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United Club fees going up in 2013…lock in now?

by on Tue November 6, 2012 • No Comment

Members of the United Club lounges are getting notices from United telling them the annual membership fee will increase starting in 2013. Right now it costs up to $475 per year (less if you are an elite Premier level flyer), or $395 if you take the United MileagePlus Club credit card, which confers full membership.

We don’t think the credit card fee will be going up, but…how high could the regular membership fee go?

$500 or more? Maybe, at least for ‘general’ members of MileagePlus. Premiers will keep their discounts, but at more expensive prices (Premier 1K members today pay just $375).

So to lock in current pricing you have two options…

  1. Renew or join by December 31, 2012 and lock the pricing in for another year (or more, if you purchase a multi year plan)
  2. Get a United Club credit card now or next year with a $395 annual fee. While we can’t guarantee the fee on this card won’t go up, our sense is United wants to incentivize people to take the card. They get a cut of the revenue on it, so it can be a more lucrative deal for them to get a United Club member via the card than standard membership. You get extra perks like a $3 discount on premium wines and Avis President’s Club membership.

Either way, not sure we expect any changes to the amenities of the clubs, or even the level of crowding with the new higher fee. Though we hear a number of them will be getting renovated over the next few years, so perhaps we’re chipping in for that…

To learn more, read our guide to United Club access.

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