Earning Opportunities

For frequent flyers seeking to earn Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) towards United Elite status, having a United cobranded credit card is a game-changer. These cards offer a variety of benefits, including opportunities to earn PQPs. As a United cobranded cardholder, you can earn PQPs through your everyday spending, bringing you closer to achieving or maintaining your desired elite status.

United Premier Silver, for example, requires 12,500 PQPs. By using your United cobranded credit card, you can earn 500 PQPs for every $12,000 spent. This means that spending $24,000 on your United cobranded card translates to 1,000 PQPs, significantly reducing the gap towards elite status.

United Explorer Card and United Explorer Business Card

Among the United cobranded credit cards, the

United Explorer Card and United Explorer Business Card offer exceptional benefits to cardholders. Besides the usual perks like free checked bags and priority boarding, these cards allow you to earn more PQPs.

With the United Explorer Card, you can earn 500 PQPs for every $12,000 spent, up to a maximum of 1,000 PQPs per calendar year.

This bonus, combined with the PQPs earned through flying United, helps you reach your elite status goals faster. Similarly, the United Explorer Business Card allows you to earn 500 PQPs for every $12,000 spent, up to a maximum of 1,000 PQPs. Whether you’re a business traveler or simply prefer a card that aligns with your professional needs, the United Explorer Business Card offers a range of benefits tailored to your travel requirements.

Legacy United Credit Cards and the United Presidential Plus Card

Bonus PQPs for Eligible Cardholders

If you are a holder of a legacy United credit card, you may be eligible for bonus PQPs, giving you an advantage in your quest for elite status. United periodically offers promotions to legacy cardholders, providing bonus PQPs based on their spending.

For example, United has previously offered promotions where cardholders could earn bonus PQPs based on their total spend on eligible United flights and purchases. These bonus PQPs are a valuable boost, helping you accumulate the necessary points for elite status faster.

The UnitedTM Presidential PlusSM Card

One distinguished card that stands out among United’s cobranded credit cards is the United Presidential Plus Card. While no longer actively marketed to new customers, existing cardholders still enjoy the unique benefits and privileges it provides.

The United Presidential Plus Card offers a wide range of perks, such as United Club membership, which grants access to United’s airport lounges. This card also allows you to earn PQPs through spending, helping you achieve elite status faster.

Additionally, the United Presidential Plus Card provides other exclusive benefits like premier access, priority boarding, and priority check-in. These privileges enhance your overall travel experience, allowing you to enjoy a seamless and comfortable journey from start to finish.

In summary, United’s cobranded credit cards, such as the

United Explorer Card and United Explorer Business Card, offer significant opportunities to earn PQPs. These cards provide multiple avenues to accumulate PQPs through everyday spending, making them valuable tools for achieving desired elite status. Furthermore, legacy United credit cardholders may have access to special promotions and bonus PQP opportunities, boosting their progress.

Finally, the United Presidential Plus Card remains a prestigious option, offering exclusive perks to its valued cardholders. By leveraging the benefits of United’s cobranded credit cards and taking advantage of these unique opportunities, you can accelerate your journey towards elite status and enjoy a host of privileges unavailable to ordinary travelers.

Happy travels!

Premier Qualifying Dollar Waiver and Higher Tier Opportunities

Premier Qualifying Dollar (PQD) Waiver and the New Qualification Scheme

United Airlines has introduced a new qualification scheme that allows travelers to waive the Premier Qualifying Dollar (PQD) requirement. Under this scheme, if you spend $25,000 or more on a United cobranded credit card in a calendar year, the PQD requirement is waived entirely.

This means that you can achieve elite status without having to meet the traditional PQD threshold. The PQD waiver is particularly beneficial for travelers who prioritize spending and credit card rewards over meeting specific spending thresholds on flights.

By utilizing your United cobranded credit card for everyday expenses, you can reach your desired elite status even if your travel plans don’t align with the traditional PQD requirements. As an added incentive, United also provides a bonus of 1,000 Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) for reaching the $25,000 spending threshold.

This bonus boosts your progress towards elite status, providing an extra advantage to travelers with high credit card spending.

Higher Tier Opportunities and the Cost of Credit Card Spending

For those aiming to reach the higher elite tiers, the cost of credit card spending may be a worthwhile investment. Achieving Premier Platinum or Premier 1K status can bring an array of benefits, including enhanced upgrades, greater bonus miles, and increased flexibility with travel plans.

Considering the thresholds set for these higher tiers, maximizing credit card spending becomes crucial. For example, Premier Platinum requires 18,000 PQPs, while Premier 1K demands 54,000 PQPs. By strategically using your United cobranded credit card, you can earn PQPs with each dollar spent, significantly reducing the gap towards these higher tiers.

However, it is essential to consider the cost of credit card spending and assess whether the benefits outweigh the expenses. Each individual’s travel patterns and financial situation will determine the feasibility of investing in credit card spending to qualify for higher elite status levels.

It’s also important to note that reaching higher tiers involves more than credit card spending. Flying on United and partner airlines, especially in premium cabins or on long-haul international routes, contributes significantly to earning PQPs. A well-rounded strategy that combines credit card spending with flight activity can provide the most effective path to leveling up your elite status.

In conclusion, the Premier Qualifying Dollar (PQD) waiver provides a refreshing alternative for travelers who prioritize credit card spending over meeting traditional spending thresholds on flights. Achieving elite status becomes more accessible, thanks to the opportunity to earn bonus PQPs through significant credit card spending.

However, the decision to invest in credit card spending should be carefully evaluated, considering both the cost and the benefits associated with reaching higher elite status tiers. By striking the right balance between credit card spending, flight activity, and personal travel preferences, you can maximize your chances of enjoying the privileges and perks that come with elite status.

Safe travels!

In conclusion, the pursuit of elite status with airlines such as United, Delta, and American involves a complex set of qualifications and requirements. By understanding the intricacies of revenue requirements, cobranded credit cards, and the changes implemented in 2020, travelers can navigate their path towards elite status more effectively.

Through the use of United cobranded credit cards, travelers can earn Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) and even waive the Premier Qualifying Dollar (PQD) requirement. Additionally, legacy United credit cardholders have access to special promotions and bonus PQPs. However, it is essential to assess the cost-benefit of credit card spending, considering individual travel patterns and financial situations.

By strategically combining credit card spending with flight activity, travelers can maximize their chances of leveling up their elite status. The journey towards elite status is an opportunity to unlock exclusive perks and benefits, ensuring a more rewarding travel experience.

Whether a frequent flyer or an occasional traveler, understanding and capitalizing on the elite status requirements can pave the way for a seamless journey and unforgettable memories.

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