Thanks to flying one million miles on United, I have Premier Gold status for life, or at least as long as they keep this benefit going. I don’t fly United that much, but I do use my Gold status on occasion. Most of all for lounge access when flying within Europe, and sometimes to Canada. As recently as last week, despite “UA *G” noted on my boarding pass, I had to show my physical card to gain entry into the excellent Turkish Airlines Lounge in Istanbul.
Since my Premier Gold status should never expire, I’m not sure why United has to send me a new card each year. I would prefer to get a card with a longer expiration, or better yet, no expiry date. Given that my old card expires at the end of January each year, I find it annoying that I only receive the new package so late in the month. This year, I’m more annoyed that the package didn’t even include a card. The only thing personalized about it was my Mileage Plus number on the package explaining the benefits, and my first name in the letter from CEO Oscar Munoz.
What’s Included in the 2018 United Premier Gold Package?
How to Request a Card
Knowing I wanted a physical card, I called Mileage Plus. The call took about 15 minutes. Mostly on hold waiting for someone at the Mileage Plus Service center. Once I spoke to an agent there, initially she gave me some options. The ability to access my card in the United App, or print my own from the website. While I am aware of those options, based on experience I want to have a real card. I don’t want to risk trying to convince someone in a foreign airport that those options are legit. Usually, the information on boarding passes is sufficient, but not always. However, on certain partners I’ve found that they want the physical card. I’ve had to show my card for lounge access on Air Canada and Turkish in the last year or so.
The Mileage Plus agent said they weren’t supposed to request these for customers, but I was not the only one to do so. Sounds to me like just cost cutting. I’d be glad to not have to carry my card when traveling, but until I don’t need to occasionally show it, I insist on having it available. I would recommend you do the same. Hopefully there won’t be too much of a delay to receive the card. I expect to have some travel in early February and I want to have a current card just in case.
Update: Card received
Almost 4 weeks after requesting my card from Mileage Plus Service Center, I received 2 cards in the mail. One for me, and one for my wife, who gets the same status as I have as a benefit of the United Million Miler program. I haven’t needed the card in the meantime, but I’m glad to have it just in case.