United Club Card with $395 Fee Waived For Potentially Everyone!

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Link:  United Club Card

Link:  How to send Chase a secure message

Lots of folks comment and email to ask if I have extra codes (available in United lounges) to get the $395 annual fee on the United Club waived.

I don’t have any more codes, but thanks to Million Mile Secrets reader Carla, it MAY be possible to get the $395 annual fee on the United Club Card waived!

The United Club card gets you:

  • Entry to United & US Air lounges even if not traveling on United, and Star Alliance lounges with a Star Alliance boarding pass  ($375 to $475 annual value)
  • 1st and 2nd checked bag free for 2 persons (savings of $120 round-trip per person)
  • 1.5 United miles per $1 spent, making this the best card with which to earn United miles for regular spending
  • Free Hyatt Platinum status (free internet!) and Avis President’s Club status (2 class car rental upgrade)
  • Premier Access travel benefits (priority check-in, security, boarding, etc.)
  • No foreign transaction fees and a few other perks

Earning 1.5 miles per $1 spent makes this a terrific card for big spenders and the BEST way to earn United miles for regular spending.

This is also one of the best credit cards to use for tax payments because you will effectively be buying United miles for 1.26 cents after taking into account the 1.89% fee to pay taxes with a credit card.

So a $33,333 tax payment will get you 50,000 United miles or a 1-way business class ticket to Europe or South America for a $630 fee.

I’m not a big spender, but I would have saved $120 in checked baggage fees on a recent United flight if I had the card, so this card could make sense for folks who fly a few times on United and pay to check-in bags.

Yes, Yes, but how do I get the card with the 1st year fee waived?

Carla sent a secure message to Chase asking them if they would waive the 1st year annual fee on the United Club card for her.

And Chase wrote back that they would waive the the $395 fee on the United Club card if she applied for it!

So Emily sent Chase a secure message from her account.  Here’s what she wrote:


I see that there is a United Club card with the 1st year fee waived. Can you match me to that offer if I apply for the United Club card?



She got a reply back in a few hours that Chase would forward her message to the “appropriate department” and get back to her.  I hate it when that happens!

Dear Emily,

I have forwarded your message to the appropriate department for review and you should receive a response within one business day.  If you require immediate assistance, please contact the number listed below and either myself, or one of my colleagues will be able to assist you. For your convenience, we are available to assist you 24 hours a day.

If you have any further questions, please reply using the Secure Message Center.

Thank you,

[Name Deleted]

E-mail Customer Service Advisor

But 2 days later, Emily got another message with the good news that Chase would waive the $395 annual fee if she applied for the Chase United Club card (bolding below is mine)!

Dear Emily,

Thank you for contacting Chase about your United MileagePlus credit card account.

We are pleased to confirm we can match the first year annual fee waiver if you apply and are approved for the United MileagePlus Club credit card product. Once you are approved please contact us to match the offer.

If you have any further questions, please reply using the Secure Message Center.

Thank you,

[Name Deleted]

E-mail Customer Service Advisor

What does this mean?

I suspect that they will honor the fee waiver because Chase usually honors the offers which their customer service representatives make via secure message.  For example, Chase stood by their customer service reps who offered an extra 50,000 points for the Chase Sapphire Preferred [Now expired] or an extra 10,000 points for the Chase Ink Bold.

American Express, on the other hand, does NOT always honor the commitments which their reps make via secure message or on the telephone as many folks who applied for the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold card in order to bump the bonus to 100,000 points found out.

But I’ve never had a bad customer service experience with Chase, so I’m not surprised that Chase is stealing market share from American Express.

I’d send Chase the secure message sooner rather than later, because the fee free offer available in United Clubs expires on May 31, 2012, so they could stop offering the fee free version to folks who send them a secure message.

And United elites may be able to get a fee-free version of the card as well.

Bottom Line:  The Chase United Club card is a lot more attractive with the $395 fee waived for the 1st year.  So it doesn’t hurt to send Chase a secure message to ask if they will waive the fee for the 1st year before you apply for the card.

But, as always, your experience could be different from Carla’s and Emily’s experience.  Good luck!

Link:  United Club Card

Link:  How to send Chase a secure message

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48 responses to “United Club Card with $395 Fee Waived For Potentially Everyone!

