United Gateway Card Review: No Annual Fee & 20K Miles

United Gateway Card Review: No Annual Fee & 20K Miles

United Gateway℠ Card Earn 20,000 bonus miles | $0
Apply Now Terms Apply.
United Gateway℠ Card Earn 20,000 bonus miles | $0
Earn 2x MileagePlus miles on United purchases
Earn 2x MileagePlus miles on gas station purchases
No Foreign Transaction Fees
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Link: Apply now for the United Gateway℠ Card

Chase and United offer a suite of co-branded credit cards. In this post, I wanted to take a look at the United Gateway℠ Card, which is the no annual fee card that’s part of this portfolio.

Can a no annual fee airline credit card be rewarding, though?

United Airlines Gateway Card Basics For January 2023

The United Gateway Card is one of the better no annual fee airline credit cards out there, both in terms of the bonus and the rewards structure. Let’s look at the card in more detail, including the welcome bonus, return on spending, perks, and more.

United Gateway Card No Annual Fee

As I’ve already mentioned, the United Gateway Card has no annual fee. This applies both to the primary cardmember and any additional cardmembers. Back in the day there weren’t many airline credit cards without annual fees, so it’s nice to see airlines increasingly offering this kind of product.

United Gateway Card Welcome Bonus Of 20K Miles

The United Gateway Card is offering a bonus of 20,000 bonus MileagePlus miles after spending $1,000 within the first three months. I value MileagePlus miles at 1.3 cents each, so to me the bonus alone is worth around $260, which isn’t horrible for a no annual fee card.

Eligibility for the United Gateway Card welcome bonus is unrelated to any other Chase or United credit card bonuses, so you are eligible even if you have other co-branded United cards. The standard Chase application rules apply, including the 5/24 rule.

Earn 20,000 MileagePlus miles with the United Gateway Card

United Gateway Card Earns Up To 2x Miles

The United Gateway Card has a solid rewards structure for a no annual fee card, as it offers:

  • 2x MileagePlus miles on United purchases
  • 2x MileagePlus miles on gas station purchases
  • 2x MileagePlus miles on local transit and commuting, including rideshare services, taxis, train tickets, tolls, and mass transit

Best of all, the United Gateway Card has no foreign transaction fees, so this can be a great card to use abroad. There aren’t all that many no annual fee cards with solid rewards structures that also have no foreign transaction fees, so the card is pretty awesome in that sense.

Earn 2x miles on United purchases with the United Gateway Card

United Gateway Card Benefits & Perks

Generally speaking, one of the main reasons to consider picking up an airline credit card is for the perks that it offers. As you’d expect, United Airlines’ no annual fee credit card has the fewest perks of any card in the portfolio. That being said, the United Gateway Card does offer some benefits, as follows:

  • 25% savings on United inflight purchases, including purchases of food, beverages, and Wi-Fi
  • Travel and purchase coverage, including auto collision damage waiver, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, purchase protection, and more
  • A complimentary 12 month DashPass from DoorDash, offering $0 delivery fees and lower service fees on eligible orders of $12 or more; you’ll be automatically enrolled in DashPass at the current monthly rate after that, but can always cancel
Save on inflight purchases with the United Gateway Card

Is The United Gateway Card Worth It?

For a no annual fee airline card, it doesn’t get much better than the United Gateway Card. The card offers a big welcome bonus, 2x miles on select purchases with no foreign transaction fees, savings on inflight purchases, and more. If you absolutely want a no annual fee United card, then this is obviously the card to go with.

That being said, I wanted to talk about why it could make sense to pick up another United Airlines credit, and also compare this to other no annual fee airline credit cards.

Why You Should Get The United Explorer Card Instead

If you’re considering picking up a United Airlines credit card, I’d apply for the United℠ Explorer Card (review) over the United Gateway Card. Why?

  • The United Explorer Card offers a much bigger welcome bonus of 50,000 MileagePlus miles after spending $3,000 within the first three months
  • While the United Explorer Card has a $95 annual fee, it’s waived for the first 12 months
  • If you decide after a year that you don’t want the United Explorer Card, you should be able to downgrade it to the no annual fee United Gateway Card
  • The United Explorer Card offers all kinds of valuable incremental perks, like two United Club passes annually, a free first checked bag, priority boarding, and much more

There’s simply no reason not to at least give the United Explorer Card a try, given the much better bonus and waived annual fee the first year.

The United Explorer Card offers a much bigger bonus

How Do Other No Annual Fee Airline Cards Compare?

All of the “big three” carriers in the United States have no annual fee cards, so how does the United Gateway Card compare to the credit cards issued by American and Delta?

