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Limited time signup bonus
From today through 1/26/22, you can earn 100,000 bonus miles for opening a Chase United Club Infinite Card and spending $5,000 within 3 months.
This card has a hefty $525 annual fee, though that’s cheaper than even top-tier United elite members pay for a Club membership, which is included with the card.
Pay yourself back for the annual fee:
You can redeem United miles to pay yourself back for the annual fee at a rate of 1.5 cents per mile!
You can pay back all or part of the annual fee at that rate.
That means you can get this card with no fee for the first year, and still get an effective signup bonus of 65,000 miles with a club membership and awesome United travel benefits!
You have 90 days from when the fee is billed to pay yourself back and you can do so even after paying the annual fee.
You can use existing United miles, miles earned from the card’s signup bonus, or you can transfer points from Ultimate Rewards to United to pay back the annual fee.
Welcome bonus terms
- You can receive the bonus on this card if you haven’t received a bonus on a United Club Or United Club Infinite consumer card in the past 24 months and don’t currently have a United Club/Club Infinite Consumer card.
- You can receive the bonus on this card even if you got a United Explorer, Quest, Gateway, or United business card in the past 24 months or currently have one of those cards.
Comparison to previous offer
This card was previously offering 75K bonus miles.
All Chase cards appear to be subject to 5/24 restrictions, meaning that you are not likely to be approved if you have been approved for 5 or more consumer credit cards in the past 24 months. Note that the Chase system automatically counts cards like authorized user cards and store cards as cards that count towards 5/24, but if you explain to Chase that those cards are merely authorized user cards or store cards they can manually approve you for a new card.
You can check your credit report for free at the federally authorized annualcreditreport.com to check how many accounts are shows as being open in the past 24 months.
United Club membership
Cardholders get a full United Club membership. You can bring your entire family, or you and 2 guests, to enter over 1,000 United and partner lounges and Star Alliance lounges worldwide when flying United or Star Alliance airlines.
Club membership normally costs $650 per year.
Free Checked And Carry-On Baggage
This card allows the primary cardholder and another passenger on the same record locator to bring 2 free bags worldwide on United, even in basic economy.
This card also allows the primary cardholder and all passengers on the same record locator to bring a free carry-on bag on United, even in basic economy.
- If 2 people bring 2 bags each on a domestic trip in economy, that would normally cost $280 round-trip prepaid or $320 at the airport, but it will be free with the United Club card!
- If 2 people bring 2 bags each on an international trip in economy, that would normally cost $400 round-trip, but it will be free with the United Club card!
- If 2 people bring 2 bags each on an international trip in basic economy, that would normally cost $680 round-trip, but it will be free with the United Club card!
IHG Elite Status And Credit
Cardholders receive IHG Platinum elite status, which gives free internet, 50% bonus points, upgrades, welcome amenity, late checkout, and more.
Plus that status will mean that your IHG points will never expire!
Additionally, cardholders will get a $75 credit to spend at any IHG hotel worldwide in 2022.
Instant discount on select United awards
Cardholders get a 10% instant discount on saver awards within the US48 and Canada. This applies to X class (saver awards available to everyone) and XN class (expanded saver awards available only for United cardholders) flights.
For example a flight from Newark to Chicago or Miami will be 4.5K miles after the discount:
A flight from Newark to Toronto will be 7.5K miles after the discount:
A flight from Newark to Los Angeles will be 9.1K miles after the discount:
Global Entry/Pre-Check Fee Refund:
It costs $85 to apply for a 5 year TSA Pre-Check membership which makes flying pleasant again. Shorter lines, no need to remove your shoes, belt, jacket, or hat. You can keep your laptop and small liquids inside your carry-on. And you go through a good old fashioned metal detector instead of assuming the position in the body scanner. If you charge it on your card the fee will be refunded.
It costs $100 to apply for a 5 year Global Entry membership which lets you bypass the customs line. If you have Global Entry you also get TSA Pre-Check for free.
If you charge it on your card the fee will be refunded. You can get refunded for this charge once every 4 years.
My whole family has Global Entry and it sure makes traveling a whole lot easier!
Signup for CLEAR and get 10,000 miles
Cardholders who enroll in CLEAR will get 10,000 bonus miles if they enroll by 6/30/22. You will also be able to enroll in CLEAR for $109. You must provide your MileagePlus account number here when you sign up for CLEAR to get the discount price and bonus miles. Allow 4-6 weeks after the sign-up for miles to post to your account.
Upgrades for Premier members and a companion on award tickets
Most United cards offer Premier members the ability to get complimentary upgrades on eligible flights when using miles for an economy award.
With the Club Infinite card, Premier members will also have the ability to get complimentary upgrades with a companion on eligible flights when using miles for an economy award.
- 4 miles per dollar on United purchases, including tickets, upgrades, WiFi, inflight food and drinks.
