United MileagePlus® Club Card Review

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"A premier card for a premier experience with United!"

Card Summary Table

The Ideal Cardholder

Do you regularly fly with United Airlines for work? What about their Star Alliance partners? Maybe you just love travel and United and Star Alliance carriers are your airlines of choice.

If that’s the case, the United MileagePlus® Club Card from Chase might be just the ticket to improving your travel experience.

Sign-Up Bonus, Earning Categories, and Points

When you sign up for the United MileagePlus® Club Card, you could have the opportunity to earn a big chunk of United miles thanks to a sign-up bonus. To earn the bonus, you’ll have to meet a minimum spend requirement within a designated time frame.

Check out the summary table above to get the most up to date details on the sign-up bonus.

To continue earnings United miles, you can use this card on your purchases with United Airlines and earn 2X miles per dollar spent. Unlike many other co-branded airline cards, you can actually earn more than 1X mile per dollar spent on all other purchases: the United MileagePlus® Club Card allows you to earn 1.5X miles per dollar spent.

This is a premium credit card, and the annual fee matches what you would expect at $450.

Bottom Line: The United MileagePlus® Club Card from Chase earns 2X miles per dollar with United Airlines and 1.5X miles per dollar on other purchases and comes with a $450 annual fee.

United MileagePlus® Club Card Benefits

If you don’t have elite status with United, just holding the United MileagePlus® Club Card can give you several of the benefits that are often only available to elite status flyers.

As a cardholder, you and a companion are eligible for 2 free checked bags on flights operated by United Airlines. This can save you a ton of money if you fly with United regularly. Your bags will also receive priority handling.

Keep in mind, you must book the flight with your United MileagePlus® Club Card and your companion must be on the same reservation as you.

Priority baggage handling isn’t the only Premier Access perk you will receive though. You will also enjoy priority check-in, which can be vital when you’re running late and need to check a bag. Plus, you’ll get priority boarding privileges to ensure you have overhead compartment space for your carry-on bag.

One final Premier Access perk is priority security screening. This benefit is not available at all airports, but where it is available you can jump the line.

All of these benefits will help you travel as if you had elite status with United.

For those who book economy class award tickets, you’ll love the fact that you will also receive access to extra economy award space. Additionally, the $75 close-in booking fee will be waived regardless of class of service thanks to this card.

Like many Chase cards, you will also receive a number of travel and purchase protection benefits.

The United MileagePlus® Club Card also comes with no foreign transaction fees, so you can use the card while abroad without any worries of extra fees tacked on to charges.

Bottom Line: The United MileagePlus® Club Card gives you the perks of elite status and access to business class lounges around the world.

United Miles and Elite Status

United, like other major U.S. carriers, awards redeemable miles based on the price of your cash tickets. Without status, you will earn 5X miles per dollar spent on the base fare of your United tickets.

If you hold elite status with United Airlines, you will earn even more miles:

  • Premier Silver – 7X miles per dollar
  • Premier Gold – 8X miles per dollar
  • Premier Platinum – 9X miles per dollar
  • Premier 1K – 11X miles per dollar

When paying with the United MileagePlus® Club Card, you will earn an additional 2X miles per dollar spent on top of that.

As long as you keep the card open, the MileagePlus miles you earn won’t expire.

Luxury Travel Benefits of the Card

One amazing perk that even elite status members don’t get is United Club lounge access. Just by being a cardholder, you will receive a full membership to United Clubs. Even top-level elite status members don’t get this perk!

Just think about this: a United Club membership costs $550 unless you maintain Premier 1K elite status ($450 if you do so). This means most people will pay less for the annual fee, but it comes with tons of other benefits.

To take things to the next level, you’ll also receive access to Star Alliance business class lounges whenever you fly with United Airlines or one of their Star Alliance partners. This means you could be flying Turkish Airlines out of Istanbul, Turkey and have access to the famous Turkish business class lounge while waiting for your flight.

As a cardholder, you will also have access to the Luxury Hotel & Resorts Collection. When you book through this program and use your United MileagePlus® Club Card to pay, you’ll receive a number of benefits including:

  • Early check-in and late checkout (when available)
  • Breakfast for 2 (daily)
  • Special property benefit
  • Upgrades (when available)
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

So, not only can you have a better flying experience, you can have a better hotel experience too.

You will also receive elite status at World of Hyatt and Hertz. At World of Hyatt, your status level will be bumped up to the Discoverist level, which can provide access to:

  • Late checkout (upon request)
  • Premium Wi-Fi
  • Room Upgrades (when available)

With Hertz, you can enroll as a member of the Hertz President’s Circle, which can get you upgrades and access to increased availability of rental cars.

Comparing the United MileagePlus® Club Card to Other Cards

While the United MileagePlus® Club Card comes packed with perks if you’re flying with United Airlines, the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card might be better if you’re only looking to earn tons of points.

These cards earn 3X and 2X points per dollar spent, respectively, on travel and dining purchases…which are 2 of the most commonly used categories for those who like to travel. The travel category includes hotels, train tickets, Uber, Lyft, and taxis.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card also comes with a Priority Pass Select membership to provide lounge access around the world. However, there are a number of airports in the United States that have United Clubs but not Priority Pass lounges. This can make the United MileagePlus® Club Card quite useful.

