United Gateway℠ Card review: A solid no-annual-fee card for frequent United flyers

This may be the card you've been looking for if you frequently fly with United Airlines, but aren't interested in paying an annual credit card fee.
By Jennifer Doss  CardRatings Editor  | Updated

United Gateway℠ Card

United Gateway℠ Card
Our Rating:   
Good, Excellent
on Chase's secure website

CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons

  • Cardholders earn on more than just United purchases. Earn two miles per dollar on United purchases, plus at gas stations and on local transit and commuting costs.
  • Considering the fact that this card doesn't charge an annual fee, it offers a nice and easy-to-earn welcome bonus opportunity to earn 20,000 bonus miles after spending just $1,000 in the first three months.
  • Enjoy 25% back on United in-flight purchases, issued in the form of a statement credit.
  • If United Airlines is truly your go-to airline, you may stand to earn higher rewards with one of United's annual-fee cards. Be sure to evaluate how much you'll use the card and consider whether or not an annual-fee card might be worth it for you.
Terms and Limitations Apply.

CardName BENEFITS

If United is your airline of choice, the CardName can be a valuable addition to your wallet. Offered by Chase, the card features ample opportunities to earn frequent flyer miles with spending on both travel and everyday purchases. Even better, there's no annual fee required.

The CardName also offers extras that include bonus miles, travel perks and partner benefits. Let's break those down one at a time, starting with bonus miles.

EARNING MILES WITH THE CardName

New cardholders can earn 20,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in the first three months.

Then, every purchase made with the card earns additional miles. These are awarded based on the type of purchase:

  • Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on United purchases, including tickets, in-flight food and Wi-Fi and baggage service charges
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar spent at gas stations
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on local transit and commuting costs, including mass transit, tolls, ride share services and more
  • Earn 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases

CardName TRAVEL PERKS

Earning miles for travel is only one benefit of the CardName. When you use your card, you also get the following perks to make every trip more rewarding:

  • Enjoy 25% back on United in-flight purchases, issued in the form of a statement credit
  • Access to United Card Events from Chase, which are private, curated experiences available for purchase
  • Room upgrades, complimentary breakfast and other amenities at properties in The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver coverage
  • Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance
  • Complimentary access to Visa Signature Concierge Service, which is available 24 hours a day

OTHER BENEFITS OF THE CardName

The travel benefits alone make the CardName an appealing choice. However, they aren't the only perks that come with your account. You'll also benefit from the following:

  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection

With benefits ranging from bonus miles to a free DoorPass membership - and all offered with no annual fee - there is little reason not to apply for the CardName if you are a frequent United flyer. However, to get the most from the card, you'll need to be a MileagePlus member.

Top Features

 Cash Back on Gas
2X miles per $1 spent
 Cash Back on Groceries
1 mile per $1 spent
 Cash Back on Other
1 mile per $1 spent

CardName MILEAGEPLUS

MileagePlus is the loyalty program for United Airlines. Miles earned with the CardName will be applied to your MileagePlus account and can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, merchandise and more.

One of the best parts of the MileagePlus program is that miles can be redeemed for any United-operated flight with no blackouts or restrictions. Miles can also be redeemed for flights on partner airlines, and you won't ever have to worry about your MileagePlus miles expiring.

In addition to earning miles with your CardName, you'll also earn miles for every flight you take with United or a partnering airline. United Airlines is part of the Star Alliance, which has 25 members including Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines. United also has a dozen other worldwide partners such as Aer Lingus and Hawaiian Airlines.

POTENTIAL DOWNSIDES OF THE CardName

The main downside of the CardName is that those who don't use United Airlines frequently may find its value limited. If you prefer to travel with a variety of carriers, you may be better off with a card that offers a more flexible rewards program, such as American Express Membership Rewards Points or Chase Ultimate Rewards.

HOW THE CardName COMPARES TO OTHER TRAVEL CARDS

CardName vs. CardName

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Either of these co-branded cards can be a good choice for fans of United Airlines, but if you are a frequent traveler and don't mind paying an annual fee, the CardName may have a slight edge.

While both cards offer two miles per dollar spent on United purchases, the CardName also awards two miles per dollar spent on dining and hotels. Of course, if you travel infrequently and rarely eat out, you may find the two miles per dollar spent on gas stations and transit offered by the CardName to be more rewarding.

For the first year, neither card charges an annual fee. However, after that, you'll pay an annual fee for the CardName while the CardName doesn't charge one.

As for the welcome offer, the CardName is more lucrative, with a chance to earn 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.

A final consideration is the additional perks offered by the CardName that are not available on the CardName. These include two United Club one-time passes per year, free checked bag for you and a companion, priority boarding and a credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership.

CardName vs. CardName

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While the CardName is specifically designed for MileagePlus members, the CardName earns ThankYou® points which some people might find more flexible. These points can be used for travel through Citi's Travel Rewards system or redeemed for gift cards, shopping or cash rewards. Citi is a CardRatings advertiser.

As with the CardName, there is a new cardholder bonus available with the CardName. However, you'll need to spend significantly more – $4,000 within three months – to earn the CardName limited time bonus of 80,000 points.

Earning potential is also different between the two cards. While the United card offers bonus points for United, gas station and transit purchases, the CardName has bonus earning opportunities on more categories. With the Citi card, you'll earn three points per dollar spent on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, hotels and air travel. All other purchases earn one point per dollar spent.

The CardName charges a AnnualFees annual fee, but it also comes with a $100 hotel savings benefit. That will deduct $100 from a single hotel stay of $500 or more when booked through the ThankYou® program.

CardName vs. CardName

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CardName is often mentioned as one of the best travel cards available and for good reason. The card has flexible rewards and ample earning opportunities as well as other perks and benefits.

What's more, the CardName is currently offering new cardholders 60,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 within three months of account opening.

Among other options, points earned with the CardName can be redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® program or as statement credits for purchases in rotating categories through the Pay Yourself Back program for a 25% boost in point value, meaning that welcome bonus could be worth as much as $750.

As for earning, the CardName offers 5X total points on all travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal; 3X points on dining, including eligible delivery services and takeout; 3X points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs); 3X points on select streaming services; 2X points on travel purchases; and 1X point on all other purchases.

All this isn't to say that everyone should choose the CardName over the United card. You'll pay AnnualFees a year for the Sapphire card, and you need spend four times as much to earn the welcome offer as compared to the CardName. Those factors could make the CardName a better choice for some people.

WHO SHOULD APPLY FOR THE CardName?

The CardName is ideal for those who travel regularly with United Airlines or its partners and don't want to pay an annual fee. While its benefits aren't as flashy or lucrative as some other travel cards, it is a solid option with little to no downsides for United fans.

United Gateway℠ Card Compared to Other Cash back Cards

Apply online for Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card
Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card
Apply online for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Apply online for Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Apply online for Citi<sup>®</sup> Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer
Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer
Cash Back on Gas
2X miles per $1 spent 
Cash Back on Gas
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. 
Cash Back on Gas
3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more). 
Cash Back on Gas
1.5% cash back on all other purchases. 
Cash Back on Gas
1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay 
Cash Back on Groceries
1 mile per $1 spent 
Cash Back on Groceries
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. 
Cash Back on Groceries
6% at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) 
Cash Back on Groceries
1.5% cash back on all other purchases. 
Cash Back on Groceries
1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay 
Cash Back on other
1 mile per $1 spent 
Cash Back on other
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. 
Cash Back on other
1% Cash Back on other purchases. 
Cash Back on other
1.5% cash back on all other purchases. 
Cash Back on other
1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay 
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Terms and Limitations Apply

Disclaimer: The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.

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