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United Credit Cards: Earn Up to 80,000 Bonus Miles in October

United Airlines offers excellent perks and a valuable rewards program on its credit cards. Here's what to know about your options and how to pick the right one.

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United CardBonusBonus EligibilityAnnual Fee
United Gateway℠ Card15,000 milesSpend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months$0
United℠ Explorer Card40,000 milesSpend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months$0 for the first year, then $95
United Quest℠ Card80,000 milesSpend $5,000 in the first 3 months$250
United Club℠ Infinite Card75,000 milesSpend $3,000 in the first 3 months$525
United℠ Business Card75,000 milesSpend $5,000 in the first 3 months$0 for the first year, then $99
United Club℠ Business Card75,000 milesSpend $5,000 in the first 3 months$450

If you don’t currently have a United Airlines co-branded credit card, now may be a good time to reconsider. As the tourism industry begins its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be plenty of opportunities to use your miles.

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Chase United Bonuses

The Chase United credit cards offer some impressive perks compared with other airline credit cards. Now, you can also take advantage of a new offer to earn a large miles bonus. Here’s what you’ll get:

  • United GatewaySM Card: Earn 15,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases during the first three months your account is open. Plus, earn 3X on grocery store purchases up to $15,000 for the first year account is open.
  • UnitedSM Explorer Card: Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • United Quest℠ Card: Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • United ClubSM Visa Infinite Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

While you may be drawn to higher bonuses, it’s important to note that the higher bonuses are also accompanied by annual fees. Also, each card has its own set of other benefits that you’ll want to consider before picking one. We’ve rounded up a comparison of the benefits and fees of the airline’s primary credit cards, along with some of United’s other cards.

United Credit Cards

Before you apply for a credit card for its sign-up bonus, it’s important to get an idea of the card’s full offering. Here’s what to know about United’s credit cards.

United Gateway Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: Up to 15,000 Miles
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 1X-2X Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: The card earns 2X miles per dollar spent on United Airlines purchases, at gas stations and on local transit and commuting and 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: New cardholders earn 15,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn 3X points per dollar on grocery store purchases up to $15,000 for the first year the account is open.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who fly United 2-3 times a year.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the United Gateway℠ Card

The United Gateway Card is the airline’s basic no-annual-fee credit card. It doesn’t offer a lot of perks. But if you’re just looking to dip your toe into airline rewards or want to try out United, it could be a good way to do that.

The United Gateway Card does offer some travel insurance and purchase protections such as rental car insurance, trip cancelation and interruption insurance, extended warranty protection and purchase protection that covers purchases against theft or damage up to 120 days after the transaction date, with up to $500 per claim and $50,000 total coverage.

The airline’s basic no-annual-fee credit card, the United Gateway Card doesn’t offer a lot of perks. But if you’re just looking to dip your toe into airline rewards or want to try out United, it could be a good way to do that.

Welcome Bonus

This airline credit card offers 15,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open. Plus, earn 3X on grocery store purchases up to $15,000 for the first year account is open.

Rewards Rate

Cardmembers will earn 2X United miles per dollar on United purchases, local transit and commuting and at gas stations. You’ll earn 1X mile per dollar on all other purchases.

Annual Fee

The card doesn’t charge an annual fee. It also doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee.

Benefits

As a primary cardmember, you’ll get 25% back on United inflight purchases, such as food, beverages and Wi-Fi, when you use your card to pay. You’ll also have the ability to use your miles to access exclusive experiences that aren’t available to non-cardholders.

Insurance protections include:

  • Rental car insurance: Coverage is secondary.
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance: Reimbursement of up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip.
  • Purchase protection: Covers purchases against theft or damage up to 120 days after the transaction date, with up to $500 per claim and $50,000 total coverage.
  • Extended warranty protection: Extends the manufacturer’s warranty by one year, on eligible warranties of three years or less.

