united mileage plus gold requirements

For most Frequent Flyer programs, and especially for United Mileage Plus, the best use of miles is to use them for flights.

United's mileage flight cost is based on regions (with one exception which is distance based for flights less than 700 miles), so there are definitely some flights that are better value than others.

Firstly, there's 2 tiers of flights - "Saver" and "Standard". Saver awards are half the cost of Standard awards, but availability is limited, where Standard awards are available on any flight where seats are available for sale. Obviously this makes Saver awards a better option, but if you're looking at booking a ticket on a near-full flight, a Standard award still might be a good option compared to buying a very expensive paid ticket!

Next there's the class of ticket. You can book Economy, Business or First class tickets with miles - with Business or First being an amazingly good deal, especially for International. Business Class tickets cost only about 60% more than Economy, and First are only twice the Economy price. If you compare that to paying with cash, where business will normally be 3-10 times the economy price, and first even more, it's a great use of miles.

With the exception of flights less than 700 miles, all flights are priced in terms of regions. eg, anywhere in the US to anywhere else in the US is 25,000 miles return as a saver economy award. If you were to pay cash, that could cost you anywhere between (say) $150 and $1500 - obviously the best use of miles is when the flight is selling for a much higher price.

International flights are when things can become great value. eg, a return trip to Australia from anywhere in the US is only 80,000 miles in economy - only about 3 times the cost of a round trip within the US.

The region-based pricing, along with the ability to have a stopover on a return trip means that you can build some fairly good trips. eg, I recently flew San Francisco to Sydney, then Brisbane to Bangkok, to Singapore, to Hong Kong, and then back to San Francisco - all in Business class, on 4 different airlines, for only 135,000 miles. That's the same number of miles it would have cost to fly to Sydney alone - but due to the region concept I was able to come back via Asia for the same price as returning direct! Return bookings allow for one stopover and one open-jaw.

You can also book one-way awards, which are especially useful if flights are expensive in one direction, but cheap in the other. When comparing paid v's redemption flights, most people work on miles being worth about 2-3 cents each - if it's cheaper than that, just pay cash, otherwise consider using miles. eg, if a flight will cost 12,500 miles (one-way economy saver award), and you can buy it for $125, then pay cash! However if the same flight will cost $400 (ie, 3.2 cents/mile), then it's a good opportunity to use miles.

UPDATE: A few months ago United changed the prices for some of it's award flights. The biggest change was that some awards on "partner" airlines, especially in business/first class, now cost more than the United equivalents. Most everything above still holds, but in terms of best value for points, premium cabin flights on United airlines now work out cheaper than premium cabin flights on other partner/Star Alliance airlines.


united mileage plus gold requirements

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Earn 1,000 Bonus Miles with United MileagePlus Shopping Portal

United mileage plus gold requirementsIf you’re a United MileagePlus Explorer Cardholder, you can reap the benefits of 1,000 United Miles when you make a spend of $350 through United’s Shopping portal now and through September 9th 2016.

Please keep in mind that “Qualifying purchases” do not include returns, cancellations, shipping and handling, taxes, gift card or other cash equivalent purchases. If you’re able o accomplish the $350 spend in United’s Shopping portal, you could be able to achieve +2.86x the miles, so hurry in and participate while the promotion still last!

  • During the “Fall Fun & Sports” bonus campaign, 08/29/16 through 09/09/16 at 11:59:59 pm ET, Member will be able to earn a one-time bonus of up to 1,000 MileagePlus® bonus award miles on qualifying purchases, in addition to the standard MileagePlus® miles earned from shopping online through the MileagePlus® Shopping mall.
  • “Qualifying purchases” do not include returns, cancellations, shipping and handling, taxes, gift card or other cash equivalent purchases.
  • Please allow 8-10 weeks after the Bonus Period for bonus award miles to post to your MileagePlus® Shopping account.
  1. If you’re a MileagePlus cardholder, log into your MileagePlus account
  2. Register for this promotion
  3. Complete the spending requirement of $350 within the United Shopping Portal
  4. Registration and spending must be accomplished by September 9, 2016.

United MileagePlus Explorer cardholders, if you haven’t already, register for the Fall Fun & Sport Campaign and now through September 09, 2016, you can take advantage of 1,000 additional United Bonus Miles when you make a spend of $350 within the United Shopping Portal. Keep in mind that exclusions do apply; I recommend taking a brief overview of United’s Product eligibility before applying.

