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

May 6, 2021

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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.

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.

Featured image courtesy of Zach Griff/The Points Guy

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

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.

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More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • 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 up to 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 in the U.S., 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 $80 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 PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • 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
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