What is United Airlines Elite Status Worth in 2021?

What is United Airlines Elite Status Worth in 2021?

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Airline elite status is a rite of passage for frequent travelers, as you'll earn plenty of perks in exchange for your continued loyalty. While it can be quite costly and time-consuming to chase elite status, it can certainly pay off in the long run. These perks will enhance your overall travel experience, from benefits such as seat upgrades to fee waivers.

United Airlines offers four elite status levels through its Premier membership program, with each tier increasing in qualification requirements and benefits. Even if most travelers aren't flying as much as they used to before the COVID-19 outbreak, holding United elite status can still prove to be valuable. United was one of the first airlines to lower its qualification requirements and extend current Premier memberships until Jan. 31, 2022. For prospective members, it's much easier to qualify for elite status than ever before.

Once travel rebounds, you could potentially reap the full benefits of United Premier status. In this guide, we delve deeper into qualification requirements and estimate what each tier is worth. Although our valuations are rough approximations, it should give you a decent idea of the value of United elite status.

United Premier status levels

There are four levels of United Premier status. As you can expect, the qualification requirements increase as you go up each level. To see if elite status on United Airlines is worth it, we take a look at the benefits provided to all Premier members as well as the benefits specific to each tier.

Elite status
2021 qualifications for 2022 Premier status
Estimated value
Premier SilverFly 8 PQFs and earn 3,000 PQPs or earn 3,500 PQPs$1,011
Premier GoldFly 16 PQFs and earn 6,000 PQPs or earn 7,000 PQPs$2,838
Premier PlatinumFly 24 PQFs and earn 9,000 PQPs or earn 10,000 PQPs$5,891
Premier 1K®Fly 36 PQFs and earn 13,500 PQPs or earn 15,000 PQPs$12,807
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Members at every Premier status level have access to benefits like free checked baggage and enhanced rewards earning. However, top-tier travel benefits like guaranteed seat upgrades and international lounge access only kick in at the top-tier Gold and Platinum levels.

United elite status requirements

With any of the United Premier levels, there are two ways to achieve elite status. You'll need to earn a combination of Premier Qualifying Flights (PQFs) and Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) or earn a higher threshold of PQPs.

Premier Qualifying Flights (PQFs)

PQFs are earned by flying — you'll earn 1 PQF per qualifying flight segment. This means that a one-way flight equates to 1 PQF, while a round-trip flight equates to 2 PQFs. You can earn PQFs from the following flights:

  • United and United Express
  • Star Alliance™ partner airlines and connecting partners
  • Air Dolomiti, Azul Brazilian Airlines, Edelweiss, Eurowings and Olympic Air

There are a couple of restrictions to be aware of:

  • Basic economy tickets are ineligible to earn PQFs.
  • A minimum of four segments flown on United or United Express-operated flights is required to qualify for any elite status level.

PQPs (Premier Qualifying Points)

PQPs are earned from the monetary value of the flights. You'll earn PQPs on the base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges on flights. On United-issued tickets, you'll earn 1 PQP for every $1 of base fare and carrier-imposed surcharges. Unlike PQFs, you can earn PQPs on basic economy tickets.

Note that on partner tickets, you'll earn fewer PQPs with a maximum number of PQPs you can earn total. On MileagePlus partners, you'll earn award miles divided by 5. On Preferred Partners, you'll earn award miles divided by 6.

Preferred partner
MileagePlus partner
Partners
  • Air Canada
  • Air China
  • Air Dolomiti
  • Air New Zealand
  • All Nippon Airways
  • Austrian Airlines
  • Avianca
  • Azul Brazilian Airlines
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Copa Airlines
  • Edelweiss
  • Eurowings
  • Lufthansa
  • SWISS International Airlines
  • Aegean Airlines
  • Air India
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Croatia Airlines
  • EgyptAir
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • EVA Air
  • Juneyao Air
  • LOT Polish Airlines
  • Olympic Air
  • SAS
  • Shenzhen Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • South African Airways
  • TAP Air Portugal
  • Thai Airways International
  • Turkish Airlines
First or business maximum PQPs earned1,5001,000
Economy or premium economy maximum PQPs earned750500
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Besides flights, you can also earn PQPs with the following purchases:

  • Base fare + surcharge
  • Economy Plus® seating or Economy Plus subscriptions
  • Preferred seating purchases
  • MileagePlus Upgrade Award co-pays
  • Paid upgrades on flights operated by United and United Express

Keep in mind that award tickets do not earn PQFs or PQPs. It's important to note that United's MileagePlus award miles program is different from the PQP system. Both programs reward you for flying, but MileagePlus miles are calculated based on money spent and do not factor into Premier status eligibility. In contrast, PQPs are only used to track your elite status eligibility.

United Premier Silver: Worth $1,011

United Premier Silver qualification requirements

Earning in 2020 for 2021 Premier Silver
Earning in 2021 for 2022 Premier Silver
Fly 6 PQFs and earn 2,000 PQPs or earn 2,500 PQPsFly 8 PQFs and earn 3,000 PQPs or earn 3,500 PQPs
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United Premier Silver benefits

Premier Silver status is the entry-level tier with a basic offering of elite benefits. To calculate the value, we based these numbers on the qualification requirements for 2022 Premier Silver status: 8 PQFs and 3,000 PQPs. Therefore, we assume that Premier Silver members take eight flight segments and spend $3,000 on flights in one year.

