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Update: This offer appears to still be available as of June 22, 2016.

United’s MileagePlus Club Card doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus and it usually comes along with a $450 annual fee, yet it still made our list of 7 Premium Travel Cards You Should Consider in 2016. The reason? The card includes a full United Club membership, allowing unrestricted access whenever you’re flying through an airport with a United-operated lounge. The card will save you $100 off the regular membership fee, assuming you don’t have elite status with United.

In addition, you’ll also receive Premier Access benefits, free first and second checked bags, 2 miles per dollar on all United purchases and 1.5 miles per dollar on all other spend, no close-in award booking fees and improved access to United award inventory. Of course, some of these benefits are also included with the United MileagePlus Explorer Card, which carries a much lower annual fee of $95 (waived for the first year) AND is currently offering 30,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in the first three months. But you’ll only receive United Club access twice each year, so if you fly United a lot, the Club Card offers obvious advantages.

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If that $450 annual fee is tough to swallow, you may be able to get it waived for the first year. Chase is currently offering a targeted fee waiver — all but one of the TPG staffers who checked for the offer saw it in their accounts, so it looks like United’s casting a pretty wide net here. To see if you’ve been targeted for a waived annual fee for the first year, visit mpclubcard.com/rsvp and log in with your United MileagePlus credentials. According to a mailer, this offer expires on March 15, 2016.

If you do receive the fee waiver, you’re of course under no obligation to keep the card after the first year. Depending on your travel patterns, you might be better off with a card like Citi Prestige or The Platinum Card from American Express, instead, since you’ll have access to far more lounges (excluding United Clubs, unfortunately).

Thanks to TPG reader Wes A., who shared this news tip by emailing tpgtips@thepointsguy.com. We’ll be sending out a $200 Visa gift card as a token of our appreciation.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
5.00%
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.