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Calculate how much United Mileage Plus Club Card earning power stacks up

by on Sat April 28, 2012 • 10 Comments

The United Mileage Plus Club Card earns a 50% bonus on all spending, so you earn 1.5 United miles per dollar spent. United purchases earn 2 miles per dollar spent.

Use the calculator below to see how the United Mileage Plus Club Card’s 50% mile bonus earning power stacks up versus the other United credit card options — the United Mileage Plus Explorer and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Both of those carry a lower $95 annual fee versus the $395 on the Mileage Plus Club Card, though lack United Club lounge access.

The twist on mile earning is that the basic $95 per year United Explorer earns a 10,000 mile bonus when you spend $25,000 on the card in one year. So if you spend about $25,000 per year, you earn a powerful 1.4 miles per dollar spent (10,000 mile bonus +25,000 miles earned by spending divided by $25,000 spend). But if you spend much beyond that the earning starts to decline as get further from that bonus threshold. And if you spend less than $25,000 per year you’ll be earning about 1 mile per dollar spent.

The United Mileage Plus Club card always earns at least 1.5 miles per dollar you spend, and 2 miles per dollar for United purchases.

For a more comprehensive view of how the United Mileage Plus Club Card stacks up against the other United credit cards, and other airline credit cards, use’s mile credit card comparison calculator. It will factor in things like baggage fee waivers and all of your spending net of annual fees to show which credit cards offer the most dollar value to you.

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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 ?

Still confused? Have a question?

Leave a comment below -- we'll reply shortly -- no need to use your real name. Or, use the email form at the top of the page for private advice.

"These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered."

10 thoughts on Calculate how much United Mileage Plus Club Card earning power stacks up

  1. Roger

    I currently have a grandfathered Mileage Plus Access card that gives me Economy Plus seating. The annual fee is $275. Is it worth the extra $120 for the Club card perks? And what is the Club card perk for Economy Plus seating?

  2. TLD

    I read fine print that current MileagePlus Visa cardowners will not get a 30k (or whatever) bonus for signing onto the new explorer card.
    So, if I already have a regular mileageplus card (or a plain MileagePlus business card)– is there a way I can get a premium card and still get the joining bonus?


    1. MileCards

      @TLD – Chase considers them completely separate products so you will be eligible. You can even have the bonus from both the personal and business version of the same card.

  3. Eric

    Thanks for the great explanation. I have the Chase MileagePlus Select Visa Signature card, which they closed to new applicants in favor of the Explorer and Club cards. It would be wonderful to include that card in this calculator, so those of us who are longstanding Select cardholders would know whether we should cling to them or consider one of the newer cards. And if United or Chase has changed the rules for us legacy Select cardholders, that would be good to know too. Thanks!

    1. MileCards

      @Eric – No changes to the Select Visa rules or earning. The card benefits are grandfathered, including the ability to earn Premier qualifying miles for purchases at

  4. UnitedTraveler


    I have United MileagePlus explorer card, I really do not see much benefit with this card, I have poor experience with United service. Anyway, if I cancel this card, do I lose all the miles that I accumulated so far?

    I have United frequent flyer card through which all the miles are accumulated including the bonus miles that I recieved when I signed-up for the card.

    Your reply is much appreciated,

    Best regards,

  5. Happy Traveler

    I got the $95 explorer card as soon as it came out by transferring my old united miles card (I think the annual fee was $135?). I travel overseas about twice a year and was excited about the baggage and 2 club passes. I also got my $10,000 bonus! Then the Club card came out and I applied for that also since I liked 1.5 miles for every dollar, no foreign charge fees and access to the club lounges. I still have my explorer card because I was told that since I have been a United card holder since 1989 and means something with my United Miles or loyalty program?? Something about losing my lifetime miles on my mileage plus program? Btw, I charge about 15,000 per month using my club card for my business. Hope you can help.
    Happy Traveler

    1. MileCards

      @Happy Traveler- You don’t need to carry both cards, and you won’t forfeit any lifetime miles by cancelling your Explorer card. Lifetime miles are earned via flying United and have nothing to do with your status as a credit card holder. You’re definitely using the right card with the Club card.


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