United Mileage Plus Club Card Review

unitedplus-elite-travelThere are many different frequent flyer programs and credit cards to choose from. Each one offers something different and it can be difficult to know which one to select. United Airlines, which has recently completed its merger with Continental, has a new offering called the United Mileage Plus Club Card. The card is offered via Chase.

The United Mileage Plus Club Card pays a flat rate of 1.5 miles for every dollar spent on non-United Airlines purchases and 2 miles for every dollar on United travel purchases. This differs from most rewards programs which typically only offer 1 mile for every dollar spent and occasionally give a bonus for certain categories of purchases, i.e. groceries or gas.

The card features other perks such as no foreign transaction fees and United Club membership. United Clubs are located in airports around the word and feature a comfortable atmosphere where members can relax or work between flights, surf the internet via complimentary Wi-Fi and recharge mobile devices. Additionally, cardholders are able to check two bags for free on United flights. The two bag allowance applies for up to two people per reservation.  People who spend a lot of time traveling outside of the country know that foreign transaction fees can get very pricey. Being able to use this card for purchases made outside of the United States is a great benefit.

The card does have a $395 annual fee. Chase offers a $95 refund to new cardholders after the first purchase, bringing the fee for the first year down to $300. The annual fee is a bit high for people who don’t fly often, but if you are a frequent traveler and someone who likes to use premium services like airport clubs, the value is obvious. United’s annual club membership fee for non-elite frequent travelers is $475 so you are actually saving money by having the card if you don’t hold elite status in United’s frequent flyer program.

With the United Mileage Plus Club Card, cardholders also receive other benefits at the airport such as priority check-in and faster lines for security and boarding. Priority baggage handling is an added perk. Cardholders also receive room upgrades and special amenities at select hotels worldwide.

Another great benefit of the card is that your United miles never expire so long as you continue to be a card member. Many other frequent flyer programs have expiration dates on miles earned and several hurdles to jump through in order to not have miles expire. The Mileage Club Card makes retention of miles easy and something cardholders needn’t bother with trying to remember. Fees are also waived for reward tickets booked with short notice.

As a Chase cardholder, members also receive access to certain events through the Chase Inside Access program. The card also features the typical travel, purchase and fraud protection services offered through Chase and a personalized concierge service. Cardholders enjoy their own dedicated customer service line which virtually eliminates hold times.

For frequent travelers, the United Mileage Plus Club Card offers a great value for the money. The $395 annual fee may seem a little high, but when compared to the time saved by not waiting in long lines thanks to priority status, it’s a bargain. For Mileage Plus members who are not frequent travelers, Chase offers a wide selection of other cards.

If you don’t think you’d use these benefits very often, then you might want to check out one of the other United Mileage Plus Chase credit cards available. However, the United Mileage Plus Club Card offers many great benefits and the annual fee is reasonable if you are someone who would use the benefits often enough.