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Credit Cards

United Club Infinite Card review: Earn United Club membership and a 80,000-mile welcome bonus with this premium credit card

The United Club Infinite card offers solid travel benefits. But is it the right card for you?

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The United Club℠ Infinite Card is a luxury co-branded airline credit card that lets you earn United miles on daily purchases and provides benefits such as free checked bags and United Club lounge membership. New cardholders can also score a solid 80,000-mile welcome bonus after spending $5,000 within the first three months of opening an account. If you're a frequent United Airlines flyer who values access to United Club lounges than this premium travel credit card is a real contender for a place in your wallet.

Below, Select breaks down the rewards, benefits and fees associated with the United Club℠ Infinite Card to decide if it's right for your needs.

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United Club℠ Infinite Card review

United Club℠ Infinite Card

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    4 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases, 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel and dining (including eligible delivery services) and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

  • Annual fee

    $525

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    20.24% - 27.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5%, minimum $5

  • Foreign transaction fees

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent

Terms apply.

Pros

  • United Club membership with access to over 45 United Club locations and participating Star Alliance™ affiliated lounges worldwide
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit every four years
  • No fee on purchases made outside the U.S.

Cons

  • High annual fee
  • No intro 0% APR period

 

Welcome bonus

The welcome bonus offered with this card delivers big value, allowing new cardholders to earn 80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. If you value United miles at a modest 1 cent per mile you'd end up with about $800 worth of travel from the bonus alone, and that's not even including the additional miles you'll earn from purchases made to get the bonus.

Compared to other travel credit cards this is one of the most lucrative welcome bonus offers available at the moment. Many are able to get more value from United miles as well, so this bonus could easily be worth way more depending on how you redeem your miles.

Keep in mind that you won't be able to get the welcome bonus if you already have another United Club card or you've already gotten a welcome bonus for another United Club card within the past 24 months.

Benefits and perks

The United Club℠ Infinite Card is packed with plenty of features for cardholders to take advantage of. If you're thinking of applying, it's important to think realistically about how many of the perks you'll actually use — and how often — to make sure it's worth your while.

Once approved for the card, you'll be able to enjoy the following benefits:

  • Access to United Club (and participating Star Alliance™ affiliate) airport lounges worldwide
  • Complimentary first and second checked bags when you fly with United, reflecting a $35 value on the first bag and up to $45 value on second bag each way, per person (up to $320 in savings per round-trip flight)
  • Up to $100 statement credit every four years when you enroll in NEXUS, TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
  • 25% back on in-flight purchases such as Wi-Fi, food or beverages (as a statement credit)
  • 10% off United economy saver award flights within the continental U.S. and Canada
  • Because it's a co-branded MileagePlus credit card, you'll earn up to 4,000 Premier Qualifying Points, or PQPs, toward United elite status annually — 500 for every $12,000 you spend (up to 4,000 per calendar year)
  • Premier Access travel services such as priority check-in and expedited security, boarding and baggage handling
  • Comprehensive travel insurance including trip cancellation and interruption, baggage delay insurance, reimbursement for lost luggage and trip delays, travel accident insurance (including travel and emergency assistance services and emergency evacuation and transportation) and rental car coverage (collision damage waiver)
  • Visa Infinite concierge services

By taking advantage of most or all of these benefits, you can easily justify the card's $525 annual fee. Even if you just get the card for United Club access, you'll be saving money since a membership costs $550 to $650 when you're purchasing directly from United.

How to earn and redeem United miles

Earning United MileagePlus miles

When you spend on the card, you'll earn: 

  • 4X MileagePlus miles per dollar on all purchases from United Airlines, including in-flight services such as Wi-Fi, food and beverages, as well as tickets for flights
  • 2X MileagePlus miles per dollar on all other travel purchases — flights, hotels, cruises, trains, rental cars, tolls, public transportation, taxis and ride-sharing services
  • 2X MileagePlus miles per dollar on dining and eligible delivery options
  • 1X MileagePlus mile per dollar spent everywhere else

Select calculated how many miles the average American could potentially earn in a year by using their United Club℠ Infinite Card. We worked with the location intelligence firm Esri, who provided us with a sample annual spending budget of $22,126.

