United Club Infinite Card Review

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The United Club℠ Infinite Card launched in March and replaced the United MileagePlus® Club Card (which is now closed to new applicants). The new card comes with some great benefits for those that will be flying with United when the world gets back to travel, including a full United Club membership, free checked bags, and Premier Access.

United Club℠ Infinite Card
United Club℠ Infinite Card
Annual Fee$0 intro annual fee, then $525
Special Offer $0 intro annual fee, then $525
The United Club Infinite is the top-tier United co-brand card, and offers some great perks like United Club℠ membership, priority check-in, security screening (where available), boarding and baggage handling privileges. If your not an elite, holding this card means you'll be treated like one of United's most loyal and valuable customers. If you already hold MileagePlus Premier status, the card also grants access to Complementary Premier Upgrades on United flights.
  • $0 intro annual fee, then $525
  • Earn 4 miles per $1 spent on United purchases including tickets, Economy Plus, inflight food, beverages and Wi-Fi, and other United charges.
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck™ Fee Credit
  • Free first and second checked bags - a savings of up to $320 per roundtrip
  • 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi onboard United-operated flight when you pay with your Club Card.
  • Earn 4 miles per $1 spent on United purchases
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases

United Club Membership

The United Club Infinite‘s headline benefit is a complimentary United Club membership for as long as you remain a cardmember. Buying membership without the card costs $650 or $600 for Premier Platinum elites and $550 for Premier 1K® and Global Services®. If you already pay for this, the United Club Infinite card easily covers its annual fee. Even better, existing United Club members are eligible to receive a pro-rated refund for any unused portion of their current membership if the refund is greater than $15.

To access the United Club, you will be required to show a same-day boarding pass for travel on United or a Star Alliance partner. Club members can be accompanied up to two guests or one adult and dependent children under 21.

Premier Access & Free Checked Bags

While other co-brand cards like the United℠ Explorer Card offer a free checked bag and priority boarding, the United Club Infinite takes these benefits to the next level.

Cardmembers and companions traveling on the same reservation are eligible for Premier Access, which should make your airport experience pretty similar to what you'd get by holding elite status:

  • Access to designated check-in lines
  • Exclusive security lanes
  • Priority boarding
  • Priority baggage handling

Cardmembers also get their first and second checked bag free for themselves and one companion. This benefit applies only to United- and United Express-operated flights, and you must use your card to purchase your tickets.

Earning Rates

One of the major weaknesses of the MileagePlus Club Card was the fact that it earned fewer miles on United purchases than dozens of other rewards cards. The United Club Infinite earns a solid 4x miles on United purchases, 2x on dining and all other travel, and 1x on everything else.

Chase recently announced grocery stores as a temporary bonus category on nearly its full lineup of personal cards. Through June 30, 2020,  United Club Infinite cardmembers will earn 5x miles on up to $1,500 in grocery spending per month.

Depending on the other cards you hold, this card may not be the best choice for spending outside of United purchases long term. Still, the earning categories are a significant improvement over the previous version of the card.

Expanded MileagePlus Award Availability

If you care about getting maximum value from your United miles, this is one of the most underrated co-brand benefits out there. Like most frequent-flyer programs, United puts strict limits on the number of seats available to book with miles. They want to sell as many tickets as possible to paying customers, so the cheapest awards often include inconvenient extra stops or long layovers.

But if you have the United Club Infinite card, you'll get access to a lot of award options that aren't available to regular MileagePlus members.

If you don't have a United card, flights like this one won't show up in your search results.

Although it may not seem like a big deal, that extra award space can help you avoid an overnight layover or turn three stops into a single connection. It comes in especially handy if you happen to live near a smaller airport and need to connect to a major hub before an international flight. You can find more detail in our dedicated post on maximizing United's hidden award space for cardmembers.

Top-Tier Travel Protections

In addition to the other benefits we've covered, the United Club Infinite comes with some of the strongest travel and purchase protections available through a rewards card. These benefits are triggered when you use the card for eligible purchases. Before you rely on one of the coverages summarized below, be sure to review additional terms in your cardmember agreement.