Premier Silver benefits
Estimated value
Calculation
Priority check-in, security and boarding: Enjoy priority check-in, security screening (when available) and Group 2 priority boarding with Premier Silver status.$120Priority boarding starts at $15.
$15 x 8 = $120
Complimentary checked bag: Check one bag up to 70 pounds for free on every flight.$140Your first checked bag costs $35. We assume that you check a bag on half your flights.
$35 x 4 = $140
Space-available upgrade to Economy Plus at check-in: Economy Plus seats offer extra legroom and are offered on all United and most United Express flights. You'll enjoy a space-available upgrade to Economy Plus for you and one companion upon check-in.$240We estimate that each Economy Plus upgrade costs roughly $60, and we assume that you would get upgraded on half your flights.
$60 x 4 = $240
Complimentary preferred seating at booking: Preferred seating includes the first few rows of United Economy seats, giving you access to earlier in-flight service and the ability to exit the plane faster. You can select preferred seating for you and up to eight travel companions when booking your flight.$80Each preferred economy seat costs about $10.
$10 x 8 = $80
Complimentary Premier upgrades on the day of departure: You can receive complimentary upgrades to first class on select flights.$180Premier Silver members are the last elite status members to get upgraded. We estimate Premier upgrades to be worth around $90 each, but this benefit's value will change depending on the flight. We assume that you get upgraded on two flight segments per year:
$90 x 2 = $180
Earn additional award miles per dollar on flights: While MileagePlus members earn 5X miles on United flights, Premier Silver members earn 7X miles on United flights.$66We value each United MileagePlus mile to be worth 1.1 cents each. Premier Silver members earn an additional 2X miles or about 2.2 cents per dollar spent.
$3,000 x $0.022 = $66
Discounted award ticket change and cancellation fees: To change or cancel award tickets 61 or more days from departure, Premier Silver members must pay a $75 fee. To change or cancel award tickets 60 or fewer days from departure, Premier Silver members must pay a $100 fee.$25MileagePlus members have to pay $100 and $125 for change fees and cancellation fees, respectively. This results in a $25 discount for Premier Silver members. We assume that you make one award change or cancellation per year.
Discounted CLEAR Membership: Premier Silver members can get an annual CLEAR membership for $109.$10Annual CLEAR memberships cost $119 for MileagePlus members, resulting in a $10 discount for Premier Silver members.
Award booking benefits:
  • Better award availability in Economy
  • No blackout dates for award flights on United and United Express flights
  • Priority award waitlisting
  • Standby for international flights
  • Premier Priority Desk phone line
$150These benefits are harder to calculate as the value will depend on whether you take advantage of these offers. Therefore, we conservatively estimated the following benefits to be collectively worth $150.
Complimentary Hertz Gold Plus Rewards® status: Earn 25% more Hertz points on rentals, space-available car upgrades and more.
Other benefits, such as:
  • Extra benefits when booking a VIP Access property with United Hotels
  • United Cruises onboard amenities offer
  • TPC Network golf course benefits
  • Mercedes-Benz incentives
TOTAL
$1,011
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Some of the most notable features of Premier Silver status include a free checked bag and complimentary preferred seating at booking. However, there's no discount for United Club membership or waived flight change fees. In fact, many of the Premier Silver benefits can be achieved through owning a co-branded airline credit card, requiring significantly less flying and spending. Depending on your travel habits, the United Premier Silver status can offer less or more value than estimated.

United Premier Gold: Worth $2,838

United Premier Gold qualification requirements

To reach the next level of Premier status, these are the qualifications you must meet to achieve Premier Gold:

Earning in 2020 for 2021 Premier Gold
Earning in 2021 for 2022 Premier Gold
Fly 12 PQFs and earn 4,000 PQPs or earn 5,000 PQPsFly 16 PQFs and earn 6,000 PQPs or earn 7,000 PQPs
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United Premier Gold benefits

Premier Gold status provides substantially better benefits than Silver, with almost triple the estimated value. We based these calculations on the qualification requirements for 2022 Premier Gold status: 16 PQFs and 6,000 PQPs. Therefore, we assume that Premier Gold members take 16 flight segments and spend $6,000 in one year.

