New 2020 United Status Match ChallengeUnited Airlines has launched a new MileagePlus Premier Status Match Challenge for 2020, offering 90 days of complimentary Star Alliance status and a shortcut to keeping United status for an even longer period. The current offer is valid until 31 December 2020.

The United status match challenge is available to frequent flyers that already hold elite status with another airline, including Qantas and Virgin Australia, provided this status is valid until at least the end of 2020. However, other Star Alliance airlines are excluded.

Matches are available to United Premier Silver, Gold and Platinum status. You’ll be offered a level that is equivalent to your exiting status with another airline. For example, Qantas and Velocity Gold status will match to United Premier Gold, which is equivalent to Star Alliance Gold.

How to request a United status match

It takes just a few minutes to request a United Status Match Challenge on the United Airlines website.

You’ll need to include either a copy of your current membership card with the frequent flyer program you’re matching from, or your most recent activity statement. Your name, current status level and expiry date must be clearly showing.

How to complete the United status challenge

Once approved, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of Star Alliance status for 90 days.

To renew your status beyond the 90-day period, you’ll need to earn a minimum amount of Premier Qualifying Flights (PQF) and Premier Qualifying Points (PQP) on flights operated by United Airlines and/or United Express. The requirements depend on the status level you’ve been matched to:

  • Premier Silver status – renew by earning 4 PQF & 1,000 PQP in 90 days
  • Premier Gold status – renew by earning 6 PQF & 2,000 PQP in 90 days
  • Premier Platinum status – renew by earning 10 PQF & 3,000 PQP in 90 days

One PQF is earned for every United flight taken, regardless of the class of travel – except for Basic Economy and award tickets which don’t earn PQFs.

For travel on United, one PQP is earned for every U.S. Dollar spent, excluding taxes.

To complete a Premier Gold status challenge, you would need to take at least 6 United-operated flights and spend at least USD2,000 before taxes (~$2,885 at today’s exchange rate) with United Airlines.

The new 2020 United status match challenge is arguably harder than the previous challenge offered until September 2019, whereby flyers had a choice of earning either Premier Qualifying Miles or Segments. Under the new United MileagePlus program in 2020, “Premier Qualifying Segments” have been replaced with “Premier Qualifying Flights”, and miles flown are no longer counted towards status qualification.

The best time to request a United status match challenge

If you complete a United Status Match Challenge any time between now and 30 June 2020, your status will be renewed until the end of January 2021. But if you complete a challenge between 1 July and 31 December 2020, you’ll get to keep your status until January 2022. Therefore, July is the best time to complete your status challenge as you’ll receive the benefits of your status for the longest time!

Note that you may only request a United status match challenge once every 5 years.

After requesting a challenge, it will take anywhere from 1 to 14 days for your United MileagePlus account to be upgraded. The 90-day trial period will begin immediately once the request is approved.

Benefits during the 90-day challenge period

The offer terms & conditions state that the benefits of your status are not available on other Star Alliance partner airlines during the challenge period. But in our members’ experience, this is not necessarily the case. Although it’s not guaranteed, you should be able to enjoy status benefits across the Star Alliance network during the trial period by adding your United MileagePlus number to your reservation.

If you’re planning a trip to the United States, you could use the United MileagePlus status match challenge as a shortcut to Star Alliance status. This is useful when flying on any Star Alliance carrier, including Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Air Canada and Asiana. Even if you don’t plan to complete the challenge, it’s an easy 3 months of free Star Alliance status.

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Got status matched! Now what? Star Alliance / United / Thai

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]