For the last 3 years, I have fallen one or two flights short of reaching United Silver Elite Status. I was able to get complementary Silver for 2019 thanks to my Marriott Titanium status. One of the reasons I did not make an effort to reach Silver was the fact that most of the benefits overlapped with the ones the United Explorer credit card offers. Unlike this year, I ended up doing my personal trips with non-Staralliance airlines which would have put me well over Silver, but I did not consider that as a prioirty.
Let’s take a look at my 2019 flying United exclusively. So far I have taken 14 roundtrips. Except for one leg coming back from Orlando, I have been able to grab Premium Economy seats. There were seats available, but we decided to stay with our friends for whom by the way, I had gotten “preferred seats” at booking. I have been upgraded to United First/Business twice, one going to MCO and one returning from SJU. In prior years, I paid for my upgrades to Premium Economy/Premium Plus on a regular basis. Thus getting that upgrade at check-in has saved me at least several hundred dollars this year.
I’m about to switch roles and I might not have to take more than 3-4 trips next year. I do plan to travel for leisure 2-3 times next year, and I’m again just one trip away from Silver. Trying to go for Gold has even crossed my mind, but traveling so little next year makes spending $3k out of my pocket a less than wise move which let’s be honest my partner would never approve. Sure it would be exciting, but I will most likely pass. If I were traveling more not less next year, would certainly justify a couple of trips to Asia which would net me Gold Elite.