United Club℠ Infinite Card Review
United Club℠ Infinite Card
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- Cardholders can enjoy United Club membership, which has a value of up to $650 per year! Relax in comfort while waiting for your flight with complimentary beverages, snacks, high-speed Wi-Fi and more.
- Enjoy a Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS fee credit up to $100 every four years, plus, receive a $70 discount on CLEAR annual membership, along with 10,000 bonus miles for a new CLEAR subscription.
- Free first and second checked bags for you and a companion could save up to $320 per roundtrip itinerary.
- If United isn't your airline of choice, you'll likely have trouble offsetting the annual fee. If you prefer flexibility with which airline you travel, you might want to consider a more general travel rewards card.
The United Club℠ Infinite Card is a premium travel credit card offered by Chase and designed for frequent United travelers. This card offers several key benefits, including a generous welcome bonus, ongoing rewards on purchases, and numerous travel perks. However, the card also has some downsides, notably a large annual fee, so it's certainly not right for everyone.
If you are wondering if the United Club℠ Infinite Card is right for you, we're here to help you decide by breaking down some of the perks of this credit card, the downsides, and how it compares to other similar cards.
As you would expect from any premium travel credit card, the United Club℠ Infinite Card offers some impressive rewards for cardholders.
First, you'll earn 100,000 bonus miles if you spend $5,000 in the first three months of opening an account. Depending on how you use those bonus miles, they could be worth anywhere from 1.2 cents to 2 cents per mile, for a total potential value between $1,200 and $2,000. This offer is available to anyone who doesn't currently have a United Club card and hasn't received a United Club new cardmember bonus within the past two years.
In addition to the sign-up bonus, the United Club℠ Infinite Card also offers rewards for your spending. Here's what you can look forward to:
- 4 miles per $1 for United purchases
- 2 miles per $1 for other travel purchases
- 2 miles per $1 for dining, including eligible delivery services
- 1 mile per $1 for all other purchases
- No fees whatsoever. No late fee, foreign transaction fee, annual fee, or any-other-kind-of-fee, fee.
- Variable APRs range from 13.24% - 27.24%
- Up to 1.5% cash back on eligible purchases after making 12 on-time monthly payments.
- 1% cash back on eligible purchases right away
- 2% - 10% cash back at select merchants
- $300 - $10,000 credit limits
- No credit score? No problem. If eligible, we'll create your Cash Score instead.
- See if you're pre-approved within minutes without impacting your credit score.
- Build credit alongside hundreds of thousands of Petal card members.
- Petal reports to all 3 major credit bureaus.
- No deposits required
- Card issued by WebBank, Member FDIC
As a premium travel credit card, the United Club℠ Infinite Card also comes with some key travel benefits. Here are some of the most attractive perks:
- United Club membership with a value of up to $650 per year (worth more than the card's annual fee). You'll get access to United Club locations and participating Star Alliance affiliated lounges around the world.
- Free first and second checked bags. This added benefit can save you up to $320 per round trip itinerary and applies to both you and a companion traveling on the same reservation. It's a savings of $35 per first checked bag and $45 per second checked bag.
- Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS fee credit up to $100 every four years.
- A $70 discount on CLEAR annual membership, along with 10,000 bonus miles for a new CLEAR subscription.
- Earn 25% back on United inflight purchases, including food, beverages, and Wi-Fi.
- Premier upgrades on awards tickets when you're traveling with one companion on the same reservation.
- IHG Rewards Platinum Elite status, along with $75 statement credit for IHG Hotels and Resorts purchases charged to the card through 12/31/22.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- Access to the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection with more than 1,000 properties, including hotels, resorts, lodges, and spas. Benefits include daily breakfast for two, free room upgrades, free Wi-Fi, and more.
- United Card events from Chase and United MileagePlus events.
- Avis President's Club enrollment with free two-car class upgrades, guaranteed availability, expedited service, and more.
One big downside to the United Club℠ Infinite Card is its annual fee. At $525, it's probably enough to scare some travelers away, especially given the availability of travel credit cards with lower annual fees. But in this case, the high fee may very well be worth it.
If you're a frequent United traveler, then the value of the United Club℠ Infinite Card almost certainly exceeds the annual fee. First, the United Club membership alone has a potential value that's more than the annual fee. And considering the free checked bags can be worth as much as $320 per round trip flight, the value could be exceptional.
Just those two key card benefits have the potential to be worth more than double the annual fee, and that's without taking into account all of the other travel perks listed above. Before you shy away from the high fee on this card, run the numbers to see if your travel habits can make the card worth it.
