FoundersCard members now get discounts on United flights

Feb 1, 2020

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FoundersCard offers a number of benefits to its members, ranging from hotel and car rental savings to discounts on physical products, from Dell laptops to Apple gear. While the membership is a bit pricey — you can sign up with our discounted $495 rate here — the benefits can easily make the program worthwhile for some.

As a United Premier 1K elite, the program’s latest partnership has really caught my eye. As of this year, members can get up to 6% off select flights booked directly through United.

All you need to do is link your MileagePlus account through FoundersCard’s dedicated page. I completed the process on Jan. 23, and my discount became active yesterday, Jan. 31.

I was skeptical at first — the language implies that I wouldn’t encounter a 6% discount every time I booked, and that is indeed the case. Once your account is linked, it’s easy to search, though — simply head to United.com (or the airline’s mobile app) and ensure the “business travel” box is checked.

Naturally, I decided to do some comparison shopping. My first search, for a one-way flight from Newark (EWR) to London (LHR), yielded fares that seemed in line with what I’d encountered in the past.

Searching again with the box unchecked confirmed that I was in fact seeing a discount, but it was far below the 6% cap. Economy was discounted by 3.8%, Premium Plus by 1.8% and Polaris business class by 1.7%. Note that my calculations are based on the “PQP” figure below, which represents the pre-tax amount.

I then searched a common domestic leisure route — Newark to Fort Lauderdale (FLL).

I didn’t find a 6% discount here, either — a measly $2 discount for economy, and $6 for first class.

On the hunt for that elusive maximum discount, I searched for one of the airline’s priciest domestic fares, a full-fare “J” ticket between Newark and San Francisco (SFO). That yielded a discounted price of $2,993 for a lie-flat transcon seat.

Meanwhile, the same ticket would have cost $3,183 without the discount, representing a discount of $176, equivalent to a savings of… 6%!

So, is it worth signing up for FoundersCard just for the “up to 6%” United discount? Unless you book a number of very expensive tickets each year, no, probably not.

Paired with the other benefits, though — Caesars Diamond status, hotel and car rental discounts, elite status challenges and more — it could easily make sense to shell out the $495.

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