Guide to the United Club Infinite Card [Review]

Guide to the United Club Infinite Card [Review]

Though burdened with a high annual fee, frequent United Airlines flyers will find much to like with the United Club Infinite Card.

The United Club Infinite Card offers a plethora of bonus-reward categories, plentiful travel benefits, and a high annual fee which is waived for a year. As the card’s primary benefits come in the form of miles with United Airlines, it is a particularly valuable card if you live in a United hub city.

If you are a current United Club Card holder, according to the issuer you are not automatically switched to the new, more rewards-rich United Club Infinite Card. However, you can call Chase and see if they are eligible to switch if you want.

In general, the recent changes to this card make it a little more valuable to travelers who can take advantage of the new benefits.

Card Benefits

Extended Bonus Categories

United Club Infinite cardholders will receive the following bonus rewards:

  • 4 miles per dollar for United Airlines purchases,
  • 2 miles per dollar on food,
  • 2 miles to the dollar on all other trips, and
  • 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases.

For those who use the card primarily for United Airlines purchases, meals, and travel, the 4X miles per dollar spent with United is a welcome change. However, the base rate of earning miles is lower: you get 1 mile per dollar instead of the 1.5 miles per dollar you spend on all other purchases made with the previous version.

Global Entry or TSA Precheck

The United Club Infinite Card gives up to $100 as a statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee for either program when charged to your card.

Purchase Protection

As with many credit cards, the United Club Infinite Card comes out of the box with purchase coverage. For up to 120 day after purchasing a new item, the card covers your purchase for damage or theft up to $10,000 with an annual max coverage of $50,000 annually.

Return Protection

You can be reimbursed for eligible items that the store won’t take back within 90 days of purchase. Return protection is limited to $500 per item, and $1,000 per year.

Other Benefits

If you find yourself sitting on a transcontinental United flight, you can find some small consolation in the fact that, even if you only have three inches of legroom, at least you’ll get 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages, and Wi-Fi. Keep in mind, this is only for United-operated flights when you pay with your United Club Infinite Card.

In addition to priority boarding on United flights, United Club Infinite Card cardholders also receive priority check-in, security clearance, and baggage handling.

The primary cardholder and one companion traveling on the same reservation will each receive their first and second standard checked bag free. This represents up to a $35 value for the first checked bag and up to a $45 value for the second checked bag, each way, per person. As with the in-flight purchase credit, this deal is good only on United-operated flights when purchasing tickets with the United Club Infinite Card.

As with many higher-end travel rewards credit cards, the United Club Infinite card delivers purchases in other countries without a foreign transaction fee.

United Club Membership

Perhaps the most enticing benefit to this card is one that will primarily be used by frequent United flyers. Cardholders receive membership in the network of United Clubs and participating Star Alliance lounges around the world. If you get to the airport early, in other words, you’ll be able to relax with complimentary beverages and snacks if the airport in question has a United Club or Star Alliance lounge.

While this is a great benefit for frequent travelers, it remains to be said that infrequent travelers will likely find themselves burdened with this card’s high annual fee while remaining unable to use its headline benefit.

Card Drawbacks

A big drawback of the card is the annual fee. Previously, the annual fee for the United Club card was $450. The new version is $525. This increase makes it less attractive to those who cannot take advantage of the new card benefits and puts it on the very-high-end of reward card annual fees.

As mentioned above, the fact that this newer iteration of what was previously called simply the “United Club Card” lowered everyday purchase miles is a major disappointment.

With the Club Infinite card, cardholders earn 1 mile per dollar spent on purchases that do not fall into the bonus categories. This is a 0.5-mile reward decrease versus the prior iteration of the card and makes it less compelling for spenders who aren’t frequently making purchases with United Airlines.

Conclusion

The United Club Infinite Card is an excellent choice for anyone interested in getting a membership in the United Club. With its new advantages, it might also be a little more valuable for frequent travelers compared to the previous version, despite the higher annual fee and reduction in everyday purchase rewards miles.

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