United Airlines is offering a special status match offer to those with top-tier status in competing airline loyalty programs. To sweeten the deal, you can also choose between one of two offers for some extra bonus miles:
- Accept trial status. If you meet the requirements of the trial program, you’ll also get a flat 10,000 bonus award miles and keep the status through January 2017.
- If you know you’ll have several flights coming up, you can earn status the hard way. But United will also give you up to 3,000 bonus miles on longer segments (3,000+ miles) in premium cabins, or fewer miles on shorter segments/economy class, up to a maximum of 50,000 bonus miles.
To take advantage of the trial status, you’ll need to register by December 31, 2015, and also book and complete travel by February 29, 2016. It appears to be a non-public, targeted offer, so I won’t share my link here. Just check your email and your spam folder if you haven’t seen it yet and think you may be eligible.
UPDATE: This specific offer, allowing readers to choose between the status match or the 50,000 bonus miles, is not public. However, I did find that the status match may be available to additional people who weren’t targeted. If you didn’t get an email, you can still try to apply.
Worried about missing out? There are some very lengthy terms and conditions on the registration page. The most important one is probably this:
- Status match offer is not valid for customers who have participated in the MileagePlus or OnePass status match program within the last 5 years.
So, if you recently switched from United to another airline and now want to switch back, this probably won’t work for you. But other people may have been longtime customers of American, Delta, etc. and aren’t happy with the recent changes there, either. I know some are grumpy about American’s merger and Delta’s new award chart (or lack thereof). You’ll be matched to a different tier of MileagePlus depending on the status you currently carry with a competitor.
How Much Do I Have to Fly?
Again, it’s a long, long list of T&Cs, not all of which I feel like repeating here. But this chart summarizes the requirements for those who choose the status match, which can only be to Silver, Gold, or Platinum status (no Premier 1K match is available for this offer; maybe you can request it by phone or email).
United isn’t the best program for me because it requires a certain minimum spend threshold to earn status, and it also awards miles based on the price of your tickets. I tend to buy cheap fares. Even though I still kind of like the redemption side, I won’t earn enough to make it worthwhile. Others who buy more expensive tickets may consider this a better deal.