United Airlines Premier Elite Status Guide


Earning Premier Elite Status

United Airlines has five different "Premier" elite status levels: Silver, Gold, Platinum, 1k, and Global Services. To obtain elite status you need a combination of:

Premier Qualifying Miles (PQM)

You earn one PQM for each mile you fly for most economy fares, but zero PQMs for basic economy fares. For other fare classes, see below. 

Premier Qualifying Segments (PQS)

You earn one PQS for each segment you fly for most economy fares, but zero PQSs for basic economy fares. For other fare classes, see below. 

Premier Qualifying Dollars (PQD)

This is the amount of money you spend with United or their partners, as long as the ticket is issued by United (e.g., you could earn PQDs flying on Lufthansa as long as the ticket is issued by United). This requirement is only applicable to U.S. residents.

Earning PQM and PQS on United and United Express Flights 

  • Fare Class F & J= 300% PQM and 1.5 PQS
  • Fare Class A, C, D, Z, and P= 200% PQM and 1.5 PQS
  • Fare Class Y, B, and P= 150% PQM and 1.5 PQS
  • Fare Class M, E, U, H, Q, V, W, S, T, L, K, and G= 100% PQM and 1 PQS
  • Basic Economy (N)= earns no elite status credit.

Premier Elite Status Levels 

Premier Silver 

25,000 PQM and 30 PQS (and $3,000 if you are a U.S. Resident)

Premier Gold

50,000 PQM and 60 PQS (and $6,000 if you are a U.S. Resident)

Premier Platinum

75,000 PQM and 90 PQS (and $9,000 if you are a U.S. Resident)

Premier 1K 

100,000 PQM and 120 PQS (and $15,000 if you are a U.S. Resident)

Global Services (United's Ultra-Elite Status)

Global Services is invitation only, so you would need to spend about $40,000 to 50,000 per year on United. Alternatively, you could earn Global Services elite status by flying 4 million lifetime miles on United. 

Million Miler Program

United's Million Miler Program offers you and one companion elite status for the rest of your lifetime. The levels are: one million miles (Premier Gold), Two Million (Premier Platinum), Three Million (Premier 1K), and Four Million (United Global Services). Lifetime miles are based on flight distance of United and United Express flights, so there is no bonus for booking a higher fare class. Basic Economy tickets do not earn lifetime miles. Additionally, you can change your designated companion each year as long as you make the change before November 30th so that the change will be reflected on January 1 of the upcoming year.


Status Match from Other Airlines

United offers a status match challenge. You need elite status with another airline and the ability to fly a certain number of flights depending on your status level within 90 days. You can also email [email protected] with your proof of status, United number, full name, and mailing address. You may be able to match from 30+ airlines, but below are the ones that are most likely to work:

  • Alaska Airlines- MVP Gold 75k = United Platinum
  • American Airlines- Gold = United Silver; Platinum = United Gold; Platinum Pro = United Platinum
  • Delta Airlines- Silver = United Silver; Gold = United Gold; Platinum = United Platinum
  • JetBlue- Mosaic = United Silver
  • Marriott- Marriott Platinum Premier = United Gold (status match page)
  • Southwest- A-List = United Silver; A-List Preferred = United Gold
  • British Airways-  Gold = United Platinum
  • Qantas- Gold = United Gold
  • Virgin Australia-  Gold = United Gold; Platinum = United Platinum 

Premier Elite Benefits

All Status Levels

  • Priority: check-in, security, boarding, baggage, access to most sold-out flights, and customer service phone line.
  • Minimum 500 PQM accrual per one-way trip.
  • Instant upgrades on Y or B-class full-fare economy tickets (very expensive economy tickets). 
  • Eligible for award ticket upgrades if you have one of the United credit cards. 

Premier Silver

Earning Points: Earns United points at 7 x fare price (e.g., $100 ticket would earn 700 United points).

Upgrades

  • Economy Plus at check-in (including one companion)
  • Premier Upgrades plus companion on the day of departure. 

Flying on United: One free checked bag up to 70 pounds (2 free bags if flying to Europe; 3 free bags if flying anywhere in the premium cabin).

Award Travel

  • $50 fee for booking award within 21 days
  • $50 award changes 61 days before departure or $100 within 60 days.

Other Benefits: Star Alliance Silver (priority standby and reservations waitlisting (very little value))

Premier Gold

Earning Points: Earns United points at 8 x fare price (e.g., $100 ticket would earn 800 United points).

Upgrades

  • Economy Plus at booking (including one companion)
  • Premier Upgrades plus companion 48 hours before departure.

Flying on United

  • Free same day flight changes
  • Two free checked bags up to 70 LBs (three free bags when flying to Europe or flying anywhere in a premium cabin).

Award Travel

  •  $25 fee for booking award within 21 days
  • $25 award changes 61 days before departure or $75 within 60 days.

Other Benefits: Star Alliance Gold (international lounge access for you and one guest when a Star Alliance airline + priority benefits); Marriott Gold Elite Status

Premier Platinum 

Earning Points: Earns United points at 9 x fare price (e.g., $100 ticket would earn 900 United points).