Premier Gold benefits
Estimated value
Calculation
Priority check-in, security and boarding: Enjoy priority check-in, security screening (when available) and group 1 priority boarding with Premier Gold status.$320Priority boarding starts at $15. Since Gold status gets you group 1 boarding, we estimated this benefit to be worth $20.
$20 x 16 = $320
Complimentary checked bag: Check two bags up to 70 pounds for free on every flight.$640United charges $35 for your first checked bag and $45 for your second checked bag. We assume that you bring two checked bags on half of your flights.
$80 x 8 = $640
Complimentary access to Economy Plus or preferred seating at booking: Economy Plus seats offer extra legroom and are offered on all United and most United Express flights. Preferred seating includes the first few rows of United Economy seats, giving you access to earlier in-flight service and the ability to exit the plane faster. You'll enjoy a space-available upgrade to Economy Plus for you and one companion upon check-in, or you can select preferred seating for you and up to eight travel companions when booking your flight.$960We estimate that each Economy Plus upgrade costs roughly $60.
$60 x 16 = $960
Complimentary Premier upgrades up to 48 hours before departure: You can receive complimentary upgrades to first class on select flights.$360Premier Gold members are the second to last elite status members to get upgraded. We estimate these Premier upgrades to be worth around $90, but this benefit's value will increase on long-haul or international flights. We assume that you get upgraded on four flight segments per year:
$90 x 4 = $360
Earn additional award miles per dollar on flights: While MileagePlus members earn 5X miles on United flights, Premier Silver members earn 8X miles on United flights.$198We value each United MileagePlus mile to be worth 1.1 cents each. Premier Silver members earn an additional 3X miles or about 3.3 cents per dollar spent.
$6,000 x $0.033 = $198
Discounted award ticket change and cancellation fees: To change or cancel award tickets 61 or more days from departure, Premier Gold members must pay a $50 fee. To change or cancel award tickets 60 or fewer days from departure, Premier Gold members must pay a $75 fee.$50MileagePlus members have to pay $100 and $125, respectively. This results in a $50 discount. We assume that you make one award change or cancellation per year.
Discounted CLEAR membership: Premier Gold members can get an annual CLEAR membership for $109.$10Annual CLEAR memberships cost $119 for MileagePlus members, resulting in a $10 discount for Premier Gold members.
Award booking benefits:
  • Better award availability in Economy
  • No blackout dates for award flights on United and United Express flights
  • Priority award waitlisting
  • Standby for international flights
  • Premier Priority Desk phone line
$300These benefits are harder to calculate, as the value will depend on whether you take advantage of these offers. Therefore, we conservatively estimated the following benefits to be collectively worth $300.
Complimentary Star Alliance Gold status:
  • Priority reservations waitlisting
  • Priority airport standby
  • Priority airport check-in
  • Extra baggage allowance
  • Gold Track (Priority security and immigration)
  • Airport lounge access
  • Priority boarding
Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status: Earn 25% more points on stays, enhanced room upgrades (upon availability), 2 p.m. late checkout and more.
Complimentary Hertz Gold Plus Rewards status: Earn 25% more points on rentals, space-available car upgrades and more.
Other benefits, such as:
  • Extra benefits when booking a VIP Access property with United Hotels
  • United Cruises onboard amenities offer
  • TPC Network golf course benefits
  • Mercedes-Benz incentives
{"alignsHorizontal":[],"alignsVertical":[],"columnWidths":[],"data":[["Premier Gold benefits","Estimated value","Calculation"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EPriority check-in, security and boarding:\u003C\/strong\u003E Enjoy priority check-in, security screening (when available) and group 1 priority boarding with Premier Gold status.","$320","Priority boarding starts at $15. Since Gold status gets you group 1 boarding, we estimated this benefit to be worth $20.\n\u003Cbr\u003E\n$20 x 16 = $320"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EComplimentary checked bag:\u003C\/strong\u003E Check two bags up to 70 pounds for free on every flight.","$640","United charges $35 for your first checked bag and $45 for your second checked bag. We assume that you bring two checked bags on half of your flights.\n\u003Cbr\u003E\n$80 x 8 = $640"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EComplimentary access to Economy Plus or preferred seating at booking:\u003C\/strong\u003E Economy Plus seats offer extra legroom and are offered on all United and most United Express flights. Preferred seating includes the first few rows of United Economy seats, giving you access to earlier in-flight service and the ability to exit the plane faster. You'll enjoy a space-available upgrade to Economy Plus for you and one companion upon check-in, or you can select preferred seating for you and up to eight travel companions when booking your flight.","$960","We estimate that each Economy Plus upgrade costs roughly $60. \n\u003Cbr\u003E\n$60 x 16 = $960"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EComplimentary Premier upgrades up to 48 hours before departure:\u003C\/strong\u003E You can receive complimentary upgrades to first class on select flights.","$360","Premier Gold members are the second to last elite status members to get upgraded. We estimate these Premier upgrades to be worth around $90, but this benefit's value will increase on long-haul or international flights. We assume that you get upgraded on four flight segments per year: \n\u003Cbr\u003E\n$90 x 4 = $360"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EEarn additional award miles per dollar on flights:\u003C\/strong\u003E While MileagePlus members earn 5X miles on United flights, Premier Silver members earn 8X miles on United flights.","$198","We value each United MileagePlus mile to be \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"How Much Are Airline Miles Worth? 2020 Report\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/travel\/how-much-are-airline-miles-worth\"\u003Eworth 1.1 cents each\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E. Premier Silver members earn an additional 3X miles or about 3.3 cents per dollar spent.\n\u003Cbr\u003E\n$6,000 x $0.033 = $198"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EDiscounted award ticket change and cancellation fees:\u003C\/strong\u003E To change or cancel award tickets 61 or more days from departure, Premier Gold members must pay a $50 fee. To change or cancel award tickets 60 or fewer days from departure, Premier Gold members must pay a $75 fee.","$50","MileagePlus members have to pay $100 and $125, respectively. This results in a $50 discount. We assume that you make one award change or cancellation per year."],["\u003Cstrong\u003EDiscounted CLEAR membership:\u003C\/strong\u003E Premier Gold members can get an annual CLEAR membership for $109.","$10","Annual CLEAR memberships cost $119 for MileagePlus members, resulting in a $10 discount for Premier Gold members."],["\u003Cstrong\u003EAward booking benefits:\u003C\/strong\u003E \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content ShortcodeList--content-margin\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--bullet\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Better award availability in Economy\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n No blackout dates for award flights on United and United Express flights\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Priority award waitlisting\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Standby for international flights\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Premier Priority Desk phone line\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E","$300","These benefits are harder to calculate, as the value will depend on whether you take advantage of these offers. Therefore, we conservatively estimated the following benefits to be collectively worth $300."],["\u003Cstrong\u003EComplimentary Star Alliance Gold status:\u003C\/strong\u003E \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content ShortcodeList--content-margin\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--bullet\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Priority reservations waitlisting\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Priority airport standby\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Priority airport check-in\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Extra baggage allowance\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Gold Track (Priority security and immigration)\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Airport lounge access\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Priority boarding\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E","^^^","^^^"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EComplimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status:\u003C\/strong\u003E Earn 25% more points on stays, enhanced room upgrades (upon availability), 2 p.m. late checkout and more.","^^^","^^^"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EComplimentary Hertz Gold Plus Rewards status:\u003C\/strong\u003E Earn 25% more points on rentals, space-available car upgrades and more.","^^^","^^^"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EOther benefits, such as:\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content ShortcodeList--content-margin\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--bullet\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Extra benefits when booking a VIP Access property with United Hotels\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n United Cruises onboard amenities offer\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n TPC Network golf course benefits\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Mercedes-Benz incentives\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E","^^^","^^^"],["\u003Cstrong\u003ETOTAL\u003C\/strong\u003E","\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeAlign--root ShortcodeAlign--horizontal-center\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeAlign--container\"\u003E \n \u003Cstrong\u003E$2,838\u003C\/strong\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E","<<<"]],"footnote":"","hasMarginBottom":true,"isExpandable":false,"isSortable":false,"maxWidth":"1215","minWidth":"100%","showSearch":false,"sortColumnIndex":0,"sortDirection":"asc"}

Premier Gold members receive complimentary access to Economy Plus at booking, free same-day flight changes, confirmation for complimentary seat upgrades at least 48 hours in advance and more. In addition, Gold members will automatically receive Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status, which increases award points for hotel stays and offers space-available room upgrades, along with Star Alliance Gold status, which grants lounge access and other benefits on international Star Alliance flights.

United Premier Platinum: Worth $5,891

Premier Platinum qualification requirements

To meet the second-highest United elite status, these are the Premier Platinum qualifications you must meet:

Earning in 2020 for 2021 Premier Platinum
Earning in 2021 for 2022 Premier Platinum
Fly 18 PQFs and earn 6,000 PQPs or earn 7,500 PQPsFly 24 PQFs and earn 9,000 PQPs or earn 10,000 PQPs
{"alignsHorizontal":[],"alignsVertical":[],"columnWidths":[],"data":[["Earning in 2020 for 2021 Premier Platinum","Earning in 2021 for 2022 Premier Platinum"],["Fly 18 PQFs and earn 6,000 PQPs \u003Cem\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003Eor\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/em\u003E earn 7,500 PQPs","Fly 24 PQFs and earn 9,000 PQPs \u003Cem\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003Eor\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/em\u003E earn 10,000 PQPs"]],"footnote":"","hasMarginBottom":true,"isExpandable":true,"isSortable":false,"maxWidth":"1215","minWidth":"100%","showSearch":false,"sortColumnIndex":0,"sortDirection":"asc"}

Premier Platinum benefits

At the Premier Platinum level, status holders are awarded with great seat upgrade eligibility, free baggage options and fee discounts. To calculate the value of Premier Platinum, we based these numbers on the qualification requirements for 2022: 24 PQFs and 9,000 PQPs, or 24 flight segments and $9,000 spent in one year.

