United Airlines Credit Card Review: The Plus in MileagePlus

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The MileagePlus Explorer United Airlines credit card first made its appearance even before United Airlines and Continental Airlines had fully integrated their frequent flyer programs.

It was a refreshing design that was the first to really capture the brushed metal look.

United Airlines Credit Card Benefits

united airline credit cardFirst Checked Bag Free. When you buy a ticket with your United Airlines Credit Card the cardholder and one companion on the same reservation can each check their first bag free. While this is a great feature that all of the best airline credit card offers have, other airlines do it better. The Delta SkyMiles credit card lets up to 9 companions check their bags free and American Airlines credit card members get to check their first bag free no matter if they used the card to purchase the tickets or not.

Priority Boarding. Cardholders can now get on the plane a little bit faster with access to their cabin after Premier elite’s board but before the general boarding process begins. Again it is not THE best credit card in this category but it is a benefit that is expected from United Airlines to compete with their rivals.

Two United Club Passes. The cardholder receives two one-time guest paces to the United Club airport lounge that can be used by ANY guest before its expiration date.

No Foreign Transaction Fees. No extra fee for using your United Airlines credit card when paying for dinner in Florence or tango lessons in Buenos Aires. That leaves more cash in the pockets of the traveler, where it should be. Just watch out for those pickpockets.

$0 Annual Fee for First Year. First year you pay nada but every year after that it costs you $95. But you can always try to convince Chase how important your business is and because the annual fee is so high you are considering canceling the card, unless of course they can convince you to stay.

United Airlines Credit Card Disadvantages

The bonus offers for this card can sometimes be tied into annoying actions like adding an authorized user to gain 5,000 miles here or spending $25,000 in a calendar year to get 10,000 bonus miles there.

Other disadvantages are the features that come standard on most of the best airline credit card offers are just a little bit worse with the United Airlines credit card offer. It’s the small things but when you add them all up they are a bit bigger than you’d like. Two of the features they could do better with is by adding access to a Priority Security Line and adding more companions to the First Checked Bag Free perk because in a family of 4 only 2 of you would have first bag free.

Final Thoughts

Overall a good card for anybody to have whose home airport is best served by United Airlines and can take advantage of the premium benefits that come with the card. United Airlines MileagePlus program is one of the best frequent flyer program options out there and this card is the perfect fit for its members. The card doesn’t give you the best of the best but it does enough to rank toward the top of the list.

If you do not fly United Airlines you should read up on their Frequent Flyer Program to see if any of your future award travel needs would be best flown with United. If they are then you should look for the right time to apply, preferably with a bonus offer above 40,000 miles, and start planning your trip.

written by

Head of Travel Swagger Squad at The Travel Abstract Headquarters

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