MoneyGeek's Take

Best Airline Credit Cards for United Flyers in 2022

Chase provides co-branded cards with United for personal and business use. The best credit cards for United flyers come with sizable spend-based welcome bonuses. Added perks and benefits depend on the annual fee you’re prepared to pay.

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This article is part of our larger series on Best Airline Credit Cards

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure

All credit cards for United flyers come from Chase. Depending on the card you get, you might earn a significant number of bonus miles by meeting specific spending criteria as a new cardholder. Using these cards outside of the U.S. is perfect because they come with no foreign transaction fees.

The airline and airport benefits you stand to enjoy are not the same across all cards. For instance, while the top United credit cards let you check one or two bags for free, the no-annual-fee United Gateway Credit Card does not offer this benefit.

Other factors that need your attention when selecting a suitable United credit card include miles per dollar rates across different bonus categories, annual fees and APRs.

This article is part of our larger series on
Best Airline Credit Cards

MoneyGeek's Take: Top 3 Credit Cards for United Flyers

Quick Summary

The number of miles you earn varies based on the card you get and category-based spending. Bonus miles for new cardmembers also differ from one card to the next. We have selected the best credit cards for United flyers after considering these factors as well as others such as APRs, annual fees, airport/airline benefits and added perks. You can view more options further down the page.


  • United Explorer Card

    A good miles-earning rewards credit card with some perks and no foreign transaction fees


    • Good-ExcellentRecommended Credit
    • $95Annual Fee
    • 1–2 Miles per $1*Rewards Rate
    • 2xRewards Rate on Air Travel
    • 2xRewards Rate at Hotels

    Terms, rates and fees apply

  • United Club℠ Infinite Card

    An excellent card for earning United’s MileagePlus miles


    • ExcellentRecommended Credit
    • $525Annual Fee
    • 1–4 Miles per $1*Rewards Rate
    • 4xRewards Rate on Air Travel
    • 2xRewards Rate at Hotels

    Terms, rates and fees apply

  • United Quest℠ Card

    A good choice for United Airlines flyers looking to earn more miles and enjoy some travel perks


    • Good-ExcellentRecommended Credit
    • $250Annual Fee
    • 1–3 Miles per $1Rewards Rate
    • 3xRewards Rate on Air Travel
    • 1xRewards Rate on Groceries

    Terms, rates and fees apply

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Methodology

MoneyGeek experts make it a point to go through our extensive database each month and select all new and existing credit cards for United Flyers. They then select the best of the lot by running an in-depth comparison on aspects such as miles per dollar rates, welcome offers, annual fees, APRs and airline/airport benefits.

If you think you might benefit by looking at what other popular travel credit cards have to offer, consider checking out our selection of the top credit cards for travelers.

15%

Miles Rewards Rate

 
10%

Welcome Offer

 
-6%

APR and Fees

Summary of the Best Airline Cards for United Flyers

Check this United credit card comparison table to look at how all the top cards from this category fare against each other across parameters such as who these cards are best suited for, reward rates, annual fee and the credit needed to apply.

  • Credit Card
    Best For
    Avg. Reward Rate
    Annual Fee
    Credit Needed
  • United Explorer Card
    A good miles-earning rewards credit card with some perks and no foreign transaction fees
    1–2 Miles per $1*
    $95
  • United Club℠ Infinite Card
    An excellent card for earning United’s MileagePlus miles
    1–4 Miles per $1*
    $525
  • United Quest℠ Card
    A good choice for United Airlines flyers looking to earn more miles and enjoy some travel perks
    1–3 Miles per $1
    $250
  • United℠ Business Card
    A good miles-earning credit card with exclusive rewards and no foreign transaction fees
    1–2 Miles per $1*
    $99
  • United Gateway Card
    A great no-annual-fee rewards card for people who fly United
    1 Mile per $1
    $0
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MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

In addition to United co-branded cards, credit cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, can transfer to United on a 1:1 basis with no fees. This is an additional way to earn extra United miles, while also receiving other perks that United cards do not offer. -- Lee Huffman, credit card expert at BaldThoughts.com.

How to Compare Airline Credit Cards & Intro Offers

The best credit cards for United flyers come with various card-specific features and benefits. As a result, selecting one that works well for you requires paying attention to different aspects.

1

Welcome offer

The top United credit cards give new cardholders the opportunity to earn bonus miles by meeting some spending-based requirements. For example, while one card might offer 20,000 bonus miles if you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months, another may let you earn 80,000 bonus miles if you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months.

2

Miles per dollar

United credit cards come with bonus categories, although the miles you stand to earn depend on the card you get. For instance, while the United Explorer Card offers up to 2 miles per dollar on category-based spending, the United Club Infinite Card offers up to 4 miles per dollar on its bonus categories.

3

Annual fees

The annual fee you pay has a direct bearing on the features and benefits on offer. On the lower end of the spectrum is the no-annual-fee United Gateway Card Credit Card. The United Club Infinite Card, on the other hand, charges an annual fee of $525. While its annual fee is higher, the additional benefits of the United Club Infinite Card make it worthwhile for some United flyers.

4

APRs

You’ll want to take note of the annual percentage rate (APR) you’ll need to pay if you plan to maintain revolving balances in your account from one month to the next. If this is the case, you might benefit by looking at what low APR cards have to offer.

5

Foreign transaction fees

None of the existing credit cards for United flyers charge foreign transaction fees, making them ideal for use outside of the U.S. However, this cannot be said of new cards that might enter this segment.

6

Airline/airport benefits

Airport- and airline-specific benefits vary from one United card to the next — and this is where the annual fee comes into play. For example, the Chase United Quest℠ Card with a $250 annual fee offers up to 3 miles per dollar on bonus categories. The United Club Infinite Card, on the other hand, lets you earn up to 4 miles per dollar on bonus categories. While both these cards let you check two bags for free, it changes to one bag with the United Explorer Card. Some of the other benefits you may look forward to include statement credits, anniversary award flight credits and priority boarding.

7

Other perks

Other card-specific perks might come in the form of cash back on in-flight purchases, purchase protection, extended warranty and different levels of travel insurance coverage. The United℠ Business Card lets you get employee cards at no extra cost.

Further Reading

About the Author


expert-profile

Rajiv Baniwal has been writing about different financial topics for over 15 years. Meticulous in his research, he makes sure he provides accurate and up-to-date information. His areas of expertise include mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, insurance and international money transfers.


*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity.
Advertiser Disclosure: MoneyGeek has partnered with CardRatings.com and CreditCards.com for our coverage of credit card products. MoneyGeek, CardRatings and CreditCards.com may receive a commission from card issuers. To ensure thorough comparisons and reviews, MoneyGeek features products from both paid partners and unaffiliated card issuers that are not paid partners.