Chase and United have released a new credit card with excellent travel benefits. The United Club℠ Infinite Card is the premium product of the United credit card portfolio, designed for regular United customers looking for a luxurious travel experience. This card rivals premium credit cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® in benefits, but proves to be a terrific choice for United flyers.
United Club℠ Infinite Card: an excellent option for regular United Airlines customers
With benefits such as United Club access, comprehensive travel insurance and lucrative spending categories, the United Club℠ Infinite Card is a great card for those looking to earn United miles and enjoy luxurious benefits.
Annual fee waived for the first year
In place of a sign-up bonus, the United Club℠ Infinite Card is waiving its annual fee for the first year. New cardholders will get an annual fee of $525. This is a great opportunity to sample the card's luxury benefits, including United Club access, without having to pay a fee up front.
Great spending categories
While sign-up bonuses are a great way to boost your rewards balance, credit card spending is essential to keep it growing. Many airline credit card cards have limited spending categories that only give bonus miles for spending with the airline. The United Club℠ Infinite Card differentiates itself from the pack with expanded spending categories that let you stack up miles on travel and dining, on top of United purchases:
- 4 miles per $1 on United purchases
- 2 miles per $1 on all other travel purchases and dining
- 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases
These categories are excellent for someone who travels regularly for work or pleasure, and prefers to fly with United Airlines. With consistent spending, you can earn plenty of United miles.
Good options for redeeming United miles
You can redeem United miles for a wide variety of options, including:
- Award travel
- Seat upgrades
- Rental cars
- Online shopping
- Apple products
- Gift cards
- Unique experiences
- Tickets to live sports, concerts and theater events
However, miles are best used for award travel. It’s fairly easy to earn enough miles for an award flight, with fares starting at 5,000 MileagePlus miles for a domestic one-way ticket.
Plus, when flying specifically with United, you have a wide array of destination options. The United Airlines hubs are currently:
- Chicago - O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
- Denver - Denver International Airport (DEN)
- Guam - Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport (GUM)
- Houston - Houston/George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
- Los Angeles - Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Newark, N.J. - Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
- San Francisco - San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- Washington, D.C. - Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
From each of these airports, except Guam, you can fly to over 50 destinations, both domestic and international. And, since United is part of Star Alliance, you have even more travel options through its alliance partners.
On the downside, United uses dynamic pricing rather than an award chart to determine the number of miles for a particular flight. This means that ticket prices are based on demand, which makes it difficult to anticipate how many miles you’ll need for an upcoming trip.
United Club and Star Alliance lounge access
Sitting at an airport gate can be an inconvenient part of traveling, especially if you would like a quiet space to relax or be productive before your flight. With the United Club℠ Infinite Card, you will have access to more than 45 United Club lounges and participating Star Alliance lounges.
Airport lounges vary in their amenities, but many of them have complimentary food, drinks, showers, Wi-Fi, play areas for children and more. It’s a great way to escape the stressful environment of an airport terminal.
Extensive travel benefits
A large advantage of travel credit cards are their various benefits that can enhance your traveling experience. The United Club℠ Infinite Card comes with many more benefits on top of lounge access:
- $100 statement credit to enroll in Global Entry/TSA PreCheck
- Free first and second checked bags for you and one traveling companion on the same itinerary
- Comprehensive travel insurance policies including: trip cancellation/interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip delay reimbursement and rental car insurance
- Complimentary breakfast for two, early check-in, late checkout and other amenities at more than 900 luxury hotels
- No foreign transaction fees on purchases outside the United States
How does the United Club℠ Infinite Card compare to other credit cards?
Rewards and luxury at a reasonable cost
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is known as one of the best travel credit cards because of its great rewards for a modest $95 annual fee. The card offers the same 2x bonus on travel and dining purchases. However, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card allows the flexibility of transferring points to United and nine other airlines at a 1:1 ratio.
On the other hand, the United Club℠ Infinite Card offers a leg up over the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card with 4 miles per $1 on United purchases — but you will have to pay a $525 annual fee to get the card.
If you book United flights regularly and utilize the features of the United Club℠ Infinite Card, it could be the better option. If you don’t fly United regularly, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card will allow you to earn miles that you can still transfer to United and other loyalty programs for a much smaller fee.
Superior options for regular United flyers
The United℠ Explorer Card is the simpler version of the United Club℠ Infinite Card that caters to a different type of traveler.
The United℠ Explorer Card comes with the following benefits:
- 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
- Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants, on hotel stays and on purchases from United. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
- $100 statement credit for TSA PreCheck/Global Entry enrollment.
- One free checked bag for the primary cardholder and eligible traveling companion when you fly United.
- 2 United Club one-time passes each card anniversary
- Travel insurance coverage, including trip cancellation/interruption insurance
- Primary rental car insurance
You get all of these benefits for a much lower annual fee: $0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
The United℠ Explorer Card is best for semi-frequent travelers, while the United Club℠ Infinite Card is great for regular United flyers that enjoy visiting airport lounges regularly.
Better features and rewards, but not with United
The Platinum Card® from American Express
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- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,000 properties. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
The Platinum Card® from American Express is an excellent credit card for someone interested in premium benefits and service. The card rewards you with American Express Membership Rewards points that can be transferred to 22 travel partners, including Delta Air Lines. While United is not in this list of partners, a few of the airlines on the list belong to Star Alliance. You can transfer your points to any of these programs to book United flights.
In addition to the transfer partners, The Platinum Card® from American Express offers superior benefits across the board, including:
- More points: 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- A larger lounge network, including access to Amex Centurion lounges, Priority Pass lounges and Delta Sky Clubs
- Travel credits: Up to a $200 airline fee credit, up to a $200 Uber credit
- Up to a $100 credit for Saks Fifth Avenue
These benefits compensate for the card’s $550 of the annual fee. However, the sign-up bonus of the United Club℠ Infinite Card is lucrative, and the benefits for consistent United flyers can be difficult to look past.
If you are stuck between the two options, take a look at each card’s benefits to see which is more beneficial to you.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
Our comparison tool can help you evaluate how each credit card works for your budget and spending habits. Check out the different options below and click on the gear icon to adjust the spending amount in each category.