  1. Darius,

    You state above “So a $33,333 tax payment will get you 50,000 United miles or 1 business class ticket to Europe or South America for a $630 fee.”

    When and where can one get a business class ticket to Europe for 50,000 miles? Am I reading this correctly?

  2. @theblakefish. Obviously he means a one way ticket for $630 which is still a very good deal. That means a roun-trip would cost you about $1,300 but you will be flying in business class.

  3. Daraius, I am shocked !!
    You would get a card with no bonus? 🙂

  4. No points?

  5. Hey Darius, Would you explain to me how this type of lounge pass works? For example, if I applied for the card and was traveling with my family of 4 could we all enter, or just me?? Would having additional card holders make a difference?? Is there a charge for them as with American Express? If one of my kids is an “adult” does that exclude her from joining me? Thanks!! Love your blog…

  6. @Kathy, I have the CO version of the card, the MC Presidential Plus, this card is a Visa. With the CO version, you receive a separate card for the United Club, another for Avis and yet another for Hyatt. You and your spouse and your children will be able to enter the lounges – just show your card at the counter. This is a major reason why our family of four got the the card (and I only got a $95 statement credit, the $395 fee was not waived). There is no charge for additional cardholders, but the benefits are only for the primary. Not sure about adult kids though. I had called Chase and they said the only difference between the CO and UA cards are the CO card earns EQMS while the UA card earn 1.5 miles for every $1 spend. HTH

    Darius, enjoy your blog everyday – thanks!

  7. Too many Chase cards I want!

  8. CanadianMillionMiler

    Personally for me, another very good reason to get this card is to get the close-in fee of $75 fee per ticket waived, a great deal if you are not an elite and travel often (often last minute many award seats open up). And if you have a family of 4, that saves you $300 per trip (one way) and if you have no choice but to book last minute on the return as well, that’s $600 saved per round trip. Add to that, the savings for extra bags with no fees either. A great deal IMHO for those in this situation.

  9. @Canadian- I agree totally- there are many cancellations in last few days for award tickets. Of course you have to be willing to play “chicken” with the booking (or be super flexible about IF you’ll be taking the trip at all or at what price).

    • @theblakefish @Dee Tee – I meant a 1-way business class ticket, not a return. I’ve edited the post to be clearer.

      @Frank – I haven’t got it as yet, but am crunching the numbers to see if it will pay off if we can make some payments for Emily’s parents and keep the miles.

      @Mark – There is no sign on bonus for this card.

      – As Theresa points out, you can get additional cardholders, but they will not get entry into the lounge just by having an additional card. Here’s a link to the United Club “The guest limit for United Club locations in the United States is two per member, or spouse and dependent children. The guest limit in the United Clubs outside the United States is one per member, or spouse and dependent children.”

      @Theresa – Thanks so much for helping out!

      @Ken – Welcome to the club!

      @CanadianMillionMiler @mike fein – Very good points and an easy way to save some significant money and get access to last minute award seats. Thanks for sharing.

  10. My question is should we apply for this card or Sapphire Preferred? We are planning a a trip to Rome and Paris next spring and will be using US Air. I think we will have enough miles in our accounts that miles will not be as much of a concern. I would also like to know about adult children and lounge access.

  11. @Diane- if you are only travelling next spring why not get sapphire now to load up on the bonus and then get this card later this year for example (unless you are positive youll get fee waved now but not later). The lounge access is good for a year and thus if you got card right now you might very well have to pay a second year fee to still have lounge access (late)next spring. you can use the sapphire pref 40k bonus points (current) with the minimum spend to net you 43 of the 44k points youd need to stay in the most choice hyatt in paris for 2 nights for example… I would also suggest getting the hyatt card for the same purpose since the 2 free nights youll get as signup bonus will be good for 16 months in any hyatt (hello paris again)…

  12. This looks like they have agreed to waive the full annual fee to me. Anyone else had a similar reply? This is the reply I received after following the steps above –

    Dear Akeel,

    Thank you for contacting us with your concerns.

    To automatically qualify for the full first year annual
    fee waiver on a MileagePlus Club account an application
    with that enrollment incentive would need to be used.
    However, if you apply for a MileagePlus Club account with
    only a partial annual fee credit, you may contact Chase
    after the annual fee is billed and at that time the full
    annual fee will be waived.

