June 18, 2013 Spend Requirement Comes to United.
Starting in 2014 the qualification requirements for elite status on United Airlines will include a minimum spend of ten cents a mile. This is in line with Delta’s spend requirement released several months ago.
There are a couple of ways around the requirement.
First, spend 25k on a UA branded CC. However, you can only get up to platinum using this method. Now, assuming you have no other credit card spend you can flip 25k through something like Google Wallet for a 2.9% service fee which would be $725.00. However, you would still have to buy the tickets.
Using a mileage run price of 3 cents per mile, 75,000eqms will cost you $2,250. That doesn’t even get you to silver. So, you have to make up the difference cycling cash through google wallet. $25,000- $2,250 is $22,750 take that and multiply that by google wallet’s 2.9% fee and you get $659.75. For platinum that is honestly a reasonable amount to pay. Turning that into cents per mile it adds .87 cents on to the per-mile cost.
So what does that mean, if you have no credit card spend on anything other besides airline tickets, expect for your cost go up by something close to 33%. That number goes down as you use your credit card for other things.
Second, the spend requirement is only people in the United States. The easy solution, leave the US. Or maybe not leave the US but rent a PO Box in a third country and change your United.com address to the PO Box. Instant exemption.
With each new rule comes new work-a-arounds.
Tags: United Airlines