United Turns Elite Status into “What You Spend Is What You Are”

United dropped a huge bomb today, rejigging their elite status requirements to be MUCH more complicated.

Here is the  graphic where United TRIES to tell us that they are taking something rather simple (distance flown and minimum spend), telling us that is too confusing, and then making it more complicated to help us all out.

I wasn’t confused. Confused how they try so hard to make this look confusing.

The bottom line is that they are removing, for the most part, any impact that actual flight miles has on your ability to earn status. And for those that were earning status by miles flown but not spending enough (PQDs) they have also kindly removed (well, mostly removed) your ability to use credit card spend to make up for it. Clarifying that last part, spending $25,000 on a credit card will no longer grant you a spending waiver because, well, United only now cares about exactly how much you spend when doling out elite status.

I think Running with Miles did a great two part deep dive into these changes, so I’m going to suggest you read Charlie’s post if you want to be walked through the changes.

Or you can read United’s explanation and spin here.

You Can Now Book Flights on Singapore Airlines Using Alaska Miles

Highlights: You can use Alaska miles for longhaul Business Class (and shorthaul First Class). This is notable because other partners do not have access to Singapore long haul Business Class space, although it’s plenty easy to transfer point to Singapore KrisFlyer. Alaska allows stopovers even on one way flights, so that’s interesting, however it’s worth noting that Singapore allows the same, just with a $100 fee, on their own awards.

Prices are not cheap, with USA-Singapore clocking in at 100,000 Alaska miles one way.

More from NoMasCoach on this one.

California Bans Single Use Toiletries

After IHG and Marriott announced a move toward bulk, refillable toiletries that allow anyone to put anything in that shampoo you are about to use (yes, eww) California has banned the practice of giving out the individual ones entirely.

Prepare for finding whatever in your shampoos and conditioners more and more until maybe this swings back the other way. Plenty of stories out there already.

In-Branch Only Citi Card Offers

In-branch only, you can get $100 / 10,000 points on a Citi Double Cash Card or 30,000 – 40,000 ThankYou points on
a Citi Rewards+ card (40,000 if you are Citigold, 30,000 otherwise.

This well beats the online offers of no bonus at all on the Citi Double Cash Card online and 15,000 points on the Citi Rewards+.

While you are in-branch, ask about The “Secret” CitiBusiness ThankYou Credit Card You May Not Know About.


Let me know here, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards

New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.



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