United MileagePlus Club Card Credit Card Review
As far as airline co-branded credit cards go, the United MileagePlus Club Card is rarely spoken about. It is often glanced over and categorized for travelers with expensive taste.
The high annual fee ($450) affords a variety of high-end benefits that frequent travelers crave. It’s been voted best credit card in both 2012 and 2013 by readers of Global Traveler Magazine, and when you examine the long lists of benefits the card comes with, it’s easy to see why.
Though its well known selling point is the United Club access mentioned in the cards name, it also has many of the other benefits of Premier Silver status and status with several other travel partners. If you are a frequent traveler that can make use of instant elite status, the cards high fee could be worth it.
While many co-branded airline cards seduce potential customers with high-mileage sign-up bonuses, the Club card relies on its perks to woo customers who are looking more for quality than quantity. As a result, the best sign-up bonus you’ll find with this card is a $100 statement credit after first purchase.
- 2 miles per dollar spent on United products
- 1.5 miles per dollar spent on everything else
What Do Your Points/Miles Get You?
Even if you’re just looking to rack up United miles as quickly as possible, this card is a good way to go, as you get 2x more miles on everyday purchases than you get with your average co-branded airline credit card, including the United MileagePlus Explorer card.
United miles are extremely valuable, and not just because the airline has 26 airline partners, including the 18 other members of Star Alliance:
- Adria Airways
- Aegean Airlines
- Air Canada
- Air China
- Air India
- Air New Zealand
- Asiana Airlines
- Austrian Airlines
- Brussels Airlines
- Copa Airlines
- Croatia Airlines
- Ethiopian Airlines
- EVA Air
- LOT Polish Airlines
- Scandinavian Airlines
- Shenzhen Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- South African Airways
- TAP Portugal
- Turkish Airlines
Though United has devalued its award chart through the years, they don’t charge or pass on fuel surcharges. This makes MileagePlus miles one of the best ways to book many highly desirable airlines and premium cabins that would otherwise require at least $500 in fees.
- Miles do not expire as long as you are a cardholder
- Free first and second checked bags for the cardholder and a companion on the same reservation on United-operated flights
- No fees on international purchases
- Priority check-in, security screening, boarding and baggage handling
- No fees on awards booked within 21 days of departure
- Complimentary privileges at Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection Hotels, including daily breakfast for two, room upgrades, early check-in, late check-out and an additional amenity such as lunch or dinner, a spa treatment, welcome gift or airport transfers, when the hotel is booked with the card
- Ability to upgrade award flights
Keep in mind:
- Itinerary holds aren’t free
- $75 change fee
- $200 cancellation fee, lower for elite status holders
What you get:
- United Club membership offering access for the cardholder and companions to United and Star Alliance lounges
- Avis First status
- Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum status
- Book any seat on any United-operated flight as an award seat, even when there are no award seats left or blackout dates are in effect, by signing in with your MileagePlus number before searching.
- Eligible for Chase Inside Access events, such as celebrity chef tastings and exclusive sports and fashion events
- Purchase protection
- Concierge service
- Trip cancellation insurance
- Trip delay reimbursement
- Auto rental collision and damage waiver
- Extended warranty protection
- Purchase protection
- Return protection
- Price protection