This is a pretty solid bonus that could give you an additional 2.86x the points if registration and spending is to be completed by September 9, 2016. Please allow 8-10 weeks after the Bonus Period for bonus award miles to post to your MileagePlus® Shopping account. If you’re still looking for other deals, you can find our complete list of Credit Card Bonuses from our exclusive list!

Chris provides our readers bank deals and credit card bonuses that will save them money. He is devoted to provided in-depth and accurate details to help readers maximize their money along their financial journey.

United mileage plus gold requirementsChase Premier Plus Checking SM Get $300 when you open a new Chase Premier Plus Checking SM account and set up direct deposit.

Chase Total Checking® + Chase Savings SM Get a $200 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking ® account and set up direct deposit. Also get a $150 bonus when you open a new Chase Savings SM account, deposit a total of $10,000 or more in new money within 10 days & maintain a $10,000 balance for 90 days.


united mileage plus gold requirements

The issue with the new Mileage Plus program is elite status requires an annual spend component for U.S. resident members and redeemable miles are earned based on ticket price. Both of these 2015 changes are prohibitive to earning award tickets and elite status on United Mileage Plus for the long haul international ticket budget flyer.

In my analysis of miles earned in United Mileage Plus for a San Francisco SFO – DXB Dubai ticket in K class, the Mileage Plus U.S. resident revenue-based program holds little value for the person seeking redeemable miles and Star Alliance Gold elite on low cost fares. This post looks at Asiana Airlines of South Korea, a Star Alliance member airline and the Asiana Club alternative to United Mileage Plus.

My previous article examines redeemable miles and elite qualifying credit earned for a United.com purchased ticket from San Francisco to Dubai, United Arab Emirates compared to a Swiss Airlines purchased ticket for $6 more.

$755.42 Swiss Airlines purchased ticket with all Swiss Airlines operated flight segments in economy K class SFO-DXB Dubai earns 8,806 United Mileage Plus miles and $0 PQD credit for United Mileage Plus.

$749.90 United.com ticket purchase flying United operated aircraft outbound and Swiss Airlines inbound, all economy K class. Mileage Plus redeemable miles earned for $630 base fare = 3,150 redeemable miles and $630 PQD.

United Mileage Plus now requires $3,000 Premier Qualifying Dollars to earn Mileage Plus Silver elite and $6,000 PQD to earn Premier Gold elite, the level needed for Star Alliance Gold and lounge access privileges on international flights.

Asiana is a Star Alliance member airline based in South Korea. The value of Asiana Club frequent flyer program is its comparatively low elite qualification requirements. Star Alliance Gold member benefits are earned with Asiana Club Diamond elite, a status earned with 40,000 qualifying miles in a 2-year period.

QualificationAccumulate 40,000 miles by boarding Asiana Airlines or Star Alliance flights, or board 50 Asiana Airlines flights within 24 months from the base date*

November 1, 2012 for members who joined Asiana Club on or before September 30, 2008

Date of subscription for members who joined Asiana Club on or after October 1, 2008

1. Elite membership status is granted based on boarding performance in the 24 months after the base date.

2. If you satisfy the standard in the 24 months, early membership promotion is granted. The Elite membership status is maintained for the period of the early promotion and an additional 24 months.

3. If the membership term expires, the new membership status is granted according to the boarding performance in the 24 months prior to the date of expiry. The boarding frequency for the early promotion term is not reflected in the membership status review.

Elite membership status is valid from the day after the date on which Elite membership standards are satisfied.

Asiana Club Miles Earned for Star Alliance Partner Flights

Back to the San Francisco SFO-DXB Dubai flights on United and/or Swiss and the benefit of applying flights to Asiana Club rather than United Mileage Plus.

$730.80 United.com ticket purchase flying all United operated aircraft outbound and inbound, all economy K class. Mileage Plus redeemable miles earned for $630 base fare = 3,150 redeemable miles and $630 PQD.

$731 SFO-DXB ticket =9,488 redeemable and elite miles in Asiana Club

This same SFO-DXB ticket credited to Asiana Club earns 50% flight miles as redeemable miles and elite qualifying miles for 9,488 redeemable and elite miles in Asiana Club. One flight credits 50% of miles needed for Asiana Gold elite and 25% of miles needed for Asiana Diamond elite, which also confers Star Alliance Gold benefit like airport lounge access when flying on a Star Alliance member airline.

You can reach Asiana Diamond elite with 40,000 elite qualifying miles and Star Alliance Gold benefits with four or five international long haul tickets in economy class on Star Alliance member airlines and under $3,000 in spend over 24 months at this rate.

