U.S. Airline Elite Status Comparison

Top Tier Elite Status

  Alaska (MVP Gold 75K)American (Executive Platinum)Delta (Diamond Medallion)United (Premier 1K)
Elite Qualifying Miles75,000 on Alaska; or 90,000 on Alaska + Partners100,000125,000100,000
Segments90120140120
DollarsN/A$15,000$15,000$15,000
Earning PointsDistance-basedRevenue-based (fare + carrier surcharges)Revenue-based (fare + carrier surcharges)Revenue-based (fare + carrier surcharges)
Elite Bonus125%120% (11x)120% (11x)120% (11x)
Alliance StatusN/AOneWorld EmeraldSkyTeam Elite PlusStar Alliance Gold
Instant Upgrades to First ClassY,S,B, M,H, or Z fare classNoNoY, B, and M fare class
Better Legroom SeatsAt bookingAt bookingAt booking (Comfort+)At booking (+8 Companions)
Domestic UpgradesYes (120-hours)Yes (100-hours)Yes (120-hours)Yes (96-hours)
Companion UpgradesYesYesYesYes
Upgrade CouponsFour SystemwideFour Systemwide (plus additional choices at 150k, 200k, and 250k)4 Global, OR 8 regional, OR 2 Global AND 4 Regional*6 Global plus 1 more for every 25,000 PQMs or 30 PQS. 4 Regional Upgrades (2 of which are from reaching Platinum)
Free Drink/Snack in EconomyDrinkDrink and SnackYes (if sitting in Comfort+)Drink and Snack
Free Checked BagsTwo (50 lbs)Three (70 lbs)Three (70 lbs)Three (70 lbs)
Free Lounge Access4 day passes; $55 off yearly Alaska lounge membership$100 off yearly membershipYearly SkyClub Membership*No
Free Same-Day Flight ChangesYesYesYesYes
Waived Change FeesYesNoNoNo
Waived Award FeesYesYesYes (if 72 hours in advance)Yes
OtherCan nominate someone for MVP Status; Elite Leave for new parentsUpgrades on Award ticketsFree CLEAR membership; Hertz President's Circle Status; Premium Priority Boarding; Upgraded on select AeroMexico SeatsNo Award Fee if booking within 21 days; Better Award space for Economy and Business Class; Marriott Gold

*= Delta Diamond members have a choice of three of the following: 4 global upgrade certificates or 8 regional or 2 global AND 4 regional; SkyClub Membership; Executive SkyClub Membership (requires two choices, allows you to bring in two guests); Two Global Entry Vouchers; Gift Gold Status to someone; 25,000 bonus miles; or a gift card. 

American Executive Platinum members can earn extra perks by flying more. At 150,000 EQMs, you can choose either 2 system-wide upgrades, 40,000 points, or gift of Gold Status. At both 200,000 and 250,000 EQMs, you can choose either 2 system-wide upgrades, 40,000 points, or gift of Platinum Status.


Tier Two Elite Status

  Alaska (MVP Gold 75K)American (Platinum Pro)Delta (Platinum Medallion)United (Premier Platinum)
Elite Qualifying Miles75,000 on Alaska; or 90,000 on Alaska + Partners75,00075,00075,000
Segments909010090
DollarsN/A$9,000$9,000$9,000
Earning PointsDistance-basedRevenue-based (fare + carrier surcharges)Revenue-based (fare + carrier surcharges)Revenue-based (fare + carrier surcharges)
Elite Bonus125%80% (9x)80% (9x)80% (9x)
Alliance StatusN/AOneWorld SapphireSkyTeam Elite PlusStar Alliance Gold
Instant Upgrades to First ClassY,S,B, M,H, or Z fare classNoNoY and B fare class
Extra Legroom SeatsFree at bookingFree at bookingFree at booking (Comfort+)Free at booking
Domestic UpgradesYes (120-hours)Yes (72-hours; unlimited)Yes (120-hours)
Companion UpgradesYesYesYesYes
Upgrade CouponsFour SystemwideNo4 Regional*2 Regional
Free Drink/Snack in EconomyDrinkOnly if seat in Main Cabin ExtraOnly if seat in Comfort+No
Free Checked BagsTwo (50 lbs)Two (70 lbs)Three (70 lbs)Three (70 lbs)
Free Lounge Access4 day passes; $55 off yearly Alaska lounge membership$75 off yearly membershipNoNo
Free Same-Day Flight ChangesYesYesYesYes
Waived Standby Fees YesYesYesYes
Waived Change FeesYesNoNoNo
Award Change FeesNo Change Fee$150/ Free if only the datesNo Change Fee (if 72 hours in advance)Free if more than 60 days; $50 if under 60 days.
OtherCan nominate someone for MVP Status; Elite Leave for new parentsWaived Award Fee for under 21 daysHertz President Circle Status; Also can be upgraded on select AeroMexico SeatsNo Award Fee if booking within 21 days; Better Award space for Economy and Business; Marriott Gold

*= Delta Platinum members have a choice of one of the following: 4 regional upgrade certificates, 1 Global Entry Voucher, Gift Silver Status to someone, 20,000 bonus miles, or a gift card. 

American Executive Platinum members can earn extra perks by flying more. At 150,000 EQMs, you can choose either 2 system-wide upgrades, 40,000 points, or gift of Gold Status. At both 200,000 and 250,000 EQMs, you can choose either 2 system-wide upgrades, 40,000 points, or gift of Platinum Status. 


