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United Flexible Premier Qualifying Miles

Published December 29, 2017

In 2017, I flew a lot less than I flew previous years - which means I did not reach United Airlines Premier Platinum level.  But thankfully, I am grandfathered in to the old United Airlines credit card where I earn "flexible premier qualifying miles," miles you can use to upgrade your status up to the platinum level. 

With this old credit card, a card you can no longer get, you earn 1,000 Flexible Preferred Qualifying Miles (Flex PQMs) for every $5,000 you spend.   You can transfer these Flex PQMs to regular PQMs to help you qualify for status up to and including Premier Platinum, but again, not above that status.  You can check if you have any of these Flex PQMs by logging into your United account.  There would be a link to "Transfer Flexible Premier Qualifying Miles" and if you see it, it will show you how many of these miles you have and when they expire.  The Flex PQMs earned in 2012 or before do not expire, the ones earned after do expire.  So you should use them and not let them expire.

So I used them to reach 75,000 miles in the 2017 year to get Premier Platinum.   Here is a screen shot:

Flying without Platinum on United Airlines is not fun.  Heck, even Platinum status is not that fun but at least you can book bulk head for free.  The upgrades are rare, very rare, but with bulk head, it is not needed.  They also do treat you a bit nicer and you are less likely to get dragged off the plane than other passengers. 

I fly less because, at least for RustyBrick, I am flying less.  I go to less conferences for our core software products and I simply now fly to just SEO events.  We now have several employees that do most of this flying and onsite work, so I don't have to.  Oh, they also do a better job at it then I would.  Also, I haven't put together the Israel show in a while, so those are a lot of miles I am not earning.  

Truth is, my brother-in-law is of Global Services status, which is by far, the best way to fly United.  They treat you like a god of some sorts.  He lives on planes, the only way to qualify is to have flown 4 million miles lifetime with them.   But some say it takes more than just 4M miles, read this.

So if you have those Flex PQMs, make sure to use them to improve your flight experience on United.

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Barry Schwartz is the CEO of RustyBrick, a New York Web service firm specializing in customized online technology that helps companies decrease costs and increase sales. Barry is also the founder of the Search Engine Roundtable and the News Editor of Search Engine Land. He is well known & respected for his expertise in the search marketing industry. Barry graduated from the City University of New York and lives with his family in the NYC region.

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