United Gateway℠ Card
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United Gateway℠ Card
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United Gateway℠ Card Review: Who Should Apply?

United Gateway℠ Card Review

The United Gateway℠ Card offers decent perks to frequent United flyers for $0 annual fee, but true United devotees may want an upgrade.

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Quick facts

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Rates & fees

  • Credit needed: 660 - 850
  • Sign-up bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, 0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening on purchases. Learn more.
  • Earning rate: 2 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases, at gas stations and on local transit and commuting. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Foreign transaction fee: $0

Quick facts

  • Credit needed: 660 - 850
  • Sign-up bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, 0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening on purchases. Learn more.
  • Earning rate: 2 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases, at gas stations and on local transit and commuting. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Foreign transaction fee: $0

More details

  • Earn 20,000 bonus miles
  • No annual fee
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases, at gas stations and on local transit and commuting
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at gas stations, on local transit and commuting
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi on board United-operated flights and on Club premium drinks when you pay with your Gateway Card
  • Get one-year complimentary DashPass, a membership for both DoorDash and Caviar that provides unlimited deliveries with $0 delivery fees and lower service fees on eligible orders. After that, you are automatically enrolled in DashPass at the current monthly rate. Activate by 12/31/24.

Rates & fees

  • Intro Purchase APR: 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 months
  • Regular Purchase APR: 18.74% - 25.74% Variable
  • Intro BT APR: N/A
  • Regular BT APR: 18.74% - 25.74% Variable
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

Pros

  • $0 annual fee
  • Solid welcome bonus
  • Easy-to-earn miles
  • United in-flight discounts
  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • Travel and purchase protections

Cons

  • No free checked bag or added travel benefits
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Is the United Gateway℠ Card worth it?

As the entry-level United credit card, the United Gateway℠ Card can be worth it for those who frequently fly United Airlines and are looking to try out an airline card that doesn't charge an annual fee. It's a great way to try out the perks and benefits that come with a co-branded airline card without overcommitting.

Cardholders can earn a fair number of miles through the card's sign-up bonus and its bonus rewards on a variety of purchases, including United airfare, gas stations, local transit and commuting. New cardholders also get a 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 months from account opening, then a 18.74% - 25.74% Variable APR.

Beyond these benefits, the United Gateway℠ Card has few other valuable perks. If you like the card but find yourself wanting more benefits, you might consider upgrading to the United℠ Explorer Card, which charges a moderate annual fee in exchange for valuable perks like a free checked bag per ticket.

Sign-up bonus

With the United Gateway℠ Card, you'll Earn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, 0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening on purchases. Learn more.

Considering that there's a $0 annual fee, this is a solid number of United MileagePlus miles. Compared with other no-annual-fee travel cards, this welcome bonus is both lucrative and easily attainable. Because we value United miles at about 1.2 cents a piece, we estimate this sign-up bonus to be worth around $240.

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How much is it worth? $240

Who is eligible to earn it? New cardholders are eligible for this bonus if their account is open and not in default at the time of fulfillment. If you close your account within six months of opening it, United and Chase may deduct the bonus from your MileagePlus account.

Earning rate

With the United Gateway℠ Card, you'll earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases, at gas stations and on local transit and commuting. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.

While this earning rate isn't anything groundbreaking, it's not bad for a no-annual-fee card and allows you to earn miles on everyday spending categories.

This chart below illustrates how many MileagePlus miles you could earn by spending $1,000:

Spending category
Dollars spent
MileagePlus miles earned
United purchases$400800 miles
Gas$300600 miles
Groceries and everyday spending$300300 miles
Total$1,0001,700 miles

Redeeming rewards

There are many ways to redeem your United miles, but the best option will be for free flights and upgrades. Because United uses dynamic pricing rather than an award chart, you can expect flight prices to vary widely depending on which flight you buy and when.

United Airlines is part of Star Alliance, meaning you can use United miles not only for United flights but also for any of the 26 alliance members. Other notable airlines in this alliance include Lufthansa and Air Canada.

Low intro APR on purchases

The United Gateway℠ Card offers a generous low intro APR period on purchases: You get a 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 months from account opening, then a 18.74% - 25.74% Variable APR.

This is helpful for consumers who could use a bit of extra time in paying their balance each month. This low intro APR paired with $0 annual fee can be extremely helpful for cardholders looking to pay down debt.

25% back on United in-flight purchases

When you pay with your United Gateway℠ Card, you will receive 25% back as a statement credit on in-flight purchases. These include food, drinks and Wi-Fi on United-operated flights. While it's not a major benefit, this can certainly be a nice perk for those who regularly fly with United.

Other United Gateway℠ Card benefits

There are a few other notable benefits that come with the United Gateway℠ Card:

An essential benefit of any travel rewards credit card, the United Gateway℠ Card does not charge foreign transaction fees. That means you won't have to worry about foreign transaction charges when you use your card abroad, which could end up saving you significant amounts of money during a vacation.

  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance reimburses you up to $1,500 per person or $6,000 per trip.
  • Auto rental insurance is secondary and protects you from theft and collision damage on most cars.
  • Purchase protection covers damage and theft on new purchases for 120 days, with up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Extended warranty offers cardholders an additional year on the original U.S. manufacturer's warranty of three years or less.

