United offering 2020 status match challenge for elite status until 2021 or 2022


United Mileage Plus is currently offering a new status match challenge for 2020. The wording on the promo page indicates that this challenge opportunity is expected to stick around throughout 2020, so whether to do it now or later will depend on when you need to have United status. Those who match now and meet the criteria to maintain status will keep it through January 2021 and those who complete the match after July 1, 2020 will keep status through January 2022.

The Deal

Key Details

  • Earned 2020 Premier status is valid through January 2021.
  • MileagePlus status is valid through January 2022 for customers who earn Premier status through this promotion on or after July 1, 2020.

You will need to provide:

  • Valid email address on your MileagePlus account
  • Copy of your most recent mileage summary or 2020 membership card for the frequent flyer program you are matching from. It must clearly identify your name, current elite status, including your status expiration date or validity period, which should be valid through the duration of the current calendar year. (Please note that many digital frequent flyer program membership cards do not include an expiration date.)

Note that:

  • Offer is not valid for members who have participated in the MileagePlus status match program or received a Premier Status exception within the last 5 years.
  • Members who hold elite status because of a trial or temporary elite status in the other airline program, are not eligible for the MileagePlus Premier status match program.
  • Premier membership materials will be not issued for the 90-day Offer Period. You may enjoy Premier benefits on United- or United Express-operated flights by providing your account number when making reservations or at check-in. During the 90-day Offer Period, you may not have access to all reciprocal Premier benefits with United’s partner airlines, including access to Star Alliance lounges.
  • Through this offer, you will not be able to qualify for a higher Premier status level than the one you are matched to in MileagePlus. For example, if you are matched to Premier Silver, you will not be able to earn Premier Gold status through this offer, even if you will fly more than the 6 PQF and earn more than 2,000 PQP on flights operated by United or United Express during the Offer Period. However, you will be able to qualify to a higher status level if you reach one of the published qualification thresholds for Premier status.
  • Upon meeting both the PQF and PQP requirements to retain Premier Platinum status through this offer, members will be awarded 20 PlusPoints, which will be credited to their account within 7-10 business days. Premier members can earn 40 PlusPoints upon meeting all standard published qualification requirements of Premier Platinum status and 280 PlusPoints upon meeting all the standard published qualification requirements of Premier 1K® status.
  • If you are unable to complete both the PQF and PQP requirements within the 90-day Offer Period, your matched MileagePlus Premier status will expire, and you may be returned to a lower earned Premier level, or general member status, at United’s sole discretion.
  • Qualifying PQF and PQP must be posted to your MileagePlus account.

Quick Thoughts

Note that customers who already have Star Alliance Silver or Gold status are excluded from this matching promotion. That could be a bummer for those who have Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite status and have already connected that to United for Premier Silver status. I did this shortly after the new year and currently have United Premier Silver status, which translates to Star Alliance Silver. Based on the terms, I would therefore be ineligible for this match (though I don’t currently have elite status to match anyway, so this is a non-issue in my case).

Keep in mind that while the status match landing page only shows equivalent matches from Delta and American, it clearly says that those are examples. It doesn’t state that AA and Delta are the only airlines from which they’ll match — so if you have status with Alaska or another airline and you want to give this a shot, you may be successful.

Once you’ve been provisionally matched, you’ll need to fly and spend money with you United in order to keep status as follows:

Personally, I’m glad to see this opportunity for a public status match challenge return. It won’t be useful to me this year, but I hope to parlay this year’s United Silver status into a match with some other airline for 2021 status. If United continues to offer this status challenge next year, maybe I’ll get a chance to match back.

I’ve long said that I don’t chase airline status as I don’t often fly on paid flights and most often use my miles to fly in premium cabins on international routes (where I’m automatically getting most of the benefits that matter to me). That said, I’m happy to get the benefits of status when an easy opportunity comes along. Further, I know that many readers are frequent business travelers who can make use of the potential upgrades, enhanced service, lower change fees, etc. If you’ll be flying United more often this year, this match could be worthwhile.

H/T: Dan’s Deals via Doctor of Credit

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