That being said, the high annual fee does mean the card isn't right for everyone. If you aren't loyal to United when you fly, then it doesn't make sense to pay so much for a card when the benefits are specific to a single airline.
We've already talked about the annual fee, which is likely the biggest downside of the United Club℠ Infinite Card for most consumers. However, there are a few other potential downsides to know about.
First, as is the case with most premium travel credit cards, this one doesn't offer an introductory APR. As a result, it's not appropriate for balance transfers or large purchases you don't expect to pay off right away.
Another downside is that the rewards aren't transferable, since it's specifically a United card. There are plenty of general travel cards whose benefits can apply to any airline or hotel you're traveling with. But with this card, you're limited to one airline.
Before signing up for the United Club Infinite Card, be sure to see how it stacks up against some of the other top travel credit cards on the market.
United Club℠ Infinite Card vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve®
The United Club℠ Infinite Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® may be offered by the same card issuer, but they have some important differences. Perhaps the most important difference is that while the United card has benefits that are specific to that airline, the Sapphire Reserve® has much more flexible benefits. You can use them to book travel through any airline or hotel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® to make the most of your points.
The cards are also very different in the rewards you can earn. While the United Club℠ Infinite Card has a signup bonus of 100,000 miles, the Sapphire Reserve® is less at 50,000 bonus points, which is worth $750 toward travel when spent through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® platform.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® also allows you to earn points from your spending. You'll earn 5X points on Chase Ultimate Rewards® flight purchases, 10X points on Chase Ultimate Rewards® hotel and car rentals, 3X points on other travel, 10X points on Chase Dining, 3X points on other dining, and 1X point on all other purchases.
As for travel perks, the Sapphire Reserve® falls behind the United card. It has a few of the same benefits, including Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or NEXUS fee credit, complimentary Priority Pass Select lounge access, and a $300 annual travel credit.
As for the annual fee, the cards are pretty close. While the United card has a fee of $525, the Sapphire Reserve® has a fee of $550.
United Club℠ Infinite Card vs. American Express® Gold Card
The American Express® Gold Card is another travel card that isn't quite at the same premium level as the United Club℠ Infinite Card but still has some major benefits. And the good news is this card offers all its benefits at a much lower annual fee of $250.
First, you can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards Points when you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases in your first six months after opening an Amex Gold account. While it's an attractive offer, it still doesn't match the United Card's welcome bonus.
The Amex Gold also offers plenty of ways to earn points from your spending. You'll earn 4X points at restaurants (plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X); 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com; and 1X points on all other eligible purchases.
As for travel benefits, those from the Amex Gold look a bit different than those from the United card. With the Amex Gold, you'll get: $120 Uber Cash - add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year; $120 Dining Credit - earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with your card at Grubhub, seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shake locations (enrollment required); no foreign transaction fees; and more.
The other major advantage the Amex Gold has over the United card is, like the Sapphire Reserve®, the American Express® Gold Card isn't tied to one airline, and you can use your points for all sorts of travel.
United Club℠ Infinite Card vs. United℠ Explorer Card
The United℠ Explorer Card is another United travel card that's offered by Chase, but it's a more downgraded version of the United Club℠ Infinite Card. With the Explorer Card, you can earn up to 70,000 bonus miles by spending $3,000 in the first three months for 60,000 miles and spending $6,000 in the first six months for an additional 10,000 miles. As you can see, this bonus is considerably lower than the 100,000 miles you can get with the Infinite Card.
The spending rewards on the Explorer Card are also quite a bit lower. You'll get 2X miles on United Airlines purchases, 2X miles on dining (including eligible delivery services), 2X miles on hotel accommodations booked directly with the hotel, and 1X mile on all other purchases.
As for travel and other benefits, you can look forward to rental car insurance; delayed or lost baggage insurance; trip cancellation, interruption, and delay insurance; purchase protection; Visa Concierge; and extended warranty protection.
One the biggest attractions of the Explorer Card is that, unlike the Infinite Card, this card has a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95. As a result, this card is much more suitable for those who are new to travel cards or who don't travel United as often.
The United Club℠ Infinite Card is a premium travel card designed with United travelers in mind. And while the high annual fee can be intimidating, it's more than worth it for many people. As with any credit card with a fee, it's important to consider whether you'll be able to take advantage of the card's benefits.
If you regularly fly with United and can take advantage of the United card's most important benefits, then the fee is easy to offset, and the card is likely worth it. But if you aren't loyal to a single airline or don't travel often enough to maximize the benefits, you might prefer a more flexible and affordable option.
See Rates and Fees; terms apply for the American Express® Gold Card
United Club℠ Infinite Card Compared to Other Cash back Cards
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