United Club Card Review: A Big Bonus and Sweet Travel Perks

If you’re a frequent flier with United, consider this card’s valuable benefits.
Last updated Dec 23, 2019 | By Larissa Runkle

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If you’re a frequent flyer with United and considering an upgrade to a new credit card, you may want to hear this. Although it comes with a hefty annual fee, the United Club Card from Chase offers all the travel perks (and a few more) you may be dreaming about.

With the possibility for cool travel upgrades, standard earning rates on all your purchases, and easy redemptions for your reward miles, it’s a good way to stack up the miles and then cash them in for free or discounted travel later on. Sound interesting? Keep reading to learn more.

Earn Valuable United Airlines Miles

United MileagePlus Club Card

United MileagePlus Club Card

United MileagePlus Club Card

Benefits

  • 75,000 bonus mile sign-up offer
  • 2X miles on United purchases
  • Complimentary United Club membership
  • Free first and second checked bags


Who should get this card?

The United Club Card from Chase is a comprehensive travel card for frequent flyers. If you find yourself frequently booking travel with United or one of their affiliate airlines in the Star Alliance network, then this card may be a good idea for you. With an earning rate of 2X miles on United purchases, and 1.5X miles on all other purchases, it’s easy to rack up miles quickly with this card.

The card also comes with a huge variety of travel perks and protections, including membership into United Club airport lounges, up to two free checked bags, and various travel insurance coverage.

If you don’t travel on United or one of their affiliates all that often, this card may not be the best choice for you. Since the card’s maximum earning rate is on United purchases (and because the miles you earn must be redeemed through the airline), this card likely wouldn’t make sense for anyone who flies less than a few times per year or for anyone who prefers to travel with other airlines.

Card basics

Annual Fee $450
Intro Bonus Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
Recommended Credit Score Excellent, Good
Foreign Transaction Fee None

Top card benefits

  • Generous welcome offer: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. You can later use these miles to book travel, upgrade your seats, or get inflight perks such as Wifi.
  • Straightforward rewards: It’s easy to earn rewards with this card: Get 2X miles on United purchases, and 1.5X miles on all other purchases.
  • United Club membership: Enjoy all the perks of United Club membership, including exclusive access to club locations and affiliated lounges all over the globe, plus complimentary beverages and snacks. This membership has a value of up to $650 per year.
  • Free baggage: Save up to $280 per roundtrip on checked bags by receiving two free checked bags per person (for the primary cardmember and one companion) per flight. If you frequently check bags, this perk could alone could make up for the card’s annual fee.
  • No foreign transaction fees: Make purchases abroad without worrying about paying any foreign transaction fees.
  • Luxury travel perks: Take full advantage of additional travel perks like priority check-in and boarding, plus room upgrades and complimentary daily breakfasts at over 900 luxury hotels and resorts. As a cardholder, you’ll also be eligible to apply for Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President's Circle, which comes with exclusive offers on car rentals.
  • Travel protections: Frequent fliers will appreciate this card’s numerous travel protection benefits, including trip cancellation insurance (up to $20,000 per trip), baggage delay insurance (up to $100 per day for three days), and lost luggage replacement (up to $3,000 per passenger). You’ll also receive trip delay reimbursement (for delayed flights that require overnight stay) and built-in collision and theft insurance for most U.S. car rentals (meaning you can skip paying extra to the rental company).

Earning & redeeming

Best ways to earn

Earning and redeeming miles with your United Club Card is easy. Since the United Club Card offers a standard rate of miles on your everyday purchases, the best way to earn is to simply spend with your card.

The card also offers bonus miles on purchases made with United, so you should plan on using your card whenever booking travel with carrier. Eligible purchases include United tickets, seat upgrades, in-flight purchases such as food or Wifi, and baggage fees. Note that United must the listed merchant to earn these bonus miles — tickets booked with third-party travel sites won’t qualify for the 2X rate.

Categories Rewards rate
United purchases 2X
Other purchases 1.5X

Maximizing your redemptions

The most valuable way to redeem your miles is often to trade them in for free or discounted flights with United or its partners. There’s no one set value for your rewards — how much your United miles are worth depends on your flight route, travel dates, what class you travel in, and other factors.

For example, booking a Basic Economy ticket on United should cost fewer miles than a business-class seat. If you can take advantage of United’s Excursionist perk, you could squeeze even more value from your miles.

You can also redeem your miles for seat upgrades, car rentals, hotel stays, or other purchases through United’s online rewards portal.

Common questions

How do you qualify for a United Club Card?

To qualify for a United Club card, you must be at least 18 years old and have good to excellent credit. To apply, you’ll need to provide your contact information, Social Security number, your monthly housing payment, and annual income.

What does a United Club membership get you?

United Club membership is included with the United Club Card, and as a member you’ll receive access to more than 45 club locations, plus entry to participating Star Alliance airport lounges. Amenities vary by location, but often include free drinks and snacks, dedicated agents, complimentary Wifi, and private phone booths.

Are drinks free at United Club?

Drinks and snacks are complimentary at United Club locations.

Can I get into United Club with the Amex Platinum Card?

Though the Platinum Card Card from American Express offers access to more than 1,200 airport lounges, United Club locations aren’t included.

Is the United Club Card worth it?

Depending on your usage, the United Club card might be worth it. Although it comes with a hefty annual fee of $450, the card offers frequent travelers a variety of valuable perks and benefits. Those who are able to maximize the card’s included benefits could make up for the cost of the card.

Other cards to consider

Not sure if the United Club Card is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

United Explorer Card: With a lower annual fee of $95 (waived first year), the United Explorer Card is a more affordable option for frequent United flyers. You’ll earn 2X miles at restaurants, hotel accommodations booked directly with the hotel, and eligible United purchases; and 1X miles on everything else. Plus, it comes with a statement credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership.

Chase Sapphire Reserve: This card is another great alternative for frequent travelers, and comes with a competitive introductory offer: Earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. The Chase Sapphire Reserve also offers a straightforward rewards system, which offers 10X points on Lyft rides, 3X points on travel (excluding $300 travel credit), 3X points at restaurants, and 1X points per $1 spent on everything else.

Even better, those points you earn are incredibly flexible. They’re worth 50% when redeemed for travel through Chase, or you can transfer your points directly to United to book award flights directly with the airline.

Earn Valuable United Airlines Miles

United MileagePlus Club Card

United MileagePlus Club Card

United MileagePlus Club Card

Special Offer

Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months

See how these cards compare:

United Explorer Card
United Explorer Card
  • 60,000 mile sign-up bonus
  • 2X miles on United purchases and at restaurants
  • Free first checked bag
  • 2 United Club Passes annually
Chase Sapphire Reserve
Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • 50,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 3X points on travel and at restaurants
  • 10X points on Lyft rides
  • $60 annual DoorDash credit in 2020 and 2021
  • Priority Pass airport lounge access