The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953). Here's what the average consumer would earn by using this credit card:

  • Groceries: 5,174 United MileagePlus miles
  • Gas: 2,218 United MileagePlus miles
  • Dining out: 7,350 United MileagePlus miles
  • Travel: 8,976 United MileagePlus miles (assuming all travel dollars are spent with United Airlines)
  • Utilities: 4,862 United MileagePlus miles
  • General purchases: 3,953 United MileagePlus miles

With all spending considered, you could end up earning 32,533 United MileagePlus miles within the first year if you were to include the 120,000-mile welcome bonus — this type of spending would end up yielding a total of 152,533 United MileagePlus miles. Over a five-year period, cardholders could potentially earn 282,665 United MileagePlus miles, although the total amount would depend more on an individual or business' annual spending habits.

Alternatively, if you're trying to rack up a large amounts of United MileagePlus miles in a hurry, consider earning rewards through credit cards with transferable rewards. Credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® let you earn Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, which can be transferred directly to United MileagePlus at a 1:1 ratio. These cards are some of the best travel credit cards because you have the flexibility to redeem your rewards in a variety of ways, including transferring them to United Airlines.

Redeeming United MileagePlus miles

Once you earn enough United MileagePlus miles, the fun part is redeeming them for free flights. Be aware that while the flight cost is covered by miles, you're still responsible for paying any applicable taxes and fees. For example, if you were to redeem them for a flight within the U.S., you will still have to pay $5.60 each way in taxes and fees.

To redeem MileagePlus miles, visit the United website and begin searching for your desired flight pattern. Before you hit the search button, click the "book with miles" box. From there, you will be able to look through any available flights and see how many miles it will cost for each seat class.

Keep in mind that you should really aim to get more than 1 cent per point in value for your United MileagePlus miles. Anything below that wouldn't be a great redemption, and you may be better off paying cash for the fare.

Lastly, if you're trying to book travel outside the United States, you may find yourself seeing different airlines on the United website. This is because of United's connection to Star Alliance, an airline alliance with 26 members. As a result, you'll be able to earn miles by flying with any one of them and can also redeem your MileagePlus for flights on any of United's partners. If you're searching for flights from New York to Singapore, for instance, you'll be shown flights with Singapore Airlines, while if you're interested in traveling to Germany, flights with SWISS Airlines or Lufthansa will appear in your search results.

In short, as you continue to earn United MileagePlus miles by spending with the United Club℠ Infinite Card, it's in your best interest to spend them as you earn them. If you were to instead hold onto a large amount of airline miles, you'd be susceptible to devaluation announcements from United Airlines or could potentially having them digitally stolen from you before you get to use them.

Rates and fees

The card has a $525 annual fee. It has no foreign transaction fees.

Late payment fees can be up to $40.

Card comparison

The United Club℠ Infinite Card is a solid option for someone who prefers luxury travel benefits when flying with United Airlines. But how does it stack up against other luxury travel credit cards? Select compared two other popular credit cards to see how it really matches up.

United Club℠ Infinite Card vs. The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express is a value-packed luxury travel card that offers terrific benefits for both your travels and day-to-day necessities. You can also earn a ton of American Express Membership Rewards® points when you spend with the card.

To get you started, the card comes with a large welcome bonus of 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $6,000 in your first 6 months of card membership. And as you spend on the card, you'll earn:

  • 5X points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel (up to $500,000 per year)
  • 5X points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel
  • 1X points per dollar spent everywhere else

With the Amex Platinum you'll also have access to a long list of benefits, including:

  • Up to $200 in annual airline fee credits and up to $200 in Uber credits per year
  • Access to the Global Lounge Collection, which has over 1,200 airport lounges in more than 130 countries. Including access to Amex Centurion Lounges and Delta Sky Clubs
  • $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card
  • A $240 digital entertainment credit (up to $20 each month) when you use your card to purchase service with Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • A $155 Walmart+ statement credit to help you cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership after you pay for monthly Walmart+ service with your card. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • A $300 annual credit with Equinox
  • A $100 credit when you shop at Saks Fifth Avenue, divided into $50 for each half of the year
  • A $189 credit when you enroll in CLEAR®
  • Comprehensive travel insurance and complimentary American Express concierge services

Terms apply.

The Platinum Card comes with a whopping $695 annual fee (see rates and fees), which can easily be made back in value by utilizing available spending credits and taking advantage of large earnings for booking travel.

