Save Money on United Airlines With a United.com Club Membership

Apr 22, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard

Did you know United Airlines has a club that you can join to save money on flights — and membership costs just $25 per year? I’ve personally been a member for many years and my family has saved hundreds of dollars on airfare as a result.

In exchange for the annual membership fee, members of the United.com Club get a $5 flight credit deposited to their United TravelBank for every ticket purchased while logged in to their United MileagePlus accounts. This is especially great for families: A family of four that purchases four tickets while logged in to a United account with the United.com Club membership should earn $20 toward the purchase of a future United or United Express-operated flight.

Update: In a stroke of unfortunate timing, United announced that the United.com Club was ending shortly after this story was published. Those with an active membership will continue to earn credits through the end of their membership period, but new memberships are no longer available.

Earning United.com Club Travel Credit

I say “should” because for reasons I don’t understand, that doesn’t always happen. For example, I flew on a paid reservation with my two girls on a flight from Houston to Salt Lake City in January, and we only earned one $5 credit in my TravelBank. However, most of the time, we earn credit for each person on the reservation — and even though the membership is in my name, I don’t have to be flying in order for the credit to be awarded. I’ve booked tickets just for my husband from my United.com account and still received the $5 credit.

Fly United and earn United.com credits (image by Zach Honig / The Points Guy)
Fly United and earn United.com credits. (Image by Zach Honig / The Points Guy)

If you book your trip as two one-ways instead of one round-trip, theoretically you may be able to earn two credits, but be sure and weigh the pros and cons of doing that just to get an extra $5.

Despite a slight lapse in my membership, we still earned $130 in credits in the last year in exchange for my $25 membership fee.

Do note the system does not award $5 per ticket if you aren’t logged in and booking your flights via United.com. In my experience, award tickets are also no longer eligible for the $5 credit. However, if you purchase more than five paid tickets per year from United.com, then you can come out ahead by being a United.com Club member.

While you can’t earn the travel credit when booking MileagePlus award tickets, you can stack earning the $5 credit with using points by booking tickets via United.com but paying with a card such as the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard or Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. You then credit yourself back some of the charge by using the miles from those cards at a fixed value and you’ve stacked using points, earning miles and getting $5 credit per ticket.

Redeeming United.com Club Credits

The $5 credits you earn are deposited in your account within three to five business days after you fly the reservation and can be used toward purchased tickets on United or United Express on the final booking screen as noted below. You can only combine TravelBank credit with payment with a credit/debit card and not with any other sort of voucher or additional payment type. Sadly, you also cannot use TravelBank credits to pay the taxes and fees on award tickets. Your TravelBank credits will expire after 18 months of no activity, so you can’t sit on a balance forever.

I like to use my credits once they get up to around $40 to $50 as then it feels like a real savings on a ticket, rather than just using $5 here and there. You can pay a portion of a ticket with TravelBank credit and a portion with a credit card, which is probably smart to get some built-in travel protections.

Bottom Line

A United.com Club membership probably isn’t going to revolutionize the way you travel, but it may save you a little money on your United flights as long as you book your flights directly on United.com.

Featured image by Ryan Patterson / The Points Guy

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the 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.