- 2 miles per dollar on all other travel and dining
- 1 mile per dollar elsewhere.
- There are no foreign transaction fees.
You’ll need to spend $5,000 on this card within 3 months for 100K bonus miles.
You can pay your federal taxes for a 1.96% fee. If you overpay your taxes you can request a refund or apply it to your next year’s taxes.
My local natural gas company allows me to prepay up to $1,000 on a credit card for a $1.65 flat fee. That’s a great way to earn miles and help meet a spend threshold. My electricity supplier allows me to pay with a credit card for free as long as I am enrolled in autopay.
You can change between the following card products:
- Chase United Gateway Card (No annual fee)
- Chase United Explorer card ($95 annual fee)
- Chase United Quest card ($250 annual fee)
- Chase United Club Infinite Card ($525 annual fee)
Bonus PQP earnings
While most United cards cap PQP earnings at 1,000 per year, you can earn up to 4,000 per year on this card to help you earn Premier status.
You will earn 500 PQPs per $12,000 spent, so you can earn a maximum of 4,000 PQPs for $96,000 of spending.
You can earn up to 5,000 PQPs per year from card spending across all United cards (grandfathered Presidential Plus PQP earnings are excluded from the 5K cap). Learn more about PQPs here.
Additional cardholder benefits
- Cardholders get a 25% rebate on inflight WiFi, food, and drink purchases.
- Premier Access: Priority check-in, security screening, boarding, and baggage handling privileges, even when flying in basic economy.
- The ability to use online checkin and get a boarding pass in advance on basic economy fares. United does not allow online checkin on basic economy fares unless you have elite status or a United card with free bags.
- 12 months complimentary Doordash Dashpass, when activated by 3/31/22.
- This will be a Visa Infinite card, which means it will come with awesome benefits like 3 free years of Shipt for free deliveries from Target stores and more.
- Primary rental car CDW insurance in every country.
- Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance
- Lost Luggage Insurance
- Trip Delay Reimbursement
- Baggage Delay Reimbursement
- Travel Accident Insurance
- Purchase protection for items damaged or stolen within 120 days
- Return protection
- Extended warranty protection
- Exclusive cardmember access to auctions that allow you to use your miles for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Several years ago I used 25K miles for 4 field box seats to an Indians game along with the right to run onto the field before the top of the 7th inning and swipe 2nd base right off the field. Nobody could believe it as I walked around the ballpark with 2nd base. I even got it signed after the game by the Indians wining pitcher that night, who was equally shocked that I actually had 2nd base.
- United miles never expire, even if you close your card.
Expanded award ticket availability
The reason the United cards are the best airline cards you can get isn’t for the spending benefits, it’s for the perks. And they are awesome.
The United cards are the only airline card that offers expanded award ticket availability.
All 4 of these cards offer this benefit.
This increases the value of your miles significantly and in turn makes the Chase Quadfecta/Quinfecta spending strategy even more valuable.
Cardholders have access to expanded saver coach award availability (XN class), last seat standard coach award availability (YN class), and last seat standard business/first class award availability (JN class).
It’s not just slightly expanded. There is a world of difference between the availability that cardholders can access and the availability for non-cardholders.
If you’re not a United cardholder, there are just 5 dates with saver award space nonstop from Newark-Tel Aviv in February-March:
If you are a United cardholder, there are 31 dates with saver award space nonstop from Newark-Tel Aviv in February-March:
This availability differential applies to all domestic and international routes and makes it crucial to be a United cardholders.
Expanded Plan B availability
As you have better access to saver coach awards you’ll also have better ability to do Plan B awards.
Plan B allows you to redeem for saver business class awards when there’s only saver coach available! Read more about Plan B in this post.
No airline besides United offers a Plan B style award redemption.
Discounted awards for cardholders
United runs promotions offering discounts on award flights for cardholders.
United Cards As Part Of A Chase Quinfecta Strategy
All of the United cards have unique benefits, so which should you get?
That depends on which benefits you value and how much they would cost you otherwise.
It’s worth noting that you can get the signup bonus for each United card as long as you didn’t get the bonus for that exact card within the past 24 months and don’t currently have that exact card.
If you have a United consumer card you can change to any currently offered United consumer card and if you have a United business card you can change to any currently offered United business card. After waiting 3-4 days you can apply for that card again.
It certainly makes sense to have a United card on top of a Chase Quinfecta strategy as just having the card makes your points more valuable. That consists of:
- Sapphire Reserve or Sapphire Preferred or Ink Preferred for mileage transfers and bonus value on points.
- A no-fee Freedom Unlimited or Ink Unlimited for 1.5 points per dollar everywhere.
- A no-fee Freedom Flex for 5 points per dollar in rotating categories.
- A no-fee Ink Cash for 5 points per dollar on wireless and office supply stores, including gift cards to stores like Amazon and hundreds more.