The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card (review) offers:

  • 10,000 American AAdvantage miles plus a $50 statement credit after spending $500 within the first three months
  • 2x AAdvantage miles for American Airlines and grocery store purchases
  • 25% savings on inflight American Airlines purchases
  • The card does have foreign transaction fees

The Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card (review) (Rates & Fees) offers:

  • 10,000 Delta SkyMiles after spending $1,000 within the first six months
  • 2x SkyMiles for Delta and restaurant purchases
  • 20% savings on inflight Delta Air Lines purchases
  • The card doesn’t have foreign transaction fees (Rates & Fees)

As you can see, there are pros and cons to each product, though I’d say that the United Gateway Card might just be the most lucrative of the bunch. The card offers the best welcome bonus, the best spending bonuses (all with no foreign transaction fees), 25% savings on inflight purchases, and good purchase and travel protection. So for a no annual fee airline card, it doesn’t get much better than that, if you ask me.

American Airlines also has a no annual fee credit card

Bottom Line

The United Gateway Card is United Airlines’ no annual fee personal credit card. The card has no foreign transaction fees and offers 2x miles in select bonus categories. On top of that, the card offers 25% savings on inflight purchases, as well as useful purchase and travel protection. If you want a no annual fee airline credit card, this is as good as it gets.

I think the better strategy is to pick up the United Explorer Card, which offers a much better welcome bonus, an annual fee waived the first year, and valuable perks. If you decide after a year that you don’t want the card, you can always downgrade it.

What do you make of the United Gateway Card?

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card (Rates & Fees).

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  1. Points MN Guest

    It also unlocks United's "hidden" award pricing, and Chase seems to be constantly running promotions for using this card so my actual points earned has been much higher than the 2x. Right now it is my primary gas and grocery card, earning 10x on gas purchases and 5x on groceries. There is a cap on what you can earn during the promotion, but I eat out a lot yet often work from home so I...

    It also unlocks United's "hidden" award pricing, and Chase seems to be constantly running promotions for using this card so my actual points earned has been much higher than the 2x. Right now it is my primary gas and grocery card, earning 10x on gas purchases and 5x on groceries. There is a cap on what you can earn during the promotion, but I eat out a lot yet often work from home so I might not even hit the cap (think it was October to December and maybe first $1500 or something like that). United isn't a great airline for flying out of Minnesota (since they stopped flying from RST especially) but I got a really good redemption for this upcoming summer on Air Canada out of MSP using United miles and finding that accumulating miles is super easy (I've gotten thousands of miles just by using this card for gas and other promotional categories and eating or getting takeout at the Buffalo Wild Wings down the street once every week or two for the past year, and a couple thousand miles more with their dining club at various other restaurants). So I like this card, as it allows me to periodically accumulate enough points (combined with the other sources) to take flights on United (or Air Canada) and top off with Ultimate Rewards transfers as necessary. Or top off the Ultimate Rewards transfer with United Miles, depending on the respective balances. I can't see it making sense for me personally to get any of the United annual fee cards as I'm never going to fly enough on United to really be a loyalist unless they start flying out of here more, but my Sun Country and Delta Cards with annual fees are stowed away unless I'm flying with them while this United card stays in my wallet for regular use.

  2. Allixi Guest

    Last year, when I called to downgrade a Mileageplus Explorer card to the Gateway card, Chase said that was not possible. They instead downgraded it to the (no annual fee) Mileageplus card.

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The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Points MN Guest

It also unlocks United's "hidden" award pricing, and Chase seems to be constantly running promotions for using this card so my actual points earned has been much higher than the 2x. Right now it is my primary gas and grocery card, earning 10x on gas purchases and 5x on groceries. There is a cap on what you can earn during the promotion, but I eat out a lot yet often work from home so I might not even hit the cap (think it was October to December and maybe first $1500 or something like that). United isn't a great airline for flying out of Minnesota (since they stopped flying from RST especially) but I got a really good redemption for this upcoming summer on Air Canada out of MSP using United miles and finding that accumulating miles is super easy (I've gotten thousands of miles just by using this card for gas and other promotional categories and eating or getting takeout at the Buffalo Wild Wings down the street once every week or two for the past year, and a couple thousand miles more with their dining club at various other restaurants). So I like this card, as it allows me to periodically accumulate enough points (combined with the other sources) to take flights on United (or Air Canada) and top off with Ultimate Rewards transfers as necessary. Or top off the Ultimate Rewards transfer with United Miles, depending on the respective balances. I can't see it making sense for me personally to get any of the United annual fee cards as I'm never going to fly enough on United to really be a loyalist unless they start flying out of here more, but my Sun Country and Delta Cards with annual fees are stowed away unless I'm flying with them while this United card stays in my wallet for regular use.

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Allixi Guest

Last year, when I called to downgrade a Mileageplus Explorer card to the Gateway card, Chase said that was not possible. They instead downgraded it to the (no annual fee) Mileageplus card.

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