United Airlines and Chase issue several co-branded credit cards, and in this post I wanted to take a closer look at the United Club℠ Infinite Card, which is the most premium personal card issued with this partnership. This card has an excellent welcome bonus.
United Club Infinite Card Basics For May 2022
The United Club Infinite Card provides lounge access, some incredible perks, and a solid welcome bonus. If you’re a United frequent flyer and value lounge access, this is the card for you.
United Club Infinite Card Offers 100,000 Miles
The United Club Infinite Card is offering a welcome bonus of 100,000 MileagePlus bonus miles after spending $5,000 within the first three months. I value United miles at 1.3 cents, so I value this bonus at $1,300. This is a great bonus for a card that has a pretty reasonable minimum spending requirement.
Who Is Eligible For The United Club Infinite Card?
The welcome bonus on the United Club Infinite Card isn’t available to those who currently have this exact card, or have received a new cardmember bonus on the card in the past 24 months. However, you are eligible for this card and the bonus if you have (or have had) any other United Airlines credit cards.
United Club Infinite Card $525 Annual Fee
The United Club Infinite Card has a $525 annual fee. This annual fee is no doubt on the steep side, though it’s in line with the fees you’ll find on many premium credit cards. The card also offers a variety of perks for frequent flyers that could more than justify the fee.
Earning Miles With The United Club Infinite Card
The United Club Infinite Card offers anywhere from 1-4x MileagePlus miles per dollar spent, as follows:
- 4x MileagePlus miles for United purchases
- 2x MileagePlus miles on all other travel purchases
- 2x MileagePlus miles for dining at restaurants and eligible food delivery services, including Caviar, DoorDash, GrubHub, and Seamless
- 1x MileagePlus miles for all other eligible purchases
For a co-branded airline credit card, those are some solid bonus categories, and in particular, it’s nice to earn bonus miles on dining purchases. The United Club Infinite Card also has no foreign transaction fees, making it a good option for purchases abroad.
United Club Infinite Card Perks
The area where the United Club Infinite Card really shines is when it comes to perks. The value you get from these perks is what should determine if this card makes sense for you or not. Let’s take a closer look at what perks are offered by the card, especially as the value proposition of the card was improved in late 2021.
Receive A United Club Membership
Arguably the key benefit of the United Club Infinite Card is that it comes with a United Club membership for as long as you have the card. This offers access to United Clubs and participating Star Alliance affiliated lounges.
Getting the United Club Infinite Card is arguably the best way to get United Club access, especially when you consider that outright buying a membership would ordinarily cost $550-650 per year.
Here you save $25-125 compared to that price, and you get all kinds of other perks with the card.
First & Second Checked Bag Free
The United Club Infinite Card primary cardmember and one companion traveling on the same reservation receive a free first and second checked bag. In order to be eligible for this, you have to pay for your ticket with your United Airlines credit card.
This is a value of up to $320 per roundtrip ticket (assuming two people are checking two bags roundtrip).
Premier Access Travel Services
Just for having the United Club Infinite Card, the primary cardmember receives Premier Access travel services when flying with United, including the use of Premier Access check-in lines, priority security lanes, priority boarding, and priority baggage handling.
25% Savings On United Inflight Purchases
If you have the United Club Infinite Card you receive 25% back in the form of an account statement credit on purchases of food, beverages, and Wi-Fi, onboard United. You have to pay with your United Club Infinite Card Card, and your statement credit should post within 24 hours.
Receive Elite Upgrades On Award Tickets (Also For Companions)
MileagePlus Premier members receive complimentary upgrades in most domestic markets when booking a revenue ticket. If you have the United Club Infinite Card, you can also receive your Premier upgrades when redeeming miles for tickets.
Best of all, it’s not only the cardmember who is eligible for upgrades, but if you have the United Club Infinite Card, you can also upgrade a companion traveling on the same reservation. While some other United Airlines credit cards offer upgrades on award tickets, the companion upgrade feature is exclusively available on this card.
Save 10% On United Economy Saver Awards
If you have the United Club Infinite Card you can save 10% on economy award tickets when traveling on United. This is valid for saver level awards for travel within the United States, or between the United States and Canada. The discount applies to all passengers on the same reservation as the primary cardmember, and the miles must be redeemed through the primary cardmember’s MileagePlus account.
Earn Up To 4,000 Premier Qualifying Points Per Year
If you’re looking to earn status with United MileagePlus, the United Club Infinite Card can help. The card offers 500 Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) for every $12,000 spent on purchases, up to a maximum of 4,000 PQPs in a calendar year.
Access To More MileagePlus Award Space
If you have the United Club Infinite Card you get access to additional MileagePlus award availability for travel on United. This includes both access to additional saver level award availability, as well as last seat access to United’s standard awards, which are valuable when flights are full.