Premier Platinum
What it's worth
How we calculated
Priority check-in, security and boarding: Enjoy priority check-in, security screening (when available) and group 1 priority boarding with Premier Platinum status.$480Priority boarding starts at $15. Since Platinum Status gets you group 1 boarding, we estimated this benefit to be worth $20.
$20 x 24 = $480
Complimentary checked bag: Receive three free checked bags up to 70 pounds on every flight.$1,495United charges $35 for your first checked bag and $45 for your second checked bag. If you're checking a third bag, this baggage fee will depend on your destination — ranging from $150 to $225.
While most people won't bring three checked bags when flying, we made a rough estimate for this benefit. We assume that you bring two checked bags on half of your flight segments and three checked bags on two flight segments per year.
$80 x 12 = $960
$267.50 x 2 = $535
Complimentary access to Economy Plus or preferred seating at booking: Economy Plus seats offer extra legroom and are offered on all United and most United Express flights. Preferred seating includes the first few rows of United Economy seats, giving you access to earlier in-flight service and the ability to exit the plane faster. You'll enjoy a space-available upgrade to Economy Plus for you and one companion upon check-in, or you can select preferred seating for you and up to eight travel companions when booking your flight.$1,440Each Economy Plus upgrade costs roughly $60.
$60 x 24 = $1,440
Complimentary Premier upgrades up to 72 hours before departure: You can receive complimentary upgrades to first class on select flights.$1,080Premier Platinum members are prioritized just under Premier 1K® members to get upgraded to first class. We estimate these Premier upgrades to be worth around $90, but this benefit's value will increase on long-haul or international flights. We assume that you get upgraded on half of flight segments:
$90 x 12 = $1,080
Earn 40 PlusPoints. PlusPoints are flexible and can be used for upgrades on both domestic and international flights. 40 PlusPoints are enough for one upgrade from economy to United Polaris business class on long-haul flights.$375These PlusPoints will change in value depending on how you use them. We assume that you use them for one upgrade from economy to business class on a long-haul flight, with an estimated worth of $375 per upgrade.
Earn additional award miles per dollar on flights: While MileagePlus members earn 5X miles on United flights, Premier Platinum members earn 9X miles on United flights.$396We value each United MileagePlus mile to be worth 1.1 cents each. Premier Silver members earn an additional 4X miles or about 4.4 cents per dollar spent.
$9,000 x $0.044 = $396
Waived phone booking service fees. If booking travel reservations over the phone, phone booking service fees are waived for Premier Platinum members.$25Phone booking service fees typically cost $25 per reservation. We assume that you use this benefit once a year.
Waived award ticket change and cancellation fees, 61 or more days from departure. Premier Platinum members can change or cancel their award tickets 61 or more days from departure, completely free of charge.$100MileagePlus members have to pay $100 to change or cancel an award ticket 61 or more days before departure. We assume that you change or cancel one award ticket 61 or more days from departure.
Discounted award ticket change and cancellation fees, 60 or fewer days from departure: To change or cancel award tickets 60 or fewer days from departure, Premier Platinum members must pay a $50 fee.$75MileagePlus members without status have to pay $125, resulting in a $75 discount. We assume that you change or cancel one award ticket 60 or fewer days from departure.
Discounted United Club annual membership: Premier Platinum members receive a $50 discount on an annual United Club membership for a total cost of $600 per year.$50For MileagePlus, Premier Silver and Premier Gold members, the United Club annual membership costs $650 per year. This results in a $50 discount for Premier Platinum members.
Discounted CLEAR Membership: Premier Platinum members can get an annual CLEAR membership for $109.$10Annual CLEAR memberships cost $119 for MileagePlus members, resulting in a discount of $10 for Premier Platinum members.
Award booking benefits:
  • Better award availability in Economy
  • Better award availability in select premium cabins
  • No blackout dates for award flights on United and United Express flights
  • Priority award waitlisting
  • Standby for international flights
  • Premier Priority Desk phone line
$400These benefits are harder to calculate, as the value will depend on whether you take advantage of these offers. Therefore, we conservatively estimated the following benefits to be around $400.
{"alignsHorizontal":[],"alignsVertical":[],"columnWidths":[],"data":[["Premier Platinum","What it's worth","How we calculated"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EPriority check-in, security and boarding:\u003C\/strong\u003E Enjoy priority check-in, security screening (when available) and group 1 priority boarding with Premier Platinum status.","$480","Priority boarding starts at $15. Since Platinum Status gets you group 1 boarding, we estimated this benefit to be worth $20.\n\u003Cbr\u003E\n$20 x 24 = $480"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EComplimentary checked bag:\u003C\/strong\u003E Receive three free checked bags up to 70 pounds on every flight.","$1,495","United charges $35 for your first checked bag and $45 for your second checked bag. If you're checking a third bag, this baggage fee will depend on your destination \u2014 ranging from $150 to $225. \n\u003Cbr\u003E\nWhile most people won't bring three checked bags when flying, we made a rough estimate for this benefit. We assume that you bring two checked bags on half of your flight segments and three checked bags on two flight segments per year.\n\u003Cbr\u003E\n$80 x 12 = $960\n\u003Cbr\u003E\n$267.50 x 2 = $535"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EComplimentary access to Economy Plus or preferred seating at booking:\u003C\/strong\u003E Economy Plus seats offer extra legroom and are offered on all United and most United Express flights. Preferred seating includes the first few rows of United Economy seats, giving you access to earlier in-flight service and the ability to exit the plane faster. You'll enjoy a space-available upgrade to Economy Plus for you and one companion upon check-in, or you can select preferred seating for you and up to eight travel companions when booking your flight.","$1,440","Each Economy Plus upgrade costs roughly $60.