What are the Changes to United’s 2023 Elite Status Requirements?

United MileagePlus has made a few changes to its elite status requirements for 2023. There is no change to the basic structure – you can earn elite status with:

  • Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) only  OR
  • Premier Qualifying Flights (PQFs) AND PQPs

For the uninitiated, ONE PQP is essentially $1 spent on airfare.

Status Head Start

If you already hold elite status with United, you will start the year with some complimentary PQPs…

For the avoidance of doubt, doing a status trial with United does NOT get you these extra PQPs.

Award Travel Counts

As of 2023, award tickets will help you earn elite status:

  • When redeeming United MileagePlus miles ONLY for travel on United and United Express ONLY
  • You will receive one PQP for every 100 United miles redeemed
  • You will receive one PQF for every United or United Express award flight
  • If an award includes travel on both United and one or more partners, the number of PQPs earned will be calculated as a percentage of the total distance flown (i.e. only the % flown on United as a % of the total miles redeemed for the award)

Award flights will NOT, however, count for lifetime status purposes.

Credit Card Spend

You will also be able to earn PQPs from credit card spend.

  • United Quest Cardholders can earn up to 6,000 PQPs
  • United Club Infinite Cardholders can earn up to 8,000 PQPs
  • United MileagePlus Chase Cardholders will continue to earn 500 PQPs per $12,000 spent
  • The maximum number of PQPs you can earn across cards each calendar year is 15,000 PQPs

Bottom Line

Unlike American Airlines and Delta Airlines, you cannot earn United’s top tier status solely through credit card spend. You can, however, get much of the way to 1K status through credit card spend, assuming that you manage to fly 54 times in 2023!


  1. Barry Graham says

    I like that United has a hybrid model for spending, that allows you to mix and match credit card spending and flight spending. I wish that Delta had such a model.

    Actually in reality it would be better if the spending requirement went away, especially since it doesn’t apply to people with foreign addresses (at least that’s the case with Delta).

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