How I Just Blew Rudy Maxa’s Mind


I just appeared on the Rudy Maxa radio show to talk about United making it harder to achieve elite status by adding a separate spending requirement on United tickets in addition to miles flown, a requirement which came into effect this year and is increasing next year.

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Rudy asked how folks should adapt to this change, and I don’t think he expected such an easy answer.


“Does the PQD [Scott: Premier Qualifying Dollars, the amount you must spend on United tickets] requirement apply to all MileagePlus members?

For 2014, the PQD requirement only applies to members whose primary address on their MileagePlus account is in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia. Members who use U.S. military or diplomatic addresses (APO, DPO or FPO) are exempt from the PQD requirement.”

Make your address on an address outside the United States, and the PQM requirement vanishes.

Unfortunately, we don’t know if that will be the case next year for earning 2016 status.

The other easy way to waive the PQD requirement is to spend $25,000 in a year on your United co-branded credit card. That only waives the PQD requirement for Silver, Gold, and Platinum, though, so you can’t reach 1K status through this method unless you meet its $10,000 PQD requirement.

I think we budgeted too many minutes for the interview.


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  1. Firstly, I second Phil.
    Second United seems to have done something quick on the fly that is requiring verification. In my case, though it would be valid since I moved abroad a year ago but never bothered to change addresses on numerous FF accounts. I mean who does that anymore (?)

  2. Surely, United must be expecting this and we are at risk of forfeiting our miles if we do this? When does United look at the address to determine premier qualification, if I “move” mid-year, does my status immediately change?

    • YMMV, use at your own risk. The risk seems very low to me. I’m not sure United has the resources to track down people’s addresses.

  3. As a 1K based in Canada, I have been asked multiple times where my address is – the conversation usually goes like “Are you really based in xxx”? I am sure UA agents then see that I fly YYZ-xxx multiple times an year and rarely have a revenue domestic inter-US flight. I have known folks who changed their address to Canada and were asked to submit documentation. You have been warned!


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