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Sneak preview: United Mileage Plus Club Card – 1.5 miles per dollar + no close in award fees

by on Sat June 9, 2012 • 20 Comments

United Mileage Plus Club credit cardChase has been teasing the new United Mileage Plus Club Card with images of it throughout United Clubs and on the website. This card is the replacement for the well liked Presidential Plus credit card from Continental that is now no longer open for applications.

We did some digging with Chase reps and found out details on what the credit card may have in store when it launches…keep in mind this is all subject to change before the card is formally opened for applications…

(UPDATE- The card is now officially launched. There is now an application link here, confirming most of these features Read our full review here, including a calculator to help you find out if the card is worth it.)

  • $395 annual fee
  • 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all purchases
  • 2 miles per dollar spent on United purchases
  • Full United Club access
  • First two bags free for you and one companion
  • A metal smart chip embedded in the card for easier foreign transactions (this will not be available at launch, but apparently is being prepared for inclusion in the future. you will be able to request a replacement card when it is available. it will likely be chip and signature technology like the British Airways Visa)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Premier Access privileges for priority boarding, security, and check-in. You board in Group 4 with Premier Silver members.
  • Waiver of close in award booking fees (these are up to $75 when you try to book an award ticket within 21 days of departure)
  • Premier upgrades on award tickets
  • Award miles don’t expire
  • 2 for 1 business class tickets (click here to see how it works)
  • Avis First membership — space available upgrade on car rentals
  • Hyatt Platinum status — free wifi, 2pm late checkout, preferred rooms
  • Luxury hotel collection benefits — same as before with Presidential Plus and United Explorer

Click here for a preliminary application link. It lists a $95 statement credit as the intro offer.

No word yet on what the eventual signup bonus mile offer will be, or who is eligible to receive it. We also heard that existing United Club members will get their membership fee refunded on a prorated basis if they pick up this card as is typical.

And Premier 1Ks are still eligible for an annual $60 credit against the annual fee of a Chase United credit card.

What’s different from the old Continental Presidential Plus credit card?

Nearly identical, except for these areas…

  • Dropped: ability to earn elite / Premier qualifying miles
  • Added: 1.5 miles per dollar earned on all purchases
  • Added: no close in booking fees for award tickets

What about existing cards that earn elite qualifying miles?

There are now no longer any United credit cards available to new applicants that offer earning of elite / Premier qualifying miles. So if you have a United credit card that offers this (the old Presidential Plus or the United Select Visa) keep that in mind before considering upgrading to this card. That will get a mixed reaction from the ranks of elite flyers — some who will applaud fewer folks earning status and competing for upgrades via credit card spending rather than flying — others will lament the lack of an easy way to ‘top off’ miles flown to get to the next elite status level.

Remember — you can keep your existing United / Continental credit card with all of its old benefits as long as you’d like. See for details.

How much is that 1.5 mile per dollar bonus worth?

Consider this –the base United Explorer credit card earns a 10,000 mile bonus when you spend $25,000 in a year. So if you spend right around that amount you’ll earn about 1.4 miles per dollar spent on the card. If you spend less, you only get 1 mile per dollar. Spend more, and the earn rate gradually decreases.

The premium Mileage Plus Club Card gets you at least 1.5 miles per dollar on all spending.

So if you’re a big $70,000+ per year spender the 1.5 mile per dollar bonus can be a meaningful difference (earn 105,000+ miles per year vs 80,000 miles with the base United Explorer).

The following two tabs change content below.

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, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived


Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

Still confused? Have a question?

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20 thoughts on Sneak preview: United Mileage Plus Club Card – 1.5 miles per dollar + no close in award fees

  1. Chris Baron

    My spouses boarding group is usually 1 or 2 and she was bumped to 5 today. We pay the additional fee on the Presidential Card for this benefit. Who do I contact to make sure this is not an issue going forward?


      @Chris – Was she in the exact same reservation as you? If she’s not it wouldn’t apply. You need to book together to get it on all the boarding passes – not just be on the same flight on a different ticket. Otherwise worth calling the number on the back of your card.

  2. Paul

    I read on another site that the card gives you gate access if you go to the check in counter and present the car – they would give you a gate pass. Has anyone heard/tried?

  3. Alec

    Sorry to see them drop the elite mileage benefit…this is a really big deal. Glad I got a Presidential Plus card right before the card was discontinued… I thought something like this might happen.

  4. Lee

    If I was thinking about switching from the old CO Presidential Plus to this, how difficult would it be? Can it be done as a product change, or would it require a whole new application?

    1. MileCards

      @Lee – You can ask to switch the benefit features to match the Club Card without needing a new application, just a product change.

      1. Lee

        If I’ve only had my card for 2 months can I still PC? I know the CARD act has some restrictions on PCs within the first 12 months.

        1. MileCards

          @Lee – I think if it’s a Presidential Plus you should still be fine to switch over — they keep your account number the same since the CARD related fees, etc are the same. However if it’s an Explorer card which doesn’t have the same fee structure then you would have to apply separately for a new card.

          1. Lee

            I currently have the Presidential Plus, not the Explorer.

            The other concern I had is that the old CO Presidential Plus was a World Elite Mastercard. It appears that the new United MP Club Card is a Visa Signature.

            Can they PC directly from MC to Visa?

      1. Elaine

        I have UK credit cards, and it does not look like chip-and-pin on the United card. On the back of the United card, it has a silver rectangular holographic image of a bird. Not quite the same…

        1. MileCards

          @Elaine – You’re right, that is not a chip and PIN, just the standard security feature they use on cards.

  5. John

    This leaves out one key point…WHEN? I am looking to switch to MileagePlus and need to book an international flight by the end this week…the wait is killing me.

    1. MileCards

      @John – It’s open for applications now. But catch is it will be a few weeks after approval before you are sent the United Club membership card, and you’ll need that to get into the overseas lounges.

  6. Bob Zavrick

    Question: is this chip and PIN, or chip and signature? It makes a difference; I’ve run into businesses in Europe and China that would only allow chip and PIN.


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