Monday, January 19, 2015

United makes me an offer that I can't refuse (not)

For the past few years, I've been a Premier Gold member with United (50,000 miles per year).  But in 2014, I came short of requalification, having flown 43,908 miles.  That's only enough for Premier Silver (25,000 miles per year).

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. 

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