TPG reader Paul emailed me with a question about the United MileagePlus Club Card:
“In your list of recommended cards, you rarely mention the United MileagePlus Club Card. It gives you Club access and 1.5 miles per $1, but even if you don’t use the Club privileges, and charge more than $75,000 per year, the 37,500 extra points are well worth it. As far as I can tell, if you’re a United Club member the card is a no-brainer. Am I missing something?”Paul, you’re not missing anything. If you want United Club access, the United MileagePlus Club card is a great option and there are certainly a lot of perks beyond just club access as well and if you walk into a Chase branch, there are reports that they are giving customers offers where the $395 annual fee is waived the first year.
Cardholders earn 2 miles per dollar spent on United purchases and 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all other purchases. Like United Explorer cardholders, United opens up extra seats for awards at the Saver level. Club cardholders also receive a waiver from the airline’s close-in award booking fees that can cost up to $75, depending on your status level (note, this is only on United-operated flights, not codeshare partners).
United Club cardholders receive primary rental car coverage, as well as trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost luggage, and baggage delay coverage. Other benefits include extended warranty protection, purchase protection, return protection, and price protection coverage. It also waives foreign transaction fees.
Cardholders who have not yet earned Premier status immediately receive Premier Access travel services, which include priority check-in, security screening (where available), boarding, and baggage handling. Cardholders and one companion receive their first and second pieces of checked baggage for free.
In addition to the benefits with United, cardholders can join Avis First and receive Platinum status in the Hyatt Gold Passport program. Finally, existing United Club members can have a pro-rated remainder of their United Club membership reimbursed when they receive this card based on their membership year dates.
All this said, I have to disagree with you that spending the $75,000 per year gets you a lot of extra points; it really depends on what you’re spending that money on. If none of the money you spend is in a bonus category like gas or travel, I could agree with you that getting 1.5 miles per dollar spent is better than getting just one mile per dollar spent.
However, there are other cards you can use to rack up more points and United miles. For example, the Chase Ink Bold and Ink Plus both earn 5x points per dollar spent at office supply stores (and you can buy gift cards to other retailers there) and 2x on gas and groceries. Those Chase Ultimate Reward points can then be transferred to United, therefore giving you more United miles for every dollar you spend at those merchants.
I do think the United MileagePlus Club card is good to have, especially if you value airport lounge access, but you should also carry some other card options as a great way to rack up as many points as possible, using distinct cards at different retailers.
Always go into a Chase bank branch to see if you can get the card’s annual fee waived, and check United.com for targeted promotions and offers related to your card.
In addition, please check out these related posts:
- Getting The Fee Waived On The United MileagePlus Club Card
- Can You Get the Benefits Of the United MileagePlus Club Card If You Don’t Use It To Purchase Tickets?
- United MileagePlus Club Card: Is it Worth It?
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