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The 4 Best Credit Cards for United Club Lounge Access [2024]

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Are you sick and tired of crowded airport terminals with overpriced food? Airport lounges might be something to consider. Over the years, access to airport lounges has been a necessary perk on some of the most popular travel credit cards.

There are many airport lounges, including lounges that are part of a network, like Priority Pass, or airline-specific lounges, like Delta Sky Club, American Admirals Club, and United Club.

United Club access is available to United Club members, Star Alliance Gold members, passengers traveling in United Polaris business class or United first class, or passengers who purchase a one-time pass.

Each lounge offers different amenities and services; however, most include the same basics, such as complimentary refreshments, drinks (including alcohol in some locations), spacious sitting areas, private restrooms, and high-speed Wi-Fi.

To enter a United Club, you’ll need a boarding pass for same-day travel, along with either a one-time pass, your valid United Club membership card, or an eligible United credit card.

Below, you’ll see all the options available to get into a United Club for your next trip.

The 4 Best Credit Cards With United Club Access — Overview

Before we take an in-depth dive into each card, let’s first look at which cards provide United Club access:

SCROLL FOR MORE
Credit CardAnnual FeeLounge Access
United Club℠ Infinite Card$525

Complimentary United Club membership

United Club℠ Business Card$450

Complimentary United Club membership

United℠ Business Card$992 United Club one-time passes each year
United℠ Explorer Card$0 intro for the first year, then $952 United Club one-time passes each year
Hot Tip:

Check out our guide to learn the best ways to earn lots of United MileagePlus miles.

United Club℠ Infinite Card

United Club℠ Infinite Card

United Club℠ Infinite Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Perfect for frequent United flyers who want premium perks like United Club access and free baggage benefits.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)

United Club℠ Infinite Card

Perfect for frequent United flyers who want premium perks like United Club access and free baggage benefits.
Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Earn 80,000 bonus miles
$960
$525
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-850)

The United Club℠ Infinite Card is a premium card designed for the most dedicated of United frequent flyers who are looking for a card that provides the opportunity to earn extra United MileagePlus miles and receive lounge access via a yearly United Club membership.

United frequent flyers will find that the United Club Infinite card provides an enhanced experience on their United flights thanks to the money saved on each flight and the conveniences it provides.

Pros

  • 4x miles per $1 on United purchases
  • 2x miles per $1 on travel and dining purchases
  • Complimentary United Club membership
  • Free first and second checked bag for you and 1 traveling companion
  • United Premier Access
  • 25% back on United inflight purchases
  • Complimentary Premier Upgrades on United-operated award tickets (when available)
  • Expanded award availability
  • Up to 10,000 Premier Qualifying Points
  • $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck/NEXUS credit
  • Trip protections like trip delay insurance, lost and delayed luggage insurance, and rental car insurance
  • Shopping protections like return protection, purchase protection, and extended warranty protection
  • IHG One Rewards Platinum Elite status and a $75 annual credit
  • Avis President’s Club elite status
  • 10% discount on United Economy Saver Awards within the continental U.S. and Canada

Cons

  • $525 annual fee
  • Does not earn transferable rewards
  • Earn 80,000 bonus miles after qualifying purchases
  • Earn 4 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel and dining
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Free first and second checked bags - a savings of up to $320 per roundtrip (terms apply) - and Premier Access® travel services
  • 10% United Economy Saver Award discount within the continental U.S. and Canada
  • Earn up to 10,000 Premier qualifying points (25 PQP for every $500 you spend on purchases)
  • Member FDIC

Financial Snapshot

  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

If you are a frequent United flyer, the United Club Infinite card might be worth having in your wallet. The card comes with an annual United Club membership that allows the primary cardholder and 2 adult companions (or 1 adult and any dependent children under the age of 21) access to United Clubs.

Although the card comes with a pretty high $525 annual fee, the premium card provides plenty of great perks and an annual United Club membership.

