Best Chase United Credit Cards: Comparing the Benefits and Perks

United Polaris Lie-Flat Seat

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Chase offers 4 co-branded cards with United Airlines: 2 personal cards and 2 business cards.

When we talk about Chase cards, we often focus on how to earn valuable Ultimate Rewards points. However, there are several benefits that come with the Chase United cards that should not be ignored. Let’s dig into each of these United cards and see what you get.

Chase United Credit Cards

Whether looking for a card for your personal use or 1 for your business, there are several premium or high-end cards in the United portfolio.

The following reviews will help you decided which card is right for you.

United℠ Explorer Card

Probably the most popular United card is the United Explorer card. This card comes with a sign-up bonus to get you started with a nice stash of MileagePlus miles, and there are several other useful benefits.

When you use this card to purchase a ticket on United, you will receive your first checked bag for free. Additionally, 1 traveling companion on your itinerary will also receive a free checked bag. This could save you up to $100 in checked bag fees charged by United.

Cardholders also receive priority boarding access that can be very useful when you want to ensure that you find overhead space for your carry-on bag. While it’s free to gate-check a bag, this can be very inconvenient if you have a tight connection.

You also get 25% back on United inflight Wi-Fi, food, and drinks.

When you are approved for the card, you will receive 2 single-use passes to the United Club. These are great when you want to make a fun trip just that little bit better. You will continue to receive these for each cardmember anniversary.

When it comes to earning more United MileagePlus miles, you will earn 2x miles on all purchases with United, hotels, and dining, and 1x miles on all other purchases. Your miles will not expire as long as your card is open.

Every 4 years you can receive a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit (up to $100).

The annual fee for this card is $95.

United Club℠ Infinite Card

United Club at Atlanta Airport
Enjoy access to United Clubs with either of United’s co-branded Club cards. Image Credit: United

The United Club Infinite card is a high-end card with perks and benefits to match. The annual fee is $525, and it’s pretty easy to see why.

As a cardholder, you’ll receive a full membership to the United Club. This allows you and 2 guests to access United Clubs anytime you’re traveling… even if you aren’t flying with United on that particular day. As a comparison, United Club memberships are sold by United for $650 per year.

This card also earns 100% more on United purchases than the United Explorer card, which means you can earn 4x miles per dollar on all United purchases, as opposed to 2x with the United Explorer card.

You (and a companion) will also receive 2 free checked bags as well as Premier Access at the airport where available. Premier Access provides 4 main benefits: dedicated check-in lines, priority security lanes, priority boarding, and priority baggage handling so you can get your checked bags quickly.

If you often redeem United miles for award flights less than 21 days prior to departure, holding this card automatically waives the $75 close-in booking fee.

The travel perks don’t stop with United, though. You will also receive a $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit, 25% back on United inflight purchases, and Hertz President’s Circle Elite Status.

This card also provides access to The Luxury Hotel & Resorts Collection. When you book stays with this card, you can receive benefits such as breakfast for 2, a dining or spa credit, complimentary Wi-Fi, room upgrades when available, and early check-in and late checkout when available.

Bottom Line: The United Club Infinite card could be the card for you if you’re looking for perks when traveling.

United℠ Business Card

The United Business card is a great option for small business owners who frequently fly with United. The card offers 2x miles per $1 on United, local transit, and commuting purchases.

It also includes perks like priority boarding, your first checked bag free, $100 annual United travel credit, 25% back on United inflight purchases, 2 United Club 1-time passes, and 5,000 bonus miles on your account anniversary when you have both the United Business card and a personal United card.

United Club℠ Business Card

The United Club Business card differs a bit from the personal version of the card. This card earns 2x miles per dollar on all United purchases and 1.5x miles per dollar on all other purchases.

An important point to consider regarding the United Club membership that comes with these cards is that it will not allow you access to United’s Polaris Lounges. United has 5 Polaris Lounges in operation, and this program is expanding to several more cities.

To gain access to a Polaris Lounge, you must be traveling on a United flight in Polaris first class or Polaris business— this is different than United first or United business — or in first or business class on an international Star Alliance flight.

