To earn Premier elite status on United Airlines, you need to fly a certain amount of miles (called “PQM” or “premier qualifying miles”) or segments (“PQS” or “premier qualifying segments”) and to spend a certain amount of money on United flights (called “PQD” or “premier qualifying dollars”).
So, to obtain Premier Silver status, I would need to fly 25,000 PQM and spend $3,000 PQD. An issue with this system is that, especially with cheap flights, it can be difficult to reach the PQD. For example, in 2017 I earned 31,384 PQM on United but only $738 PQD.
United, like American and (new for 2018) Delta, had a workaround — you could spend $25,000 on a United-branded credit card and receive a waiver of the PQD requirement for Silver, Gold, and Premier status.
However, all mention of the waiver has been taken off the website, only mentioning it in reference to 2017.
Well, I’ve got some good news (kind of) — after spending nearly an hour on the phone with United (and speaking to 7 different representatives) , they confirmed that the credit card PQD waiver will still apply in 2018.
That said, every time I asked for it in writing — either on the website or in an e-mail to me — they refused. They agreed to make a note on my account saying they’d told me the waiver would apply, but there’s nothing stopping them from announcing they’ve discontinued the waiver at this point.
I don’t think United has motivation to discontinue the waiver and I appreciate their customer service saying it will continue in 2018, but as a lawyer, I want to see it in writing.