Some of the perks of the United Club Infinite card include:

  • Free Checked Baggage: Cardholders + 1 companion on the same reservation will each receive your first and second standard checked bag free when you pay for your flight with the United Club Infinite card.
  • United Premier Access: Perks include priority check-in, priority boarding, security screening (where available), and baggage handling.
  • Complimentary Premier Upgrades: Receive a space-available seat upgrade to the next cabin class when flying on United award tickets.
  • 25% Back on United Inflight Purchases: Use your card to purchase onboard food, beverages, or Wi-Fi and get 25% back as a statement credit.
  • Up to 10,000 Premier Qualifying Points: You will earn 25 PQPs towards your next level of United Elite status, up to 10,000 PQPs each year for every $500 spent on your card.
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cardholders also get extra travel protections such as trip delay coverage, lost or delayed baggage insurance, and trip cancellation and interruption insurance. The card also provides purchase protection, return protection, and extended warranty coverage.

Authorized users on the card do not receive their own United Club membership.

If you consider United Club lounge access a must and frequently check bags with United, the United Club Infinite card is an excellent card to carry in your wallet. The annual fee on this card is cheaper than buying a paid membership. More on that later.

United Club℠ Business Card

LIMITED-TIME OFFER
United Club℠ Business Card

United Club℠ Business Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The United Club Business card is a great option for frequent United flyers looking for United Club access.

United Club℠ Business Card

The United Club Business card is a great option for frequent United flyers looking for United Club access.
Earn 75,000 bonus miles + 1,000 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
75,000 miles
$900
$450
21.99%–28.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The United Club℠ Business Card is a premium card option for dedicated United loyalists seeking a card that offers complimentary United Club access, helps them earn and retain status, and doesn’t skip on the benefits.

From free checked bags to upgrades on award tickets and the ability to earn Premier qualifying points, there is plenty to the United Club Business card that United flyers are sure to love.

Pros

  • 2x miles per $1 spent on United purchases
  • 1.5x miles per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Complimentary United Club membership
  • Free checked bags
  • Premier Access travel services
  • Discount on inflight purchases
  • Upgrades on award tickets
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • Travel and purchase protections

Cons

  • $450 annual fee
  • Earning rate for United purchases is poor compared to other United cards
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles + 1,000 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
  • Earn 2x miles on United purchases
  • Earn 1.5x miles on all other purchases
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • United Club membership — up to a $650 value per year. Relax in comfort while waiting for your flight with complimentary beverages, snacks, high-speed Wi-Fi, and more
  • Free first and second checked bags for you and a companion, save up to $320 per round-trip
  • 25% back on United inflight purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 21.99%–28.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: $0

Card Categories

For business travelers who regularly fly with United and are looking for United Club access, the United Club Business card is worth considering. The card offers some great perks, such as:

  • First and second checked bags are free for you and up to 1 traveling companion
  • Premier access travel services
  • Premier upgrades on award tickets
  • 25% statement credit on inflight purchases when flying United
  • Ability to earn 25 PQPs for every $500 you spend, up to 1,000 PQPs each year
  • Complimentary Avis Preferred President’s Club status

Most importantly, the card comes with a complimentary United Club membership. It is worth noting that authorized users on the card do not receive their own United Club membership.

Although the United Club Business card comes with a $450 annual fee, it is still cheaper than a paid membership.

United℠ Business Card

United℠ Business Card

United℠ Business Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A business card from Chase for United loyalists with benefits such as free checked bags and discounts on inflight purchases.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)

United℠ Business Card

A business card from Chase for United loyalists with benefits such as free checked bags and discounts on inflight purchases.
Earn 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Earn 100,000 bonus miles
$1,200
$99
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-850)

The United Business card is a compelling option for traveling business owners that are also frequent United flyers. Not only will the card help you earn more United miles, but it also offers great perks such as free checked bags, priority boarding, a discount on inflight purchases, and much more.