  • Purchase Protection – Purchases made with your card are covered for 120 days from damage or theft (Limit $10k/claim; 50k per year)
  • Return Protection – Reimbursement for items the store won't take back within 90 days of purchase (up to $500/item; $1,000 per year)
  • Extended Warranty – Extends the manufacturer's warranty by an additional year for warranties of three years or less.
  • Trip Cancellation / Interruption – Reimbursement up to $10,000 per person if your trip is cut short for a covered reason. ($20k limit per trip)
  • Trip Delay – If your trip is delayed more than 12 hours (or overnight) you may be covered for expenses like meals and lodging (up to $500 per ticket)
  • Lost Luggage – You or an immediate family member are covered for up to $3,000 per passenger if your checked or carryon luggage is lost.
  • Baggage Delay – Reimburses you for essential purchases like toiletries or clothing for baggage delays over 6 hours (up to $100/day for 3 days)
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver – Primary coverage for theft and collision damage for most rental cars in the U.S. and abroad.

Other Great Perks

  • $100 credit for Global Entry or $85 for TSA Pre✓ – Reimbursed once every four years when you pay the application fee with your card
  • Hertz Presidents Circle® Elite Status – Includes a guaranteed vehicle upgrade and 50% more points on rentals
  • Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection (LHRC) – Book through LHRC and enjoy early check-in, late check-out, and a room upgrade (subject to availability) plus daily breakfast for two, free Wi-Fi, and a unique property amenity such as a spa or food-and-beverage credit.
  • United elites are eligible for upgrades on award tickets – Complimentary Premier upgrades are typically limited to paid tickets; cardholders can be upgraded on awards too.
  • 25% back on United in-flight purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees

Welcome Bonus

Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the card, especially given it launched with such a big initial offer, is the welcome bonus. Rather than a traditional welcome offer of bonus miles after meeting a minimum spending requirement, the latest offer on the United Club Infinite provides a waived annual fee for the first year, effectively providing a United Club membership alongside a host of other perks and benefits for free for the first year.

United Club℠ Infinite Card
United Club℠ Infinite Card
Annual Fee$0 intro annual fee, then $525
Special Offer $0 intro annual fee, then $525
The United Club Infinite is the top-tier United co-brand card, and offers some great perks like United Club℠ membership, priority check-in, security screening (where available), boarding and baggage handling privileges. If your not an elite, holding this card means you'll be treated like one of United's most loyal and valuable customers. If you already hold MileagePlus Premier status, the card also grants access to Complementary Premier Upgrades on United flights.
  • $0 intro annual fee, then $525
  • Earn 4 miles per $1 spent on United purchases including tickets, Economy Plus, inflight food, beverages and Wi-Fi, and other United charges.
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck™ Fee Credit
  • Free first and second checked bags - a savings of up to $320 per roundtrip
  • 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi onboard United-operated flight when you pay with your Club Card.
  • Earn 4 miles per $1 spent on United purchases
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases

Application Restrictions

This card is subject to Chase's 5/24 policy, which means that your application won't be approved if your credit report shows five or more new credit-card accounts in the past 24 months. Many small business cards do not show up on your personal credit report, so those may not count. Please see our full post on the 5/24 policy if you aren't already familiar with the rule.

In addition, the application page for this card includes the following eligibility language (emphasis added):

This card product is available to you if you do not have any United Club card and have not received a new Cardmember bonus for any United Club card in the past 24 months.

In other words, if you already have the United Club Infinite, United Club℠ Business Card or the MileagePlus Club Card or you received a welcome bonus for any of these cards in the past 24 months, you won't be approved for a new application.

Final Thoughts

The United Club Infinite provides top benefits for United fans and now offers a great return on United purchases, backed up by some of the strongest travel protection benefits of any card on the market. If you can take full advantage of the benefits, you should have no trouble accounting for the out-of-pocket expense of holding the card over the long term. However, if you don't fly with United often, there are lots of other great cards with lower annual fees that could be a better fit, particularly now that the card is only offering a waived annual fee for the first year as a signup bonus.