United Explorer Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $95 (fee waived first year)
Bonus: 40,000 Miles
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 1X-2X Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $95

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: The card features 2X miles for every dollar spent on United purchases, at restaurants and eligible meal-delivery services like GrubHub, DoorDash, Seamless and Caviar. You also earn 2X miles for every dollar spent on hotel accommodations booked directly through the hotel. Additionally, you get 1X miles per dollar everywhere else.

Sign-Up Bonus: New cardholders earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 with their new cards in the first three months of account opening.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? United loyalists who want to earn free and discounted airfare.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the United℠ Explorer Card

The United Explorer Card’s benefits are what makes it really stand out from the crowd. Here’s what you’ll get: One free checked bag for each flight, priority boarding, 25% back on inflight purchases, two United Club airport lounge passes every year and Global Entry of TSA Pre✓ application fee credit.

The United Explorer Card also offers several trip protections including primary rental car insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and trip delay reimbursement. The card’s annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95 after that, which will give you some time to confirm that it’s a good fit before the fee hits.

The United Explorer Card is the mid-tier personal card. For people who aren’t flying on United multiple times per month, this can be a solid choice.

Compared with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which has a similar annual fee, this card doesn’t give you the same flexibility as Ultimate Rewards points — in fact, you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines.

However, the Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn’t offer United-specific perks, which can come in handy when you’re flying.

Welcome Bonus

This United card offers 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open.

Rewards Rate

The card offers 2X miles per dollar on United purchases, hotel accommodations when purchased directly from the hotel and dining at restaurants, including select delivery services.

All other purchases will net you 1X mile per dollar.

Annual Fee

The card charges a $0 annual fee the first year, then $95 after that. There’s no foreign transaction fee.

Benefits

The United Explorer Card offers a bunch of solid benefits that can more than make up for its annual fee. Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Up to a $100 statement credit for your application to TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry every four years.
  • 25% back as a statement credit on United inflight purchases.
  • The first checked bag free for you and one companion on every United flight — that’s worth up to $140 per round-trip itinerary.
  • Priority boarding
  • Two United Club one-time passes every year — worth more than $100
  • Premier upgrades on award tickets
  • Access to United Card events

Insurance protections include:

  • Rental car insurance: Coverage is primary, which means you don’t have to first file a claim with your personal auto insurance policy.
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance: Reimbursement of up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip if your trip is canceled or interrupted due to a covered event.
  • Trip delay reimbursement: Up to $500 per ticket if your trip is delayed by 12 hours or more or requires an overnight stay.
  • Baggage delay insurance: Up to $100 per day for three days if your bag is delayed by more than six hours.
  • Lost luggage reimbursement: Up to $3,000 in coverage if you or an immediate family member loses a checked bag or it’s damaged by the carrier.
  • Purchase protection: Covers purchases against theft or damage up to 120 days after the transaction date, with up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 total coverage.
  • Extended warranty protection: Extends the manufacturer’s warranty by one year, on eligible warranties of three years or less.

United Quest Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $250
Bonus: 80,000 Miles
APR: Variable Rate
Rewards Rate: 1X-3X Miles
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $250

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: The card features 3X miles per dollar on United purchases, 2X miles per dollar on restaurants, select streaming services and all other travel and 1X mile per dollar on all other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: New cardholders earn 80,000 miles after spending $5,000 with their new cards during the first three months of account opening.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? United loyalists who travel frequently with the airline.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the United℠ Quest Card

The United Quest Card comes with a lot of flair, and it can be an excellent choice for United enthusiasts who don’t travel quite enough to justify paying for the airline’s premium credit card.

Between the annual United purchase credit and award flight bonuses alone, you should be able to recoup the cost of the card’s annual fee. And if you regularly check bags, this card can be a lifesaver — most airline cards only offer the first checked bag free, so this would be a solid card to use for international flights.

Welcome Bonus

As a new cardholder, you’ll earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend just $5,000 in the first three months of account opening.

Rewards Rate

This United credit card awards 3X miles per dollar spent on United purchases, 2X miles spent on dining, select streaming services and all other travel. Additionally, you’ll earn 1X mile per dollar spent on all other purchases. Plus, each year, receive a $125 credit on United purchases and two 5,000-mile anniversary award flight credits.