When comparing the two cards, consider how often you fly and with which airline(s). If you tend to only fly with United Airlines and visit only United Club lounges, the United Club Infinite Card would be the better choice. If you're looking for more flexibility with credit card rewards, more spending credits and a much larger list of airline lounges you can access, the Amex Platinum Card may be your best bet. If you're primarily a Delta flyer you may be better suited with the Amex Platinum, as you get complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs when flying on Delta.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year, 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, 1X points on all other eligible purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.

  • Annual fee

    $695

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    See Pay Over Time APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit Needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees, terms apply.

United Club℠ Infinite Card vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is another premium travel credit card that offers cardholders a wide variety of benefits. Once you're approved for the card, the current welcome bonus lets you earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® after you spend $4,000 within the first three months of account opening.

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you'll have access to valuable benefits, such as:

  • A $300 travel credit
  • 50% more in value when you redeem Ultimate Rewards points through the Chase travel portal
  • A $100 statement credit for enrolling in either TSA PreCheck, Global Entry or NEXUS
  • Access to airport lounges, including Priority Pass lounges
  • Comprehensive travel insurance, purchase protection and return protection*
  • No foreign transaction fees

By spending with the card, you'll also be able to earn a large amount of Ultimate Rewards points through flexible spending categories:

  • 10X points per dollar on hotel and rental car reservations purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal (after spending $300 on travel)
  • 10X points per dollar when you use the Chase Dining program
  • 5X points per dollar on flights purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal (after spending $300 on travel)
  • 3X points per dollar on travel expenses (like flights, hotels, cabs, Ubers, trains and more) worldwide (after spending $300 on travel)
  • 3X points per dollar at restaurants and eligible delivery services, including takeout
  • 1X point per dollar spent everywhere else

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card comes with a $550 annual fee, just $25 more than what you'd pay for the United Club Infinite Card's annual fee.

If you're deciding between the two cards, it really comes down to which benefits you think you will use the most and if you wish to have more flexibility with your rewards. Chase Ultimate Rewards® points can be transferred directly to United MileagePlus at a 1:1 ratio, so you could potentially earn more miles by using the Chase Sapphire Reserve card than the United Club Infinite Card based on where you do most of your spending. Plus, you can transfer to your Chase points to over ten other partners or redeem them through the Chase Travel Portal where you'll ultimately have more flexibility in redemption.

However, if your main focus is on earning status with United Airlines, the United Club Infinite Card gives you the chance to earn up to 4,000 Premier Qualifying Points per year — 500 per $12,000 spent — to help expedite your status-earning journey.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

On Chase’s secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 5X total points on flights and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases plus, 10X points on Lyft rides through March 2025

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

  • Annual fee

    $550

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    21.24% - 28.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5%, minimum $5

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent

Terms apply.

 

Who the United Club Infinite Card is best for

The United Club℠ Infinite Card is a solid choice for regular travelers with good to excellent credit who are loyal to United Airlines and its many Star Alliance partners. It's a great pick for anyone who can budget for the $525 annual fee, especially those who plan to take advantage of the many benefits it offers, such as complimentary United Club lounge access and up to two free checked bags.

Keep in mind that because this is a Chase card, you may end up having to deal with the infamous Chase 5/24 rule — in other words, you won't get approved for any new Chase cards if you've already gotten approved for five or more personal credit cards within the last 24 months.

Bottom line

The United Club℠ Infinite Card is a solid travel credit card, perfect for anyone who enjoys flying with United Airlines, spending time in United Club lounges and checking one or two bags when they fly. The card offers a lucrative 80,000-mile welcome bonus, flexible spending categories, a number of benefits to enhance your overall travel experience and comes with a sleek design.

Before you apply for a new credit card, be sure you have room in your budget for the annual fee and enough purchases coming up to get you past the $5,000 spending threshold to get the welcome bonus. Without a sturdy budget, picking up a shiny new credit card could potentially lead to a financial disaster if you end up spending outside of your means.

Catch up on Select's in-depth coverage of personal financetech and toolswellness and more, and follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

*Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Purchase protection provided by AMEX Assurance Company.

For rates and fees of the Platinum Card from American Express, click here.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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