\n\u003Cbr\u003E\n$60 x 24 = $1,440"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EComplimentary Premier upgrades up to 72 hours before departure:\u003C\/strong\u003E You can receive complimentary upgrades to first class on select flights.","$1,080","Premier Platinum members are prioritized just under Premier 1K\u00ae members to get upgraded to first class. We estimate these Premier upgrades to be worth around $90, but this benefit's value will increase on long-haul or international flights. We assume that you get upgraded on half of flight segments:\n\u003Cbr\u003E\n$90 x 12 = $1,080"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EEarn 40 PlusPoints.\u003C\/strong\u003E PlusPoints are flexible and can be used for upgrades on both domestic and international flights. 40 PlusPoints are enough for one upgrade from economy to United Polaris business class on long-haul flights.","$375","These PlusPoints will change in value depending on how you use them. We assume that you use them for one upgrade from economy to business class on a long-haul flight, with an estimated worth of $375 per upgrade."],["\u003Cstrong\u003EEarn additional award miles per dollar on flights:\u003C\/strong\u003E While MileagePlus members earn 5X miles on United flights, Premier Platinum members earn 9X miles on United flights.","$396","We value each United MileagePlus mile to be \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"How Much Are Airline Miles Worth? 2020 Report\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/travel\/how-much-are-airline-miles-worth\"\u003Eworth 1.1 cents each\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E. Premier Silver members earn an additional 4X miles or about 4.4 cents per dollar spent. \n\u003Cbr\u003E\n$9,000 x $0.044 = $396"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EWaived phone booking service fees.\u003C\/strong\u003E If booking travel reservations over the phone, phone booking service fees are waived for Premier Platinum members.","$25","Phone booking service fees typically cost $25 per reservation. We assume that you use this benefit once a year."],["\u003Cstrong\u003EWaived award ticket change and cancellation fees, 61 or more days from departure.\u003C\/strong\u003E Premier Platinum members can change or cancel their award tickets 61 or more days from departure, completely free of charge.","$100","MileagePlus members have to pay $100 to change or cancel an award ticket 61 or more days before departure. We assume that you change or cancel one award ticket 61 or more days from departure."],["\u003Cstrong\u003EDiscounted award ticket change and cancellation fees, 60 or fewer days from departure:\u003C\/strong\u003E To change or cancel award tickets 60 or fewer days from departure, Premier Platinum members must pay a $50 fee.","$75","MileagePlus members without status have to pay $125, resulting in a $75 discount. We assume that you change or cancel one award ticket 60 or fewer days from departure."],["\u003Cstrong\u003EDiscounted United Club annual membership:\u003C\/strong\u003E Premier Platinum members receive a $50 discount on an annual United Club membership for a total cost of $600 per year.","$50","For MileagePlus, Premier Silver and Premier Gold members, the United Club annual membership costs $650 per year. This results in a $50 discount for Premier Platinum members."],["\u003Cstrong\u003EDiscounted CLEAR Membership:\u003C\/strong\u003E Premier Platinum members can get an annual CLEAR membership for $109.","$10","Annual CLEAR memberships cost $119 for MileagePlus members, resulting in a discount of $10 for Premier Platinum members."],["\u003Cstrong\u003EAward booking benefits:\u003C\/strong\u003E \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content ShortcodeList--content-margin\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--bullet\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Better award availability in Economy\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Better award availability in select premium cabins\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n No blackout dates for award flights on United and United Express flights\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Priority award waitlisting\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Standby for international flights\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Premier Priority Desk phone line\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E","$400","These benefits are harder to calculate, as the value will depend on whether you take advantage of these offers. Therefore, we conservatively estimated the following benefits to be around $400."],["\u003Cstrong\u003EComplimentary Star Alliance Gold status:\u003C\/strong\u003E \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content ShortcodeList--content-margin\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--bullet\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Priority reservations waitlisting\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Priority airport standby\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Priority airport check-in\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Extra baggage allowance\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Gold Track (Priority security and immigration)\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Airport lounge access\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Priority boarding\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E","^^^","^^^"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EComplimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status:\u003C\/strong\u003E Earn 25% more points on stays, enhanced room upgrades (upon availability), 2 p.m. late checkout and more.","^^^","^^^"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EComplimentary Hertz President's Circle Rewards status:\u003C\/strong\u003E Earn 50% more points on rentals, confirmed car upgrades and more.","^^^","^^^"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EOther benefits, such as:\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content ShortcodeList--content-margin\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--bullet\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Extra benefits when booking a VIP Access property with United Hotels\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n United Cruises onboard amenities offer\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n TPC Network golf course benefits\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Mercedes-Benz incentives\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E","^^^","^^^"],["\u003Cstrong\u003ETOTAL\u003C\/strong\u003E","\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeAlign--root ShortcodeAlign--horizontal-center\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeAlign--container\"\u003E \n \u003Cstrong\u003E$5,926\u003C\/strong\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E","<<<"]],"footnote":"","hasMarginBottom":true,"isExpandable":false,"isSortable":false,"maxWidth":"1215","minWidth":"100%","showSearch":false,"sortColumnIndex":0,"sortDirection":"asc"}