Annual Fee

The United Quest Card charges a $250 annual fee, which may be a good compromise for United airline loyalists who want perks, but aren’t ready to commit to the premium price tag of the the United Club Infinite Card.


United Club Infinite Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $525
Bonus: 75,000 Miles
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 1X-4X Miles
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $525

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: The card earns 4X miles per dollar spent on United purchases, 2X miles per dollar spent on all other travel and dining purchases and 1X mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: New cardholders earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 during the first three months of account opening.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? United loyalists who can look past the card’s big annual fee.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the United Club℠ Infinite Card

If you love United Airlines, can fly with the airline often and enjoy benefits like airport lounge access free checked bags and quick trips through airport security on busy travel days, then the United Club Infinite Card is made for you. It’s loaded with travel perks such as statement credits and valuable insurance benefits. Though, the card’s $525 annual fee is one of the highest on the market.

In addition to United Club membership, the card also offers up to a $100 statement credit for your application to TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry every four years, and priority check-in, security screening, boarding and baggage handling. Plus, the first and second checked bags free for you and one companion on every United flight — that’s worth up to $320 per round-trip itinerary.

The United Club Infinite Card is the airline’s premium rewards card, which makes it more comparable to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Again, this card won’t give you the same level of redemption flexibility as you’ll get from a general travel rewards credit card. But if you fly United regularly for business or pleasure, it may be worth it for the luxury perks.

Welcome Bonus

As a new cardholder, you’ll earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend just $3,000 in the first three months — that’s a low spending requirement for such a large sign-up bonus.

Rewards Rate

The United Club Infinite Card is the most generous of the consumer credit cards in terms of ongoing rewards. You’ll earn 4X miles per dollar on United purchases, 2X miles per dollar on all other non-United travel purchases and on dining at restaurants (including eligible delivery services) and 1X mile per dollar on everything else.

Annual Fee

The card charges a steep $525 annual fee, which means you’ll only want to apply if you know you’ll get more value than that back every year. The card doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee.

Benefits

The card’s sign-up bonus and rewards rates are among the best with airline credit cards. But where it really shines is in its suite of perks:

  • United Club membership, including unlimited access for you and your traveling companions to United Club lounges and participating Star Alliance affiliate lounges — worth up to $650 per year.
  • Up to a $100 statement credit for your application to TSA Pre✓ or Global Entry every four years.
  • The first and second checked bags free for you and one companion on every United flight — that’s worth up to $320 per round-trip itinerary.
  • Priority check-in, security screening, boarding and baggage handling.
  • 25% back as a statement credit on United inflight purchases.
  • Complimentary Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Presidential Circle membership.
  • Premier upgrades on award tickets
  • Access to United Card events

Additionally, you’ll get the following travel and shopping protections:

  • Rental car insurance: Coverage is primary, which means you don’t have to first file a claim with your personal auto insurance policy.
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance: Reimbursement of up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip if your trip is canceled or interrupted due to a covered event.
  • Trip delay reimbursement: Up to $500 per ticket if your trip is delayed by 12 hours or more or requires an overnight stay.
  • Baggage delay insurance: Up to $100 per day for three days if your bag is delayed by more than six hours.
  • Lost luggage reimbursement: Up to $3,000 in coverage if you or an immediate family member loses a checked bag or it’s damaged by the carrier.
  • Purchase protection: Covers purchases against theft or damage up to 120 days after the transaction date, with up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 total coverage.
  • Return protection: Reimburses up to $500 per item and $1,000 per year if a merchant doesn’t take back your item within 90 days of the purchase date.
  • Extended warranty protection: Extends the manufacturer’s warranty by one year, on eligible warranties of three years or less.