    If you have any further questions, please reply using the
    Secure Message Center.

    Thank you,

    xxxxxxx xxxxxx
    E-mail Customer Service Representative

    • @Diane – Do whatever you feel comfortable with. The 2nd year fee is not waived on the United Club card, so perhaps get it closer to when you’ll actually use it to get the most value from the card. You’re allowed 2 guests which would include adult children, or all your dependent children.

      @mike fein – Thanks for helping out!

      @Akeel – Thanks for sharing! Looks like you got a slightly different reply, but they’ll waive the fee for the 1st year.

    • @Diane – Do whatever you feel comfortable with. The 2nd year fee is not waived on the United Club card, so perhaps get it closer to when you’ll actually use it to get the most value from the card. You’re allowed 2 guests which would include adult children, or all your dependent children.

      @mike fein – Thanks for helping out!

      @Akeel – Thanks for sharing! Looks like you got a slightly different reply, but they’ll waive the fee for the 1st year.

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  14. I got a different response: “Once you have applied, been approved for the account and the annual fee has billed, please contact us through the Secure Message Center or call Cardmember Services to request the better premium. We can normally match better offers as long as the request is received within 90 days of account approval.” I took the risk and applied (through your link Daraius – love your blog!) We’ll see what they do when I follow up!

  15. Note that there appears to be some false advertising going on. You DO NOT get Hyatt Platinum Status nor Avis President Club status on those programs like you would with Amex (getting Starwood Gold for example). That is, you will not get a Hyatt Platinum Status card from Hyatt, nor a Avis President Club card from Avis, and you will not be recognized as having that status with those programs. What you do get (which I haven’t tried yet) is the same benefits as those programs if you book using your Club card. But Hyatt and Avis do not recognize you as Platinum nor President respectively when you call them. In fact, Club card doesn’t even ask for your membership numbers for those programs, and won’t even take it when you call them, saying it’s unnecessary (ie they are not linked). Sounds very different on the Chase Club Card Website. Anyway, found this out when I got the Club card and tried to “update my status”.

  16. @Alpine- call again. Most certainly worked with hyatt for me. It is a new card the rep you spoke to simply didnt know anything about it. Your status should be upgraded to platinum. quickest way to do it it is to tweet @hyattconcierge on Twitter

  17. The United Club offer with $395 fee waived the first year states “Please see a United Club representative to access an invitation code”; having spent some time making phone calls (to Chase and United Club) I learned that the codes are printed on brochures available in the actual clubs. Chase called one of the clubs, on my behalf, and I obtained an access code and just completed the application – approved! I’m not sure how to obtain the club phone numbers (I did get the one Chase called). Good luck! FYI – this offer expires today.

  18. United Club Card Holder

    Don’t waste your money on this useless card if you travel overseas. Almost every airline Star Alliance lounge will refuse to accept the United Club card. They aren’t supposed to refuse, but they have no idea what it is. United has done an appalling job communicating to their partner airlines that this card even exists. I’ve had Lufthanza, Air China, Austrian Air and Singapore Airlines all refuse to take it at their lounges. And these are the lounges that United’s own website will tell you to use. Star Alliance Gold status is the only thing these airlines recognize. When I complained to United they just blew me off and said it was the other airlines fault, not theirs. Save yourself the frustration and $395, just earn Star Alliance Gold status as quickly as possible. Preferably with any airline other than United..

    • @Susan S. – Thanks for the tip! That’s really nice of Chase to call to get a code for you.

      @United Club Card Holder – Sorry to hear about that. Chase has excellent customer service, so I’d call or send them a secure message letting them know your experience.

  19. @united card club holder- I am sorry but while the United club CREDIT CARD isnt guaranteed lounge access THE UNITED LOUNGE card that comes separate with card certainly does. I fly around the world and have been to every one of the lounges you mentioned and have gotten in no hassle whatsoever. in fact on each of THEIR websites in english it plainly states that united lounge card gains access. You might want to print it and take it with you. for example with lufthansa go to http://www.lufthansa.com/il/en/Help-and-Contact and look at second question and open it. the agent at desk can do so and see united club card holders are entitled to enter.

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  23. I just tried this and this and they are still willing to waive the annual fee. Not bad! Thanks for the tip, Daraius, and go ‘Cats!