Premier Platinum members are second in line for seat upgrades — behind only 1K® members — and receive confirmation for their upgrades as early as three days before their flight. This makes receiving seat upgrades on packed flights much more of a possibility than flyers with lower status levels.

Premier Platinum status also offers a variety of fee discounts and group travel perks. In addition to three free checked bags, Platinum status holders have free same-day flight changes and qualify for a $50 discount on United Club membership. Like Premier Gold members, Platinum travelers are automatically enrolled in the Marriott Bonvoy Gold and Star Alliance Gold programs.

United Premier 1K®: Worth $12,807

Premier 1K® qualification requirements

To reach the highest elite status that United has to offer, these are the qualifications you must meet to achieve Premier 1K®:

Earning in 2020 for 2021 Premier 1K®
Earning in 2021 for 2022 Premier 1K®
Fly 26 PQFs and earn 9,000 PQPs or earn 12,000 PQPsFly 36 PQFs and earn 13,500 PQPs or earn 15,000 PQPs
{"alignsHorizontal":[],"alignsVertical":[],"columnWidths":[],"data":[["Earning in 2020 for 2021 Premier 1K\u00ae","Earning in 2021 for 2022 Premier 1K\u00ae"],["Fly 26 PQFs and earn 9,000 PQPs \u003Cem\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003Eor\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/em\u003E earn 12,000 PQPs","Fly 36 PQFs and earn 13,500 PQPs \u003Cem\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003Eor\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/em\u003E earn 15,000 PQPs"]],"footnote":"","hasMarginBottom":true,"isExpandable":true,"isSortable":false,"maxWidth":"1215","minWidth":"100%","showSearch":false,"sortColumnIndex":0,"sortDirection":"asc"}

United Premier 1K® Benefits

Premier 1K® status is only achievable for only a small number of United flyers, but the benefits are nothing short of extraordinary. To calculate the value of Premier 1K®, we based these numbers on the qualification requirements for 2022: 36 PQFs and 13,500 PQPs, or 36 flight segments and $13,500 spent in one year.

Premier 1K® Benefits
What it's worth
How we calculated
Priority check-in, security and boarding: Enjoy priority check-in, security screening (when available) and group 1 priority boarding with Premier Platinum status.$900Priority boarding starts at $15. Since Premier 1K® gets you pre-boarding, we roughly estimate this benefit to be worth $25.
$25 x 36 = $900
Complimentary checked bag: Receive three free checked bags up to 70 pounds on every flight.$2,510United charges $35 for your first checked bag and $45 for your second checked bag. If you're checking a third bag, this baggage fee will depend on your destination — ranging from $150 to $225. While most people won't bring three checked bags when flying, we made a rough estimate for this benefit. We assume that you bring two checked bags on half of your flight segments and three checked bags on four flight segments per year.
$80 x 18 = $1,440
$267.50 x 4 = $1,070
Complimentary access to Economy Plus or preferred seating at booking: Economy Plus seats offer extra legroom and are offered on all United and most United Express flights. Preferred seating includes the first few rows of United Economy seats, giving you access to earlier in-flight service and the ability to exit the plane faster. You'll enjoy a space-available upgrade to Economy Plus for you and one companion upon check-in, or you can select preferred seating for you and up to eight travel companions when booking your flight.$2,160Each Economy Plus upgrade costs roughly $60.
$60 x 36 = $2,160
Complimentary Premier upgrades up to 96 hours before departure: You can receive complimentary upgrades to first class on select flights.$2,430We estimate these Premier upgrades to be worth around $90, but this benefit's value will increase on long-haul or international flights. We assume that you get upgraded on 75% of your flight segments.
$90 x 27 = $2,430
Earn 280 PlusPoints. PlusPoints are flexible and can be used for upgrades on both domestic and international flights. 280 PlusPoints are enough for eight upgrades from economy to United Polaris business class on long-haul flights.$3,000These PlusPoints will change in value depending on how you use them. We assume that you use them for eight upgrades from economy to business class on a long-haul flight, estimated at $375 per upgrade.
$375 x 8 = $3,000
Receive one free drink and snack in Economy. When flying economy, receive one drink and one snack for free.$117Even though most Platinum 1K® members won't fly economy most of the time, we assume that you use this benefit on 25% of your flights when upgrades aren't available. Each snack costs $5, while beer costs $8.
$13 x 9 = $117
Waived phone booking service fees. To book travel reservations over the phone, phone booking service fees are waived for Premier 1K® members.$25Phone booking service fees typically cost $25 per reservation. We assume that you use this benefit once a year.
Earn additional award miles per dollar on flights: While MileagePlus members earn 5X miles on United flights, Premier 1K® members earn 11X miles on United flights.$891We value each United MileagePlus mile to be worth 1.1 cents each. Premier Silver members earn an additional 6X miles or about 6.6 cents per dollar spent.
$13,500 x $0.066 = $891
Waived award ticket change and cancellation fees — anytime before departure. Premier 1K® members can change or cancel their award tickets anytime before departure, completely free of charge.$225MileagePlus members without status have to pay $100-$125 ($112.50 on average) to change or cancel an award ticket. We assume that you cancel or change two award tickets.
Discounted United Club annual membership: Premier 1K® members receive a $100 discount on an annual United Club membership for a total cost of $550 per year.$100For MileagePlus members, Premier Silver and Premier Gold members, the United Club annual membership costs $650 per year. This results in a $100 discount for Premier 1K® members.
Complimentary CLEAR Membership: Premier 1K® members can get an annual CLEAR membership for free.$119Annual CLEAR memberships cost $119 for MileagePlus members.
Award booking benefits:
  • Better award availability in Economy
  • Better award availability in select premium cabins
  • No blackout dates for award flights on United and United Express flights
  • Priority award waitlisting
  • Standby for international flights
$400These benefits are harder to calculate, as the value will depend on whether you take advantage of these offers. Therefore, we conservatively estimated the following benefits to be around $400.
