Credit Card Updates: United Club Card with 1st Year Fee ($395) Potentially Waived, United Explorer 60,000 Mile Card Now with $50 credit, & $300 Chase Freedom Card

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Credit Card Updates: United Club Card with 1st Year Fee ($395) Potentially Waived, United Explorer 60,000 Mile Card Now with $50 credit, & $300 Chase Freedom Card

Million Mile SecretsCredit Card Updates: United Club Card with 1st Year Fee ($395) Potentially Waived, United Explorer 60,000 Mile Card Now with $50 credit, & $300 Chase Freedom CardMillion Mile Secrets Team

Signing-up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers

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1.   United Club Card With No Annual Fee

Million Mile Secrets reader Byron (thanks!) writes in with a tip on how to get the new United Club card with the $395 annual fee waived for the 1st year if you’re a United elite member.

Chase recently launched the Chase United Club card which offers free access to United lounges, no checked baggage fees for the first AND second bag, United Premier Access, and 1.5 miles per $1 spent on all purchases.

However, the card doesn’t have a sign-up bonus (what?!) and has a $395 annual fee.  You do get a $95 credit, so the 1st year cost is only $300.  You can also buy club access from United for $475 if you’re not an elite member or for  $375 to $450 depending on your elite status.

I’m also kinda cheap and would rather get 12 lounge passes for ~$50, so I wouldn’t sign up for this card,  but this card may be very useful to folks who are Big Spenders and who can take advantage of the 1.5 United miles per $1 spent.  Or for those of you who frequently travel with 2 checked bags.

Of course, you save the full cost of the lounge membership in the 1st year, so this card could make sense for the 1st year.

Anyway, if you’re a United elite member you can get the card with the 1st year annual fee waived by:

Step 1

Logging into your United account.

Step 2

Clicking on this link to the fee-free version of the card.

Click on “Pricing and Terms” to confirm that the 1st year fee is waived.

Not a United Elite?

Folks in this FlyerTalk thread (thanks vilox!) have also pointed out that there might be a way to get the United Club card with the 1st year fee waived even if you’re not an United elite member.

You may be able to stop by a United Club at the airport and get an invitation code from the marketing materials advertising the credit card in the United lounge and respond to this offer for a 1st year fee waived version of the United Club card.

If you recently applied for the United Club card, it doesn’t hurt to send Chase a secure message and ask them to match you to the fee-waived version.  I’m not sure if they will match you!

2.   United Explorer Card with 60,000 miles AND $50 statement credit

Million Mile Secrets readers T and Jay (thanks!), shared a link to get to the 60,000 mile version of the United Explorer credit card WITH a $50 statement credit as well.

I added their link to my earlier post on the United 60,000 mile post. 

You have to first log into your United account (with more than 1 mile in it), and THEN click on the link to see the United 60,000 mile offer with the $50 statement credit.

If you still can’t see the offer, you may be able to apply for the 40,000 version and then ask Chase to match you to the higher offer.  While Chase will match you to the 60,000 mile version, I’ve read mixed success with asking for the $50 statement credit.  But, as always, it doesn’t hurt to ask!

3.   Chase Freedom $300

Thanks to amolkold for tweeting me with a link to the Chase Freedom $300 (or 30,000 Ultimate Rewards Points) offer.  As always, I updated the Bank Points Credit Card tab as soon as I found out about the better offer.

Bottom Line:  If you do decide to apply for any of these cards, don’t forget to take a screenshot.

Or like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

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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! :)

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Looks like a no go to me. The reply message from chase CSR attached below.


Dear [name],

Thank you for contacting Chase about your interest in our

MileagePlus® Club credit card.

Please understand that the MileagePlus Club card with the

first year annual fee waiver promotion is a targeted


If you were not personally solicited for this offer, we

welcome you to apply for the MileagePlus Club card that

currently offers a statement credit. You can apply online

by visiting our website at or

calling 1-888-744-6899.

However if you get solicited for the first year annual fee

waiver promotion after you apply, we will be happy to

honor that new offer for up to 90 days after your account

is approved and with a copy of the new offer.

