United MileagePlus switches to price-based loyalty program…soft of

United is the latest in airlines switching to a ticket price based loyalty program.  Delta announced their changes earlier this year.  United has followed suit and is yet another example how the big carriers continue to get it wrong.  The good news is that you will earn miles based on the number of dollars spent on your ticket.  Now, you will earn a set number of points per dollar spent based on your member level.

  • Member – 5 points
  • Premier Silver – 7 points
  • Premier Gold – 8 points
  • Premier Platinum – 9 points
  • Premier 1k – 11 points

That means if you buy a $500 ticket, a regular member would get 2500 miles, but a Premier Platinum member would earn 4500 miles.  You get rewarded for having a higher status.

Now for the bad news.  Like Delta, the changes to the program don’t help you earn status any faster.  You still need to get it based solely on miles.  Some fares have slight bonuses but for the most part you don’t get status much faster for booking high cost last minute flights.  There is also still a minimum revenue requirement as well.  This means you have to spend at least $2500 to get to the first tier.

While the new changes won’t likely get you status any faster, you may be able to accrue miles faster to spend on reward travel.    This is why getting status and points on Southwest still seems easier to me.

If you want to read more about the changes, see the United microsite.

 

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