In case you missed it (or just woke up), the internet is abuzz this morning over the latest news from United. It was only a matter of time, and I think we all knew what was coming, but now it’s official…United is (re)introducing spending requirements to go along with mileage thresholds in order to qualify for Premier starting in 2014. As someone who now exclusively mileage runs for status on United, this naturally is not a change that I like. As I continue my quest towards Million Miler, 2013 will the first, and now likely the last time I will ever make Premier 1K.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom, as initially anticipated. It turns out United “enhanced” this new policy since the first time they tried it shortly following the merger. There now is a loophole of sorts that allows you to earn up to Premier Platinum status, without the PQD (Premier Qualifying Dollar) requirement as long as you spend $25,000 or more on a Chase-United co branded credit card. Time to brush up on the basics of manufactured spending everyone!
In essence the only real “change” is that you’ll no longer be able to mileage run for 1K. There will undoubtedly be a thinning of the ranks at the top tier, but as long as you have your Explorer, United Club, or in my case, a MileagePlus Select Visa handy you can still be a Platinum! So you’re saying you value my business with Chase more than you do your own airline? You want me to go earn a majority of my miles with a credit card instead of sitting in one of your dirty planes for 4 days at a time? Not a problem, United. As long as we still have Vanilla Reloads and gift cards with PINS, I’m sure I’ll survive.
As for being a 1K, it will be a short-lived novelty for me. My actual goal is Million Miler, so that I’ll never have to worry about PQMs, and now PQDs, ever again. Before this, there were a bunch of other changes I didn’t like, and I’ve already shifted a lot of my business and family travel almost exclusively over to Alaska Airlines. United 1K was never the goal; It was simply a means to an end and a benchmark I set for myself to accelerate the process of acquiring lifetime Gold status. If I was actually aiming for 1K, however, I’d be pissed! I’m sure this new change is bound to scare off a few “loyal” customers who maybe aren’t as close to MM as I am.
What do you think? Is this worth leaving United over?