Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card issuers from which MillionMileSecrets.com receives compensation. Compensation does not impact the placement of cards on Million Mile Secrets other than in banner advertising. MillionMileSecrets.com does not include all credit card offers that might be available to consumers in the marketplace.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

A comparison of the United Airlines credit cards

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

A comparison of the United Airlines credit cards

Meghan HunterA comparison of the United Airlines credit cardsMillion Mile Secrets Team

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

If you’re a United Airlines flyer, there’s probably a credit card that’s right for your wallet. Which card that is will depend on your travel goals and preferences. It’s important to know which perks you’ll get with each version — for example, only some United cards save you money on baggage fees or get you into United Club airport lounges.

All of the Chase United Airlines cards are affected by the Chase 5/24 rule. So if you’re looking to earn United miles, it’s important to know your options.

Here’s a rundown of what you’ll get with each card.

Best United Airlines miles credit cards

The information for the United Club, United Club Business and the United TravelBank card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Card NameSign-Up BonusAnnual Fee
United Explorer Card
For a limited time, earn up to 65,000 bonus miles; 40,000 miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases in the first three months. Plus, an additional 25,000 bonus miles after you spend $10,000 total on purchases in the first six months your account is open. $95 (waived for the first year)
United Explorer Business Card
Up to 100,000 United Airlines miles; 50,000 bonus United Airlines miles after spending $5,000 on purchases within first three months of account opening. Plus an additional 50,000 more United Airlines miles after spending $25,000 total on purchases within first six months of account opening$95
United Club Card50,000 United Airlines miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening$450
United Club Business Card50,000 United Airlines miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening$450
United TravelBank Card$150 in TravelBank cash after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months from account openingNone
The information for the United Club Card, United Club Business Card, and the United TravelBank Card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Our United Airlines credit card comparison will help you choose the perfect one to fulfill your travel dreams to places like Iceland. (Photo by Andrew Mayovskyy/Shutterstock)

The top United Airlines credit cards

Chase United Explorer

Card bonus

With the United Explorer Card, you’ll earn up to 65,000 United Airlines miles; 40,000 miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases in the first three months and an additional 25,000 bonus miles after you spend $10,000 total on purchases in the first six months your account is open.

Ongoing earnings

The United Explorer card also comes with:

  • 2 United Airlines miles per $1 you spend on purchases from United Airlines
  • 2 United Airlines miles per $1 spent at restaurants and hotels when you book directly
  • 1 United Airlines mile per $1 you spend on everything else

Benefits and perks

The United℠ Explorer Card enhances your travel experience in multiple ways with a variety of benefits and perks.

The Chase United Explorer card comes with priority boarding and two one-time United Club lounge passes per cardmember year. Plus, you’ll get a $100 credit every four years for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership, which is a huge timesaver at U.S. airport security checkpoints. Everyone on the MMS team has either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry (you can read about TSA PreCheck vs. Global Entry here).

Cardholders will also get priority boarding, free checked bags, access to more United Airlines award seats and more.

Annual fee

There’s a $95 annual fee with this card, but it’s waived the first year.

Our take

This is my favorite airline credit card. It enhances every step of your travel experience with perks like waived checked bag fees and more award seat availability. The access to more award seats has come in handy more times than I can count. Being a United Explorer cardholder has not only made it easier to earn United miles but to use them too. I think this is an absolute must for United Airlines flyers.

Read our review of the Chase United Explorer Card

Chase United Explorer Business Card

Card bonus

Small-business owners can do business well with the United Explorer Business Card.  You’ll earn up to 100,000 United Airlines miles after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements:

  • 50,000 bonus United Airlines miles after spending $5,000 on purchases within first three months of account opening
  • 50,000 more bonus United Airlines miles after spending $25,000 total on purchases within first six months of account opening

You must have a small business to be eligible for this card but lots of folks qualify for a small business card without realizing it.  If you earn income for performing a service like driving for Uber or selling goods on eBay, you could qualify.

Do you have a side gig like dog walking, tutoring or reselling items on eBay? You’ll likely qualify for a small-business card. (Photo by SpeedKingz/Shutterstock)

Ongoing earnings

With the United Explorer Business Card you’ll also get:

  • 2 United Airlines miles per $1 you spend on United Airlines and at restaurants, gas stations and office supply stores
  • 1 United Airlines mile per $1 you spend on everything else

Benefits and perks

Like the personal version of the United Explorer card, Explorer Business cardholders get benefits like free checked bags for them and a traveling companion when they use the card to pay for their reservation, priority boarding, two one-time United Club lounge passes and more. And they get my favorite perk, access to more United Airlines award seats.

Annual fee

You’ll pay $95 per year to hold this card.

Our take

This is by far the biggest current United Airlines card bonus. You can fly just about anywhere in the world with that number of miles. Even if you can’t meet the full spending requirement to earn 100,000 miles, a 50,000-mile bonus is still solid. Although United recently moved to dynamic pricing for awards, if you earn the full bonus on this card, you should have enough miles for three or four coach flights within the U.S., a one-way business-class ticket to Europe or even two round-trip coach flights to Hawaii.