The annual fee on this card is $450.

Hot Tip: Chase United credit cards are eligible for Chase Offers. Check out our complete guide to Chase Offers for ways to save a lot on special discount offers or earn a lot of extra points!

Extra Award Space on United Flights

United Airlines Business Class
While standard awards are not a great deal, if you need 1 in a pinch, then guaranteed space is nice to have. Image Credit: United

One of the best perks provided by all 4 of these United cards? Guaranteed access to extra award availability on United flights.

With these cards, you’ll receive access to award space in the fare class XN, which is only available to cardholders and those who have earned status on United. The XN fare class is a saver-level economy fare class.

While we often talk about booking United business class and first class, this extra economy award space can be extremely useful when you need to book a flight but ticket prices are sky-high.

Additionally, cardholders are guaranteed the ability to book a standard level award in first class, business class, or economy on United if there is a seat for sale. While we don’t recommend booking standard-level awards, they can be useful if you’re in a tough spot.

Bottom Line: Access to extra award space on United might be the best perk offered by a co-branded airline card.

What Can You Do With United Miles?

Lufthansa First Class
Enjoy the luxurious Lufthansa first class lie-flat seat and a glass of champagne or 2. Image Credit: Spencer Howard

United MileagePlus miles can be used to book awards on United or any of their Star Alliance partners. You can reach just about anywhere in the world thanks to the large Star Alliance network.

In fact, some of the best redemption options are on United’s partners. With United miles, you can book Lufthansa first class, which is considered one of the best flying experiences in the world.

You could also book an award flight on EVA Air to Southeast Asia in one of the nicest business class cabins out there.

Hot Tip: For some inspiration, check out the best ways to redeem United MileagePlus miles and see all the amazing trips you could take.

Elite Status Premier Qualifying Points

If you fly with United regularly and are looking to reach a certain Premier Qualifying Point (PQP) or Premier Qualifying Flight (PQF) requirement, one of these co-branded United cards can help.

First, let’s look at the requirements of each elite status level with United:

Elite Status LevelPQP Only RequirementPQF and PQP Requirement
Premier Silver5,00012 PQF and 4,000 PQP
Premier Gold10,00024 PQF and 8,000 PQP
Premier Platinum15,00036 PQF and 12,000 PQP
Premier 1K24,00054 PQF and 18,000 PQS

United Explorer card and United Club Infinite cardholders can earn 500 PQPs for every 12,000 they spend on their card — for a maximum of 1,000 PQPs per year.

While hitting these spending thresholds certainly won’t fast track you to any particular elite status level, they can certainly help if you’re already flying with United frequently.

Which United Card Should You Get?

If you’re looking for an easy way to earn United MileagePlus miles and want access to award space, the United Explorer card is a great choice. With only a $95 annual fee, it isn’t quite the big investment required by the Infinite card.

However, if you know you will be flying out of airports with United Clubs regularly and would prefer to earn 4x miles per dollar on your United purchases, the United Club Infinite card might be right for you.

For business cards, the United Business card is great thanks to 3 bonus categories that earn 2x miles per dollar. If your spending lines up with those categories, it can easily outweigh the 4x miles per dollar on United purchases with the United Club Business card. In this case, you have to decide if the other perks from a higher-end card are worth it.

Singapore Suites First Class Morning Coffee and Champagne
With the flexibility of Ultimate Rewards, you could transfer to Singapore Airline’s KrisFlyer program to fly Suites class. Image Credit: Alex Miller

We can’t forget to mention that earning United miles with these cards locks you into booking with United miles. If you aren’t concerned about extra award space, United Club access, or other perks, you might want to consider earning Chase Ultimate Rewards, which can be transferred to United almost instantly.

Cards that earn Ultimate Rewards often come with more bonus categories that can help you earn points even faster. Since you won’t be locked in with a single airline program, you’ll have many more options to redeem Ultimate Rewards.

If you want to use United miles but flexibility is important to you, consider earning Chase Ultimate Rewards with these cards.

Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)

Chase Sapphire Preferred® - This is our favorite beginners travel rewards card which currently has a limited time offer of 80,000 point bonus (highest ever) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Plus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2x points per $1 on travel and dining worldwide, eligible delivery services, take out and dining out, 5x points per $1 on Lyft rides, a 12-month subscription for DoorDash DashPass, other travel benefits such as excellent travel insurance coverage and no foreign transaction fees.

The sign up bonus is worth $1,000 in travel purchases (flights, hotels, car rentals etc) when you redeem your points through Chase's travel portal, which works like Expedia. The bonus alone could get you multiple round-trip flights or hotel stays.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® - This premium card will get you access to 1,200+ airport lounges. as well as a number of other card benefits. The current sign up bonus is 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You'll also get a $300 travel credit per year which wipes away a big chunk of the $550 annual fee.
Chase Freedom Unlimited® - A fantastic, no annual fee card that earns you a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in your first 3 months. Earn 5% cash-back on travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash-back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% cash-back on all other purchases, but you won't get any travel benefits with this card.

Recommended Chase Cards (Business)

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card - this is our #1 recommended business card and right now comes with a 100,000 sign up bonus after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. This bonus is worth $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel purchases (flights, hotels etc). Pay your cell phone bill with this card to receive up to $600 in cell phone insurance coverage per year; as well as a number of other benefits.

Earn 3x on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year, plus 1x on all other purchases — with no limit to the amount you can earn. All for an annual fee of $95.
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card - earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening.

This no annual fee business card earns up to 5% cash-back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year, plus 2% cash-back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary.
Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card - earn unlimited 1.5% cash back rewards on every purchase made for your business.

Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. There's no annual fee.

Final Thoughts

Whether you are looking for a card for personal use or business expenses, Chase has plenty of options to choose from. If you prefer to stick to redeeming United MileagePlus miles, one of the co-branded United cards might be just what you need.

In search of extra perks such as United Club access or Hertz President’s Circle Elite status? One of the United Club cards can provide that.

Finally, if you want the ability to earn tons of points but don’t want to be locked into the United award chart (just in case there’s a better option for some of your travel), you can look to Chase cards that earn Ultimate Rewards.

Whatever you choose, you’re going to get some great value out of these cards. Whether it’s free checked bags and priority boarding or flexible points that can be transferred to United, you’re on the way to enjoying a better travel experience!


The information regarding the UnitedSM Explorer Card,United Club℠ Business Card, and Chase Freedom Unlimited® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 


Frequently asked questions

Do miles earned with the United credit cards count toward elite status?

No, the miles you earn with the United cards are redeemable miles. They do not count towards elite status.

Can you transfer United miles to other airlines?

No, but you can book flights on United’s partners using United miles. As a member of Star Alliance, there are plenty of other airlines that you can fly with United miles.

Can you have more than 1 United co-branded credit card?

Yes, you could technically get all of them — but that wouldn’t necessarily be the best decision. In all likelihood, you can choose just the 1 card that best fits your needs.

Spencer Howard

About Spencer Howard

Always a fan of flying, it was only natural that Spencer was drawn to finding a way to improve the travel experience. Like many, he started this journey searching for cheap flights to take him around the world. This was fun for a while, but Spencer was intrigued by the idea of flying in business and first class! Throwing himself into what became an extensive research project, Spencer spent 3-4 hours per night learning everything he could about frequent flyer miles over the course of several months (he thinks this is normal).

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

2 comments

  1. What will happen if the United-Chase cobranded card is cancelled/closed after qualifying for the PQD waiver: is the waiver going to stay in place this year or is it going to be cancelled?

    Reply

    • Hi Marina. According to the PQD waiver terms and conditions, United states that members qualify for the waiver when, “during the applicable calendar year have spent at least $25,000 in Net Purchases, on a MileagePlus co-branded credit card issued by Chase Bank USA, N.A. at the time in 2018 (2019) when they qualify for Premier status”. This language suggests that if you’ve spent the $25,000 and have also qualified for Premier status (miles/segments, etc) then you should be ok if the card is subsequently canceled. However, I would contact United MileagePlus customer service for a solid answer.

      Reply

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