Tier Three Elite Status

  Alaska (MVP Gold)American ( Platinum)Delta (Gold Medallion)United (Premier Gold)
Elite Qualifying Miles40,000 on Alaska; or 50,000 on Alaska + Partners50,00050,00050,000
Segments60606060
DollarsN/A$6,000$6,000$6,000
Earning PointsDistance-basedRevenue-based (fare + carrier surcharges)Revenue-based (fare + carrier surcharges)Revenue-based (fare + carrier surcharges)
Elite Bonus100%60% (8x)60% (8x)60% (8x)
Alliance StatusN/AOneWorld SapphireSkyTeam Elite PlusStar Alliance Gold
Instant Upgrades to First ClassY,S,B,M, or Z FaresNoNoY and B fares
Upgrades to Extra LegroomAt booking (Y, S, B, M. H, Q, L, V, N, K, or Z fares)At bookingYes (72-hours)At booking (plus one companion)
Domestic Upgrades to First ClassYes (72-hours)Yes (must use your 500-mile upgrade coupons)Yes (72-hours)Yes (48-hours)
Companion UpgradesYesYes for one companion (must use your 500-mile upgrade coupons)YesYes
Upgrade CouponsFour systemwideNoNo
Free Drink/Snack in EconomyDrinkOnly if seat in Main Cabin ExtraYes (if in Comfort+)No
Free Checked BagsTwo (50 lbs)Two (70 lbs)Two (70 lbs)Two (70 lbs)
Free Lounge Access$55 off yearly membership$50 off yearly membershipNoNo
Same-Day StandbyYesYesYesYes
Free Same-Day Flight ChangesYesNoYesYes
Waived Change FeesYesNoNoNo
Award Change FeesFree$150/ Free if only dates$150 (if at least 72-hours in advance)$25 if more than 60-days, or $75 if less than 60 days in advance
OtherElite Leave for new parentsWaived $75 Award Fee for Travel under 21 days.Upgrades on AeroMexico (72-hours); Hertz Five-Star StatusReduce Award Fee if booking within 21 days ($25); Better Award space for Economy; Marriott Gold


Bottom Tier Elite Status

  Alaska (MVP)American (Gold)Delta (Silver Medallion)United (Premier Silver)
Elite Qualifying Miles20,000 on Alaska; or 25,000 on Alaska + Partners25,00025,00025,000
Segments30303030
DollarsN/A$3,000$3,000$3,000
Earning PointsDistance-basedRevenue-based (fare + carrier surcharges)Revenue-based (fare + carrier surcharges)Revenue-based (fare + carrier surcharges)
Elite Bonus50%40% (7x)40% (7x)40% (7x)
Alliance StatusN/AOneWorld RubySkyTeam EliteStar Alliance Silver
Instant Upgrades to First ClassY,S, or Z faresNoNoY and B fare class
Upgrade to Extra Legroom SeatInstant (Y, S, B, or Z fares); 48-hours for other faresYes (24-hours)Yes (24-hours)Yes (24-hours; includes one companion)
Domestic Upgrades to First ClassYes (48-hours)Eight "500-Mile Upgrades"Yes (24-hours)Yes
Companion UpgradesNoNo; Must pay $40 per "500-Mile Upgrades"YesYes
Upgrade CouponsNoNoNoNo
Free Drink/Snack in EconomyNoOnly if seat in Main Cabin ExtraOnly if upgraded to Comfort+No
Free Checked BagsTwo (50 lbs)One (50 lbs)One (70 lbs)One (70 lbs)
Free Lounge Access$25 off yearly membership$25 off yearly membershipNoNo
Free Same-Day Flight ChangesNoNoNoNo ($75)
Waived Change FeesNoNoNoNo
Award Change Fees $125$150 or $0 if only the dates$150 (if 72 hours in advance)$50 if more than 60 days; $100 if less than 60-days in advance
OtherElite Leave for new parentsWaived $75 Award Fee for under 21 daysUpgrades on AeroMexico (24-hours)

 


Southwest and JetBlue Elite Status

Southwest and JetBlue don’t have as many tiers as the other U.S. airlines, so below our their elite status programs. 

JetBlue- Only has one elite level called Mosaic. 

  • Earning: 30 segments plus 12,000 base flight points within a calendar year or earning 15,000 base flight points within a calendar year. You could also spend $50,000 with the JetBlue Plus credit card in a calendar year for Mosiac status.
  • Benefits: Waived change and cancellation fees including companions, two free bags, 15,000 point bonus when you qualify, 3 extra points per dollar, free drinks, reduced cost of upgrades, expedited security, early boarding.

Southwest- Only has two elite levels, A-List and A-List Preferred.

  • A-List
    • Earning: 25 one-way flights or 35,000 qualifying points. (or Corporate Status Match to A-List). (This would require you to spend: $5,833 in Wanna Get Away Fares or $3,500 in Anytime Fares or $2916 in Business Select fares)
    • Benefits: 25% earning bonus, A group boarding automatically, priority check-in and security access, dedicated phone line, and free same-day standby.
  • A-List Preferred
    • Earning: 50 one-way flights or 70,000 qualifying points. (This would require you to spend: $11,666 in Wanna Get Away Fares or $7,000 in Anytime Fares or $5832 in Business Select fares.)
    • Benefits: A-List benefits plus 100% earning bonus and free in-flight Wi-Fi.
  • You can also earn the Companion Pass, which allows one companion to fly with you basically free (you have to pay the taxes)