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Chase encourages spending on some United cards with bonuses of up to $240 in travel credit

May 06, 2021
5 min read
Chase encourages spending on some United cards with bonuses of up to $240 in travel credit
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It's possible that some of the most wasted dollars I spent in all of last year wasn't the tower of low-quality single-ply toilet paper that's still in the laundry room, a new wardrobe made almost entirely of stretchy pants or the small metal stock tank pool still filled with water in the backyard.

Instead, that wasted dollars award may go to the money I spent renewing my United Club Card in the spring of 2020.

I'd had and enjoyed the card for years and at that time in our pandemic journey, we didn't know how long COVID-19 would go on, how much it would impact travel and how long so many United Clubs would remain closed. (Spoiler alert: Many of the clubs I'd have typically used in a year are still closed, though United has plans to begin reopening more lounges soon.)

The information for the United Club Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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So, while I did get a $100 statement credit when I renewed that card last year (after asking Chase if there were any retention or special offers available on my account), that still meant paying $350 of the normal $450 annual fee. As it turns out, I haven't spent time in a United Club in more than12 months so while I appreciate some of the card's other perks and earning structure, it wasn't the most useful card in my wallet last year.

Closed United Club in Orlando in April 2021 (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Now that my renewal time for the card has returned once again, I've again reached out to Chase to see what offers may be available for my account as I'm on the fence about keeping the card. I truly do like the card, but truthfully, I'm not going out of my way to spend time in airline lounges again quite yet even though I have started to cautiously travel. (I'll also admit the United Quest Card with a 80,000-mile bonus offer is tempting me away from this current card a bit). The current United Quest Card offer is 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open.

However, a spending offer for that card landed in my inbox last night and caught my attention. It could tip the scales towards keeping or using the card more for some travelers.

(Screenshot courtesy of Chase)

With this new targeted offer, I can earn up to $30 in United TravelBank Cash each month from May - December 2021 via spending and transactions put on my United Club Card. Earning up to $240 in United credit this year is an eye-catching offer for someone who values United credit at almost the same rate as cash.

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Unfortunately, the details on this offer make it a bit less attractive than the headline would suggest.

Every month that I spend at least $300 on my United Club Card I get $1 in TravelBank Cash for each purchase made on the card, up to $30 in TravelBank Cash each month. The easy part is putting $300 or more on the card each month, the harder part for me would be maxing out with 30 individual transactions to earn the full $30 in monthly United credit.

Related: How to choose the best United Card for you

It can certainly be done (here are tips if you are looking for small transactions to charge), but it's probably not something I want to spend brain space on for months on end just chasing a max of $30 in credit each month. (I have heard of offers for $100 minimum spend and $10 max monthly credit.)

The TravelBank Cash earned is valid towards United or United Express flights until June 30, 2022. You can check to see if your United credit card such as the United Club Infinite Card or United Explorer Card is also targeted for one of these offers here.

Bottom line

Deciding to keep some airline credit cards that come with marquee benefits that have been rarely used in the last year is going to be a hard call. However, it's possible for card issuers to create spending incentives good enough to warrant keeping -- and using -- a card that's otherwise gathering dust. While the prospect of earning $240 in United credit in the rest of 2021 with a card already in my wallet is enticing, it's likely my actual earnings with this deal will be far lower since putting 30 transactions per month on this one card (given all the others in my wallet) isn't the most likely of outcomes.

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

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See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more