{"alignsHorizontal":[],"alignsVertical":[],"columnWidths":[],"data":[["Premier 1K\u00ae Benefits","What it's worth","How we calculated"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EPriority check-in, security and boarding:\u003C\/strong\u003E Enjoy priority check-in, security screening (when available) and group 1 priority boarding with Premier Platinum status.","$900","Priority boarding starts at $15. Since Premier 1K\u00ae gets you pre-boarding, we roughly estimate this benefit to be worth $25.\n\u003Cbr\u003E\n$25 x 36 = $900"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EComplimentary checked bag:\u003C\/strong\u003E Receive three free checked bags up to 70 pounds on every flight.","$2,510","United charges $35 for your first checked bag and $45 for your second checked bag. If you're checking a third bag, this baggage fee will depend on your destination \u2014 ranging from $150 to $225. While most people won't bring three checked bags when flying, we made a rough estimate for this benefit. We assume that you bring two checked bags on half of your flight segments and three checked bags on four flight segments per year.\n\u003Cbr\u003E\n$80 x 18 = $1,440\n\u003Cbr\u003E\n$267.50 x 4 = $1,070"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EComplimentary access to Economy Plus or preferred seating at booking:\u003C\/strong\u003E Economy Plus seats offer extra legroom and are offered on all United and most United Express flights. Preferred seating includes the first few rows of United Economy seats, giving you access to earlier in-flight service and the ability to exit the plane faster. You'll enjoy a space-available upgrade to Economy Plus for you and one companion upon check-in, or you can select preferred seating for you and up to eight travel companions when booking your flight.","$2,160","Each Economy Plus upgrade costs roughly $60.\n\u003Cbr\u003E\n$60 x 36 = $2,160"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EComplimentary Premier upgrades up to 96 hours before departure:\u003C\/strong\u003E You can receive complimentary upgrades to first class on select flights.","$2,430","We estimate these Premier upgrades to be worth around $90, but this benefit's value will increase on long-haul or international flights. We assume that you get upgraded on 75% of your flight segments.\n\u003Cbr\u003E\n$90 x 27 = $2,430"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EEarn 280 PlusPoints.\u003C\/strong\u003E PlusPoints are flexible and can be used for upgrades on both domestic and international flights. 280 PlusPoints are enough for eight upgrades from economy to United Polaris business class on long-haul flights.","$3,000","These PlusPoints will change in value depending on how you use them. We assume that you use them for eight upgrades from economy to business class on a long-haul flight, estimated at $375 per upgrade.\n\u003Cbr\u003E\n$375 x 8 = $3,000"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EReceive one free drink and snack in Economy.\u003C\/strong\u003E When flying economy, receive one drink and one snack for free.","$117","Even though most Platinum 1K\u00ae members won't fly economy most of the time, we assume that you use this benefit on 25% of your flights when upgrades aren't available. Each snack costs $5, while beer costs $8. \n\u003Cbr\u003E\n$13 x 9 = $117"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EWaived phone booking service fees.\u003C\/strong\u003E To book travel reservations over the phone, phone booking service fees are waived for Premier 1K\u00ae members.","$25","Phone booking service fees typically cost $25 per reservation. We assume that you use this benefit once a year."],["\u003Cstrong\u003EEarn additional award miles per dollar on flights:\u003C\/strong\u003E While MileagePlus members earn 5X miles on United flights, Premier 1K\u00ae members earn 11X miles on United flights.","$891","We value each United MileagePlus mile to be \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"How Much Are Airline Miles Worth? 2020 Report\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/travel\/how-much-are-airline-miles-worth\"\u003Eworth 1.1 cents each\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E. Premier Silver members earn an additional 6X miles or about 6.6 cents per dollar spent. \n\u003Cbr\u003E\n$13,500 x $0.066 = $891"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EWaived award ticket change and cancellation fees \u2014 anytime before departure.\u003C\/strong\u003E Premier 1K\u00ae members can change or cancel their award tickets anytime before departure, completely free of charge.","$225","MileagePlus members without status have to pay $100-$125 ($112.50 on average) to change or cancel an award ticket. We assume that you cancel or change two award tickets."],["\u003Cstrong\u003EDiscounted United Club annual membership:\u003C\/strong\u003E Premier 1K\u00ae members receive a $100 discount on an annual United Club membership for a total cost of $550 per year.","$100","For MileagePlus members, Premier Silver and Premier Gold members, the United Club annual membership costs $650 per year. This results in a $100 discount for Premier 1K\u00ae members."],["\u003Cstrong\u003EComplimentary CLEAR Membership:\u003C\/strong\u003E Premier 1K\u00ae members can get an annual CLEAR membership for free.","$119","Annual CLEAR memberships cost $119 for MileagePlus members."],["\u003Cstrong\u003EAward booking benefits:\u003C\/strong\u003E \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content ShortcodeList--content-margin\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--bullet\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Better award availability in Economy\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Better award availability in select premium cabins\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n No blackout dates for award flights on United and United Express flights\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Priority award waitlisting\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Standby for international flights\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E","$400","These benefits are harder to calculate, as the value will depend on whether you take advantage of these offers. Therefore, we conservatively estimated the following benefits to be around $400."],["\u003Cstrong\u003EComplimentary Star Alliance Gold status:\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content ShortcodeList--content-margin\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--bullet\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Priority reservations waitlisting\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Priority airport standby\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Priority airport check-in\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Extra baggage allowance\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Gold Track (Priority security and immigration)\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Airport lounge access\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Priority boarding\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E","^^^","^^^"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EComplimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status:\u003C\/strong\u003E Earn 25% more points on stays, enhanced room upgrades (upon availability), 2 p.m. late checkout and more.","^^^","^^^"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EComplimentary Hertz President's Circle Rewards status:\u003C\/strong\u003E Earn 50% more points on rentals, confirmed car upgrades and more.","^^^","^^^"],["\u003Cstrong\u003EOther benefits, such as:\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content ShortcodeList--content-margin\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--bullet\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Extra benefits when booking a VIP Access property with United Hotels\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n United Cruises onboard amenities offer\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n TPC Network golf course benefits\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Mercedes-Benz incentives\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E","^^^","^^^"],["\u003Cstrong\u003ETOTAL\u003C\/strong\u003E","\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeAlign--root ShortcodeAlign--horizontal-center\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeAlign--container\"\u003E \n \u003Cstrong\u003E$12,877\u003C\/strong\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E","<<<"]],"footnote":"","hasMarginBottom":true,"isExpandable":false,"isSortable":false,"maxWidth":"1215","minWidth":"100%","showSearch":false,"sortColumnIndex":0,"sortDirection":"asc"}