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  • $525 annual fee and worthless miles at the moment. And United will be United. I rather have a cash back card.

  • Seems like the CSR is a better value for lounge users overseas.

  • Jennifer says:

    The one benefit that I see here is the expanded availability of awards. However just like with all the other aspects of this deal, no travel means they are not usable at the moment. So I would pass on this for now.

  • The list of consumer protection benefits for this card is sure long. Thank you for listing them.

  • The trip cancellation compensation amount is impressive.

  • I can very confidently say that this offer will not come back. Sadly I’m not in a position that it’s beneficial for me so I have to let it pass.

  • It looks like this card is the MileagePlus “Sapphire Reserve.”

  • I can see why it’s a good card. Not something I’ll need to go for since I don’t fly on United it’s not too useful for me. I cannot wait to use my current card benefits besides the Global credit. I’m hoping it’ll help to show my husband a lounge to get him to be ok with the annual fee. Now if AA would do something on their card to make it more worth it.

  • Unfortunately, 100k Ultimate Rewards points are way better than 100k United miles these days…

  • Wow, these annual fees are tough to swallow nowadays. At least Sapphire used ultimate reward points that were not part of a specific airline.

  • I really want this card but I’m currently over 4/24….this hurts…

  • $525 is a bit too much for currency that isn’t transferable… I’d stick with the Explorer card that also unlocks additional availability as that is one of the best benefits of the United co-brands.

  • A valuable card for frequent United passengers.

  • The old Club Card is more generous on the “everything else” category, giving you 1.5 miles per dollar spend. If you use the card a lot for spends that fall into the “everything else” category, the Club Elite may not be worth it. I charge $150K per year on the old Club card, and the extra 75,000 miles is a nice chunk of miles.

  • Michaelj1 says:

    Oops for me – Folks should be aware the application states: “This product is not available to either (i) current Cardmembers of any United ClubSM credit card, or (ii) previous Cardmembers of any United Club credit card who received a new Cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months. If you are an existing United Club Visa Signature Cardmember and would like this product, please call the number on the back of your card to see if you are eligible for a product change.”

  • I really do not know why any business uses Chase credit cards with their 5/24 rule. I wonder if businesses know Chase is limiting their clients. I cannot imagine that Chase disclosed this up front.

  • Doesn’t seem like a good value since the United Explorer Card often has specials that offer 75,000 bonus miles with the first year’s annual fee waived.

  • It is not a bad idea to get both the lounge annual membership and the card itself with the card annual fee.

  • Banking 100k MP miles is a hard sell right now since we are looking at an operation of minimal flights for the next year. The game just isn’t that fun anymore and not sure I would go for any deal on travel points right now. I think prepandemic I would have gone for it.

  • As someone who lives overseas and frequently travels United/Luftahansa back and forth accross the pond, this card seems like a no brainer for me!

  • The consumer benefits of this card could be worth it when lots of other cards are getting rid of these.

  • Who knows when we will be traveling again. Plus, given the struggles of the airlines, a major devaluation of miles is pretty probable. Given these factors and the $525 AF, I think I will pass. Would rather spend that much AF on some other card that is not tied to struggling airlines.

  • 100k miles is good, but annual fee kills the deal.

  • Anthony F says:

    I do really enjoy the United lounges. Out of the big three airlines theirs are my top pick.. When travel opens up again this card may be a good pick!

  • Nice bonus and benefits, but boy is that AF steep! I imagine it’s subject to 5/24 as well, but I don’t see that mentioned in the description. You might want to add that, if not.

  • DaninMCI says:

    Same-day boarding pass requirement for these sorts of cards kills the value for me.

  • The benefits sound great but $600 membership fee is too steep, especially consider the time we are living in right now and so much uncertainty.

  • Is this card still in 5/24 rule? It is impossible to have one because of that.

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