Business Treaveler logo

Travel news, reviews and intel for high-flyers

United Raises MileagePlus Elite Status Requirements

It's now harder than before for MileagePlus members to reach Premier status due to changes to the number of points needed

by Fergus Cole

November 10, 2022

United Airlines lounge at Newark International Airport / Photo: Courtesy of United Airlines

United Airlines is raising the bar for elite membership of its frequent flyer program MileagePlus, implementing changes that were initially announced in 2019 and put on pause during the pandemic.

From 2023, United passengers will need to earn more Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) and take more Premier Qualifying Flights (PQFs) to attain Premier statuses and their various perks.

Current MileagePlus elite requirements:

Premier status Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) OR Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) + Premier Qualifying Flights (PQFs)
Premier Silver 3,500 PQPs 3,000 PQPs + 8 PQFs
Premier Gold 7,000 PQPs 6,000 PQPs + 16 PQFs
Premier Platinum 10,000 PQPs 9,000 PQPs + 24 PQFs
Premier 1K 15,000 PQPs 13,500 PQPs + 36 PQFs


MileagePlus elite requirements from 2023:

Premier status Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) OR Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) + Premier Qualifying Flights (PQFs)
Premier Silver 5,000 PQPs 4,000 PQPs + 12 PQFs
Premier Gold 10,000 PQPs 8,000 PQPs + 24 PQFs
Premier Platinum 15,000 PQPs 12,000 PQPs + 36 PQFs
Premier 1K 24,000 PQPs 18,000 PQPs + 54 PQFs


These points and flights must be earned between January 1 and December 31, 2023, to set elite status until January 31, 2025.

The thresholds have been raised significantly, especially to attain the highest levels of membership, which deliver mileage bonuses and priority check-in and boarding and waive baggage fees. For example, to attain 1K membership, a passenger needs to spend $24,000 in a year, up from $15,000.

However, United is giving existing MileagePlus elite members a head start to meet those requirements in 2023. Early next year, the airline will automatically deposit extra Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) into members’ accounts, the amount based on the status they earned in 2022.

The jump start will be:

  • Premier Silver members: 500 PQPs
  • Premier Gold members: 1,000 PQPs
  • Premier Platinum: 1,500 PQPs
  • Premium 1K: 2,500 PQPs

Additionally, United and United Express flights booked using MileagePlus miles will begin to count toward elite status. Every 100 miles redeemed on a flight will count as 1 PQP. This is a change for United and aligns their policies with Delta Air Lines.

United is also scrapping redeposit fees when you change or cancel flights booked with miles. This will save some customers up to $125 per canceled award flight. Again, United is playing catch-up with Delta and American here.

To further sweeten the pill, United is increasing the maximum number of Premier Qualifying Points you can earn on credit card spending from next year. With the United Quest Card, a passenger can earn up to 6,000 PQPs (the equivalent of Silver Status) per year, up from 3,000 PQPs. With the United Club Infinite Card, a passenger can earn up to 8,000 PQPs, up from 4,000 PQPs.

Holders of United MileagePlus Chase cards will still earn 500 PQPs for every $12,000 spent.

Additionally, the maximum number of Premier Qualifying Points one can earn across all cards each calendar year will rise from 5,000 PQPs to 15,000 PQPs. That means a passenger can attain Platinum Status just based on credit card spending.

The elite status changes were initially announced by United in late 2019 but were put on hold after the coronavirus crisis grounded flights. Their revival next year is another sign that the elite status free-for-all many airlines hosted during the pandemic is well and truly over.

Looking for further signs? In October, Delta announced that it too will raise the thresholds for achieving elite status Medallions through its SkyMiles program from 2023.

Additionally, American Airlines has completely overhauled the way AAdvantage members earn elite status by introducing a new rewards currency known as Loyalty Points.