OMG I am totally fixated on United Premier Silver status and sites like Flyertalk scare me. I need basic GT advice on this...

So I’ve never paid attention to frequent flier programs before. I sign up for them, I have points here and there, I picked the cheapest flights with the shortest routes, done.

Now that I have become aware of “status” I am kind of obsessed with getting it. I typically fly United for work, it’s our “official” (or whatever) carrier. So I decided I would try to book with them exclusively. This is my situation at the moment:

I am totally kicking myself because in 2014 I flew like every month to Chicago on United and didn’t even pay attention to this stuff. I have barely traveled in 2015.

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Anyhow, I booked a few trips for work today, both before the end of the year, and am THISCLOSE miles-wise but still have some work with the dollar qualification. If I upgrade to Economy Plus on each segment it will get me pretty close. Then I would just need to book a random flight by the end of the year to push me over.

My question is, is my obsessing totally dumb and should I just pay the $500 to get the Economy Plus subscription, which I think lasts a year?

I am not concerned with free flights, I am more interested in upgrades. Between work and personal next year I should be able to maintain silver status, but I am flying abroad at least once.

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Why oh why do they make this so confusing. I was reading the Flyertalk forums earlier and it’s like acronym city and I have no clue what the fuck they are talking about. It’s like the language of Middle Earth.