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What happened to the United Select Visa credit card?

by on Mon August 8, 2011 • 41 Comments

United Select Visa

The zombie United Select Visa

People who hold the United select Visa are most likely to be concerned as it offers bonus points on select spending categories no longer offered by the new United Mileage Plus Explorer. The good news is they shouldn’t be as Chase says all prior United credit card accounts will be able to retain their benefits even as the cards are no longer open to new applicants.

The Select offers 3x points on United purchases, 2x points on dining, gas, groceries, and home improvement, and 2x points on Star Alliance member airline purchases. It also offers 1 elite qualifying mile for every dollar you spend on United travel with the card, up to 5,000 EQMs per card (up to 10,000 per year if you have secondary cardholders feeding into your account). The new United Explorer Visa doesn’t offer elite miles or bonuses on dining and groceries — just 2x miles on United purchases.

What the Select lacks are baggage fee waivers and priority boarding offered by the new United Mileage Plus Explorer. If you’re an elite flyer, you already get these benefits so you’re probably better off just sticking with your United Select Visa.

New applicant, looking for higher earning?

Since you can’t apply for the United Select Visa anymore, you may ask — what replicates its bonus miles in dining and airline spending categories?

Well, perhaps unintentionally, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card does. It offers 2x points on dining purchases as well as all travel purchases. You can get 3x if you choose to use the ‘Ultimate Rewards’ online travel booking tool. You just miss out on the elite qualifying miles.

Why does this relate to United?

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card lets you instantly transfer points 1:1 into United / Continental miles.  It also adds the benefits of:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • A nice introductory point bonus
  • Transfer points 1:1 to British Airways, Korean Airlines, Hyatt, Marriott, and IHG Rewards in addition to United / Continental

So for people who missed out on the United Select Visa this is a good alternative that replicates most of the benefits.

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 the first year, then $95

Annual Fee


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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41 thoughts on What happened to the United Select Visa credit card?

  1. Shirley

    I have a United MileagePlus Select Visa Card. Will I incur foreign transaction fees when using my card in Canada?


      @Shirley – Best to call the number on the back of your card, but our understanding is it does not have a waiver of foreign transaction fees. In that case you would incur them.

  2. Richard Dodson

    I have the united chase mileageplus select card. I recently booked a domestic flight and it does not give me first bag free? All the language of original agreement with this card says on free bad so how can they change that? Also I just booked a rental car in Europe. Do I get insurance coverage for that or is this benefit vanished as well?n


      @Richard Dodson: To answer your questions in order:
      -If you have the original United MileagePlus® Select Card, the free checked bag waiver was not a benefit of that card. However, if you have the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card and paid for your itinerary with that card, you would receive one checked bag free.
      -If you booked your rental car in Europe with the original United MileagePlus® Select Card, you should contact Chase to determine if the Collision Damage Waiver applies to your situation.

  3. karen

    My husband has a united select card and I have a united explorer card. if we are buying tickets on a star alliance carrier, which is the better card to use.? I know the explorer card there is no transaction fee but with the select card would he earn triple points on a star alliance carrier or is it only on UNITED products? I hate to pay the foreign transaction fee but if we earn triple points it might be worth it.
    Thank you!


      @Karen – It’s triple points on United and double points on Star for the Select. You won’t pay a foreign fee if the ticket is in US dollars, but if it’s not the foreign fee is not worth the extra point per dollar.

  4. Speer

    if I have a united explorer business card and a Sapphire preferred card can I combine the miles from both toward a flight.

  5. aj sarma

    Hi! Does the chase mileage plus select still give you the option of buying PQMs at the end of the year for points? I remember it being 10,000 spend points for 1,000 PQM. Can you advise if there are any other cards that allow buying United PQMs?


      @aj – Unfortunately you can’t buy them with your spend points anymore. But you can earn up to 5,000 PQMs for purchases you make on with the Select card. Every $1 you spend gets you 1 PQM.