You’ll need to be under Chase’s 5/24 limit to apply for the card, but Chase doesn’t report small-business cards to your personal credit report so the United Business credit card won’t add to your 5/24 count.

Chase United Club Card

Card bonus

You’ll earn 50,000 United Airlines miles when you sign-up for the United Club Card and spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open. That’s enough for two round-trip flights within the U.S., and more than enough for a round-trip flight to a destination like Peru or Hawaii.

Ongoing earnings

With this card, you get:

  • 2 United Airlines miles per $1 spent on United Airlines flights
  • 1.5 United Airlines miles per $1 spent on other purchases

Benefits and perks

This card also comes with a United Club membership (worth up to $550). So if you enjoy United Airlines lounges and their free food and drinks when you fly, this can be a great card to have. With the membership, you can access United Clubs and Star Alliance lounges. Plus, you can bring two guests for free (or one adult and dependent children under 21 years of age to a United Club or one guest to a Star Alliance lounge.

Note: You need to be flying United Airlines or one of its partners the same day to gain entry to United Clubs.

You’ll also get perks like first and second bags checked free when you pay for your ticket with the card (save up to $280 per round-trip flight), priority check-in and boarding and, of course, more access to available award seats.

Annual fee

This card has a $450 annual fee, which is not waived the first year. However, the savings from the checked baggage benefit and United Club membership can more than offset the annual fee if you fly United often.

Our take

The only glaring advantage this card has over the United Explorer Card is the United Club lounge access. There are other goodies but they’re not useful to everyone.

A United Club membership costs significantly more than you’ll pay for this card’s annual fee, so opening this card is a way to get United Club access at a discount.

It’s cheaper to sign up for the Chase United Club Card than paying for United Club lounge membership. (Photo by Daniel Ross)

Chase United Club Business Card

Card bonus

There’s also a small-business version of the Chase United Club card with an identical welcome bonus. You’ll earn 50,000 United Airlines miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

Ongoing earnings

Just like with the personal version of this card, United Club Business cardholders will earn:

  • 2 United Airlines miles per $1 spent on United Airlines flights
  • 1.5 United Airlines miles per $1 spent on other purchases

Benefits and perks

The rest of the perks are the same as the personal version mentioned above.

Annual fee

This card’s annual fee is $450.

Our take

Again, the main reason to get this card would be for the United Club access because membership costs more than you’ll pay for this card’s annual fee.

Chase United TravelBank Card

Card bonus

When you open this card, you’ll earn $150 in TravelBank cash after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. The rewards you earn with this card can only be used for flights on United Airlines, so this sign-up bonus will save you $150 off the cost of a United Airlines flight (not any partner airline flights).

Ongoing earnings

With this card, you’ll get:

  • 2% back in TravelBank cash per $1 with United Airlines
  • 1.5% back in TravelBank cash per $1 for all other purchases

Benefits and perks

  • 25% off United Airlines onboard food and beverage purchases
  • Rental car insurance (secondary coverage)
  • Trip cancellation insurance
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee

Annual fee

TheUnited TravelBank Card is the only no-annual-fee United Airlines card available to new applicants.

Our take

We don’t recommend this card, even if you frequently fly with United Airlines. You’d be far better off picking up a great cash-back credit card and using those rewards for anything (not just United Airlines flights). Or consider one of the best credit cards for travel.

However, if you have other Chase United cards that charge an annual fee and aren’t sure if you want to keep them for another year, you might be able to downgrade to this card instead of cancelling your card.  That way you’ll save your credit line and history with Chase.

Other ways to earn United Airlines miles

Don’t forget United Airlines is a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner. This means you can transfer these flexible points directly to the airline if you have these popular credit cards:

If you have any of the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards mentioned above, you can combine points from these no-annual-fee Chase Ultimate Rewards cards and move them to United Airlines as well:

Summary of the best United cards

Anyone looking for a United Airlines card has five options to choose from. Right now, your best option is the increased bonus on the United Explorer Business Card. You’ll earn up to 100,000 United Airlines miles after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements.

Let us know your favorite among the bunch and subscribe to our newsletter for United Airlines travel tips and tricks to getting the most from your miles.

United℠ Explorer Business Card

United℠ Explorer Business Card

  • Earn up to 100,000 after qualifying purchases.
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
  • Plus, 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $25,000 total on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 at restaurants, gas stations and office supply stores.
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United purchases. And 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Free checked bag - save up to $120 per roundtrip (terms apply)
  • Two one-time United Club℠ passes each year — Over $100 in value per year
  • Employee cards at no additional cost - miles earned from their purchases accrue in your account. Plus, you can set individual spending limits for each card.

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

8comments

by Newest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

For the priority boarding, do you have to book your flight with the United credit card? My employer requires that I book my flight on the company credit card so I can’t use this United card to book the flight for my business trips. Wonder if that means I won’t get priority boarding.

Hi John!

I did a quick search online, and from what I can tell, as long as your United card is tied to your MileagePlus account, you should qualify for priority boarding.