Receive IHG Rewards Platinum Elite Status & $75 Credit
New as of 2022, the United Club Infinite Card offers Platinum Elite status in the IHG Rewards program. This IHG status offers perks like upgrades, bonus points, late check-out, and much more. While it’s not my favorite hotel status, it does come in handy when staying at IHG properties. Cardmembers can register for this perk here by providing the last four digits of their credit card number, plus their MileagePlus number.
On top of that, cardmembers can receive up to $75 in statement credits at IHG properties when charged to the card. This applies for purchases between January 1 and December 31, 2022, and there’s no minimum required to unlock this. In other words, this is the equivalent of $75 worth of “free” spending at IHG properties.
Sign-Up For CLEAR, Receive 10,000 Bonus Miles
Those with the United Club Infinite Card can receive 10,000 bonus MileagePlus miles if they sign-up for CLEAR by June 30, 2022, using their card. For those not familiar with CLEAR, it helps expedite the process of clearing security at select airports.
If you’re a MileagePlus member, CLEAR should cost you $119 to sign-up for, and then I’d say that the 10,000 miles are worth at least that much. That’s pretty awesome. For those with a lot of credit cards, the catch is that The Platinum Card® from American Express (review) offers an annual CLEAR credit of up to $189, so this might not be all that useful for everyone. On the plus side, there’s another CLEAR promotion that you can take advantage of.
Global Entry Or TSA PreCheck Credit
The United Club Infinite Card offers a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit every four years. Simply charge the enrollment fee to your card, and it will automatically be reimbursed.
Nowadays quite a few credit cards offer these fee credits, so you can always use this benefit for a friend or family member. They just have to use your credit card to pay, and you’ll automatically receive the statement credit.
Access To The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
Having the United Club Infinite Card gets you access to The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection (LHRC). This offers additional privileges on hotel bookings when using lhrcollection.com.
While this could come in handy, I wouldn’t get too excited about this perk, given that programs like Virtuoso offer similar benefits, and don’t require having a specific credit card.
Should You Get The United Club Infinite Card?
The United Club Infinite Card offers some phenomenal perks for travel on United, so if that’s something you care about, this card is worth considering:
- For non-MileagePlus Premier members, having the United Club Infinite Card gets you a first and second checked bag free, Premier Access travel services, United Club access, expanded award availability, inflight savings, discounted economy awards, IHG Rewards Platinum Elite status, a $75 IHG credit, 10,000 bonus miles for joining CLEAR, and more
- For MileagePlus Premier members, having the United Club Infinite Card gets you United Club access, upgrades on award tickets (including for companions), expanded award availability, inflight savings, discounted economy awards, IHG Rewards Platinum Elite status, a $75 IHG credit, 10,000 bonus miles for joining CLEAR, and more
I think the math on signing up for the United Club Infinite Card really checks out, in particular with the huge welcome bonus being offered right now. Also keep in mind that if you want to downgrade the card to a lower annual fee card in the future, that should be possible once you’ve had the card for at least 12 months. You might as well pick up the card with the best welcome bonus and richest perks, and then you can decide in the future which card makes the most sense for you.
How Does The United Quest Card Compare?
The United Quest℠ Card is another popular United Airlines credit card that I think is seriously worth considering. The card has a $250 annual fee, and the perks more than justify that, in my opinion:
- The card is offering a welcome bonus of 70,000 MileagePlus miles after spending $4,000 within the first three months
- The card offers some unique perks, like a $125 annual United credit, plus up to 10,000 miles reimbursed each year when redeeming miles on United; for many, those two perks alone will more than offset the annual fee
- The card offers all kinds of other valuable perks on United, like a free first and second checked bag, 25% savings on inflight purchases, elite upgrades on award tickets, and more
If you’re worried about the annual fee on the United Club Infinite Card, the United Quest Card is a great alternative, especially given how easy the annual fee is to recoup. That being said, the bonus isn’t as good.
How Does The United Explorer Card Compare?
The United℠ Explorer Card is probably United’s most popular co-branded credit card, given the reasonable annual fee and solid perks. I’d take it a step further and argue that this is one of the most well-rounded mid-range airline credit cards. The card has a $95 annual fee (waived the first year), and offers the following perks:
- The card is offering a welcome bonus of up to 70,000 MileagePlus miles. Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn an additional 10,000 miles after you spend $6,000 total on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open.
- The card’s perks include two United Club passes annually, a free first checked bag, priority boarding, 25% savings on inflight purchases, elite upgrades on award tickets, and more.
The United Explorer Card has the most mass appeal of any United Airlines credit card, as the card offers most of the basic benefits people will value when flying United, has a great bonus, and the annual fee is even waived for the first year.
The deciding factor between the two cards should partly come down to whether you value a United Club membership or not. If it’s something you would otherwise pay for, you should get the United Club Infinite Card. If it’s not something you would pay for, I think the United Explorer Card is the better option.
The United Club Infinite Card is United’s most premium personal credit card. While the card has a $525 annual fee, it offers incredible perks, which were even recently further improved. These perks include a United Club membership, a free first and second checked bag, upgrades on award tickets (including for a companion), and much more.