Credit card showdown: United Business Card vs. the United Club Business Card

Feb 17, 2020

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United offers some of the best airline credit cards currently available. Even better, Chase and United recently raised the welcome bonuses on several United credit cards and launched the all-new United Business Card to boot.

Along with the existing United Club Business Card, the new business credit card is offering applicants 100,000 bonus miles as part of its introductory package. So if you’ve been holding off on applying for a United credit card, now might just be the time to rake in thousands of bonus miles and score some great benefits along the way.

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

Assuming you want one or the other, the question then becomes, which of these cards is right for you? Today we’ll try to answer that very query.

In This Post

Let’s take a look at both cards’ benefits and then take a deeper dive into each one. Here’s a snapshot of the two products and how they stack up.

Card details United Business Card United Club Business Card
Sign-up bonus 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $10K in the first three months 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $10K in the first three months
Annual fee $99 $450
Earning 2x on United

2x at restaurants

2x at gas stations

2x at office supply stores

2x on local transit and commuting

1x everywhere else

2x on United

1.5x on everything else

United benefits 1 free checked bag

Priority boarding

2 United Club passes annually

Expanded award availability

Premier upgrades on award tickets

5,000 anniversary miles

$100 annual travel credit after you make seven or more $100 United purchases

2 free checked bags

Premier Access

Priority boarding

United Club access

Expanded award availability

Premier upgrades on award tickets

Other benefits Primary rental car insurance

Trip delay, cancellation

Baggage delay, loss

Purchase protection

No foreign transaction fees

Primary rental car insurance

Trip delay, cancellation

Baggage delay, loss

Purchase protection

No foreign transaction fees

Hertz elite status

Now for the details.

Sign-up bonus

(Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)
(Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)

Now through April 2, 2020, the two cards are fielding similar, limited-time welcome offers: 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $10,000 on purchases with your card in the first three months.

While 100,000 United miles won’t take you as far as they used to, they’re still worth around $1,300 by our most recent valuations. That number of miles should also be enough for several domestic economy award tickets, or more than adequate for a one-way award ticket in a premium cabin on United or its partners.

Related reading: How to unlock additional award availability with United credit cards

Annual fee

The new United Business Card charges an annual fee of $99, which is not waived for the first year. Because it is a more premium product that offers access to United Clubs, the United Club Business Card has an annual fee of $450, which is also not waived.

Earning

This is another major point of difference. The United Business Card earns bonus points on several different categories. It accrues 2x on United purchases, at gas stations, restaurants and office supply stores, as well as on local transit and commuting — including mass transit systems, tolls, taxis and ride-share services.

Alexander Spatari/Getty Images
The United Business Card earns bonus points at a lot of places, including restaurants. (Alexander Spatari/Getty Images)

By contrast, the United Club Business Card earns 2x miles per dollar only on United purchases and has no additional bonus categories. However, it does earn a flat 1.5x miles on all other purchases.

If you tend to make a lot of purchases at the specific types of merchants where the United Business Card accrues 2x miles, then that card’s earning rates could really help you rack up the miles for free flights quickly. However, if your purchase activity covers a more diverse range of categories, or you just don’t want the hassle of remembering to only use your United cobranded card at particular merchants, then the United Club Business Card’s simpler earning formula might be a better fit.

United benefits

Both cards offer an impressive array of perks that save cardholders time and money when traveling on United.

United Club LGA Terminal B
Both cards include day-of-travel perks like priority boarding. (Photo by Brendan Dorsey / The Points Guy)

Folks with the United Club Business Card get a first and second checked bag for free for themselves and a companion on the same reservation purchased using the card. This equates to up to $280 in value for a round-trip itinerary. Cardmembers can use the airline’s Premier Access services including designated check-in and security lines as well as priority boarding and baggage handling. They also receive a 25% refund on inflight purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi. Like other United credit cardholders, those with this one also have access to expanded award availability that can save them tens of thousands of miles per year, depending on their redemption strategy.

Finally, and most importantly, carrying the United Club Business Card confers United Club membership. That means you can access the carrier’s airport lounges (not Polaris Club locations, though) and some Star Alliance lounges along with up to two guests (or an adult and any children) when flying United and its partners. This perk alone is worth between $550-$650 per year depending on your Premier status level, and is probably the single most significant reason to get this card instead of one of United’s other products.

Related reading: The ultimate guide to United Club access

(Photo by Zach Griff / The Points Guy)
The United Club Business Card will get you into a lot of the airline’s lounges. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

For its part, the United Business Card includes a first checked bag free for cardholders and up to one companion on United flights (worth up to $120 round-trip) when paying for tickets, or taxes and fees on awards, with the card. Cardholders can also enjoy priority boarding, the 25% inflight purchase discount, and receive two one-time United Club passes each account anniversary.

The United Business Card also offers two interesting new perks. First, if you have the United Business Card as well as a personal United credit card such as the United Explorer Card or the United Club Infinite Card, you automatically receive 5,000 anniversary bonus miles each account year. Second, if you use your card to make seven or more eligible United purchase of at least $100 each in an account year, you will receive a $100 statement credit. Eligible purchases include seat upgrades, Economy Plus seats, in-flight food, beverages and Wi-Fi, baggage charges or other United fees.

Finally, both cards can help you with a modest boost toward Premier elite status under United’s new program. For every $12,000 you spend on purchases per calendar year, you earn 500 Premier Qualifying Points, up to a total of 1,000 PQPs per year. If you do have Premier status, carrying either card will also get you a shot at upgrades on award tickets.

Both cards get you a shot at Premier upgrades on award tickets. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Other benefits

Both cards offer perks beyond day-of-travel enhancements on United. Neither levies foreign transaction fees, and both extend primary rental car insurance when booking for business purposes. They also both offer travel accident insurance up to $500,000 and include purchase protection for new items up to 120 days out against damage or theft at up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.

The United Business Card’s trip cancellation and interruption coverage is capped at $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip. Its trip delay protection kicks in at 12 hours and will reimburse you up to $500 per ticket for things like overnight accommodation and meals. Cardholders can claim up to $100 per day for up to three days for delayed bags, and up to $3,000 for lost bags.

The protections offered by the United Club Business Card are slightly better. Its lost and delayed luggage coverage is the same, but its trip delay benefit kicks in at six hours rather than 12. Its trip interruption and cancellation insurance will also reimburse you for non-refundable expenses up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip.

Both cards will get you access to bookings through Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection with value-added benefits like late check-out and on-property statement credits. However, only the United Club Business Card also confers Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President’s Circle status.

Which card should you carry?

The choice between these two cards, both of which are very strong options, comes down to which card’s benefits you will utilize more, which one will help you earn the most miles, and which annual fee makes the most sense for your needs and finances.

If your work purchases tend to be in the bonus categories offered by the United Business Card, then its double earning rate can help you rake in the miles. However, if you tend to make more general purchases and don’t want the hassle of remembering to use your card at specific merchants, then the United Club Business Card might be the better choice.

The United Business Card is also a solid choice for folks who spend regularly on United and can earn its $100 annual statement credit, which makes up for its $99 annual fee. The 5,000 bonus miles on your account anniversary each year just sweetens the deal slightly if you have one of the airline’s personal credit cards.

On the other hand, if you regularly travel with others but do not have Premier status, the United Club Business Card’s benefits might be a better fit. Not only will it get you Premier Access to expedited services at the airport, but you can check more bags for free by carrying it and enjoy the privileges of United Club membership to boot. Its travel protections are also more comprehensive.

For more information, you can read our United Business Card Review and the 9 Best Credit Cards for Flying United.

Featured photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy.

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Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

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