Pros

  • 2x miles per $1 on United purchases
  • 2x miles per $1 on dining
  • 2x miles per $1 at gas stations and office supply stores, and on local transit and commuting
  • 1x mile per $1 all other purchases
  • Free checked bag
  • 2 United Club 1-time passes each year
  • 25% back on United inflight purchases
  • Priority boarding
  • $100 United Annual Travel Credit after you make 7 United flight travel-related purchases, each totaling $100 or more, with your card
  • 5,000 anniversary bonus miles when you have the United Business card and a personal United credit card
  • Employee cards at no added cost
  • Earn 25 PQPs towards United status for every $500 you spend on your United Business card (up to 1,000 PQP in a calendar year).
  • Travel and purchase protections

Cons

  • Doesn’t earn transferable rewards
  • Other United cards are more rewarding for United purchases
  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • Receive a 5,000-mile "better together" bonus each anniversary when you have both the United℠ Business Card and a personal Chase United® credit card.
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases, dining including eligible delivery services, at gas stations, office supply stores, and on local transit and commuting.
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. Plus, employee cards at no additional cost - miles earned from their purchases accrue in your account so you can earn rewards faster.
  • Enjoy a free first checked bag - a savings of up to $140 per roundtrip (terms apply), 2 United Club℠ one-time passes per year, and priority boarding privileges.
  • $100 United® travel credit after 7 United flight purchases of $100 or more each anniversary year.
  • Member FDIC

Financial Snapshot

  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

The United Business card is another option for travelers who fly on United from time to time. The card offers 2 single-use United Club passes each year, valid for 12 months from when they are issued.

The card also comes with some other perks, including:

  • First checked bag free for you and up to 1 traveling companion
  • 25% statement credit on inflight purchases when flying United
  • Priority boarding
  • Premier upgrades on award tickets
  • Ability to earn 25 PQPs for every $500 you spend, up to 1,000 PQPs each year
  • $100 United annual travel credit each year that you make 7 United flight-related purchases of $100 or more with your card

If you want to receive benefits on your United flights and are working towards United elite status, the United Business card might make a great addition to your wallet.

United℠ Explorer Card

United℠ Explorer Card

United℠ Explorer Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

With priority boarding privileges, no foreign transaction fees and more, MileagePlus members will definitely enjoy their partnered card.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)

United℠ Explorer Card

With priority boarding privileges, no foreign transaction fees and more, MileagePlus members will definitely enjoy their partnered card.
Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
60,000 bonus miles
$720
$95
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

You travel United all the time, but you have heard that there could be ways to make your travel experiences even better, including priority boarding, free bags, and more miles.

You should consider the United℠ Explorer Card, because this card does all that and more!

Pros

  • 2x miles per $1 on United purchases, dining purchases (including delivery services), and hotel stays
  • 1x mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • First checked bag free for you and up to 1 traveling companion
  • 25% statement credit on United inflight purchases
  • Priority boarding
  • Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS statement credit
  • 2 United Club 1-time passes each year
  • Premier upgrades on award tickets
  • Travel and purchase protections

Cons

  • $0 intro for the first year, then $95 annual fee
  • Does not earn transferable rewards
  • Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, hotel stays, and United® purchases
  • Up to $100 Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS fee credit
  • 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 Explorer Card
  • Free first checked bag - a savings of up to $140 per roundtrip. Terms Apply.
  • Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United ClubSM with 2 one-time passes each year
  • Member FDIC

Financial Snapshot

  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

United MileagePlus Frequent Flyer Program

If you are neither a frequent United traveler nor a business owner, don’t worry; there is still another option. The United Explorer card may be the best option for the occasional United flyer.

For those wanting United Club access, the United Explorer card includes 2 single-use United Club passes each year, valid for 12 months from when they are issued. You also receive 2 passes after each cardmember anniversary. The day passes do not include guest access.

In addition to the United Club passes, you get some other perks with the card, including:

  • First checked bag free for you and up to 1 traveling companion
  • 25% statement credit on inflight purchases when flying United
  • Priority boarding
  • Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS statement credit
  • Premier upgrades on award tickets

If you fly United a few times a year, having the United Explorer card in your wallet may be worth it. It also has the lowest annual fee among all the cards discussed.