United Business Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $99 (fee waived first year)
Bonus: 75,000 Miles
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 1X-2X Miles
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $99 (annual fee is waived for the first year)

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: The card earns 2X miles for every dollar spent at United, gas stations, restaurants, office supply stores and transit including train tickets, taxis, rideshares and tolls. You can earn 1X miles per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: New cardholders can earn 75,000 miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Freelancers and business owners who regularly fly with United Airlines.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the United℠ Business Card

This card offers a hefty sign-up bonus, which has our attention for sure. We also like the laundry list of travel perks, which include a $100 annual United travel credit after seven United flight purchases over $100, two United Club passes, a free first checked bag each flight, 25% back on inflight purchases and priority boarding.

There are other benefits when flying United, like travel and purchase protections. For example, the card features no foreign transaction fees for international purchases and 5,000 bonus miles awarded on each anniversary year when you own both the United Business Card and a personal United credit card. If you’re serious about getting awarded for travel and find United convenient or simply prefer it, you can maximize your United miles earned every year. Plus, business owners can also provide employees with cards, at no additional cost, to maximize rewards earning potential.

If you’re a business owner, you may consider the United Business Card over the United Explorer Card. For the most part, the two cards’ features are identical, but you’ll get a bigger bonus from the business version.

Welcome Bonus

As the primary cardmember, you’ll earn a sign-up bonus of up to 75,000 MileagePlus miles after you spend $5,000 in the first three months of account opening.

Rewards Rate

The card offers 2X miles per dollar on United purchases, dining at restaurants, including eligible delivery services, local transit and commuting, and at gas stations and office supply stores.

You’ll earn 1X mile per dollar on all other purchases.

Annual Fee

The card charges a $0 annual fee the first year, then $99 after that. There’s no foreign transaction fee.

Benefits

Like the United Explorer Card, the United Business Card offers enough value to make up for the annual fee, as long as you use it. Here’s what to expect:

  • $100 United annual travel credit when you make seven United flight travel-related purchases during the year, each equaling $100 or more.
  • 5,000 bonus miles every year when you have both the United Business Card and any United personal card.
  • 25% back as a statement credit on United inflight purchases.
  • The first checked bag free for you and one companion on every United flight — that’s worth up to $140 per round-trip itinerary.
  • Priority boarding
  • Two United Club one-time passes every year — worth more than $100
  • Premier upgrades on award tickets
  • Access to United Card events

Insurance protections include:

  • Rental car insurance: Coverage is primary when renting for business purposes.
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance: Reimbursement of up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip if your trip is canceled or interrupted due to a covered event.
  • Trip delay reimbursement: Up to $500 per ticket if your trip is delayed by 12 hours or more or requires an overnight stay.
  • Baggage delay insurance: Up to $100 per day for three days if your bag is delayed by more than six hours.
  • Lost luggage reimbursement: Up to $3,000 in coverage if you or an immediate family member loses a checked bag or it’s damaged by the carrier.
  • Purchase protection: Covers purchases against theft or damage up to 120 days after the transaction date, with up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 total coverage.
  • Extended warranty protection: Extends the manufacturer’s warranty by one year, on eligible warranties of three years or less.

United Club Business Card

The airline’s business premium card, the United Club Business Card, offers excellent value but also at a steep price.

Welcome Bonus

You’ll earn 75,000 United miles after you spend $5,000 in the first three months of account opening.

Rewards Rate

The card has the simplest rewards program of all the United cards. As the primary cardmember, you’ll earn 2X miles per dollar on United purchases and 1.5X miles per dollar on everything else.

Annual Fee

The card charges a $450 annual fee, which isn’t as high as the personal Club card, but still not worth paying unless you regularly fly United for your business. The card doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee.

