United Releases New 2020 Status Match Challenge Based On Earning PQPs And PQFs

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Airlines often try to poach elite flyers from other airlines. Once upon a time they would match elites from other airlines for an entire year or more, but today most airlines offer status challenges. A challenge comes with a requirement to fulfill in order to maintain the status beyond a trial period.

United eliminated their status challenge last year, but they have relaunched it now, with new PQP and PQF requirements if you want to keep status beyond a 90 day trial period.

Other status match challenges available online include Alaska and Delta. American’s challenge doesn’t require status, but requires a variable payment instead by calling 888-697-5636.

You can read all about PQPs and PQFs in this post.

United claimed that that they introduced PQPs and PQFs for 2020 to simplify things, but that’s nonsense. There’s nothing simple about the new system.

With the challenge, United is limiting PQPs and PQFs to those earned on United flights only. That eliminates the partner loopholes I wrote about if you’re trying to get status via the challenge.

  • To match from Delta Silver or AA Gold to United Silver, you’ll need to fly on 4 United flight segments (PQFs) and spend $1,000 (before tax) on United flights (PQPs) within 90 days.
  • To match from Delta Gold or AA Platinum to United Gold, you’ll need to fly on 6 United flight segments (PQFs) and spend $2,000 (before tax) on United flights (PQPs) within 90 days.
  • To match from Delta Platinum or AA Platinum Pro to United Platinum, you’ll need to fly on 10 United flight segments (PQFs) and spend $3,000 (before tax) on United flights (PQPs) within 90 days.

Economy plus seats and subscriptions, preferred seat purchases, upgrades, and upgrade award co-pays also count towards PQP spending.

You can get a United challenge once every 5 years.

If you complete a challenge before 7/1/20, your status will expire on 1/31/21. If you complete a challenge on or after 7/1/20, your status will expire on 1/31/22.

If you do have United status, having a credit card like United Explorer or United Business Explorer will also make you eligible for upgrades on award tickets.

Have you taken advantage of a United status challenge?

HT: Silv IT

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9 Comments On "United Releases New 2020 Status Match Challenge Based On Earning PQPs And PQFs"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


This would never work for me. I flew 62 DL segments and only spent $2924.
No way I’m spending $3000 in 90 days.
Without the credit card waiver I would have nothing.
On a related note, as a DL SM and then GM, I’ve been upgraded over 50% of my flights. Almost all my flights are Delta Connection flights. I’ve never been upgraded on DL mainline except for upgrading with points.


Glad I did a status match this summer before the new reqs. were implemented.


Do i have the status in the challenge period?

Freakin flyer

I am a united 1K member for the last five years, for me the new changes actually has a lot of benefits, I regularly spend $15-$20,000 a year but most of my flights are short domestic flights, for example in 2019 I spent $18,000 and had close to 60 segments but not enough PQM, I had to take a International flight as a mileage run just to get the additional PQM to re-qualify for 1K, for flyers like me who are on a plane if a few times a month domestically this is a game changer


I used up my status match in January 2016. Has anyone ever been successful in negotiating a new challenge if they had a challenge within the past 5 years? I am Diamond Medallion now.


If I signup for a United Platinum challenge and then only complete the requirements for gold, would I still get gold or it is an all or nothing type deal? Thanks!


I generally qualify as United Gold or Silver, primarily based on Mileage, not dollars (now points). The new program will be a problem, as I may hit the 50k miles, but usually go for the less expensive tickets (economy, not basic economy). I am considering switching airlines, (Delta, AA) if they have a better program and will match. EWR is my preferred airport. Any help would be appreciated.

Mark Sherman

I am flying to Israel about 4 times a year with United and star alliance partners which was good for gold status (12.5k *4 = 50k ) . However, for 2020 with the new program I need to fly about 8-10 times to stay gold. Do somebody have an idea for me to change to a different airline within star alliance or to change to Delta /AF. Please advise.