Lesser-Known Benefits of the United MileagePlus Club Card
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Recently, the United MileagePlus Club Card became significantly more appealing. While it’s always been a great option for those who want a full United Club airline lounge membership, it hasn’t always offered a sign-up bonus. In early October, however, the Chase co-branded card launched a sign-up offer of 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
Based on TPG’s latest valuations, 50,000 United miles are worth $750 — more than canceling out the card’s $450 annual fee. And while the Club Card’s main draws are the lounge membership, the ability to check two bags for free on United flights and (now) the sign-up bonus, there are several other perks that add value for cardholders.
1. World of Hyatt Discoverist Status
It might surprise you to learn that the United Club card offers hotel elite status. You get automatic Discoverist status in the World of Hyatt program, which includes benefits like a 10% point bonus on eligible paid stays, upgrades to preferred rooms and complimentary premium internet. We value Discoverist status — the lowest elite tier in the Hyatt program — at $150.
You can also get this status through the Hyatt Credit Card from Chase (with a $75 annual fee) or by staying at least 10 qualifying nights or earning 25,000 base points with Hyatt in a calendar year. But if you don’t frequently stay at Hyatt properties and wouldn’t otherwise earn status with the program, getting it through the United card could make the occasional Hyatt stay a bit more rewarding and enjoyable.
2. Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection is one of a handful of programs offering premium, elite-style benefits at hotels (other similar programs include American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts). The program is available to holders of the United MileagePlus Club Card, as well as those with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, the Ink Business Cash Credit Card and the United MileagePlus Explorer Card.
If you use the MileagePlus Club Card (or another eligible card) to book a stay through the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, you’ll get daily breakfast for two, complimentary Wi-Fi, a room upgrade when available, early check-in and late checkout when available and a special benefit unique to each property. The program includes more than 900 properties, with a focus on higher-end hotels and resorts such as The Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel in New York, and the W Retreat and Spa in Bali. You might not always find the best rate or hotel options through this program, but it can definitely be worth researching your choices if you have an upcoming paid stay and want to maximize your on-property perks.
3. Primary Car Rental Insurance
If you need to rent a car, it pays to use a travel rewards card that offers primary car rental insurance rather than just secondary insurance, which only kicks in after your own personal car insurance and often entails some type of deductible and limits to how much/what is covered. The United Club Card, along with the other United co-branded cards from Chase, offers primary insurance on rental cars so long as you charge the entire rental cost to the card. It provides reimbursement “up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision damage,” both in the US and most foreign countries.
There are some exclusions — such as expensive and exotic cars — and your rental period must not exceed 31 days in order to be eligible for coverage. Make sure to report your claim within 60 days of theft or damage and submit your claim within 100 days of theft or damage to remain eligible for reimbursement.
4. Trip Insurance
The United Club card offers a solid selection of other trip insurance perks beyond car rental coverage. You get trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance up to $10,000 per trip, baggage delay insurance of up to $100 per day for three days when your luggage is delayed by 6 or more hours, lost luggage reimbursement of up to $3,000 per passenger and trip delay reimbursement of up to $500 per ticket when you and your family have common carrier travel that’s delayed 12 or more hours. Be sure to reference the card’s benefits guide for more specifics on each of these perks.
5. Hertz President’s Circle Elite Status
Another lesser-known feature of the United MileagePlus Club Card is complimentary Hertz President’s Circle elite status. This entitles you to a 25% bonus on Hertz Gold Plus Rewards points, upgrades, exclusive offers and more when you rent a vehicle through the company. You’ll need to enroll in this benefit to enjoy the extra features. Also, note that if you’re a United MileagePlus Premier Platinum member (or higher), you’ll enjoy this same Hertz status without needing to have the Club Card.
While the full United Club membership is the MileagePlus Club Card’s most publicized benefit, it’s far from the only valuable perk you get as a cardholder. Between various travel protections, rental car elite status, access to on-property perks with the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection and Hyatt Discoverist status, there’s actually quite a lot to love about this card.
Featured photo by W Hotels.