      @Donald – Call the number on the back of your card to check your specific account, but our understanding is it does not waive them.

  6. Sam

    I have been using the select card for the past 18 years. However, due to the change in our travel pattern, I would like to get hold of the Presidential Plus Club Card if possible. Would the chase branch allow me to switch over to the Presidential Plus Card? Or that will be a solid no. I also had Club card in the past but had to let it go since I was a United 1K member. Presidential Plus card’s higher eqm earnings is very attractive and would love to get hold of the card. Would you have any advice for me?


      @Sam – To be clear the Presidential Plus won’t help earning 1K – it can only help up to Platinum. Your only option is to call Chase on the number on the back of your card and see if it’s possible. And they may require you to convert your Select, which would lose the 5,000 EQM option for purchases.

  7. Brandt

    I also have the mileage plus select. Do they still offer the gold or elite status if you reach that qualifying level to earn that card?

  8. John Fong

    I have a mileage plus select visa card from Chase. If I close this card and open a new explorer card, can the mileage awards points be transferred to the new explorer card.

  9. Christine

    I have the United MP Select card. I booked travel abroad for my family with miles. Does this card have trip insurance and does it cover the trip if purchased with miles? Also, what exactly is covered with the trip insurance? Where can I find the details.

    Finally, if I were to apply for the explorer card (interested in free checked bags) is that for just the card holder or for all travelers whose tickets were purchased with this card. If travel is purchased with miles, (using same card or my select card) does this perk still apply?


      @Christine – Unfortunately the Select doesn’t have trip cancellation or delay coverage. The Explorer Card does though.

      For the Explorer’s free bags, only the cardholder and one companion on the same ticket as the cardholder gets a free bag. But yes it does apply if purchased with miles as long as you use the card to pay for the taxes or fees associated with the ticket.

  10. Erik Kiehle

    I have the old (no longer available) Mileage Plus Select Visa. It’s a great card for the bonus categories.

    This month, June 2015, I received new cards in the mail with an EMV chip. While I haven’t tested it yet it most likely follows the other Chase United cards and has CMV (Card Verification Method) with
    #1 priority being “Chip + Signature”
    #2 priority being “No CVM Required”

    So it should work fine in the USA where nearly all terminals allow signatures. Overseas I’ll try it on the Paris kiosks when we’re there later this month. It *should* work with the #2 priority, but whenever a signature capable card reader is unavailable the remaining options are set by the terminal. So depending on how the chip reading terminal is set up it may or may not honor the “No CVM”. This apparently can be confusing to Europeans who always enter a PIN. At an unattended terminal without signature capability this card may just spit complete the transaction and give the tickets. To any Europeans this is weird and strange (and makes your card usable for anyone who might steal it or try to use it if lost). There’s certainly a Dollar limit cutoff where Chase would deny the transaction and cardholders aren’t held liable for unauthorized use anyway.

    Still, if you lose your card, do contact Chase to get it cancelled and get a replacement issued.

    The USA is ass-backwards when it comes to EVM chip security. For overseas use there are MUCH better cards which offer actual PIN security and zero foreign transaction fees.

    Still, it’s a great card for daily USA use and now that it has a chip it should be useable abroad in many cases (remember it has a 3% foreign transaction fee).

  11. Dawn

    I have the mileage plus Select card which I intend to keep. However I am looking to add another card to avoid foreign transaction fees and have baggage fees waived. I like the idea of the chip and added security of the Sapphire card, but I’m leaning toward the Explorer card as I’m not familiar with the Ultimate Rewards program attached to the Sapphire… Any thoughts? Also, do these cards carry car rental collision insurance like my Select card? Thanks for your help!


      @Dawn – The Explorer is also available with a chip if that’s helpful.

      As for that vs the Sapphire…

      If you like MileagePlus and check bags more than a few times a year, then it’s a no brainer to get the Explorer.

