United Airlines and Chase issue several co-branded credit cards. At the moment there are increased welcome bonuses on two of the popular personal credit cards.
I recently reviewed the United℠ Explorer Card. In this post wanted to take a closer look at the United Club℠ Infinite Card, which is the most premium personal card issued with this partnership.
United Club Infinite Card Basics For August 2020
The United Club Infinite Card provides lounge access, solid bonus categories, and useful perks when flying United. Chances are that if you’re the occasional United flyer then this card isn’t for you, while it could absolutely be worth it if you fly with the airline often.
With the United Club Infinite Card you’ll earn 100,000 bonus MileagePlus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. This limited time bonus is available through September 30, 2020.
This is a truly massive welcome bonus – I value MileagePlus miles at ~1.4 cents each, so to me this is worth ~$1,400.
Redeem MileagePlus miles on Star Alliance partner airlines
Who Is Eligible For The United Club Infinite Card?
The sign-up bonus on the United Club Infinite Card isn’t available to those who currently have any United Club Card, or those who have received a new cardmember bonus on a United Club Card in the past 24 months. However, you are eligible for this card if you have (or have had) another United Airlines credit card, including the United Explorer Card.
There are also the general restrictions when applying for Chase cards, including the 5/24 rule.
The United Club Infinite Card has a $525 annual fee, and it’s not waived for the first year. This annual fee is no doubt on the steep side, though it’s in line with many premium credit cards. The card also offers some perks for frequent flyers that will more than justify the fee.
Earning Miles With The United Club Infinite Card
The United Club Infinite Card offers anywhere from 1-4x MileagePlus miles per dollar spent, as follows:
- 4x MileagePlus miles for United purchases
- 2x MileagePlus miles on all other travel purchases
- 2x MileagePlus miles for dining at restaurants and eligible food delivery services, including Caviar, DoorDash, GrubHub, and Seamless
- 1x MileagePlus miles for all other eligible purchases
While there are potentially better cards for airline ticket purchases and dining purchases, those are still some solid categories for an airline co-branded credit card.
The United Club Infinite Card also has no foreign transaction fees, making it a solid option for purchases abroad.
Earn 4x MileagePlus miles for United purchases
United Club Infinite Card Perks
The area where the United Club Infinite Card really shines is when it comes to perks. The value you get from these perks is what should determine if this card makes sense for you or not. Let’s take a closer look at what perks are offered by the card.
Arguably the key benefit of the United Club Infinite Card is that it comes with a United Club membership for as long as you have the card. This offers access to United Clubs and participating Star Alliance affiliated lounges.
A co-branded credit card is one of the best ways to get United Club access, especially when you consider that outright buying a membership would ordinarily cost $550-650 per year.
Here you save $25-125 compared to that price, and you get all kinds of other perks with the card.
Get a United Club membership with the United Club Infinite Card
The United Club Infinite Card primary cardmember and one companion traveling on the same reservation receive a free first and second checked bag. In order to be eligible for this, you have to pay for your ticket with your United Airlines credit card.
This is a valid of up to $320 per roundtrip ticket (assuming two people are checking two bags roundtrip.
Just for having the United Club Infinite Card, the primary cardmember receives Premier Access travel services when flying with United, including use of Premier Access check-in lines, priority security lanes, priority boarding, and priority baggage handling.
Get priority boarding with the United Club Infinite Card
If you have the United Club Infinite Card you receive 25% back in the form of an account statement credit on purchases of food, beverages, and wifi, onboard United. You have to pay with your United Club Infinite Card Card, and your statement credit should post within 24 hours.
MileagePlus Premier members receive complimentary upgrades in most domestic markets when booking a revenue ticket. If you have the United Club Infinite Card, you can also receive your Premier upgrades when redeeming miles for tickets.
This is subject to availability as usual, and only applies to the primary cardmember, and not any companions.
Premier members can receive upgrades on select award tickets
If you have the United Club Infinite Card you get access to additional MileagePlus award availability for travel on United. This doesn’t give you access to additional saver level award availability, but rather applies to United’s higher priced awards that can get you last seat availability on a flight.
Get access to more award seats with the United Club Infinite Card
The United Club Infinite Card offers a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit every four years. Simply charge the $85-100 enrollment fee to your card, and it will automatically be reimbursed.
Nowadays quite a few credit cards offer these fee credits, so you can always use this benefit for a friend or family member. They just have to use your credit card to pay, and you’ll automatically receive the statement credit.
Having the United Club Infinite Card gets you access to The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection (LHRC). This offers additional privileges on hotel bookings when using lhrcollection.com.
While this could come in handy, I wouldn’t get too excited about this perk, given that programs like Virtuoso offer similar benefits, and don’t require having a specific credit card.
Receive additional perks at some hotels
Should You Get The United Club Infinite Card?
The United Club Infinite Card offers some great perks for travel on United, so if that’s something you care about, this card is worth considering:
- For non-MileagePlus Premier members, having the United Club Infinite Card gets you a first and second checked bag free, Premier Access travel services, United Club access, expanded award availability, inflight savings, and more
- For MileagePlus Premier members, having the United Club Infinite Card gets you United Club access, upgrades on award tickets, expanded award availability, inflight savings, and more
Admittedly this is a time where many people are traveling less, so these perks might not be as valuable as they’ve been in the past. That being said, the card is offering a welcome bonus of 100,000 MileagePlus miles, and that can offer huge value. If you are eligible for the card, that could be a reason to pick it up now.
100,000 MileagePlus miles can get you a lot of travel
The United Explorer Card currently has a welcome bonus of 60,000 MileagePlus miles, and has a $95 annual fee that’s waived for the first year. Who should be considering that card over the United Club Infinite Card?
I’d say the United Explorer Card will have more mass appeal, as the card offers most of the basic benefits people will value when flying United, like a first checked bag free, 25% savings on inflight purchases, two United Club passes annually, and more.
The deciding factor between the two cards should come down to whether you value a United Club membership or not. If it’s something you would otherwise pay for, then you should absolutely get the United Club Infinite Card. If it’s not something you would pay for, I think the United Explorer Card is the better option.
Read a full review of the United Explorer Card.
United Club access is the biggest point of differentiation between the cards
At the moment the United Club Infinite Card is offering its best-ever bonus of 100,000 MileagePlus miles upon completing minimum spending. While this might not be the time where most people get value out of these perks, the excellent bonus does make this a reason to consider the card now.
If you’re just looking for more basic perks when traveling on United, consider the United Explorer Card, with its 60,000 mile bonus, and $95 annual fee waived for the first year.
If you want to learn more about the United Club Infinite Card or apply, follow this link.