If you don’t expect to have more than $300 in checked bag fees, they can be offset by the travel credit provided by the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card. However, regular United flyers might get more use out of the free checked bags from the United MileagePlus® Club Card.

When you consider that both the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card and the United MileagePlus® Club Card each have $450 annual fees, make sure you compare all the details of each card to make the best decision for you.

If you are less concerned about these perks, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card can earn more points on travel and dining purchases and the annual fee is only $95 (waived the first year).

Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card earn Ultimate Rewards points, which are transferable to several airline and hotel partners.

Final Thoughts

The United MileagePlus® Club Card comes with a bunch of perks that make flying United (and even Star Alliance partners) a much better experience.

From access to United Clubs and Star Alliance business class lounges to Premier Access benefits to complimentary checked bags, you can travel like you have elite status.

Great Card If

  • You fly with United regularly and want Premier Access benefits as well as free checked bags
  • United Clubs and Star Alliance business class lounges would improve your travel experience
  • Extra economy award space and no close-in booking fees could make your award bookings easier

Don't Get If

  • You rarely travel on United or their Star Alliance partners
  • Earning points is more of a priority than travel benefits such as Premier Access, free checked bags, and priority boarding

U.P. Pro Tips

Use the United MileagePlus® Club Card when you shop online through the United MileagePlus shopping portal to earn even more miles. You can also connect the card to your United MileagePlus Dining account to earn more miles when you dine out.

How to Use United MileagePlus® Club Card: The Upgraded Way™

Best Way to Maximize Points

To earn the most United miles possible, you’ll want to incorporate earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points into your strategy. This will allow you to earn the maximum number of United miles as possible.

Tip #1Use a card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points when making a purchase in one of the relevant bonus categories.

This could mean using the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card when dining out or on a number of travel purchases, the Chase Freedom® card at the quarterly bonus category that earns 5X points per dollar spent, or the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card to earn 3X points per dollar on a number of categories including travel, advertising, internet, cable, and more.

Tip #2: Use the United MileagePlus® Club Card to earn 1.5X United miles per dollar on purchases that don’t fall under a bonus category of one of the Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards.

Tip #3: Attach either the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card to the United dining program so you’ll earn 2X or 3X points per dollar spent (respectively) plus United miles from the dining program.

Tip #4: Earn bonus United miles when renting a car through one of United’s partners. Keep an eye out for promotions that will earn you even more United miles through car rentals.

MileagePlus Shopping Portal from United
Take advantage of special deals with the United shopping portal to earn more United miles.

Tip #5: Use the United MileagePlus shopping portal whenever possible so you can earn more United miles when shopping online. Keep an eye out for holiday promotions that provide opportunities to earn even more miles.

Tip #6: Take advantage of partners of the MileagePlus X app on your iPhone or Android device.

Tip #7: If you aren’t concerned with hotel status perks or earning hotel points, you can earn United miles through several hotel partners:

You can also book through Rocketmiles to earn United miles.

Best Way to Redeem Points

Lufthansa-First-Class-A380
Enjoy an amazing lie-flat seat with direct aisle access in Lufthansa first class when you book with United miles.

There are tons of ways to redeem United miles, but whenever you do so, make sure you are getting a great of value out of them.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your United miles:

Tip #1: Redeem United miles for international business class or first class flights.

Tip #2: If you don’t have enough miles for that (or you would prefer to take more flights with the miles you have), consider using your United miles on international economy class flights on routes that have expensive cash tickets.

Tip #3: If you have a work trip booked on United or a Star Alliance, depending on the fare class of your cash ticket, it might be worth upgrading to business class or first class with United miles.

Upgrading this way will not require you to use any more cash for the ticket. Keep in mind that upgrades are only available for a select few fare classes

Tip #4: Do not redeem your United miles for car rentals, hotels, or any kind of merchandise. These redemptions provide absolutely terrible values.

Partners

As a member of Star Alliance, United Airlines has a ton of airline partners. In fact, they have individual airline partnerships that extend their reach even further.

United Airline Partners

United has tons of partners in the Star Alliance that can help you travel across the globe.

Star Alliance:

Other Airline Partners:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Aeromar
  • AirDolomiti
  • Azul
  • Cape Air
  • Edelweiss
  • Eurowings
  • Great Lakes Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Island Air
  • Silver Airways
  • Jet Airways

Other Travel Partners

Non-Travel Partners

The Gritty Details: Everything Else You Need To Know

With the United MileagePlus® Club Card, every purchase becomes a bonus category thanks to its standard 1.5X miles per dollar spent on all purchases that are not with United Airlines. Purchases with United earn 2X miles per dollar spent.

Even with this 1.5X earning, the real selling point with this card is the numerous benefits and perks that include Premier Access, a full United Club membership, access to Star Alliance business class lounges, and elite status with World of Hyatt and Hertz.

Additionally, holding this card provides you with extra economy class award space.

Like other Chase cards, it also comes with trip cancellation insurance, trip interruption insurance, travel accident insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, trip delay insurance, purchase protection, and more.

The sign-up bonus is only available to new cardholders who haven’t received the same sign-up bonus in the past 24 months. However, if you have other Chase cards, you will still be eligible for the sign-up bonus.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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