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Credit Cards

Earn up to 100,000 bonus miles with new United Airlines credit card offers

All four United credit cards are offering elevated welcome offers. Here's what you need to know.

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Nurphoto | Nurphoto | Getty Images

The offers mentioned below for the for the United Club℠ Infinite Card, United Quest℠ Card, United℠ Explorer Card, and United Gateway℠ Card are no longer available.

Chase released elevated welcome bonuses on all four of its personal United Airlines' co-branded credit cards.

For a limited time, you can earn up to 100,000 bonus miles when signing up for a new United card. These offers are a great way to save on upcoming flights as the demand for travel continues to soar.

The new bonuses are available on these four cards:

  • United Club℠ Infinite Card
  • United Quest℠ Card
  • United℠ Explorer Card
  • United Gateway℠ Card

These cards also come with useful benefits for frequent United flyers, such as no foreign transaction fees, free checked bags, and access to more award seats on United when booking flights with miles.

Select breaks down the new welcome bonuses on the United cards, and how you can redeem United miles for outstanding travel experiences.

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United Club℠ Infinite Card

New bonus: Earn 100,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

Old bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

Select's take: This is one of the higher public welcome offers we've seen for the United Club℠ Infinite Card, and especially generous for an airline credit card. If you value United miles at a minimum of one cent each the 120,000-mile welcome bonus is worth $1,200 towards airfare — however, it's easy to get even more value from your miles.

The card comes with a long list of benefits, including:

  • Access to United Club (and participating Star Alliance™ affiliate) airport lounges
  • Free first and second checked bag when flying on United ($35 value on first bag, $45 value on second bag each way, per person)
  • Up to $100 credit to enroll in NEXUS, TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
  • 25% back on in-flight purchases, as a statement credit
  • Save 10% on United economy saver award flights when flying within the continental U.S. and Canada
  • Earn up to 8,000 Premier qualifying points (PQPs) towards United elite status per year. You'll earn 500 PQPs for every $12,000 you spend on purchases
  • Premier Access travel services (priority check-in, expedited security, boarding and baggage handling)
  • Complimentary IHG One Rewards Platinum Elite status
  • Additional hotel benefits such as daily breakfast for two, room upgrades (based on availability), early check-in and late check-out (based on availability) and a special amenity worth $100 when you stay at properties within Chase's Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
  • Comprehensive travel insurance including trip cancellation/interruption, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement and rental car coverage
  • Visa Infinite concierge services

The card does come with a steep $525 annual fee, but if you can take advantage of the benefits you can definitely come out ahead. The main perk of the card is the United Club lounge access, which if you were to buy directly from United, is $550 to $650 (price depends on your level of United elite status).

United Quest℠ Card

New bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

Old bonus: Earn 70,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. Offer ended 11/9/22.

Select's take: The United Quest℠ Card is a solid travel credit card that gives cardholders great benefits, including annual United Airlines statement credits and up to two anniversary award flight credits every year. Although the welcome bonus is very large now, the spending requirement has also increased.

Here are some of the benefits you receive with this card:

  • Annual United Airlines statement credit of up to $125 each anniversary to reimburse you for United purchases made that year
  • Two 5,000-mile anniversary award flight credits (up to twice a year), which puts 5,000 United miles back in your account when you book award flights with United or United Express
  • Free first and second checked bag when flying on United ($35 value on first bag, $45 value on second bag each way, per person)
  • Up to $100 credit to enroll in NEXUS, TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
  • Priority boarding for the cardholder and their companions
  • Premier seat upgrades on award tickets
  • 25% back on in-flight purchases, as a statement credit
  • Earn up to 6,000 Premier qualifying points (PQPs) towards United elite status per year. You'll earn 500 PQPs for every $12,000 you spend on purchases
  • Additional hotel benefits such as daily breakfast for two, room upgrades (based on availability), early check-in and late check-out (based on availability) and a special amenity worth $100 when you stay at properties within Chase's Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
  • Comprehensive travel insurance including trip cancellation/interruption, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement and rental car coverage
  • Visa Signature concierge services

United℠ Explorer Card

New bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

Old bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. Offer ended 11/9/22.

Select's take: The United℠ Explorer Card is a good option for occasional travelers who want luxury benefits without paying the high annual fee of a premium credit card. It's one of the few low-cost airline travel cards that come with some lounge access and a Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or NEXUS application fee credit.

The card comes with a host of benefits, such as:

  • Free first checked bag when flying on United
  • Two United Club one-time passes each year
  • Priority boarding for the cardholder and their companions
  • Expanded access to United economy saver award flights
  • 25% back on in-flight purchases, as a statement credit
  • Earn up to 1,000 Premier qualifying points (PQPs) towards United elite status per year. You'll earn 500 PQPs for every $12,000 you spend on purchases
  • Additional hotel benefits such as daily breakfast for two, room upgrades (based on availability), early check-in and late check-out (based on availability) and a special amenity worth $100 when you stay at properties within Chase's Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
  • Comprehensive travel insurance including trip cancellation/interruption, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement and rental car coverage
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Visa Signature concierge services

The two United Club one-time passes alone are worth over $100 per year, making it easy to offset the card's modest $95 annual fee. Even better, the annual fee is waived for the first year.

United Gateway℠ Card

New bonus: Earn 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

Old bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. Offer ended 11/9/22.

Select's take: The United Gateway℠ Card is ideal for those who want to earn United miles on common everyday expenses without paying an annual fee. If you value United miles at a minimum of one cent each the welcome bonus is worth $300 towards airfare, but it's possible to get even more value.

Cardholders receive a decent variety of travel and everyday benefits, including:

  • 25% back on in-flight purchases, as a statement credit
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Roadside dispatch
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver (secondary)
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Visa Signature concierge services

How to maximize United miles

You'll get the best value from your United miles when using them to book flights on United or with its Star Alliance partners (including Air Canada, Avianca, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines and more).

For instance, you can use them to book flights within the U.S. in economy class for as little as 6,000 miles one-way. Plus, most co-branded United cards provide expanded award availability on these routes. If you want to venture a little further from home, flights to Caribbean destinations generally start around 17,500 miles in economy and 35,000 miles in first class.

To get even greater value, consider redeeming them for long-haul business class flights, such as to Europe or Asia, which can sometimes start as low as 60,000 or 70,000 miles one-way, respectively.

What's great about United miles is that they never expire and that you can use them to book any available seat on a United flight, even if it's the last seat on the plane. Just note that the closer to departure you book, the more expensive the award will be.

Bottom line

All of the personal United-branded credit cards are currently offering great welcome bonuses for new cardholders looking to save on airfare costs.

Even if you value United miles at a modest 1 cent apiece the United Club℠ Infinite Card's 120,000-mile bonus is worth $1,200. However, the minimum spending requirement to earn the bonus is substantial so make sure you're not overspending on purchases you wouldn't ordinarily make. Also, consider Chase's 5/24 rule before applying —  if you've opened five or more personal credit cards (from any card issuer) within the past 24 months, there's a strong chance you'll be denied. 

If United is not the airline you fly with the most and you want more flexibility with your points, take a look at the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which is currently offering a welcome bonus of 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You can transfer Chase points to United (or any of its 14 other airline and hotel partners) at a 1:1 ratio, meaning you could have 60,000 United miles after earning that welcome bonus.

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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