United Club Infinite Card review – Limited-time 100,000-mile bonus and solid earning rates
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The United Club℠ Infinite Card is a premium airline credit card that’s currently offering a big 100,000-mile bonus after meeting the minimum spending requirements, making it one of the best travel card bonuses.
You can apply for the United Club Infinite card here.
The United Club Infinite has a $525 annual fee, which is cheaper than purchasing a United Club lounge membership outright, but a bit more expensive than the old version. Let’s take a look at everything you get with this card so you can decide if it makes sense for you.
Who is the United Club Infinite card for?
The main reason to get this rewards credit card is for the United Club membership. However, you can only visit United Club lounges if you are traveling with United or an eligible partner airline, so this card only makes sense for United frequent flyers.
Keep in mind, that it is restricted by the Chase 5/24 rule, so you aren’t eligible for it if you’ve opened five or more cards from any bank in the past 24 months (not including most business credit cards). You also aren’t eligible for the card if you currently have any version of the United Club card or have earned an intro bonus from any version of the United Club card in the past 24 months.
Now through Sept. 30, 2020, the United Club Infinite card comes with a 100,000-mile bonus after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
Benefits and perks
The best United Club Infinite card benefit is the United Club membership that it comes with. Normally, a United Club membership costs $650 a year for anyone who has up to United Premier Gold status; $600 for United Premier Platinum members, and $550 for Premier 1K status or United Global Services members.
With a United Club membership you get unlimited visits to the 45+ locations. You can also bring up to two adult guests or one adult guest and dependent children under 21 years old. You (and guests) will need a same-day boarding pass for travel with United Airlines or a partner airline and a valid government-issued ID to access any United Club lounge.
Free checked bags
The United Club Infinite card has a beefed up free checked-bag perk, compared to other United Airlines credit cards. When you pay for a United-operated flight with the card you’ll get your first and second checked bags for free. This benefit also extends to one traveling companion.
For domestic flights, United charges $30 for the first checked bag and $40 for the second if you pay for the checked luggage in advance (after checking in for your flight the fees increase by $5 each). If you don’t get free checked bags with United Airlines elite status this perk can save you up to $320 round trip if you and your companion are heavy packers.
Trusted traveler program credit
Global Entry and TSA PreCheck are essential trusted traveler programs even if you only travel occasionally. With TSA PreCheck you’ll get access to expedited airport security when you’re traveling with anyone of the participating airlines. Global Entry gets you through customs more quickly when you’re returning to the U.S., in addition to TSA PreCheck benefits.
The application fee for TSA PreCheck is $85 and it’s $100 for Global Entry, but if you pay with the United Club Infinite you’ll get your TSA PreCheck/Global Entry fee reimbursed via up to $100 statement credit.
When traveling with United, you’ll receive Premier Access perks, including priority check-in, security (where available), boarding (Group 2) and baggage handling.
Inflight purchase discount
You will receive a 25% discount — as a statement credit — on eligible inflight purchases you make with your card. This includes food, beverages and Wi-Fi.
Access to more awards
The biggest “hidden” benefit to having any United card is that you’ll get access to an increased number of United award flights. This can save you thousands of miles if you don’t have the flexibility to travel on days when award prices are cheaper.
Complimentary Premier upgrades on award flights
If you have United Premier elite status you aren’t eligible for complimentary upgrades on award flights. Having the United Club Infinite card is helpful in this instance because you are eligible for complimentary upgrades on award flights.
Hertz rental car status
The cardholder is eligible to enroll in Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President’s Circle, which is the top tier of Hertz status. This status normally requires 20+ rentals or $4,000 in spending in a year to achieve. This level of elite status comes with perks like, 50% bonus points (1.5 points per dollar), confirmed one-car-class upgrades and no fees for adding a spouse or domestic partner as an additional driver in the U.S.
No foreign transaction fees
This card has no foreign transaction fees.
Trip cancellation/trip interruption coverage
For trips that were paid for with your card, you’ll be covered up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip for your prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses if your trip is cut short by an eligible event (sickness, weather, etc.). This includes fares, tours or lodgings.
Baggage delay insurance
If your baggage is delayed for more than six hours, you can be reimbursed up to $100 a day for three days. This covers necessary purchases like toiletries and clothing.
Lost luggage reimbursement
If your (or your immediate family members’) luggage is lost or damaged you are covered for up to $3,000 per passenger.
Trip delay reimbursement
If your travel is delay by 12+ hours or requires an overnight stay, you can be reimbursed for necessary expenses. The coverage includes up to $500 in reimbursement per person.
Rental car insurance
When you pay for the entire rental with your card and decline the collision insurance you’ll get primary coverage for damage or theft.
New purchases are covered for 120 days against damage or theft. You can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year.
If a merchant won’t accept a return for a purchase made within the past 90 days you are covered for up to $500 per item and $1,000 per year.
Extended warranty protection
Eligible U.S. manufacturers’ warranties of three years or less will be extended by one year.
How to redeem miles
With the United Club Infinite you’ll earn:
- 4x miles on United purchases
- 2x miles on dining
- 2x miles on all other travel
- 1 mile per dollar spent everywhere else
You can use United miles to book flights with United airlines or its Star Alliance partners. United has officially eliminated the award chart for its flights, meaning you can never be sure how much you’ll pay for a specific destination. This opens up the door for some incredible deals, like 5,000-mile one-way domestic flights in economy. On the other hand, international business-class flights on United can get much more expensive.
One of the best ways to redeem United miles is for partner airline business-class flights because United doesn’t add carrier-imposed fuel surcharges to awards. And, there is still a United Airlines award chart for partner flights. There are many Star Alliance airlines based in Europe and you can book a one-way business-class flight from the U.S. to Europe for only 70,000 miles one-way.
Is the annual fee worth it?
Before you pay a $525 annual fee for any card, make sure it’s worth it for you. United miles are valuable enough to make this card’s intro bonus worth much more than the annual fee. But beyond the first year, it’s going to be a keeper only for those who would have otherwise paid cash for a United Club membership, which costs up to $650 annually.
Remember, to access United Club lounges you’ll need to be traveling with United Airlines or a partner airline (including Star Alliance partners). So if you don’t live in a United or Star Alliance hub or rarely fly with those airlines, you aren’t likely to get much value out of a United Club membership.
Alternatives to the United Club Infinite
If the high annual fee doesn’t make sense for you, there are cheaper United Chase credit card options that include some of this card’s more interesting perks. The United℠ Business Card ($99 annual fee; waived the first year) and the United℠ Explorer Card ($95 annual fee, waived the first year) have much smaller annual fees, solid intro offers and include the basic perks.
With both cards, you’ll get access to more United awards, free first checked bag and inflight discounts. The United Explorer card currently has a bonus offers 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open. The United Business Card offers 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
Chase has done away with its United Club card and replaced it with the United Club Infinite card. This new version has a slightly higher annual fee of $525, but also comes with added benefits. You can now earn United miles more easily thanks to improved earning rates and a 100,000-mile bonus after opening the card and spending $5,000 in the first three months. But the real reason to get this card is the United Club membership benefit, which gives you unlimited access to United Club lounges.
However, if you weren’t already planning on purchasing a United Club membership, then you’ll want to look at cheaper United credit card options, like the United℠ Explorer Card or United℠ Business Card.
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