Benefits

Like the United Club Infinite Card, the United Club Business Card offers a long list of perks you can enjoy, including:

  • United Club membership, including unlimited access for you and your traveling companions to United Club lounges and participating Star Alliance affiliate lounges — worth up to $650 per year.
  • The first and second checked bags free for you and one companion on every United flight — that’s worth up to $320 per round-trip itinerary.
  • Priority check-in, security screening, boarding and baggage handling.
  • 25% back as a statement credit on United inflight purchases.
  • Complimentary Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Presidential Circle membership.
  • Premier upgrades on award tickets
  • Access to United Card events

Additionally, you’ll get the following travel and shopping protections:

  • Rental car insurance: Coverage is primary when the vehicle is rented for business purposes.
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance: Reimbursement of up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip if your trip is canceled or interrupted due to a covered event.
  • Trip delay reimbursement: Up to $500 per ticket if your trip is delayed by 12 hours or more or requires an overnight stay.
  • Baggage delay insurance: Up to $100 per day for three days if your bag is delayed by more than six hours.
  • Lost luggage reimbursement: Up to $3,000 in coverage if you or an immediate family member loses a checked bag or it’s damaged by the carrier.
  • Purchase protection: Covers purchases against theft or damage up to 120 days after the transaction date, with up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 total coverage.
  • Price protection: Up to $500 per claim if you purchase an item and it’s advertised at a lower price within 90 days. There’s a $2,500 maximum benefit per year.
  • Return protection: Reimburses up to $500 per item and $1,000 per year if a merchant doesn’t take back your item within 90 days of the purchase date.
  • Extended warranty protection: Extends the manufacturer’s warranty by one year, on eligible warranties of three years or less.

About United MileagePlus

United Airlines was named the fourth-largest airline in the world in 2019, and while it’s a U.S.-based airline, it offers routes all over the world. It’s also a member of the Star Alliance, which includes 26 airlines from around the world.

If you have United MileagePlus miles, you can fly with any of these airlines by booking your trip through the United platform.

The three airlines that are larger than United include American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines. While Southwest is primarily a domestic airline with a handful of international destinations, American and Delta provide a long list of domestic and international routes.

If you’re wondering whether it’s worth putting all your eggs into one airline basket by getting a United credit card — or any other airline credit card for that matter — think about which airline you travel with normally.

If you’re loyal to a specific airline, it may be a good idea to get one of their credit cards. But if you’re a free agent and simply choose the airline that offers the best deal on a flight, you may not get as much value out of a specific airline card.

Also, check to see whether your local airport is a hub for a major airline. Flights are typically cheaper for an airline’s hub airports. Major United hubs include Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Frequently Asked Question About United Airlines Credit Cards

What is the recommended credit score to qualify for a United credit card?

Most credit card issuers don’t publish credit score requirements to qualify for a credit card. However, United credit cards are geared towards individuals with good to excellent FICO credit scores (670-850).

If you don’t know your credit score, it’s a good idea to check before applying for a new credit card. It’s easy to monitor your credit scores for free. You can also use a free service like Experian Boost™ if you want to increase your credit score.

How does the United Explorer Card compare to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card?

Both the United Explorer Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card carry a similar annual fee and similar sign-up bonuses for new cardholders. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is recommended for travel credit card enthusiasts who prioritize reward redemption flexibility. Whereas the United Explorer Card is designed specifically for people who are loyal to United-operated flights and enjoy in-flight perks and accelerated rewards earning for United purchases.

How does the United Club Infinite Card compare to the American Express Platinum Card?

Similar to the comparisons between the United Explorer and the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the United Club Card and the Platinum Card both offer compatible annual fees and new cardmember bonuses. However, the differences between the two luxury travel cards come down to airline loyalty. Cardmembers who are United loyalists and travel frequently may find more value with the United Club. But cardholders who value flexibility with their travel reward redemptions will most likely gravitate to the Platinum Card or even the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

While we work hard on our research, we do not always provide a complete listing of all available offers from credit-card companies and banks. And because offers can change, we cannot guarantee that our information will always be up to date, so we encourage you to verify all the terms and conditions of any financial product before you apply.

Ben Luthi
Ben Luthi is a personal finance and travel writer and credit card expert. He has a degree in finance from Brigham Young University and worked in financial planning, banking and auto finance before writing full-time for NerdWallet and Student Loan Hero. Ben is now a full-time freelance writer and enjoys traveling and spending time with his two kids. His work has appeared in several publications, including U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Money, Success and Slickdeals.