If you have other questions, please call us at the number

on the back of your card. We are here to assist you


It has been my pleasure to assist you. If you have any

further questions, please reply using the Secure Message


Thank you,

Jeanna Halbmaier

Customer Service Specialist

And three weeks later all is sorted out. I could have paid the $275 with my credit card and gotten points, and had the check mailed to me, but for this experiment I wanted to stay out of the middle and let Avis and Visa sort it out. Just received in the mail a photocopy of the check sent to Avis. They even covered the 1/2 day loss of use charge.

It’s hard to fully analyze the value of this benefit, as opposed to the secondary insurance offered by most, but for me it feels better not to ever have to inform my personal car insurance company, even if their answer will be “below the deductible” so I have to go to the credit card anyway. Insurance companies don’t hesitate to increase your premiums “just because”. Having Visa just deal with it is a lot easier.

And, unlike AMEX insurance (secondary or the rental-car add-on you can buy for $25) Visa will cover the rental car I take in New Zealand next month. Given the whole “drive on the wrong side of the road” thing, last time I was there I chose to buy the insurance. This time I’ll let Visa deal with any problems (not that I had any last time)…

Chase (and Visa Signature/platinum/whatever) are replacing AMEX as my travel cards. AMEX still had them beat for ease of process when dealing with extended warranty stuff, but perhaps that’s changed too… Pretty soon I’ll have to consider whether keeping AMEX at all is worthwhile.

Million Mile Secrets

@rob – Thanks for that update and good to know that it worked out. Insurance companies raise rates quote frequently, so it is possible that your rate could have increased by more than $275 over a year if you reported the claim. Thanks again for sharing your experience.

Sorry – I was going to point out that I realized you didn’t mean the personal Visa – I was more reporting on what I discovered.

Yeah – primary rental insurance is definitely strange. Not very important if you don’t rent many cars, but amazingly useful if you do. It’s particularly rare to find the useful combination of no foreign transaction fees *and* primary rental car insurance. This primary insurance also covers something obscure that most personal auto insurance won’t cover – loss of use costs. In Arizona, and perhaps other places, the rental car companies will charge you for “loss of use” time. If the car is out of the rental rotation for a week they’ll charge you for that week. The enhanced coverage explicitly covers that loss of use charge.

The more I look at that, the more value I think the Mileage Plus Club card has for me. As I observed, it’s pretty much paid for itself for the next year just with that blown tire…. Oddly, the United Club benefit (and corresponding star alliance club access) while nice, is something one can acquire other ways.

Anyway… life is much more interesting with choices!

Indeed. Also, oddly enough, Mileage Plus Explorer cards.

Given the number of times that their documents talk about “abiding by the terms and conditions” I’d be very wary of using my Ink Bold and claiming the rental was for business if it was a personal trip, even though I’ve my own business.

I just had a chat with a gal at “Enhancement services” about rental car coverage, to confirm that it applies in New Zealand (it does) and also asked her about my Citibank Visa Signature. Apparently not all Visa Signature cards are alike, as the Citibank one is secondary to normal auto insurance within the USA, and primary outside. Of course, it’s not a card you’d take outside the country as it has foreign exchange fees…

Million Mile Secrets

@rob – I meant the Citi AA business MasterCard, not the personal MasterCard which doesn’t have it. The primary rental insurance is a strange beast with different cards having slightly different language in the terms and conditions.

No big deal.

It occurs to me that the primary insurance for rental cars, with no deductible, is a benefit not touted enough. And it seems like it’s only the Chase Explorer and Club card that have it.

The deductible on my own car insurance is higher than the $275 bill for a new tire. It’s not impossible that the insurance coverage for this issue hasn’t in fact compensated for $275 of the $395 annual fee on this card.

I’ve been pretty lucky over the years with rental cars – in fact this is the first issue I can recall. But life is random and stuff happens. Not having your personal insurance rates go up because of a fender-bender with a rental car is a pretty amazing benefit.

Million Mile Secrets

@rob – The Ink Bold/Plus also offer primary insurance coverage on business rentals (not personal) and so does the AA MasterCard and a few other cards. I wouldn’t go out of my way to get a card with primary insurance coverage, but I’d use a card with primary insurance cover if I had one for car rentals.

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