United Airlines Credit Card Review


United Airlines has partnered with Chase to create a new airline credit card, which has special deals on free airline tickets for each eligible dollar spent. The Chase United Mileage Plus Explorer Card also has a special deal for businesses to earn extra travel-related rewards. United even offers special Mileage Plus cards for international customers living outside of the U.S.

Simple Rewards System

United Airlines credit cards utilize a simple rewards system, which is easily understood by anybody. Members earn miles, which are equivalent to miles traveled on a redeemed flight. This is simpler than some other rewards programs which offer points that are equated to some random dollar amount specified by the company. Additionally, Business Card members earn 2 miles on dining, gas, office supply purchases, and tickets purchased from United or Continental.

Bonus Miles

Another great benefit of the United Airlines credit card is the opportunity to earn bonus miles. A single purchase on the credit card will earn 25,000 bonus miles. Also, members making at least $25,000 or more on net purchases in a year will receive 10,000 bonus miles. This offer continues for each year of membership. MileagePlus Explorer cardholders may earn bonus miles for adding other users to their account.

Free Bag Check and Priority Boarding

United Airlines offers MileagePlus cardholders free bag checks and priority boarding for their flights. United Airlines will check-in the first bag for free while boarding flights on United and Continental. Cardholders can also treat their spouses, relatives, friends, or any other travel companions to the same discount. This can save up to $50 per person per round trip. Cardholders will also be given priority boarding, which allows them to board flights before non-cardholders.


The rewards plan is fairly flexible regarding how to redeem earned flyer miles. Members can redeem miles on any dates. Unlike some competitors there are no blackout dates with the United Airlines credit card. Also, miles will never expire, as long as members are up-to-date on paying any fees. Cardholders also have to maintain some activity on their credit cards. However, once a member cancels his or her card the earned miles will become non-redeemable.

Fees and Interest

The credit card’s pricing and terms are definitely the least attractive feature. Although there is no annual membership fee the first year, cardholders will be charged $95 per year for each year afterward. Balance transfers costs 3% of the amount or $5, whichever is greater. Cash advances will cost at least $10 or 3% of the transfer amount. Also, there is no special low introductory rate, which is routinely available from other credit cards.

Although it is probably not the best offer out there, MileagePlus still may be worth an application for those frequently traveling with United Airlines. However, cardholders should avoid making balance transfers or cash advances if possible, due to the high fees. The annual fee after the first year is pretty steep as well. However, it is nice to have priority boarding, especially during high travel seasons. Remember, frequent flyer miles are redeemable even on holidays, since there are no blackout dates.

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