Earn up to 75,000 miles with these new, increased United credit card offers
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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new offers and card details.
With spring almost here and vaccines in various rollout stages across the U.S., a lot of people are looking ahead to when travel is really back on the table. If you’re hoping to rack up points or miles for a dream getaway later in 2021 or in 2022, now is a good time to start planning your earning strategy. As usual, one of the easiest ways to amass a large chunk of rewards is through credit card sign-up bonuses.
If you’re hoping to earn United miles, we have some good news for you: Chase and United are now offering increased sign-up bonuses across their lineup of cobranded credit cards. Let’s take a look at each offer.
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Sign-up bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
Annual fee: $525.
Earning rate: Earn 4x miles on United purchases, 2x on all other travel and dining purchases and 1x on everything else. (Now through March 31, 2021, many Chase cobranded travel cards are eligible to earn up to 5x at places like grocery stores, gas stations and drugstores, up to $1,500 in combined purchases — check to see if your card is eligible here.)
Is it worth it?
TPG currently values United miles at 1.3 cents each, making this bonus worth $975. Considering the previous sign-up bonus was “just” a waived annual fee the first year ($525 in value), this new bonus is almost twice as valuable.
The United Club Infinite Card is made for loyal United flyers who want access to United Club lounges when they travel — along with a few additional benefits that help upgrade the traveling experience.
Cardholders can enjoy United Club membership, including access for two guests or one adult and dependent children under the age of 21. It also offers the first and second checked bag free for the primary cardholder and one companion traveling on the same reservation on United-operated flights when the flights are purchased with the card, $100 TSA PreCheck/Global Entry application fee credit every four years, Premier Access travel services, expanded award availability and lower average award prices.
Related: United Club Infinite Card review
APPLY HERE: United Club Infinite Card
Sign-up bonus: Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open. Plus, an additional 25,000 bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first six months.
Annual fee: $95, waived the first year.
Earning rate: Earn 2x on United purchases, hotel stays and restaurants; 1x on everything else. (Now through March 31, 2021, many Chase cobranded travel cards are eligible to earn up to 5x at places like grocery stores, gas stations and drugstores, up to $1,500 in combined purchases — check to see if your card is eligible here.)
Is it worth it?
This offer essentially takes the previous sign-up bonus (40,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first three months) and adds a second tier. So if you’ll reasonably be able to spend $10,000 on the card in the first six months (an average of $1,667 per month), you could get a total of 65,000 bonus miles.
TPG values this full sign-up bonus at $845, which certainly isn’t bad for a card that has a waived annual fee in the first year.
Aside from the sign-up bonus, you’ll be able to earn 2x miles across more than just United flights (though if you have other cards, your return will likely be better on those cards for hotel stays or dining), and you’ll get a nice roundup of benefits: free checked bag, priority boarding, two one-time United Club passes each year, a 25% discount on inflight United purchases (which includes Wi-Fi, food and beverages), access to additional award space and less expensive award flights.
You can also earn up to 1,000 elite Premier Qualifying Points on the card with $24,000 in annual spending on the card (500 points for each of the first $12,000 in annual spending). With elite status requirements reduced for 2021, this mid-tier card could help you earn status without charging a steep annual fee.
Related: United Explorer Card review
APPLY HERE: United Explorer Card
Sign-up bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open.
Annual fee: $0.
Earning rate: Earn 3x miles on groceries (on up to $1,500 per month through September 2021); 2x on United purchases, gas, local transit and commuting; 1x on everything else.
Is it worth it?
The United Gateway Card is the entry-level card into the United MileagePlus program, charging no annual fee. However, it can still provide value to beginners. In addition to the solid rewards rate, you’ll get a 25% discount on inflight United purchases and have access to up to $6,000 in trip cancellation and interruption insurance (up to $1,500 per person) if your trip is canceled or cut short by covered reasons like sickness or injury.
If you’re someone who is planning on flying with United multiple times a year, you’ll likely get better value out of the other United card options. But for beginners looking for their first cobranded airline card, the United Gateway is a solid option. The new sign-up bonus is modest (clocking in at $260 in value according to TPG valuations) but comparable to other no-annual-fee cards.
APPLY HERE: United Gateway Card
Sign-up bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open.
Annual fee: $99, waived the first year.
Earning rate: Earn 2x on United purchases, local transit, commuting, restaurants, gas stations and office supply stores; 1x on everything else.
Is it worth it?
The sign-up bonus on the mid-tier business card option from United is on par with the United Club Infinite Card’s offer, but without the $525 annual fee. Though you are required to spend an extra $2,000 in the first three months to hit the bonus, most small businesses spend more than the average individual and would likely be able to hit that spending threshold without much issue.
Additionally, the United Business Card has a solid rewards structure that earns 2x across more than just United purchases. As with many cobranded cards, you have the potential for a better return with other small-business cards on categories such as office supply stores and restaurants.
But if you’re looking to rack up United miles on your business expenses, this card’s rewards structure is solid. Of course, you’re also getting benefits that mirror the United Explorer Card: free checked bag, priority boarding, 25% off inflight purchases, two one-time United Club passes each year and additional award space on United-operated flights — plus, you can earn an annual $100 United travel credit after seven United flight purchases of $100 or more.
And if you hold both the business card and a personal United card, you’ll receive 5,000 bonus miles each anniversary.
Related: United Business Card review
APPLY HERE: United Business Card
Planning ahead with United miles
United is a solid airline to bank miles with if you’re planning a stellar redemption later in 2021 or in 2022. It’s a 1:1 transfer partner with Chase, which can help you earn United miles across multiple credit cards. And the airline’s membership in the Star Alliance means you have even more options for redeeming miles across airlines including Lufthansa, Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines.
While United does have a dynamic award chart that can make it harder to score redemption deals on some awards, the airline does offer some solid benefits for loyal flyers. In the past couple of years, United has improved its award sales which can provide excellent redemption options sometimes starting at just a few thousand miles per ticket. And United does offer a few benefits such as the United Excursionist Perk and the fact that United doesn’t charge fuel surcharges on award tickets (which can easily save you hundreds).
Make sure to check out our guide to maximizing the United MileagePlus program in 2021. By taking advantage of low-cost domestic award tickets (such as Newark to Chicago for as low as 7,000 miles) and free stopovers with the Excursionist Perk, you can stretch the miles you earn with your credit cards to help you plan your post-pandemic trips.
Or, go big and start saving miles towards a fancy United Polaris business-class award.
With a generous and increased United sign-up bonus under your belt, you’ll be able to get closer to a future trip — even if travel isn’t yet on your immediate radar. But remember — since these cards are issued by Chase, they will be subject to the issuer’s 5/24 rule. If you have opened five or more accounts in the past 24 months, you will likely not be able to be approved for these cards.
Additional reporting by Benét J. Wilson.
Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
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