Review of the United MileagePlus® Club Card

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Reviews

Dec 06, 2015 | Updated Aug 26, 2019

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The United MileagePlus® Club Card is an expensive premier-level credit card offered through United Airlines. You’ll get 2 miles for every $1 spent on flights with United, and 1.5 miles for every $1 spent on all other everyday purchases.

You’ll also get a $100 statement credit for making your first purchase, free first and second checked bags for you and a companion, United Club℠ membership, and access to a variety of Visa Signature & Chase benefits to aid you in travel and shopping.

Frequent travelers of United Airlines will get the most out of this card. I get into how frequently you need to use it to get your money’s worth in the Bottom Line. If you’re interested in that immediately click here, otherwise, read on below.

The Rewards

You’ll earn:

  • 2 miles for every $1 spent on United Airlines flight purchases
  • 1.5 miles for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • A $100 statement credit after you make your first purchase
  • Miles that never expire

You can use your miles to book any available seat, at any time, on any United flight. When seats are available for sale, you can redeem them at the MileagePlus Standard Award level.

MileagePlus Standard Award level offers exclusive seat availability on flights with United, United Express and Copa Airlines. If someone without Standard Award level wants the last seat on a flight and can pay for it, you have the chance to claim it first.

The Benefits


  • United Club Membership: Up to a $550 value per year, includes free access to all United Club locations and participating Star Alliance™ affiliated lounges worldwide for you and up to two guests, depending on the location. This perk does not extend to authorized users. Requires a boarding pass for same-day travel.
  • Concierge Services: 24/7 assistance with referrals and reservations worldwide.
  • Premier Access® Travel Services: Priority check-in, security screening (where available), boarding, and baggage handling privileges.
  • Free first and second checked bags for you and one companion on the same reservation: This saves you around $240 per round trip. $25 for the first checked bag each way, per person, and $35 for the second standard checked bag each way, per person.
  • Platinum status in the Hyatt Gold Passport program: Platinum status includes a 15% Hyatt Gold Passport point bonus, a preferred room (including a room on a higher floor or a larger room, based on availability upon arrival), complimentary premium internet access where available, and 2:00 p.m. late checkout. Register here »
  • Access to Hertz Gold Plus Rewards® program: Registering for free will allow you to earn 1 Gold Plus Rewards Point on eligible car rentals. You’ll also have access to designated Gold Plus Rewards parking stalls, and get exclusive email offers. Register here »
  • Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection privileges: Includes room upgrades, complimentary daily breakfast for two, early check-in, late checkout, and other amenities at more than 750 luxury hotels and resorts worldwide.
  • Inside Access from Chase: Cardholders get access to private experiences from celebrity meet-and-greets to private culinary and sports events. For more information go to »
  • No fees on close-in award bookings on United tickets

Security Benefits

  • Fraud Protection: You will not be held responsible for unauthorized use of your card.
  • Chip-and-Signature Technology: For added protection when shopping. You can find more information on EMV technology here »
  • Emergency Card Replacement

This card comes with Visa Signature and Chase benefits. Benefits are features that make shopping, travel, or other aspects of life easier and more secure.

You will be provided with a list of what’s available to you when you get your card in the mail. To learn more about credit card benefits check out our guide »

Shopping Benefits

  • Purchase Protection: Purchases on eligible items are covered for 120 days against theft or damage; up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year.
  • Extended Warranty Protection: Eligible warranties of 3 years or less can be extended up to an additional year.
  • Return Protection: If a merchant won’t take back an item within 90 days, you could be reimbursed for eligible items if you contact the issuer; up to $500 per item; limited to $1,000 a year per account.

Travel Benefits

  • Travel and Emergency Assistance: Provides help with emergencies, including legal and medical referrals.
  • Trip Cancellation / Trip Interruption Insurance: If a trip is disrupted for an eligible reason, provides reimbursement up to $10,000 for non-refundable costs.  Eligible reasons include severe weather and sickness.
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement: If checked or carry-on bags are lost or damaged, you get reimbursed up to $3,000 per passenger.
  • Baggage Delay Insurance: Reimbursement for purchases such as toiletries and clothing when baggage delays go beyond 6 hours by the passenger carrier; up to $100 a day for 3 days.
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Provides coverage against theft and collision, as long as the car rental company’s own insurance is declined.