      You’re probably going to want to stick to using the Select card for most of your spending though because of the bonuses on dining, grocery, and gas spending.

      As for car rental coverage, both the Explorer and Sapphire offer primary rental coverage, so they’re a bit better than the Select on that front.

    2. Mark


      I have the Select card and just got my wife the Sapphire card. What is great about the Sapphire card is the 45k bonus miles for sign up (40 + 5k for adding a secondary card) once you meet the spending limits.

      Also, all point on Sapphire can be transferred to you or your spouses mileage account. There is NO charge for these transfers. So if you wanted to transfer 45k miles to your United account, you could do so at no charge or fee. They have many other partners too (Marriott, Hyatt, Korean Air, Virgin America, etc).

      If you have other Ultimate Rewards Cards (like Chase Freedom) you can even combine your points which is great when one card has promo perks for purchases.

      Finally their own travel site provides great deals if you wanted to keep your miles there. Basically look at it like this, 1.25 to every dollar. Meaning 500 dollars gets you 625 dollars to spend on their travel site.

      I AM NEVER relinquishing my Select card…I love it. This card, however, is a great piggy back. I would recommend.

  12. Virginia

    Is it worth it to get the United Select Visa just to get the double points for groceries and gas? Is it not available anymore? We already have the old United Mileage Plus card, which gives a free companion ticket, a Sapphire card that gives the 2x dining bonuses, which is primarily why we got the card. We also have a Marriott card that takes care of foreign transaction fees. My husband is a global services member so we already get free bags and priority check in. I was wondering if it would be better to cancel the Sapphire and apply for the Select so I also get points on groceries and gas.


      @Virginia – Unfortunately the Select is no longer offered. Wish it was. Though it might be worth a call to Chase to double check you aren’t eligible to switch your existing MileagePlus card to that version.

  13. Polly

    I have a United MileagePlus Select VISA Signature card. Do I get trip insurance and rental car insurance with this card? We travel out of the country for about 6 weeks per year. We may be traveling more in the future. Do the foreign transactions amount to enough money to warrant changing to a VISA Explorer card? Thanks.


      @Polly – Yes you do get car rental collision coverage with it. But you may want to sign up for the Explorer for the fresh bonus and no foreign fees since just about $3,000 in spending will more than offset the $95 annual fee in savings on the foreign fees. The Explorer also has stronger trip cancellation / delay coverage. Then keep the Select for your extra bonus categories and for US spending.

    2. Mark

      Polly – you only get secondary coverage.
      the only card I know of, that gets primary coverage, is the Sapphire card.
      very very few cards offer primary (where your personal insurance does not have to kick in first).

      It also has no foreign transaction fees.

    3. Barbara B. Phillips

      I have the Mileage Plus Select Visa United (Chase) credit card. It expires 08/15. Will I receive another soon? Already, some of my purchases can not be made over the web, because the seller notices the expiration date, and asks for another card! Barbara Phillips


        @Barbara – Yes they are still renewing this card. You may want to give a call to the number on the back of your card to see if you can get a new one sooner

  14. Shideh

    I have the mileageplus select card and am wondering if there is any foreign transaction fee associated with using this card abroad? many thanks.


      @Jace – If you don’t value the checked bag benefit, stay with the Select, as it has more category earning bonuses.

  15. Nando

    Can you have ATM cash draws with United select Visa cards? If so, how can I get a PIN number and what would be the maximum draw amount?


      @Nando – Yes it’s possible – call Chase at the number on the back of your card. Your limit is case by case.

  16. Norma

    I have the chase united mileage plus card/ visa signature. Do I have baggage fee waive as I used to have.? I traveled 8/2011 and did not have to paid. My yearly fee is 85.00 thank you

    1. MileCards

      @Norma – Hi Norma – if your card says ‘Explorer’ on the front, then yes you have the baggage fee waived. If not, you don’t have it waived.


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