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May 25, 2012

United MileagePlus Club Card Review: $395 Worth It?

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Serious travelers who fly frequently with United and want top-of-the-line travel perks should consider the United MileagePlus Club card. As an upgraded version of the United MileagePlus Explorer card, the Club card earns air miles at a quicker rate. In exchange for these perks, it charges a high annual fee of $395.

7/1/2012 Update: We're sorry, United MileagePlus® Club Card is no longer available on CreditDonkey. This offer may have been discontinued or may no longer be available to new applicants.

Overall Score

4.0

Rewards

4.5

Fees

3.0

Benefits

4.5
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • United Club Membership
  • Mileage bonus
  • 2 free checked bags
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • $395 annual fee

Bottom Line

Excellent airline credit card for frequent United travelers

Rewards Program

Every time you buy something with the United Mileage Plus Card, you earn air miles. You earn 1.5 miles for every $1 you spend on your card. This is an upgrade over the standard 1 mile per $1 spent on regular travel reward cards. This card also earns double miles for every $1 spent with United.

You can redeem your air miles for free flights with United. A roundtrip ticket in the United States costs as little as 25,000 miles so frequent travelers should pick up tickets quickly. If you don’t want airfare, you can also redeem your miles for hotel stays, car rentals, or free merchandise.

Signup Bonus

In order to attract new cardholders, the United Mileage Plus Club card offers a signup bonus. When you first use your Club card, you receive a $95 credit on your account. This basically reduces the card’s annual fee down to $300 for the first year. Unfortunately, this card does not offer an introductory APR so be prepared to pay off your purchases immediately.

United Travel Perks

The real value behind the United Mileage Plus Club Card is its travel benefits. Every time you fly with United and use this card, you can check two bags for free. For domestic flights, United charges $25 for your first bag and $35 for your second. This card can save you $60 per flight in baggage fees. In addition, this card does not charge foreign transaction fees. If you travel frequently outside the United States, you avoid the costly fees charged by other cards.

Lastly, this card automatically gives you automatic membership in the United Club. This lets you use the United lounge and take advantage of free drinks, food, and internet access, which is a pleasant way to spend your time at the airport. It costs $475 to enroll in the club on your own.

Pros

  • Earns miles on everything you buy. You can convert your miles into free flights, hotel stays, and merchandise. Earns miles fast than regular air miles cards
  • Gives a $95 credit to your account after your first purchase
  • Gives automatic membership into the United Club, a $475 value
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Gives two free checked bags and priority check-in with United Airlines

Cons

  • Charges an annual fee of $395
  • No introductory 0% APR

Bottom Line

If you are a frequent traveler and prefer to travel with United, this card is worth its expensive fee. Less frequent travelers may be better off with a less expensive card.

7/1/2012 Update: We're sorry, United MileagePlus® Club Card is no longer available on CreditDonkey. This offer may have been discontinued or may no longer be available to new applicants.

Follow @CreditDonkey or write to David R at davidr@creditdonkey.com
David R is a financial writer at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and financial education website. Our data-driven analysis has been recognized by major news outlets across the country and has helped consumers make savvy financial and lifestyle decisions. (read more)

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Chase. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Chase. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on May 25, 2012. This content may have been updated on May 27, 2012. Information including APR, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check Chase website for updated information.

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Compare United MileagePlus Club Card to:

The Platinum Card from American Express
Apply for The Platinum Card from American Express
At American Express' Secure Site
  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Up to a $200 Airline Fee Credit Annually.
  • To receive the statement credit, you need to select a qualifying airline.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees with purchases made on your Platinum Card.
  • Platinum Card Concierge is your personal resource to help secure a last minute restaurant reservation, or shop for a hard-to-find gift.
  • Terms & restrictions apply.
Introductory Bonus Reward PointsAirline RewardsPoint RewardsTravel RewardsNo Pre-Set Spending LimitConciergeEventsExtended WarrantyPurchase Protection Return ProtectionTravel Accident Insurance$0 Fraud LiabilityIdentity Theft Assistance
Card TypeAnnual Fee
Personal Charge Card
$450

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