Updated: 3 days ago
United Airlines flies to 355 different cities across the world, including 234 destinations in the United States. Their route network is bolstered by their many Star Alliance partners that can take you to nearly every corner of the globe. By knowing how to earn and redeem United MileagePlus miles, a trip that previously felt out of reach may soon become affordable!
There are a few different credit cards that exclusively earn United miles, and several more that earn points which can be transferred directly to your MileagePlus Account. We have booked hundreds of flights with United miles and we can help you guide you to the best United Credit cards for your needs!
Best United Credit Card Offers of May 2020
The four United credit cards all offer substantial welcome bonuses that can quickly boost your mileage balance and get you the miles you need for your next trip. Additionally, each card will help earn miles for your everyday spending. The annual fees associated with each card vary, and the cards with higher fees come with extra benefits.
Once you’ve earned United miles, redeeming them is quite straightforward. Unlike some other frequent flyer programs, searching on United’s website shows flight availability from all of their Star Alliance partners (with a few exceptions). Not to mention, the taxes you pay on United award tickets are minimal, and you won’t be paying the dreaded fuel surcharges that some other programs charge.
The welcome bonuses on the United cards fluctuate, but we monitor these changes diligently and will keep you informed with the best offers. Here are the best United Airlines credit card offers available today:
Current Offer Current Offer Card Details
40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants, on hotel stays and on purchases from United. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
How To Earn The Most United Miles
The United credit cards offer great ways to earn MileagePlus miles quickly, thanks to the welcome bonuses. However, there are a few other cards from Chase that can help you earn United miles even faster.
For example, while the United Explorer cards – both business and personal – earn 2 points per dollar spent on both United Airlines purchases and restaurants, you could actually earn miles more quickly by collecting Chase Ultimate Rewards points. These can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio directly to your MileagePlus account, and offer bonuses on many different spending categories:
- The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns 2 points per dollar on all of your spending on dining and travel – not just on United
- The Chase Sapphire Reserve® earns a whopping 3 points per dollar on all dining and travel spending
- The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is a business credit card that earns 3 points per dollar on travel, shipping, internet, cable, and phone services.
Each of these cards comes with a welcome bonus as well, and the Ultimate Rewards points you earn can be transferred to several other loyalty programs as well as United MileagePlus.
United Credit Card Benefits
The United credit cards come with a range of benefits to make your everyday spend more rewarding and your airport experience more pleasant, no matter which you choose:
- Free Checked Bags — You and a companion can each check a bag for free (or 2 with the United Club card).
- United Club Access — Earn either 2 United club passes each year with the United℠ Explorer Card or United℠ Business Card, or earn unlimited access with the United Club card.
- Increased Award Space — Cardmembers have access to extra economy award space on United flights, which is a unique United credit card benefit.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees — While you’re traveling abroad with your newly-earned miles, use your card without worrying about paying extra in exchange fees.
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Credit — Earn a statement credit for your application fees to either Global Entry or PreCheck (only on the United Explorer Personal card).
There are a few restrictions on these cards:
- You can only earn the welcome bonus on a card if you do not currently have that card AND you have not earned the signup bonus on that card in the last 24 months
- However, you can earn the welcome bonuses on two separate cards; for example you could get the United Club card and the United Explorer personal card.
- Business cards are different “card products” than their personal counterpart, so you could even get the welcome bonuses on both the United Explorer personal card and the United Explorer business card
- These cards are subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule, so if you’ve opened 5 new credit cards in the last 24 months, you may not be approved
So, what is the best United credit card for you?
Best Overall (Plus transfer points to United)
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||Apply Now|
Best Overall Business (Plus transfer points to United)
|Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card|
Best for Lounge Access
|United Club℠ Infinite Card||Apply Now|
Best Business Lounge Access
|United Club℠ Business Card||Apply Now|
Best for Free Checked Bags (Ideal for occasional flyers)
|United℠ Explorer Card||Apply Now|
Best Business Benefits (Free bags)
|United℠ Business Card|
United MileagePlus miles are easy to earn and generally quite easy to use. With the welcome bonus and extra award availability, the United credit cards can make these even easier.
For those of you who fly United just a few times a year, we can’t say enough about the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which have a great welcome bonus, a reasonable annual fee, and points that can be used for more than just United flights. You can transfer the points you need to MileagePlus for your flight, and transfer the points leftover to Hyatt so you can save on your lodging as well!