United MileagePlus® Club card review
If you visit United Club lounges often, this card could be a steal.
- Get this card if you’re a loyal United flyer and you’ll visit United Clubs often.
- Pick something else if you’re an occasional flyer. You might get more value out of United’s mid-tier card.
- Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.
Miles as welcome offer
Up to 2x
17.99% to 24.99%
Purchase APR (variable)
|Product Name||United MileagePlus® Club card|
|Purchase APR||17.99% to 24.99% variable|
|Balance transfer APR||17.99% to 24.99% variable|
|Balance transfer fee||$5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater|
|Cash advance rate||26.49% variable|
|Cash advance fee||$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater|
|Foreign transaction fee||None|
|Interest free period||Up to 21 days|
|Late payment fee||Up to $38|
|Returned payment fee||Up to $38|
|Additional cardholder fee||$0|
|Rates & fees||rates & fees|
Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer who has written nearly 500 Finder articles. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order and expertly navigate the cutting-edge financial tools available -- including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.
Among United’s cobranded credit cards, the United MileagePlus® Club card is the premium option — with an equally premium annual fee.
For many travelers, the card’s biggest draw is the United Club membership. This normally costs $550 a year, so you could find a valuable deal in the card if you frequent United Club lounges.
Differences with the United℠ Explorer Card
Here are a few notable benefits you’ll find with the United MileagePlus® Club card but not the United℠ Explorer Card, and vice versa.
|United MileagePlus® Club card||United℠ Explorer Card|
Is the United MileagePlus® Club card worth its fee?
If you’re an occasional traveler, you’re unlikely to take full advantage of the card’s United Club membership or checked-baggage perk. Consider a mid-tier card instead and benefit from a lower annual fee and perks suited to the casual flyer.
But if you’re a frequent flyer, the card’s United Club membership might be a steal. And though you’ll find a few of its benefits with the United℠ Explorer Card, the United MileagePlus® Club card‘s airline perks can be invaluable for the right type of traveler.
- Signup bonus: 50,000 bonus miles after you make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of card membership. According to the United website at the time of writing, this bonus is worth $650 when redeemed for flights.
If you earn the bonus, you could have enough miles for a few flights. Short-distance Saver Award flights within the continental US and Canada go for as low as 10,000 miles each way. Longer Saver Award flights start around 12,500 miles each way.
- United Club membership.
Access over 45 United Club airport lounges around the world. You can also enter any Star Alliance Business Class Lounge when you fly on a Star Alliance carrier.Each time you visit a United Club location, you can bring an adult guest plus your children under 21. Or, you can bring up to two guests.Normally, a United Club membership costs $550 a year, plus a $50 initiation fee. The United MileagePlus® Club card costs $450 a year, so it could be a great deal for airport-lounge access alone.
- Rewards: Up to 2x miles.
Earn 2x miles on tickets you buy from United. Earn 1.5x miles on all other eligible purchases. This is an attractive rate, as a typical credit card offers 1x miles as its base rate.
- United perks. You’ll find baggage perks, Premier Access benefits, no blackout dates for award flights and no close-in ticketing fees. There’s a notable omission: You won’t receive a 25% discount on eligible in-flight purchases, a perk you’ll find with United’s mid-tier option.
Is the annual fee worth it?
The United MileagePlus® Club card has an annual fee of $450.
According to the United website, miles are worth 1.3 cents each when redeemed for flights. Through rewards alone, you’d need to earn 34,616 miles to break even.
Here’s how your rewards might look for spending in a mix of categories:
United MileagePlus® Club card benefits: An easier way to get value from your annual fee
As you can see above, it could be difficult to break even on your annual fee through miles alone. It’s easier to get value from your card through its benefits. For example:
You’ll also like …
- The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection.
Use your card to book a stay at a property in The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection. Your reservation comes with early check-in, late checkout upon availability, free Wi-Fi, complimentary daily breakfast for two and a unique perk depending on the property.
- Hertz President’s Circle Elite Status.
As a cardholder, you can join Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President’s Circle. This is Hertz’s highest loyalty tier.You’ll receive benefits like upgrades, a 50% point bonus on eligible earning activity, a four-month CLEAR trial, point transfers to eligible travel partners and a dedicated phone support line.
- Inside Access experiences.
As a card member, you can access unique experiences.
Inside Access lets you join experiences like these …
- Sqirl with Chef Jessica Koslow: $100 per person.
Chef Koslow will curate specialty dishes for guests of this private dinner.
- Ski with Champions Lindsey Vonn and Jonny Moseley in Vail: $100 to $1,000 per person.
Join the ski champions for a private buffet dinner and Q-and-A session. The following day, you’ll ski with both of them. In the evening, Jonny will host an après-ski event.
- Super Bowl packages: $6,290 to $12,140 per person.
Enjoy a special pregame party with refreshments before you attend the big game. You’ll also receive a VIP ticket to The Super Bowl Experience and access to the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest Concert.
- United MileagePlus events.
Redeem rewards for sporting experiences, upgraded hospitality for golf events, live-theater experiences and more.
- No foreign transaction fees.
With most non-travel credit cards, you’ll pay a fee when you use your card abroad or at a foreign website. You won’t encounter that fee with this travel card.
- Visa Signature Concierge.
Call the concierge service anytime for help with dining reservations, gift-finding, obtaining tickets to shows and more.
- Travel and purchase coverage.
Use your card and qualify for a suite of protection and insurance.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.