  24. I meant to write in earlier to report my experience. I received an email via secure message to contact Chase once the fee hit, but I called instead of sending a reply by SM and the rep on the telephone tried to convince that I was only eligible for the waived $95 fee version. While on the phone with this guy, I simultaneously sent an SM to Chase, to the rep who had advised me to contact them, and told the guy on the phone thanks and farewell. The next day I had an SM from Chase saying I would have the $395 annual fee waived and it was promptly refunded to my card.

    The moral of the story, secure message wins.

  25. Hello,

    I have the mileplus club card and im traveling overseas for the first time with the card, however on the united website, it states that the club access is split into 3 categories: 1. united club (obviously included with united card) 2. Star Alliance LOUNGE ( branded lounges in London, Los Angeles, Nagoya and Paris) 3. Star Alliance GOLD (must have star alliance gold recognition) Now, my question is that with this card, do I have access to the Star Alliance GOLD lounges??? Because even though United.com states the above I thought that as mileplus Club card members we are able to enter any star alliance affiliated lounge period (with a reservation on a star alliance flight of course).

  26. I applied for this card and asked for the fee to be waived, and they said yes. That was before I found this great article, so I am just here to say that it works. Initially they refunded $95 immediately, and after I made the first $300 in purchases, I had to contact them again and they then waived the remaining $300. I did not need any access code. I simply send an email and asked for the first year to be waived. It’s a great card with very good benefits. I have used the free checked bags and lounges several times with no problems.

  27. I don’t have a Chase account, so how do you recommend I contact them to get this discount?

    • Alex – If you don’t have a Chase account it could be hard to get the offer. You could go to a Chase branch and ask for the offer or apply for the card and then send them a message asking to be matched to the better offer.

  28. I got the fee waived today by sending a secure message. (Well once I apply and get it, they will waive the fee). I told my friend about it, we will see if they waive hers too. Thanks for the advice, it really helped!

  29. … actually they will credit my account… Which isn’t quite the same with waiving the fee, but for me that’s fine 🙂

  30. Yesterday, I was entry with my Club Card in the Star Alliance Louge in Istanbul. My flight was booked with points, using United’s website, and they put me on Turkish Air. I had a 4 1/2 layover in Istanbul, and I assumed I’d be able to use the lounge. I was refused entry because my status showed as Silver rather than Gold. There were other lounges, but none of them would accept the card for entry.

  31. These instructions for the annual fee waiver worked great for me.

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  34. http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1257102/

    ^This still works. Easy way to get the fee waived the first year.

  35. Does anyone have a screen shot of the “Annual Fee Waived for the first year” offer?


  36. Here’s the dope:

    I asked if they’d waive the fee, if I applied. I did NOT apply, I got this response:

    Dear Mr. Sneaky,

    Thank you for contacting Chase about your interest in our
    MileagePlus Club credit card.

    We have reviewed the application you completed for this
    account and have confirmed that you applied for the offer
    that provides $100 statement credit for enrollment on that
    type of account

    We are unable to confirm an offer entitling you to receive
    an annual fee waiver. Please provide us with a copy of
    the offer addressed to you and we will be happy to review
    the offer and make any necessary adjustments to your
    account. Keep in mind that new offers can only be applied
    to an account within three months of the opening date.
    Please send the offer you received to the address above,
    or fax the information to us at 1-888-643-9628.

    If you have any further questions, please reply using the
    Secure Message Center.

    Thank you,
    name withheld

    But I, uh, whatnow? So I thought I’d try to clear up the misunderstanding… but maybe the easier course would be to send a screenshot of the offer – with no other identifying information (like URL or name).

    Dunno if this’ll make it work, or if I’ll end up explaining the whole thing again… but if any of you has a capture of the offer, I’d toast you with tiny package of crackers from IAD next month! Perhaps even a delicious Popov shot-sky!

    Thanks for reading through.

  37. I had this card with the first year fee waived from approximately May 2015 and I cancelled May 2016 before I was billed for the card (then it was $395). From the link on your page, after I sign into my Mileage Plus account, the offer for the card with the first year fee waived is advertised.

    Do you know if it’s possible to get the card again with the first year fee waived so soon after cancelling?
    I called Chase but they were ambiguous and said they could not provide an answer until after I applied and my application was reviewed.