Cardholders will receive complimentary benefits at over 1,000 properties in the Luxury Hotels & Resort Collection, available only for select credit cards issued by Chase. Perks include daily breakfast for two, a unique property benefit like a dining or spa credit, free Wi-Fi, space-available room upgrades, and early check-in and late checkout when available.

Cardholders will have special access to exclusive events ranging from culinary events at top restaurants to meeting sporting legends and more. These unique experiences can bring additional value to your card.

Drawbacks

  • No free checked bag or added travel benefits. The United Gateway℠ Card is a little light on additional cardholder benefits. That's not surprising considering it's a $0-annual-fee card, but if you're looking for more, you might consider upgrading to the United℠ Explorer Card.

Alternatives to the United Gateway℠ Card

Depending on your spending habits or travel preferences, here are three other cards that may be a better fit for you.

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See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

United Gateway℠ Card vs. United℠ Explorer Card

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Verdict: Much more impressive rewards for a moderate annual fee.

United's middle-tier offering, the United℠ Explorer Card, is one of the best airline rewards cards out there. It has an introductory annual fee of $0 Intro for the First Year, then $95 thereafter. One of the most significant differences between the two is that the United℠ Explorer Card has a much higher welcome bonus: You can Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. While you will have to spend triple the amount to earn this sign-up bonus, you'll also get double the number of bonus miles.

There are more ways to earn with the United℠ Explorer Card. Cardmembers Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, hotel stays and United® purchases. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. Cardholders also get their first checked bag free of charge, priority boarding and two United Club one-time passes.

Finally, the best perk of the United℠ Explorer Card is that you'll receive up to a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck every four years.

Bottom line? The United℠ Explorer Card offers many more travel benefits than the United Gateway℠ Card, but it incurs an annual fee. So if you're just dipping your toes in the world of MileagePlus, the United Gateway℠ Card is a safer bet for you.

United Gateway℠ Card vs. Chase Freedom Flex℠

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Verdict: A rewarding and flexible cashback card.

Also for a $0 annual fee, the new Chase Freedom Flex℠ is branded as a cashback credit card with high earning potential. The Chase Freedom Flex℠ has a nice welcome bonus of $200 after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening.

If you're looking for more opportunities for your everyday spending, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ has you covered. You can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter! Plus, earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases. Bonus spending categories change quarterly and will help you maximize these purchases.

While the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is not necessarily a travel rewards card, you can pair it with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve® for even more value. Instead of getting cash back, you can turn 1 cent of Chase Freedom Flex℠ points into 1 Ultimate Rewards point. You can then book travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal or transfer your points to Chase's 14 partner airlines and hotels, including United Airlines.

If you're looking to maximize your everyday spending, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ card will give you better rewards. However, the United Gateway℠ Card is the clear winner when it comes to $0 foreign transaction fees and discounts on in-flight purchases.

United Gateway℠ Card vs. Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

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Verdict: A comparable airline card for Delta loyalists.

While the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card won't get you any United-related perks, it's a comparable $0-annual-fee airline card. Both the welcome bonus and earning rate are lower, as you will Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. With the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, you can Earn 2X Miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S. Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.

Other benefits include no foreign transaction fees and a 20% discount on in-flight purchases. The only perk that edges this card over the United Gateway℠ Card is the "Pay with Miles" feature, which allows you to take up to $50 off the cost of your flight for every 5,000 miles you redeem.

Ultimately, since most airlines offer a no-annual-fee option with similar benefits, you'll want to apply for the one that aligns with your travel habits.

For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, please click here

Should you get the United Gateway℠ Card?

If you're looking for an entry-level United card, the United Gateway℠ Card could be worth your while. You'll get to try out earning United miles with every purchase and receive some other useful cardholder perks, all for $0 annual fee. But if you're looking for a bigger sign-up bonus or more United-specific perks such as a free checked bag, you may want to consider other options like another United card or a general travel rewards card instead.

Frequently asked questions

What is a United Gateway℠ Card?

The United Gateway℠ Card is a $0 annual fee co-branded United credit card. It earns United miles on every purchase and offers a few other beneficial United-specific perks. This is a great card for consumers looking to try out a co-branded airline card without paying an annual fee.

Do you get free baggage with the United Gateway℠ Card?

No, you will not get free checked baggage with the United Gateway℠ Card. However, if you upgrade to the United℠ Explorer Card, which charges $0 Intro for the First Year, then $95 annually, you will get a free first checked bag for you and a companion.

How do I qualify for a United Gateway℠ Card?

To qualify for the United Gateway℠ Card, you will need to have a credit score of 660 - 850. Keep in mind that Chase's 5/24 rule applies to this card, too. This means you won't qualify for this card if you've opened five or more credit cards in the past 24 months, so you'll want to make sure it's really worth applying for.

Does the United Gateway℠ Card cover rental car insurance?

Yes, the United Gateway℠ Card includes secondary auto rental collision coverage when you decline the rental company's insurance and charge the entire auto rental to your card.

For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, please click here

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).

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