United just sent an email offering a buy-up to Gold status for 2015.
But at what price, United? At what price?
Premier Gold offers some excellent benefits over Silver. Most noteworthy are:
- You can get Economy Plus seating (including exit rows) pre-assigned when you book. Silver members get Economy Plus at check-in if it's available.
- You earn 8 miles per dollar spent as a Gold member (compared to 7 miles as a Silver)
- Access to Star Alliance lounges when flying internationally (and the Lufthansa lounges in Detroit and Washington-Dulles in any class of service)
- You can change to any same-day flight (on a space-available basis) for free as a Gold (within 24 hours of your original flight's departure)
I made a lot of use of the same-day-flight-change benefit last year. For example, on my most recent trip to Las Vegas, I booked a 7am return departure because it was the cheapest fare; I ended up being able to change that to a much more reasonable 11am flight for free.
So how much money does United want to make me Gold?
$1,249??! Hard pass. I'd be shocked if anyone took this offer. The incremental benefits between Silver and Gold are worth about $200 in my mind.