United Has Started Requiring Proof of Address Changes to Places Outside the U.S.

Delta requires minimum spending in order to earn elite status in addition to the required miles you have to fly.

And since Delta does, United does also.

Both airlines allow you to avoid the requirement if you spend $25,000 or more in a year on their co-brand credit cards (United won’t let you avoid the requirement for 100,000 mile flyer status — only up to their Platinum 75,000 mile level).

And both airlines allow you to avoid the requirement entirely if you have a primary account address outside the United States.

Naturally the first thought many members had was to simply change the address on their frequent flyer account.

  • When Delta first announced that U.S.-based members had to meet minimum revenue requirements, they also instituted a requirement that you had to prove your new address if you told them you were moving out of the U.S.
  • United didn’t. Lots of MileagePlus members made a virtual move.
  • Untl two months ago — in September United started requiring proof as well.

Delta requires one piece of evidence. United requires two, probably because they weren’t ready with an IT system to require verification when the revenue requirement was first launched and so they’ve been getting gamed for the last 18 months.

Nonetheless, a virtual move remains a possibility for many. Delta will even accept as ‘proof’ a letter from your employer.

Of course at some point they could match your address against public records, or could analyze your flight patterns that would be highly suggestive of a US resident. Until then, no doubt some folks will continue to ‘move’ abroad.


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. There is a big problem with this sort of change and allowing a work around like “moving overseas”.
    They made the change to reduce benefits and hence costs of some high use but low revenue customers. In other words the mileage runners and leisure travelers. If you allow many of those worst offending customers to evaded the change, you don’t get the cost benefit. But in the meantime you have chased a couple of better customers who don’t like the change to your competitors. So you end up with less revenue and your costs haven’t dropped as much as you hoped. #FAIL

  2. It would be nice if they did this retroactively so all the scumbags who lied about their address to skirt to the rules would get a nice wake up call.

  3. isn’t one major downside of a foreign address is that you become ineligible for a lot/most of the UA promotions

  4. No problem at all
    I simply dont fly them
    they have sucked for years now with their massive devaluations and complicated ways of doing business
    Good luck to them
    as a former 1k I’ll applaud their next bankruptcy
    hopefully they will get someone with some brains in hq
    Graham Atkinson did a great job with united mileage plus back in the day
    What a bunch of loser delta copy cats On board these days
    Pathetic

  5. Just say you illegally emmigrated. Ain’t Delta supportive of undocumented emmigrants and much needed emmigration reform?

  6. My flying patterns would suggest i live in the us vs sweden but I’m not allowed by my employer to fly ua to and from Europe as they expect me to arrive the day I’m supposed to, but flights from the US to wherever i can choose who i fly. I’m 60% sweden 40% us

  7. “Proof” is very easily procured by editing a PDF file in Acrobat Pro. This seems like something that would be very easy to game with minimal technical knowhow

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