March 22, 2018
Review: United MileagePlus Club Credit Card

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United issues three credit cards in partnership with Chase. There’s the no fee TravelBank card, the $95 MilagePlus Explorer card, and the $450 MileagePlus Club card. I wouldn’t recommend the Club card to someone who flies United a handful of times. But it can provide tremendous value to United road warriors. I’ve had the Club card for almost four years and get enough value to justify the $450 fee.


Sign-Up Bonus


The United Club card offers 50,000 MileagePlus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months of account opening. The bonus is only available if you do not have the card and haven’t received a new card member bonus in the past 24 months.


Earning Points


Cardholders earn 2x United MileagePlus miles per $1 spent on tickets purchased from United and 1.5x miles per $1 spent on everything else. Your United miles won’t expire as long as your credit card remains open.



Redeeming Points


United miles are one of the best airline specific reward points when it comes to booking free flights. You can redeem United miles for travel on United Airlines, its Star Alliance partners, and its non-alliance partners. The number of miles you need varies based on your class of travel and travel zones. Look into United’s full Award & Upgrade chart for specifics. Here’s some examples:


  • United/Star Alliance Economy North America-Europe: 30,000 miles one-way
  • United Business North America-Europe: 60,000 miles one-way
  • Star Alliance Business North America-Europe: 70,000 miles one-way
  • Star Alliance First North America-Europe: 110,000 miles one-way
  • Star Alliance Economy North Asia/Japan-South Asia: 20,000 miles one-way
  • Star Alliance Business North Asia/Japan-South Asia: 45,000 miles one-way
  • Star Alliance First North Asia/Japan-South Asia: 65,000 miles one-way

Perks


United Club Lounge

The United Club card’s biggest selling point is the perks. Cardholders and two guests can access United Club lounges with a boarding pass for same-day travel. A boarding pass for any airline will do-not just United. United Club access is the main reason to get this card. A one-year United Club membership normally costs $550. The Club Card gets you membership plus all the other perks for only $450.


United Club, Newark


Star Alliance Lounges

Cardholders can access Star Alliance Business Class lounges when traveling on a partner Star Alliance flight as long as they present the physical United Club membership card. This unlocks tons of fantastic lounges around the world, like the Lufthansa Business lounge in Boston.


Premier Access

The primary card member and companions traveling on the same reservation receive priority Group 2 boarding and priority baggage handling.


Free Checked Bags

The primary cardmember and one companion traveling on the same reservation each receive their first and second checked bags free on United flights purchased with the MileagePlus Club Card.


Booking United Awards

The primary card member who is also a MileagePlus Premier member and traveling on an award ticket can take advantage of Complimentary Premier Upgrades on United-operated flights, when available. The primary cardmember can also book award tickets for close-in dates without having to pay a close-in award booking fee.


World of Hyatt Status

Cardholders are eligible for complimentary World of Hyatt Discoverist status. This comes with perks like 10% bonus Hyatt points, complimentary premium internet, 2:00 PM late check-out, and upgrades to preferred rooms within the same booking category.


Courtesy of Hyatt on the Bund, Shanghai


Hertz Global Plus Rewards President’s Circle Status

Hertz’s highest level of elite status gets you designated President’s Circle parking stalls, confirmed one-class car upgrades, 25% bonus Hertz points, and 675 bonus Hertz points after 15 qualifying rentals.


Premier Qualifying Dollar Waiver

Cardholders who spend $25,000 or more in a calendar year receive a waiver from the PQD requirements of United elite status, up to Premier Platinum.


Other Perks

Cardholders receive the standard suite of travel perks as well. This includes trip cancellation & interruption insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, primary rental car insurance, etc. See the card’s terms for details.


Fees 

The MileagePlus Club card has a $450 annual fee and charges no foreign transaction fees.


Should You Get It?

The Club card is a good option if you’re looking to get United Club lounge access. The credit card gets you membership for $450 instead of $550. The priority boarding, two free checked bags, World of Hyatt status, and PQD waiver are also nice perks to have.


The 50,000 point sign-up bonus is compelling but it doesn’t justify the annual fee if you’re not planning on using the perks. Finally, the point earning structure isn’t great. Both the $95 Chase Sapphire Preferred and the $450 Chase Sapphire Reserve offer superior points earning capabilities.


I keep the United Club card mainly for the United Club access. I fly United a lot so I go in and out of these lounges all the time. I also use it for the PQD waiver and like the Hertz perks, though those aren’t anything too special.

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