Chase and United Airlines made a splash in the luxury travel card world with the March 2020 debut of the United Club℠ Infinite Card. It’s United’s most expensive card, with an annual fee of $525 per year, but it offers enough in the way of luxury benefits that frequent United flyers with deep pockets may very well find this card worthwhile.
United Club℠ Infinite Card pros
Generous sign-up bonus. Earn 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Offer ends May 18, 2020.
Strong rewards. Earn 4 miles per $1 spent on United purchases, 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel and dining and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.
The highest rewards rate spent on United purchases also includes spending on United Events from Chase (more info below). And the “other travel” category includes airfare, trains, local transit, cruise lines, hotels, car rentals, taxicabs, resorts, rideshare services and tolls.
Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck. Charge your application fee for Global Entry or TSA Precheck to this card and take advantage of a statement credit of up to $100 every four years as reimbursement.
Lounge access. This card comes with a United Club membership, allowing the cardholder and eligible travel companions to access more than 45 United Club airport lounge locations, as well as participating Star Alliance-affiliated lounges worldwide.
Your first two checked bags are free. The primary cardholder, as well as one companion traveling on the same reservation, can each get up to two checked bags at no cost — assuming the tickets were purchased from United with the United Club℠ Infinite Card. United estimates the value of the first checked bag at $35 one way and the second checked bag at $45 one way, meaning that if two travelers each take two bags on a roundtrip flight, that’s $320 saved.
Travel benefits, including:
- Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance. This covers reimbursement up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip if your trip is cut short by sickness, severe weather, and other covered situations.
- Baggage delay insurance. When your baggage is delayed for more than six hours, this benefit offers reimbursement for essential purchases such as toiletries and clothing, up to $100 a day for three days.
- Lost luggage reimbursement. This benefit covers checked and carry-on luggage for you and immediate family members when the luggage is damaged or lost by the carrier. The limit is $3,000 per passenger.
- Trip delay reimbursement. If your trip is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay, this benefit covers unreimbursed expenses such as meals and lodging (up to $500 per ticket).
- Auto rental collision damage waiver. When you decline the rental company’s collision insurance and put the entire rental cost on the United Club℠ Infinite Card, you’ll get primary coverage through this card. That’s a great benefit, because most credit cards only offer secondary rental car insurance (meaning it kicks in after your auto insurance policy).
Access to Visa Infinite Concierge Services. Because this is a Visa Infinite card, you get access to 2/47 assistance with travel planning, dinner reservations, and tickets to sports games and other entertainment events.
Additional United Club℠ Infinite Card benefits
Premier upgrades on award tickets. When you’re the primary cardholder and also a MileagePlus member, you can take advantage of complimentary premier upgrades on United flights when available if you’re traveling on an award ticket.
25% back on United in-flight purchases. Purchases of food, beverages, and Wi-Fi receive this discount when you’re on a United flight and you use the United Club℠ Infinite Card.
Premier Access travel services. This includes priority check-in, security screening (where available), boarding and baggage handling privileges.
No foreign transaction fee. You can travel abroad with the United Club℠ Infinite Card and have peace of mind knowing you won’t be charged an additional fee on top of each transaction. The foreign transaction fee on the United Club℠ Infinite Card is $0.
Benefits at the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection. There are more than 900 properties included in this group, and if you pay using your United Club℠ Infinite Card when making a reservation, you can get benefits including:
- Daily breakfast for two
- A special benefit unique to each property (such as a dining or spa credit)
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- A room upgrade (if available)
- Early check-in and late checkout (if available)
Purchase benefits, including:
- Purchase protection to cover new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft. The limit is $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year.
- Return protection which allows you to be reimbursed for eligible items the store won’t take back within 90 days of purchase. The limit is $500 per item and $1,000 per year.
- Extended warranty protection to extend the U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year (on eligible warranties of three years or less).
Terms and restrictions apply to these benefits.
