The travel industry is undergoing drastic changes, and – in response to those changes – Chase and United have launched a great new offer for United’s luxury travel card, the United Club℠ Infinite Card. New cardholders now have the opportunity to sample the card’s benefits without having to pay an annual fee for the first year. (The updated annual fee is $0 intro annual fee, then $525.) The card gets you prime benefits such as priority boarding and access to United Club airport lounges.
As travel picks up, this could be a good opportunity to kick back in an airport lounge while you wait for your next flight.
A look at the new United Club℠ Infinite Card
The United Club℠ Infinite Card is the leading card of the United portfolio with the most benefits and features. Like many premium credit cards with high annual fees, you can earn much of it back by using the card’s benefits.
United Club℠ Infinite Card benefits
The benefits of the card are catered to regular United flyers who enjoy luxury travel. When you’re approved for the card and pay the annual fee, you’ll have the following benefits:
- Introductory annual fee: $0 intro annual fee, then $525
- United Club membership.
- Earn 4x miles on United purchases, 2x miles on restaurants and travel and 1x miles on all other purchases.
- $100 TSA Precheck/Global Entry statement credit every four years.
- 25% back as a statement credit for United in-flight purchases.
- First and second checked bags fee for the cardholder and one traveling companion.
- Premier access: priority check-in, security screening, boarding and baggage handling.
- Complimentary Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President’s Circle status.
- When traveling on an award ticket, the primary cardholder can take advantage of Complimentary Premier Upgrades (CPU).
- Additional benefits such as early check-in, late checkout and complimentary breakfast for two when you stay at properties from The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection.
- Comprehensive travel insurance coverage such as: trip cancellation/interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip delay reimbursement and rental car insurance.
- Visa Concierge service is available to help you find tickets to events, make dinner reservations and arrange sending a perfect gift.
Limited time offers for the United cards
If the United Club℠ Infinite Card sounds enticing, be sure to consider the United℠ Business Card to go along with it, to capture a bonus 5,000 United MileagePlus miles. It’s a great strategy to hold both a co-branded personal and business credit card to earn miles to your preferred airline or hotel on all of your purchases.
If you’re not interested in the United Club℠ Infinite Card, there are other United co-branded credit cards offering sign-up bonuses:
United℠ Explorer Card bonus
The United℠ Explorer Card is offering 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open One of this card’s best features is that it's annual fee is waived in the first year ($0 Intro for the First Year, then $95), making it the most affordable option for earning United miles.
United℠ Explorer Card benefits
- 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 fee credit to enroll in either TSA Precheck or Global Entry.
- 25% statement credit on purchases of food and beverages onboard United flights.
- First checked bag free for the primary cardmember and one companion traveling on the same reservation.
- Priority boarding when flying United.
- Two United Club passes.
United℠ Business Card bonus
The United℠ Business Card is a great product for a small business owner who flies with United regularly, but doesn’t want to pay a large annual fee. The card has a modest annual fee of $0 For 12 months, then $99. The cost can be very easily earned back by taking advantage of its $100 travel credit, as well as other valuable features.
In addition, the card comes with broad earning categories and unlimited employee cards.
United℠ Business Card benefits
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, get a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $99.
- 5,000 bonus miles each anniversary when you have this card along with a United personal card.
- $100 annual United travel credit after seven United flight purchases of $100 or more.
- Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United purchases, at restaurants, gas stations, office supply stores and on local transit and commuting. Plus, earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Free first checked bag.
- Priority boarding.
- Two United Club one-time use passes at account opening and each account anniversary.
- No foreign transaction fees.
United Credit Card eligibility
Still, there are several restrictions to keep in mind before you decide to apply for a United MileagePlus card.
First, are you over the dreaded Chase 5/24 rule? If you’ve been approved for more than five credit cards (from any issuer) in the past 24 months, it’s very likely you won’t be approved for any Chase cards. This rule is in place to prevent consumers from credit card churning. This is the practice of signing up for a credit card to earn the sign-up bonus and then cancel the card.
If you are over 5/24 but still want the ability to earn United MileagePlus points, consider applying for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card or the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card. With either card, you will earn Marriott Bonvoy™ points, which can then be transferred to the United MileagePlus program.
Second, have you had a United card before? If you recently owned and closed that card, you may have to wait to apply again. For example, Chase states in its offer details for the United℠ Explorer Card that the offer is not available to “current cardmembers of this credit card” and “previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months.” If you’re unsure, check with Chase to ensure you’re eligible to apply.
Comparing United Airlines credit cards
|Card||Best for...||Offer||Spending categories||Annual fee|
|United Club℠ Infinite Card||Frequent flyers who want lounge access||$0 intro annual fee, then $525||Earn 4 miles per $1 spent on United Airlines purchases
Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel
Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining
Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
|$0 intro annual fee, then $525|
|United℠ Explorer Card||Occasional United flyers||40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 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||$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95|
|United℠ Business Card||Small business owners who occasionally fly||Limited Time Offer: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, get a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $99.||Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United purchases, at restaurants, gas stations, office supply stores and on local transit and commuting. Plus, earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.||$0 For 12 months, then $99|
How to redeem 100,000 United Airlines miles
Redeeming United Airlines miles is fairly simple. First, you will need to create a United Airlines MileagePlus account. If you don’t have one, you will automatically have one created when you apply for a United Airlines credit card. If you already have one, be sure to fill in the appropriate field when you apply for a card.
Once you have an account established, you can log in at the top left section of the United Airlines home page. From there, you can search for flights and have them priced in miles by selecting "book with miles".
Flight prices are currently unpredictable as airlines have scaled back their fleet and routes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are still great deals on United Airlines when using miles.
In the sample flights below, a 100,000-mile bonus could cover two round-trip flights in economy class from Los Angeles to Honolulu or Cancun, Mexico. If Bali, Indonesia is on your bucket list, 100,000 miles can cover a twp one-way flights in economy class.
Los Angeles to Honolulu round trip: 45,000 miles
Los Angeles to Cancun, Mexico round trip: 35,000 United miles
Los Angeles to Bali, Indonesia one way: 44,000 miles
When redeeming United Airlines miles, remember to spend your miles wisely. A free flight when using miles sounds great, but you may be overpaying. United Airlines miles are worth an estimated 1.3 cents per point. So before purchasing a flight using miles, use this formula to calculate the value you are earning:
Cash price (not including taxes and fees) / Number of points needed for airline ticket = Point value for that specific itinerary
Which United card should you choose?
From the details above, the United Club℠ Infinite Card and the United℠ Explorer Card are very similar. However, it is important to distinguish the two apart when selecting a card that works best for you. The United℠ Explorer Card aims towards an audience that flies a few times per year, while the United Club℠ Infinite Card is designed for frequent United flyers. It is important to remember these factors when selecting a card that works best for you.