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Airlines aren’t known for being especially generous when it comes to honoring expired perks, but I recently discovered one major exception to this rule: One-time passes for the United Club. These paper certificates are issued each year as a benefit of the United MileagePlus Explorer Card — as of 2015, Hyatt Diamond members (of which there are now many) are also entitled to two passes each year. Typically, passes expire at least a year after they’re issued, but if you aren’t able to use them before that date, they’re not entirely worthless.

A renovated United Club.

Currently, you can use an expired pass to enter a United Club with a $25 co-pay. Regular single-use passes run $50, so that’s a pretty decent savings. Of course, a visit to the United Club may not be worth $25 to you, but with renovated lounges and improved food offerings, you can certainly get your money’s worth with a longer layover or flight delay. Note that expired passes (plus the co-pay) must be redeemed within one year of the expiration date.

It’s sometimes also possible to get a year (or more) of free access by taking advantage of a status match, and you can get access with the United MileagePlus Club card (which recently raised its annual fee to $450). You can also get access by purchasing a full United Club membership, but unless you have elite status, that’ll run you a whopping $550 each year (plus a $50 initiation fee).

United℠ Explorer Card

The United Explorer card recently got some enhancements like 2 miles per dollar spent at restaurants and on hotel stays and a $100 Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check Fee credit. The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.

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More Things to Know
  • Limited time offer! Earn up to 65,000 Bonus Miles.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants and on hotel stays
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit
  • 25% back on United inflight purchases
  • Check your first bag for free (a savings of up to $120 per roundtrip) when you use your Card to purchase your ticket
  • Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United Club℠ with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on purchases from United, and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
17.99% - 24.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for First Year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

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