The United MileagePlus® Club Card is United’s premium travel credit card, which comes with access to United Clubs. While club access is certainly the main reason people get this card, there are a lot more benefits available worth considering if you’re a United flyer.Here’s what you need to know about this card:
How the United Club membership works
The single biggest perk of the United MileagePlus® Club Card is that it offers a United Club membership for as long as you have the card. Ordinarily if you were to purchase a United Club membership, you’d pay the following amounts:
As you can see, the lowest possible cost for a United Club membership is $450, which is also the annual fee on this card. So almost everyone would come out ahead by having this card rather than buying a membership outright.
The primary cardmember gets a full United Club membership, which works just like any United Club membership. However, authorized users on the card don’t get the same benefit.
United Club Card annual fee
The United MileagePlus® Club Card has a $450 annual fee. That’s definitely on the higher end as far as credit card annual fees go, but the card also comes with lots of perks.
United Club Card return on spend
Most co-branded airline credit cards don’t offer an especially lucrative return on spend, but the United MileagePlus® Club Card does. I’d argue it’s the most compelling return on non-bonused spend offered by any airline credit card. Specifically it offers 2 MileagePlus miles per dollar spent on United purchases, and 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all other purchases, which is an excellent return.
Earning 1.5 United miles per dollar spent is a really solid return on non-bonused spend.
Temporary 5x Points On Groceries
Between May 1 and June 30, 2020, cardholders can earn 5x points on grocery purchases, on up to $1,500 of spending per month. This includes grocery purchases made in-store or delivered through eligible grocery store delivery services (like Instacart). The major exclusions are that warehouse clubs and discount stores are not eligible.
This is the equivalent of a 7% return on grocery/supermarket purchases!
United Club Card perks
While the United Club membership is the most significant perk of the United MileagePlus® Club Card, the card has plenty of other perks as well. Specifically, the primary cardmember:
- Can receive complimentary Premier upgrades on United operated award flights when available, assuming they have status with United
- Receives Premier Access check-in, security, boarding, and baggage handling
- The first and second checked bag free, including for up to one companion, on United operated flights when the cardmember includes their MileagePlus number in the reservation
- Receives Hyatt Discoverist status for as long as they have the card
- Received Hertz President’s Circle status
- Pays no foreign transaction fees
- Receive primary collision damage waiver coverage on rental cars
- Cardholders can earn 500 PQP for every $12,000 in spending, up to a maximum of 1,000 PQP in a calendar year, which can be applied up to Platinum elite status
Elite members can receive complimentary upgrades on award tickets if they have the United Club Card
How does this compare to other credit cards offering lounge access?
There are a few credit cards out there offering lounge access, and the best one for you is entirely dependent on which airline you fly with most:
- If you’re a United flyer, the United MileagePlus® Club Card is the only one that comes with United Club access
- If you’re an American flyer, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® is the only one that comes with Admirals Club access; this card has the benefit of offering Admirals Club access even for authorized users, which you can add to the card at no extra cost
- If you’re a Delta flyer, I tend to think the The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express are the best bet for lounge access, as they get you Delta SkyClub access whenever you’re flying Delta, along with access to Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, and lots more perks
So while the perks by card differ, really your decision should be driven by which lounges you’d use most, rather than anything else.
United Club Card Eligibility
Any welcome bonus on the United MileagePlus® Club Card isn’t available to those who currently have the card, or who have received a new cardmember bonus on the card in the past 24 months.
Furthermore, it’s worth noting that this card is generally subjected to Chase’s 5/24 rule.
The real reason to get the United MileagePlus® Club Card is if you value a United Club membership. This card is also great in terms of the other priority services it offers, including free checked bags, priority check-in, security, boarding, baggage, etc.
If you’ve been considering getting this card, this is as good as it gets, and is definitely better than buying a United Club membership directly.