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50k miles and United Club access for $450

by on Tue October 10, 2017 • No Comment
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If you regularly fly United, the United MileagePlus® Club Card from Chase could unlock a world of travel benefits. For a $450 annual fee, you receive United Club membership, 1.5 United MileagePlus miles per dollar of everyday spending, two miles per dollar for spending with United, as well as two free checked bags. New accounts can receive 50,000 United MileagePlus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days.

Is this a good deal?

The 50,000 miles offer with the United Club Card is an improvement from both the old sign-up bonus and the United MileagePlus Explorer card. Combined with United Club membership and Premier Access at the airport, the value adds up quickly for United regulars.

On the downside, the bonus is not the biggest we have recently seen. In the past, both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard offered 100,000 points for new accounts, but they may not return in the future. Currently, the Citi / AAdvantage Executive offers a 75,000 AAdvantage miles sign-up bonus.

if you’re a Premier level flier with United, you might be targeted for a deal that waives the $450 annual fee the first year, but that offer doesn’t include bonus miles to start.  Before applying, log in to your MileagePlus account to see the best offer available to you.

If you plan on flying United or their Star Alliance partners exclusively and have recently received a bonus from either the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, the 50,000 MileagePlus miles can help you get closer to your next trip. By converting Ultimate Rewards points to United MileagePlus miles, first class or business class awards may be well within reach.

However, this deal is not available to everyone. If you closed a United Club Card within the last two years, or were approved for five credit cards in the last 24 months, you may not qualify for this deal.

How much do United awards cost?

United is one of two U.S. airlines that offers a set award chart. MileagePlus offers two levels of award tickets: Saver awards and Standard awards.

Saver tickets come at the biggest discount, and are only available on certain routes. If you book early or are flexible in your plans, MileagePlus Saver awards are easier to find, making your miles even more valuable. Check out the United Saver award chard below – all prices are for one-way awards, so multiply by two to get the round trip mileage price per ticket.

EconomyBusiness - United flightsBusiness - partner flights
U.S. Mainland, Canada, Alaska12,50025,00025,000
Hawaii22,50040,00040,000
Mexico17,50030,00030,000
Central America17,50030,00030,000
Caribbean17,50030,00030,000
Northern South America20,00035,00035,000
Southern South America30,00055,00055,000
Europe30,00057,50070,000
Northern Africa40,00070,00080,000
Central / Southern Africa40,00070,00080,000
Middle East42,50070,00080,000
Central Asia42,50070,00080,000
South Asia40,00070,00080,000
North Asia35,00070,00080,000
Japan35,00065,00075,000
Oceania35,00065,00075,000
Australia / New Zealand40,00070,00080,000

While saver awards are commonly found in domestic economy, there are some situations where getting an award flight may be difficult, including:

  • United Business Class International Flights – unless you are flying United Polaris, paying more to fly on a Star Alliance partner may be a better use of miles.
  • Peak travel times to premier destinations, including domestic travel on holiday weekends or to popular seasonal destinations.

What can you do with United miles?

Thanks to the reach of Star Alliance, MileagePlus miles can help you see the world at a discount. Some of our favorite uses of United miles include:

Business Class from the United States to Europe on Star Alliance partners for 70,000 miles one-way

london-city-street

You can use MileagePlus miles for business class travel to Europe aboard many high-end carriers, including Lufthansa, SAS, and Turkish Airways.

Singapore Airlines Suites for 130,000 MileagePlus miles one way

singapore-airlines-suites

Considered one of the best first class experiences in the world, Singapore Airlines’ Suites are accessible with MileagePlus miles. Comparatively, two people can fly in United Polaris business class to Hong Kong for 10,000 more miles.

Two round trip Saver economy tickets within continental North America

san-francisco-cityscape

Priced at 12,500 miles one way, the bonus from this card alone can get you two trips with United across North America, including Alaska and Canada.

Questions and Answers

What are the card benefits?

As the name suggests, the card comes with United Club membership, giving access to United lounges regardless of what airline you are flying, and participating Star Alliance carrier lounges when flying with them. Membership allows unlimited visits to United Club lounges for you and certain travel companions, including a friend, spouse, children, or business partners.

This card also offers more points when you spend. The United Club Card earns 1.5 miles for every dollar spent, and two miles when using the card for United purchases. There are no international transaction fees for using this card abroad.