The Costs & Fees

Annual Fee Regular APR Regular Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR Foreign Transaction Fee
$450 18.24%–25.24% Variable 18.24%–25.24% Variable 27.24% Variable 0%
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
See Terms Up to $39 Up to $39

The Bottom Line

Overall, the United MileagePlus Club Card is a great card for frequent travelers of United. Keep in mind though, you are paying $450 per year, except for the first year, which will cost $350 after the $100 statement credit.

To get your money’s worth, you’ll want to be sure to:

  • earn lots of miles
  • use the airport lounges that come as a part of the United Club membership
  • use the free first and second checked bags
  • take advantage of the other travel perks and benefits

How many miles will you need to earn to make this card worth it? Well, currently you can book 1 round-trip economy class flight on United Airlines from New York to Los Angeles for 25,000 miles, first-class tickets are 50,000 miles.

For a round-trip flight across the United States you’d need to spend $12,500 on United Airlines flights at 2 miles for every $1 spent. This will give you 25,000 miles.

To figure out the exact amount of miles you need to earn for your flight, check out United’s website »

The good news is, miles don’t expire as long as your account is in good standing, so if you wanted to you could take 2 or more years to earn a free round-trip ticket. To do this you’d need to earn 12,250 miles per year by spending $6,250 on United Airlines flights at 2 miles for every $1 spent. This will give you 12,250 miles each year, for a total of 25,000 miles.

This might seem like a lot of miles to earn to make this card worth it, but remember, miles aren’t the only reason it’s worth getting. Normally airport lounge access alone costs $550 per year without the card, so if luxury lounges are a travel perk that matter to you, this factor alone could make it worth it.

Aside from airport lounges, the other perks and benefits that come with this card also make traveling cheaper and more convenient. You won’t have to pay the normal airline fee for your luggage with free first and second checked bags for you and a companion, which saves you roughly $240 per round trip.

It costs $25 for the first checked bag each way, per person, and $35 for the second standard checked bag each way, per person.  That’s pretty awesome for simply using a credit card. And to top it off, you’ll get priority boarding with access services, so you won’t have to wait in line with everyone else.

All in all these factors make for a solid travel card. As always, be sure to know what features you are going to use before you apply. That way, you’ll be sure to get the most out of your credit card.

A word of caution, you do not want to get this card if you only plan on traveling with United Airlines once. If that’s the case, and you don’t travel on other airlines frequently, there’s no point to getting a travel rewards card.  You simply won’t earn enough points to make it worth it. If you still want to earn cash back or other rewards for using a credit card, consider looking into a rewards credit.

Check out our picks for the Best Rewards Credit Cards to get started.

If you do fly frequently on different airlines you’re better off with a travel rewards card that you allows you to earn miles for all or most of your flights, rather than that just one airline, such as the Discover it® Miles. With it, you’ll earn 1.5 miles for every $1 spent on all purchases at no annual fee, which is much less of an investment than the $450 annual fee that comes with the Club Card.

And to top it off, Discover will currently double the miles you earn at the end of the first year, which means you’re actually getting 3 miles for every $1 spent on all purchases. This is a huge reward for a travel card with no annual fee.

What’s your experience been with the MileagePlus Club Card? Click here to leave your own review of this card for other visitors.

Other United Airlines Credit Cards

United also offers the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card, which comes with a $95 annual fee that’s waived the first year. It offers 2 miles for every $1 spent on flights with United, and 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases like the Club Card.

And United offers 2 different business cards. First is the United MileagePlus® Club Business Card, which is the same credit card as the Club Card except it’s meant for business owners. Next, there’s the United Explorer Business Card, which is the business version of the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card. With this card you’ll get the same rewards as the Explorer, as well as account management options for employees. The Explorer Business card does, however, charge a $95 annual fee from the first year.

Interested in other airlines? Check out our picks for The Best Airline Credit Cards.
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