There are two newly increased credit card for United Airlines credit cards. I first spotted these over at the excellent YouTube channel of Waller’s Wallet. If you are wanting to pad your United Airlines mileage balance during this travel slowdown, either card could help you do this. Should you apply for either one? Well, we will get into that, too.
Increased United Airlines Credit Card Offers
There are two separate card offers going on right now. The first is for the regular United Explorer card and the second is for the high-fee United Infinite card.
The United Explorer Card – 60,000 Miles
Link: United Explorer Card (this is a personal referral offer that pays me miles if you are approved)
This is the United card that is most mainstream and comes with your typical array of airline credit card perks at this range. Now, until September 30, it will also come with 60,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
Here are the details on this card:
- Earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months the account is open.
- Earn 2x miles on United purchases
- Earn 2x miles at restaurants and eligible delivery services, including GrubHub, Caviar, Seamless, and DoorDash
- Earn 2x miles on hotel stays
- $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95
- Bonus ends September 30, 2020
You will also get 2 United Club passes each year after your anniversary passes (meaning, after you pay the $95 annual fee). In addition, you will also get the first checked bag for free for yourself and one companion when you pay with the card. This only works on domestic flights.
Also, you will get up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit and increased United award availability.
United Club Infinite Card
Link: United Club Infinite Card(this is a personal referral offer that pays me miles if you are approved)
This next increased offer matches the offer that we saw when this card was rebranded earlier this year. It is a big 100,000 mile offer but it comes with a hefty annual fee as well, that is not waived.
- Earn 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
- Earn 4x miles on United purchases
- Earn 2x miles on dining at restaurants and eligible delivery services including GrubHub, Caviar, Seamless, and DoorDash.
- Earn 2x miles on all other travel
- Comes with United Club membership
- First and second checked bags free (on domestic flights) for you and one companion when you use this card to pay for the flight
This also comes with the $100 Global Entry credit as well as Premier Access travel services – this means you get priority check-in, boarding and baggage handling, as well as priority security screening where that is offered. This also offers the increased award availability.
Yes, it comes with a whopping $525 annual fee that is not waived the first year! Also, that fee does not count towards your $5,000 in spending.
Which Card Should You Get – Or, Neither?
So, should you apply for one of these cards? Keep in mind that both are subject to the Chase 5/24 rule (you cannot get the card if you have opened 5 or more credit cards with any bank in the last 24 months) and you cannot receive the bonus if you have the card or had received the bonus on the card in the last 24 months.
Next, I would argue that, while the 100,000 United miles are attractive, this is a really bad time to apply for the United Club Infinite card. United is not even trying to get you enticed to apply for such a card in the midst of the coronavirus situation. They should really have mixed it up a little bit to offer something extra as they ask people to fork over $525 up front.
Lounge Access Is Great – But, Not Right Now
Remember, if you are like using United Clubs or Star Alliance lounges, this card is great for that. But, there are still a lot of lounges around the world that are not open yet and many people are not traveling. That means you will not get anything for that lounge membership for at least a few months – or maybe longer – and you will be paying for the access even without using it.
Chase Sapphire Preferred a Better Option?
I have to say, even the United Explorer card is not totally doing it for me right now either. If you can swing an extra $1,000 in spending (and are eligible to apply for it), the Chase Sapphire Preferred makes much more sense. (That is a personal referral link that will let me earn points if you are approved as well – thanks!)
It offers 60,000 valuable Chase Ultimate Reward points that can be transferred to United or even used to reimburse your account for spending at dining establishments, supermarkets, and hardware stores. The rebate amount is 1.25 cents per point. AND, you pay no annual fee the first year with that, either!
But, it comes down to your wants/needs with miles right now. I like United miles and have used a lot of them but not so much lately. But, this is about you and not me so you have the offers and my analysis – now its up to you! 🙂