I finally became a millionaire! No, not the good kind with $$, but a second best by achieving 1,000,000 lifetime miles with United. This was a long time in coming considering that I join United’s Mileage Plus in 1987, but it finally got here. It seemed appropriate that I gained that goal on a mileage run from D.C. to Alaska as I detailed in this post on planning a mileage run.
I probably only racked up about 250k in miles until the year 2002, but moving to Alaska and Hawaii for the last ten years really caused the miles to rack up. Ironically, I also passed 1,000,000 redeemable miles on the same flight! Although, truth be told, I keep bouncing above a below a million miles as I redeem and then earn more, so this is like my fourth time over that bar.
So what do I get for this incredible acheivement? I am now a lifetime gold on United. Meaning that no matter how little flying I do in a year, I will always by at least Gold and continue to keep all the benefits that go along with that status such as free bags, Economy Plus seating, and a possibility of an upgrade. Not holding out too much for that last one, but you never know.
So reaching a million miles gets me Gold for life. What about if I earned even more miles on United? Here is the chart below. As you can see, you really need to get to 3-4 million miles to have something great. Heck, 4 million lifetime miles means you earned 1K for 40 years? United ought to just give you your own plane for all that business!
Lifetime Premier Status
The Million Miler program grants lifetime Premier status to all qualifying members, even if they fly less in the future. Here are the status benefits of the Million Miler program:
|Lifetime flight miles||Status award||Annual Status for spouse/ significant other|
|One million||Premier Gold||✓|
|Two million||Premier Platinum||✓|
|Three million||Premier 1K®||✓|
|Four million||Global ServicesSM||✓|
Note United’s unique gift of giving your Spouse/ SO the same status even when they are not flying with you!
Many airlines have a lifetime program left over from before there were frequent flyer programs and you would get a nice plaque or something for being a good customer. The majority of airlines give you the Gold level for achieving 1,000,000 miles, although Delta is notable in only granting Silver status for that level. Here is their rather interesting chart. One of the hardest to achieve is on Alaska Airlines since they do not fly long haul overseas flights. I only know of oil workers and politicians achieving that goal. Of course, making Gold on Alaska really means something since they only have one tier higher than that and it is hard to get. I am only at 400k+ on AS… maybe someday.
At least one hotel program has lifetime status and that is Marriott. I have technically achieved this already, but am going for the highest level which will be lifetime Platinum. Marriott requires a combination of nights and lifetime points for each of their three lifetime levels.
Silver: 250 nights and 1.2 million points
Gold: 500 nights and 1.6 million points
Platinum: 750 nights and 2 million points
Details are listed on this FT post. I am less than 100 nights away so should pass that next year. Points are the problem since I don’t stay at the high priced properties, but here is a tip. Megabonus and CC points count towards this total. I score an extra 50-100K per year by this method. Should make 2 million points by the year after if not next year. Lifetime platinum will be very nice to have. The only other hotel with a comparable program is Starwood with only 500 nights needed for Platinum, but I don’t stay there very often.