Upgrades

  • Economy Plus at booking (including eight companions)
  • Premier Upgrades plus companion 72 hours before departure
  • 2 "Regional Premier Upgrades" when reaching Platinum.

Flying on United

  • Free same day flight changes
  • 3 free checked bags up to 70 LBs.

Award Travel

  • No fee for booking award within 21 days
  • Access to more award space in United business and first class
  • No phone award booking fee
  • Free award changes 61 days before departure or $50 within 60 days.

Other Benefits:  Star Alliance Gold (international lounge access for you and one guest when a Star Alliance airline + priority benefits); Marriott Gold Elite Status

Premier 1K

Earning Points: Earns United points at 11 x fare price (e.g., $100 ticket would earn 1,100 United points).

Upgrades

  • Economy Plus at booking (including eight companions)
  • Premier Upgrades plus companion 96 hours before departure
  • Instant upgrades on M-class tickets. 
  • 2 "Regional Premier Upgrades" when reaching 1k (plus the 2 from reaching Platinum).
  • Six Global Upgrades
  • One additional "Global Premier Upgrade" for every 25,000 PQM over 100,000 or 30 qualifying segments over 120 PQS. 

Flying on United

  • Free alcoholic beverage and "Choice Menu" food item during flight (you may need to specifically ask for this benefit)
  • Free same day flight changes
  • 3 free checked bags up to 70 LBs.

Award Travel

  • No fee for booking award within 21 days
  • Access to more award space in United business and first class
  • No phone award booking fee
  • Free award changes before departure.

Other Benefits: Star Alliance Gold (international lounge access for you and one guest when a Star Alliance airline + priority benefits) and Marriott Gold Elite Status.

Global Services

Earning Points: Earns United points at 11 x fare price (e.g., $100 ticket would earn 1,100 United points).

Upgrades: 

  • Clear upgrades 120 hours before departure including one other traveler on the same reservation. 
  • Economy Plus at booking (including eight companions)
  • Instant upgrades on M-class tickets. 
  • 2 "Regional Premier Upgrades" from reaching 1k plus the 2 from reaching Platinum.
  • Six Global Upgrades
  • One additional "Global Premier Upgrade" for every 25,000 PQM over 100,000 or 30 qualifying segments over 120 PQS. 

Flying on United:

  • Dedicated phone, email, and check in.
  • Priority waitlist and boarding.
  • You also get served your meal first
  • If your connection is tight at one of United's major hubs, they may send a Mercedes-Benz to transfer you (you can't request it and it doesn't work 100% of the time).

Lounge Access

  • Access to arrivals lounge with no guests at San Francisco, London-Heathrow (T2), Frankfurt (Lufthansa), and Zurich (SWISS).
  • You also get access to United's Global First Lounges when flying Polaris business internationally.

Award Travel

  • Global Services can create saver economy if T fare class is available and saver business if R fare class is available.
  • You can upgrade an economy award into Business with a GPU if PN inventory is available.
  • You can upgrade a business award into Polaris First with a GPU if ON inventory is available.
  • If you paid for a premium cabin fare, United can open one saver award seat in the same class of service provided there are at least 2 seats remaining for sale. 

Other Benefits:

  • Star Alliance Gold (international lounge access for you and one guest when a Star Alliance airline + priority benefits)
  • Marriott Platinum elite status. 

Upgrades

Complimentary Premier Upgrades

These are upgrades on a space-available basis (or instant for certain fare classes). These are only applicable in the: Continental U.S. (excluding EWR to LAX/SFO or BOS to SFO), West Coast to Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, and Oceania (except Tahiti).

Regional Premier Upgrades

These are one-way and one-cabin upgrades that are confirmable as early as the time of ticketing on select United and Copa flights. These are only applicable in the: Continental U.S., Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, and Oceania (except Tahiti).

Global Premier Upgrades

These are one-way, one-cabin upgrades that are available for flights operated by United or Copa, and select flights operated by ANA and Lufthansa. (Fine Print)

  • Upgrades in All Fare Classes- Continental U.S., Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, and Oceania (except Tahiti).
  • Upgrades in Certain Fare Classes- South America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Japan, Tahiti, and the Honolulu to Guam route.
    • No Upgrades for fare classes Z, P, S, T, K, L, G or N. Basic Economy (N) fares.

MileagePlus Upgrade Awards

Any member (including non-elite) can use United points to upgrade to a premium cabin on any United, United Express, and Copa Airlines flight.  There is a co-pay on many routes (points plus cash), but this co-pay is waived for elite members flying in the continental U.S. (excluding EWR to LAX/SFO or BOS to SFO), West Coast to Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, and Oceania (except Tahiti).

Award Ticket Upgrades

Premier elite members who also hold a United credit card are eligible for Premier Upgrades on award tickets. Those cards are the United MileagePlus: Explorer, Explorer Business, Club, Club business, Presidential Plus, and Presidential Plus Business. 


Elite Status Miles Bonus Calculator

The higher your Premier Elite Status, the more points you earn when you fly. You can click inside the blue box to customize based on your flight price. 


Additional Information

Earning Elite Credits on United and Partner Airlines