Beware of Booking Class Codes

Swiss Airlines deep discount economy K class purchased ticket on Swiss Airlines website earns 50% miles in United Mileage Plus. The tricky part of other Star Alliance member airline frequent flyer programs is learning which booking codes count and which booking classes do not count for earning miles.

Swiss Airlines ticketed flight SFO-DXB Dubai earns 50% redeemable miles based on actual flight miles of route in United Mileage Plus since it is a Star Alliance member airline ticket purchased from a website other than United.com. But, a check of Asiana earning table for Swiss flights shows Swiss Economy K class earns no miles in Asiana Club.

Buy a ticket on Swiss Airlines SFO-DXB in economy K class and a United Mileage Plus member earns nearly 3x redeemable miles when credited to United Mileage Plus compared to buying a United Airlines SFO-DXB ticket.

But, if you are an Asiana Club frequent flyer, then the United purchased ticket is the better choice over the Swiss ticket since United economy K class earns 50% redeemable miles and elite qualifying miles for Asiana Club elite status.

Another example of Asiana Club miles earned flying Deep Discount economy U class on Air China purchased ticket.

$623.44 Air China LAX-PEK-GMP Seoul, Korea in deep discount economy U class.

U class earns 50% miles based on flight distance as redeemable miles and elite qualifying miles. Flight distance is 6,828 miles each way and that is also equivalent to the 6,828 redeemable and elite miles earned in Asiana Club for this ticket.

A reminder that Asiana Club members earn elite membership for flight miles in a 24-month period. Asiana Club miles expire ten years from date of accumulation and the expiration period is extended to 12 years for Asiana Club Diamond members (40,000 elite qualifying miles in 24-months).

The burning question on United Mileage Plus members minds who are considering a change to Asiana Club is how many miles are needed for award tickets?

As a U.S. resident who finds little value in United Mileage Plus in 2015, one of the important issues is the cost of frequent flyer award tickets using Asiana miles compared to United Mileage Plus miles.

Award Tickets within North America

  • 25,000 miles Economy round trip saver (one way 50% miles)
  • 50,000 miles Business round trip saver award
  • 70,000 miles First round trip saver award

Award Tickets North America – Europe

  • 60,000 miles Economy round trip saver (one way 50% miles)
  • 115,000 miles Business round trip saver award
  • 160,000 miles First round trip saver award

Award Tickets North America – Northeast Asia (Japan, Korea, China)

  • 70,000 miles Economy round trip saver (one way 50% miles)
  • 140,000 miles Business round trip saver award
  • 160,000 miles First round trip saver award


Chase United MileagePlus Rewards No Annual Fee Card – Review

This is another post in our series on weird credit cards, this week we will be looking at the little known Chase United card with no annual fee.

  • Not possible to apply for this card directly
  • No annual fee
  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • 1x miles for every $2 spent
  • 25% bonus on the MileagePlus shopping portal
  • Increased award inventory (I originally listed this card as not receiving this benefit but lots of readers report that they do see increased award inventory)

This card does not give you access to the following benefits:

  • Free bags
  • Gives no benefits on United basic fares

United mileage plus gold requirements

No annual fee card pictured at top, via krazykanuck on Flyertalk

There are actually other United credit cards that aren’t available for downgrades, United MileagePlus Awards Card (actually listed on the Chase website) that comes with a $60 annual fee and earns 1x miles on every $1 spent and the United Select card, with the following benefits:

  • $140 annual fee
  • 3 award miles per $1 spent on tickets purchased from United
  • 2 miles per $1 spent on gas station, grocery, restaurant and home improvement store purchases
  • 2 miles per $1 spent on tickets purchased from other Star AllianceTM member airlines
  • 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Up to 5,000 Premier® qualifying miles (PQM) each year on purchases made on united.com
  • 5,000 bonus award miles each year on your account anniversary

It doesn’t really make any sense to put any spend on this card with it only earning 1x mile per $2 spent, but it might be worth downgrading this card for three reasons:

  • Chase only lets you product change to a card in the same family (e.g United). By downgrading to this card you’ll be able to keep your average age of accounts higher in the long term (if you cancel it’ll take 7 years to fall off your report anyway), this is a scoring factor for FICO.
  • Holding a United credit card gives you a 25% bonus on their shopping portal & increased award inventory
  • Miles expire after 18 months of no activity, putting a small charge on this card would be enough to keep them active