Additionally, holding the card can give you status at the airport and on the ground. When flying United, cardholders get Premier Access at the airport, including priority check-in, dedicated security lanes at select airports, priority luggage handling, and early boarding. You also receive Discoverist status in the World of Hyatt program and President’s Circle elite status with Hertz.

Can you get this offer if you had the card before?

Maybe: If you do you not currently have the United Club card, or canceled your United Club card more than two years ago, then you may qualify for this bonus.

Getting bonus points from other Chase cards, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred, will not stop you from getting this bonus. Because they are two different credit cards, you could still qualify for the United Club bonus. But if you have opened five Chase cards in the past two years, your odds of getting approved for this card are very low.

Is there a business version of this card?

Yes: there is a business version of this card, the United MileagePlus® Club Business card, which offers the same benefits as the personal version. However, instead of offering a points sign-up bonus, this card offers a one-time $100 statement credit after the first purchase.

Can you combine the miles with Chase Ultimate Rewards points?

Not exactly: while United MileagePlus miles cannot be converted into Ultimate Rewards, MileagePlus is a transfer partner for points earned on Sapphire cards. Ultimate Rewards convert to MileagePlus miles at a 1:1 ratio, allowing you to earn miles from two different cards.

Can a couple get two cards?

Yes: couples can each apply for their own individual card and each potentially qualify for the 50,000 points bonus. The miles will be deposited into your respective MileagePlus accounts.

Because United Club membership allows you to bring a travel companion into the lounge, it may not make sense to each get a card unless you qualify for the first year fee waiver. In addition, United charges a fee to transfer miles from one account to another, which could add cost to an award ticket.

As an alternative, consider applying for one United Club card and one Chase Sapphire card. Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to your MileagePlus account or that of a authorized user, and award tickets can be booked for anyone, including your significant other.

Will the miles go in my existing account?

Yes: if you are already a United MileagePlus member, your points will go into your account. Be sure to use your account number on the application form. If you do not have a MileagePlus account, one will be opened for you when you are approved for the card.

Will you get free checked luggage on a ticket you already purchased?

No: if you already have travel booked on United, the two free checked bag benefit may not apply to your itinerary. To get the two free checked bags benefit, you must pay for your flight with the United Club card and use your MileagePlus number during booking.

What travel protections come with the card?

When you pay for your trip using your United Club Card, you may qualify for these benefits:

  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption: If you are forced to cancel a trip or return early due to illness, weather or other covered situations, this card can reimburse you for select non-refundable travel expenses up to $10,000.
  • Trip Delay: If your carrier delays your trip by six hours or overnight, you and your family can be reimbursed for up to $500 of incidental expenses, including meals and hotel rooms.
  • Baggage Loss: If your luggage is lost by a common carrier, you may be reimbursed for the value of your bags and their contents, up to $3,000.
  • Baggage Delay: When your luggage is delayed over six hours at your destination, you could qualify for purchase coverage of up to $100 per day.
  • Primary Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: When you use the card to pay for your rental car and refuse the car rental accident insurance, this card can offer primary coverage for accidental collision or theft damages, up to the actual cash value of the vehicle.

Who benefits most from the United Club Card?

If you regularly fly United but do not have lounge access, or your home airport has a United Club, holding the United Club Card is cheaper than paying for lounge membership. While the card only offers a half-point bonus on spending over the United MileagePlus Explorer card, priority treatment and early access to overhead bin space could make up for it.

Additionally, this card is also good if you regularly fly with United or other Star Alliance carriers, but don’t have a high enough status to regularly access lounges. Because United Club membership is honored at participating Star Alliance partner lounges, holding this card can be key to a quiet airport space.

Are there other alternatives?

If United is not your first choice of airlines, then it may not be in your best interest to get the United Club Card. For the same $450 annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a similar sign up bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points, as well as membership in the PriorityPass lounge program. Use our calculator to see how the value adds up for your spending.

Another airline-based alternative is the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard, which offers membership to the American Admiral’s Lounge. While the card comes with benefits from American and MasterCard, the 75,000 AAdvantage mile bonus comes with a higher minimum spend in the first three months.

 

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MileCards.com

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95

Annual Fee

Yes

Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes - transfer to United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Marriott Rewards, and more

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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