Bottom Line:

The United Club Infinite card and United Club Business card offer unlimited United Club access. The United Business card and United Explorer card each offer 2 United Club passes per year.

Other Ways To Access United Clubs

United Club entrance
Image Credit: United

A United Club membership gives you access to more than 45 United Club locations worldwide. United sells memberships, and members can pay with either cash or miles. The price of the United membership varies based on your United MileagePlus Premier Elite status:

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United MileagePlus Premier StatusAnnual Membership Price 
General member$650 or 85,000 miles
Premier Silver$650 or 85,000 miles
Premier Gold$650 or 85,000 miles
Premier Platinum$600 or 80,000 miles
Premier 1K$550 or 75,000 miles

One-Time Pass

A United Club one-time pass provides 1 person admission to a United Club lounge location. The pass is good for a single use and does not include guest access.

As of July 2023, a one-time pass is $59. You can purchase a one-time pass on the United mobile app or in person at the lounge.

United MileagePlus Elite Status

United MileagePlus members with United Premier Gold status (or higher) have access to United Club lounges when internationally on any Star Alliance carrier, regardless of their class of service. They can also bring 1 guest; the guest must travel on the same flight.

Star Alliance Gold Status

Star Alliance Gold status members with status through a partner airline program can access United Clubs with any same-day Star Alliance boarding pass. This includes United domestic flights. They can also bring 1 guest; the guest must travel on the same flight.

Flying Premium Cabin on a United or Star Alliance Flight

You can also access a United Club if traveling in business or first class on a Star Alliance partner airline. United Clubs are only available at the international gateway airport.

Active U.S. Military Personnel

Active U.S. military personnel also have access to United Clubs. You must have a same-day United boarding pass with a valid military ID and be dressed in uniform or have leave orders or rest and recuperation papers with you. Eligible military personnel can bring family members traveling on the same flight.

Hot Tip:

If you do not consistently fly United but still want lounge access, check out our guide to the best credit cards for airport lounge access.

United Polaris Lounges

It is worth noting that United has another set of exclusive lounges called United Polaris lounges, which are United’s premium lounges for long-haul business class passengers.

These lounges are significantly more exclusive and among the best you can find. Polaris lounges offer extra amenities such as shower suites, exclusive rest areas, day beds, and à la carte dining.

However, access to United Polaris lounges is a bit different.

First, no credit card offers United Polaris lounge access. You can only access United Polaris lounges when flying on a long-haul international flight in United Polaris business class. Traveling in business or first class with a Star Alliance partner airline can also grant you access.

There is also no way to access Polaris Lounges based on United elite status.

Final Thoughts

We can all agree that airport lounge access makes our travels a bit easier. Whether you are looking for some peace and quiet or you are looking to get a snack, United Clubs have you covered.

United offers numerous ways to access its United Clubs. If you are a frequent United traveler, consider whether a United co-branded credit card may be right for you. It costs less to pay the annual fee on the United Club Infinite card or the United Club Business card than to buy a United Club membership outright.

The information regarding the United Club℠ Business Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does The Platinum Card® from American Express get me into a United Club?

No, it does not. The Amex Platinum card is an excellent card for airport lounge access. However, United Club is not part of Amex’s eligible lounge partners.

Can I get into a United Club with a Priority Pass membership?

No, Priority Pass only includes access to Priority Pass lounges, and you cannot access United Clubs through that membership.

Does my airport have a United Club lounge?

To check whether or not your airport has a United Club, visit United’s website.

If I have Star Alliance Gold status, can I enter a United Club?

Yes, you can enter a United Club with Star Alliance Gold status. However, a same-day boarding pass showing Star Alliance Gold status for travel on an international flight operated by a Star Alliance member airline is needed to access United Clubs.

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About Ehsan Haque

Ehsan is an avid traveler who has traveled to 100 countries, diligently using points and miles to fund his journeys. Currently, he holds 32 active credit cards and earns over a million points and miles annually, primarily using them for luxury hotels and long-haul premium cabins.

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