- Having a United card on top of the cards above creates a Chase Quinfecta as your United miles (and by extension your Chase points) become more valuable thanks to expanded award availability.
Here is a summary comparing what the currently available United cards have to offer:
- If you just want expanded award availability, go for the no-fee United Gateway Card. However you should get a premium consumer card with a higher signup bonus and downgrade the card after your first year as the higher signup bonus will more than offset the first year’s annual fee. Plus you can redeem miles to directly cover the annual fee and still come out ahead.
- If you also want to be able to get a free bag and bypass onerous basic economy restrictions, go for the United Explorer Card or United Business Card.
- If you will be able to take advantage of the Quest card’s $125 and 10,000 mile rebates, then the United Quest Card will effectively be cheaper than the Explorer card, plus you’ll get 2 free bags to boot!
- If you want United Club access, go for the United Business Club Card (Click on apply now to reach this card application) or if you want a consumer card, the Chase United Club Infinite Card Card.
- The Chase United Club Infinite Card Card offers a mega 100K signup bonus along with many valuable and unique card perks.
- Grandfathered cards like the old United Presidential Plus card (good for earning more PQPs towards United elite status) and the old consumer United Club card (similar to the current United Business Club card) can’t be had anymore, so think twice before you close those.
Here Is United’s Hidden Award Chart
United no longer publishes an award chart, but rates for United flights found in their old award chart are still correct.
United does charge a close-in mileage surcharge and they can be found in the chart below. Note that the you’ll want to book travel as 2 one-ways to avoid paying the surcharge on the return leg when it wouldn’t apply when booked separately. However if you do that you would lose your ability to take a free stopover.
Partner award rates have gone up and they can be found in the unpublished saver award chart below with one-way rates for flights to/from the mainland US:
|United flights||Partner flights|
|Close-in surcharge within 7 days||2.5K-3K miles||1K-3.5K miles|
|Close-in surcharge 8-21 days in advance||2K-2.5K miles||1K-3.5K miles|
|Mainland US/Canada||12.5K Coach|
35K Premium Business
40K Premium Business
50K Premium Business
|Central America||17.5K Coach|
|Northern South America||20K Coach|
|Southern South America||30K Coach|
|Middle East||42.5K Coach|
|Central Asia||42.5K Coach|
|South Asia||40K Coach|
|North Asia||35K Coach|
|Japan and Oceania||35K Coach|
|Australia and New Zealand||40K Coach|
While American and Delta have eliminated free stopovers, United continues to offer a free excursionist perk as described in this post. Just use the multi-city award search on United.com to piece it together.
A round-trip to 2 Hawaiian Islands is just 45,000 miles round-trip thanks to the free excursionist perk:
A round-trip ticket to 2 European or South American cities is just 60,000 miles round-trip thanks to the free excursionist perk:
A flight to 2 of my favorite cities in Asia, Hong Kong and Chiang Mai, Thailand is 80K miles thanks to the perk:
You’re even allowed a free open jaw in addition to the perk to really maximize your travel. For example this itinerary includes travel to London, Paris, and Zurich. You can take a train or use 4.5K BA Avios to get from London to Paris to fill the hole in the open jaw:
Of course the free stopover isn’t just useful from the US.
You can stopover in NYC and LA when flying from Tel Aviv to the US:
You can also hack the excursionist perk for even more value.
You can use the multi-city search to book 2 flights within a single region and then you can book a free one-way within any other region sandwiched in between your flights.
For example if you book a round-trip from Cleveland to Chicago for 6,240 miles you can add in a free Excursionist Perk flight anywhere else in the world in between your flights, such as onboard the United Island Hopper from Palau to Kosrae via Guam, Chuuk, and Pohnpei, a flight that costs $598 or 12.5K miles on its own:
Or if you book a one-way flight from Cleveland to Chicago and then Chicago to Kansas City for 6,240 miles you can add in a free Excursionist Perk flight anywhere else in the world in between your flights, such as Johannesburg to the Seychelles, a flight that costs $473 or 19.5K miles on its own.
United has dozens of partner airlines which means lots of great award opportunities. It can be worth checking for award space on partner sites like ANA or Aeroplan.com to search for award availability and then call United to book if you don’t see availability on United.
Partners airlines include:
- Aegean Airlines
- Aer Lingus
- Air Canada
- Air China
- Air Dolomiti
- Air India
- Air New Zealand
- Asiana Airlines
- Austrian Airlines
- Avianca Airlines
- Azul Brazilian Airlines
- Brussels Airlines
- Cape Air
- Copa Airlines
- Croatia Airlines
- EVA Air
- Ethiopian Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Island Air
- Juneyao Airlines
- LOT Polish
- Scandinavian Airlines
- Shenzhen Airlines
- Silver Airways
- South African Airways
- Swiss International Airlines
- TAP Portugal
- Turkish Airlines
Will you signup for a United Club Infinite Card?