Earning United Miles Just Went Revenue-Based

Well, United has just gone the way of Delta with their announcement today.

Starting March 1, 2015, United will change the way you earn frequent flyer miles. The distance flown will no longer matter; United will soon reward its biggest spenders (which may be great for business travelers who buy expensive tickets).

I won’t go into detail because bigger bloggers than me have already posted their thoughts and they are spot on:

What hasn’t changed yet is the redemption side of the MileagePlus program. For now, they still have a normal award chart with pricing based on zones (and not ticket price).

Hopefully, United won’t make any more changes to the redemption side since they recently had a major devaluation of their program last February.

Here are a few key takeaways from this announcement:

  • Earning miles & points through credit cards becomes even more important
  • Premier status will still be earned based on miles flown
  • You can still earn miles based on distance if you purchase a flight through a partner and credit to United

A lot of people saw this change coming; it was only a matter of time. The hope is that the last remaining major airline (American/US Airways) will hold out on their major program change until 2016 since they have bigger fish to fry with their merger.

With this news, I’m happy I went for American Airlines Executive Platinum status for this year. United is just full of bad news in 2014 for those of us who like to try and game their system.