The major difference between Premier 1K® and Premier Platinum is that 1K® members receive seat upgrades on discount coach fares and international flights. Since 1K® is the top-tier priority level, this benefit essentially ensures that 1K® members receive seat upgrades on every flight they book. As such, confirmation for upgrades is also given as soon as 96 hours (four days) in advance. Those who meet the spending minimum of $15,000 per year on flights, 1K® status all but guarantees a business- or first-class seat on any United itinerary.

United Premier Access: What is it?

Whether you're a Silver or a 1K® member, all United Premier members have access to Premier Access benefits. When flying on United and United Express, you'll enjoy these exclusive benefits to make your airport experience simpler:

  • Designated check-in lanes: United Premier members will have designated airport check-in lines, separate from regular check-in.
  • Exclusive security lanes: When available, United Premier members can access a designated security lane.
  • Priority boarding: United Premier members will be the first to board the aircraft.
  • Priority baggage handling: United Premier members will receive their luggage first at the baggage claim.

These Premier Access benefits are only available to Premier status members, travelers in United first or business class, Star Alliance Gold members and MileagePlus Club and Presidential Plus credit cardholders.

Is United Premier elite status worth it?

Moderate United travelers qualifying for United Premier Silver or Gold status will surely benefit from holding elite status. But, there may be other options to maximize rewards and save on fees. If your flights are generally taken across two or three domestic airlines, a travel rewards credit card could provide better benefits for you than chasing the lower levels of United elite status. If you don't currently meet the spending minimum for Premier Silver, there are better ways to receive awards and benefits than purchasing pricey flights. You can also open a United credit card to enjoy United-specific perks, as these cards can provide some of the same benefits as elite status.

For heavy international travelers and those who already take more than 24 trips with United a year, United Platinum and 1K® Premier status provide benefits that make your loyalty worthwhile. As a member of Star Alliance, United is part of the largest airline alliance. Therefore, United Premier members have the chance to earn more miles and enjoy more perks on international flights than members of American Airlines' and Delta Air Lines' loyalty programs.

Finally, it's worth noting that the elite status requirements are significantly lower now than ever before. Based on our status valuations and your travel patterns, it may be worth chasing elite status with these lowered thresholds. Although travel is limited right now, working towards United Premier status can elevate your travel experience into 2022.

United Airlines credit card benefits

If you're unable to reach the spending thresholds for United Premier status, consider applying for a United co-branded credit card instead. With four card options, from no-annual fee to $525 annual fee, these credit cards are much more reasonable offerings than achieving elite status for most travelers. Each card will earn users MileagePlus miles and comes with comparable elite status benefits to save you money on expenses, such as free checked bags.

Card
Sign-up bonus
Spending rewards
United benefits
United Club access
United Gateway℠ CardEarn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open2X miles per $1 spent on United Airlines purchases, at gas stations and on local transit and commuting. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. Plus, 3X miles on grocery store purchases up to $1,500 per month through 9/30/202125% statement credit on United in-flight purchases made with the cardNone
United℠ Explorer CardEarn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, an additional 25,000 bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 monthsEarn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants, on hotel stays and on purchases from United. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases25% statement credit on United in-flight purchases made with the card
Free first checked bag
Priority boarding
Two one-time passes after account opening and each cardmember year

United Club℠ Infinite Card

Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account openingEarn 4 miles per $1 spent on United purchases, 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel and dining and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.25% statement credit on United in-flight purchases made with the card
Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA Precheck fee credit
Free first and second checked bags
Yes
United℠ Business Card Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United purchases, at restaurants, gas stations, office supply stores and on local transit and commuting. Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.$100 United travel credit after qualifying flight purchases
25% statement credit on United in-flight purchases made with the card
Priority boarding
Two one-time passes after account opening and each cardmember year
{"alignsHorizontal":[],"alignsVertical":[],"columnWidths":[],"data":[["Card","Sign-up bonus","Spending rewards","United benefits","United Club access"],["\u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"United Gateway\u2120 Card Review: Who Should Apply?\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/travel\/united-gateway-credit-card\"\u003EUnited Gateway℠ Card\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E","Earn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open","2X miles per $1 spent on United Airlines purchases, at gas stations and on local transit and commuting. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. Plus, 3X miles on grocery store purchases up to $1,500 per month through 9\/30\/2021","25% statement credit on United in-flight purchases made with the card","None"],["\u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"United\u2120 Explorer Card: Great for United Loyalists\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/united-mileageplus-explorer-credit-card\"\u003EUnited℠ Explorer Card\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E","Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, an additional 25,000 bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 months","Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants, on hotel stays and on purchases from United. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases","25% statement credit on United in-flight purchases made with the card\n\u003Cbr\u003E\nFree first checked bag\n\u003Cbr\u003E\nPriority boarding","Two one-time passes after account opening and each cardmember year"],["\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"United Club\u2120 Infinite Card: Tons of United miles, lounge access and excellent travel coverage\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/travel\/united-club-infinite-card\"\u003EUnited Club℠ Infinite Card\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E","Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening","Earn 4 miles per $1 spent on United purchases, 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel and dining and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.","25% statement credit on United in-flight purchases made with the card\n\u003Cbr\u003E\nUp to $100 Global Entry or TSA Precheck fee credit\n\u003Cbr\u003E\nFree first and second checked bags","Yes"],["\u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"United\u2120 Explorer Business Card: Should You Apply?\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/united-mileageplus-explorer-business-credit-card\"\u003EUnited℠ Business Card \u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E","Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.","Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United purchases, at restaurants, gas stations, office supply stores and on local transit and commuting. Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.","$100 United travel credit after qualifying flight purchases\n\u003Cbr\u003E\n25% statement credit on United in-flight purchases made with the card\n\u003Cbr\u003E\nPriority boarding","Two one-time passes after account opening and each cardmember year"]],"footnote":"","hasMarginBottom":true,"isExpandable":false,"isSortable":false,"maxWidth":"700","minWidth":"100%","showSearch":false,"sortColumnIndex":0,"sortDirection":"asc"}

ValuePenguin's verdict

If you're looking to reach elite status with an airline, United Airlines offers some of the most lucrative perks for its Premier members. There's no better time to qualify for elite status, as many airlines have reduced their qualifications due to the pandemic — and United Airlines is no exception. With four levels of elite status, the value significantly increases as you move up the tiers. While it takes lots of time and diligence to achieve Premier status, you could be looking at benefits worth well over $10,000.

The information related to United Gateway℠ Card, United℠ Explorer Card and United℠ Business Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Stella Shon

Stella Shon is a travel credit cards writer with ValuePenguin. After studying abroad in Paris three years ago, she became determined to keep traveling. That’s when she discovered the world of points and miles, which enabled her to travel on a student budget. Since then, she’s flown over 150,000 miles and earned more than 500,000 points and miles with eight different credit cards. While in college, she even co-founded her own travel agency, helping her peers plan and book trips on a budget. As a recent journalism graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill, her goal is to write about travel to make it simpler and achievable for everyone. Her work has also appeared on JetBlue, The Points Guy, Travel + Leisure and CNBC.

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's website.

Info about the following cards: American Express® Gold Card, Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card, Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card, American Express® Blue Sky, American Express® Green Card, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, The Plenti® Credit Card from Amex, Blue from American Express®, Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz, Bluebird, Centurion® Card from American Express, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, and Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card has been collected independently by ValuePenguin. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

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