United Card Events from Chase and MileagePlus Events. These private, upscale events include wine tastings, culinary events at exclusive restaurants, and more. (Note that you don’t get access for free — having the card allows you the opportunity to purchase these events.)
Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President’s Circle. If you’re looking to improve your rental car experience, this benefit allows you to enroll in the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program at the President’s Circle tier, which offers a 50% bonus on Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Points, upgrades, exclusive offers, and more.
United Club℠ Infinite Card cons
High annual fee. At $525, the annual fee for the United Club℠ Infinite Card is on the high end. The United Club℠ Infinite Card is competing with other expensive luxury travel cards, like The Platinum Card® from American Express (See Rates & Fees) and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
Can’t transfer miles to other programs. You can transfer miles to another United MileagePlus member (for a cost of $7.50 per 500 miles and a $30 processing fee per transaction), but you can’t transfer them to other airlines or hotel programs. Compared with Chase Ultimate Rewards points and American Express Membership Rewards points, both of which can be transferred to travel partners, this could be a bit limiting to travelers who like flexibility.
Compare it with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the top travel cards on the market. With an annual fee of $550, it’s not cheap, but it does have the benefits to justify that high fee.
Here’s how the two compare:
|United Club℠ Infinite Card||Chase Sapphire Reserve®|
|Sign-up bonus||Earn 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Offer ends May 18, 2020.||Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.|
|Rewards||Earn 4 miles per $1 spent on United purchases, 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel and dining and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.||3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.|
|Foreign transaction fee||$0||$0|
|Regular purchase APR||16.49% - 23.49% Variable||16.99%-23.99% variable|
Points earned on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® are Chase Ultimate Rewards points, and when you redeem them for travel via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, you get 50% more value. That means 50,000 points are worth $750 when redeemed toward travel, for example.
And if you’d rather transfer the points, you can transfer at a 1:1 value to these travel partners, including United:
- Aer Lingus AerClub
- British Airways Executive Club
- Emirates Skywards
- Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
- Iberia Plus
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- United MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Bonvoy
- World of Hyatt
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® also offers extensive travel benefits, including:
- An annual credit of up to $300 for travel purchases charged to the card.
- A statement credit of up to $100 every four years for Global Entry or TSA Precheck.
- Access to more than 1,000 airport lounges with enrollment in Priority Pass Select.
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance (up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip).
- Trip delay reimbursement when your trip is delayed more than six hours or requires an overnight stay (will cover eligible unreimbursed expenses up to $500 per ticket).
- Lost luggage reimbursement (up to $3,000 per passenger).
- Auto rental collision damage waiver (coverage is primary).
- Benefits at properties in the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection.
- 24/7 access to dedicated customer service specialists.
And it’s worth noting that the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, like the United Club℠ Infinite Card, is a Visa Infinite card — this means it also comes with access to Visa Infinite Concierge Services.
Read our review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
Is the United Club℠ Infinite Card right for you?
If you’re an avid United flyer who’s looking for a luxury travel card with premium benefits (and doesn’t mind paying a high annual fee), the United Club℠ Infinite Card has much to offer. Its airport lounge access, Visa Infinite Concierge Services perks, and generous sign-up bonus and strong rewards rate all make it an attractive option for those who can afford to Earn 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. annual fee.
Note that you can’t apply for this card if you have another open United Club credit card. You may be able to get this card by requesting a product change, but product changes usually don’t allow you to earn any sign-up bonus that’s available to new applicants.
For potential applicants who would like to earn the sign-up bonus, be aware that to be eligible, you can’t have earned a sign-up bonus on any United Club credit card within the last 24 months.
Despite the splash created by the United Club℠ Infinite Card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is still one of the champions when it comes to luxury travel cards that pack a lot of value into an expensive annual fee. With its $300 annual travel credit, as well as the ability to transfer points at a 1:1 value to a variety of partners, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® may be a better choice for travelers who aren’t United loyalists.
The information related to the United Club℠ Infinite Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.
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