United Airlines Credit Card Comparison: Travel Rewards for Business and Personal Spending

The United Explorer Card can help you rack up miles fast.

Airline credit cards, like the United MileagePlus credit card, focus on offering air miles rewards. And when your airline preference tends toward United Airlines, a United Airlines card can be one of the best credit cards for travel. More than one United miles credit card is available, so you can compare offers and find the best travel rewards credit card for you.

Here’s a look at how you can use United credit cards to maximize your rewards and get the most from your credit card.

United Airlines Credit Card Review

United Airlines currently offers a broad range of Chase United credit cards: three personal and two business options. Although the lineup can change as new cards are created, the following are the airline’s options for the best travel card:

Personal United Airlines Credit Cards

  • United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase
  • United MileagePlus Club Card from Chase
  • United TravelBank Card from Chase

Business United Airlines Credit Cards

  • United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card
  • United MileagePlus Club Business Card

All five of these cards grant travel rewards, but the specific features and benefits vary.

United Airlines Credit Card Products and Services

Here’s a quick look at the products and services offered by the four United MileagePlus Visa credit cards, plus the United TravelBank card:

United MileagePlus Explorer card from Chase

Annual fee: $0 the first year, then $95
Interest rate: 16.99 to 23.99% APR
Sign-up bonus: 40,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first three months; an additional 5,000 miles for signing up an authorized user and making a purchase within the first 90 days

Earn unlimited miles with the United MileagePlus Explorer card: two miles per $1 spent on United purchases and one mile per $1 on all other purchases. Enjoy having your first bag checked for free, priority boarding and two United Club one-time passes each year on your card anniversary date.

How to: Choose the Right Rewards Credit Card for Your Lifestyle

United MileagePlus Club Card from Chase

Annual fee: $450
Interest rate: 16.99 to 23.99% APR
Sign-up bonus: 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months

With the United MileagePlus Club Card, earn two miles per $1 dollar spent on United purchases and 1.5 miles per $1 spent on all other purchases. You’ll also receive a United Club membership, Premier Access travel services and free first and second checked bags.

United TravelBank Card from Chase

Annual fee: $0
Interest rates: 16.99 to 23.99% APR
Sign-up bonus: $150 in United TravelBank cash after spending $1,000 in the first three months

Earn 2 percent in TravelBank cash for each dollar spent on United airline tickets and 1.5 percent for all other purchases. Use TravelBank cash in $1 amounts to equal $1 dollar toward the purchase of United tickets. TravelBank cash can be used alone or with additional forms of payment.

Check Out: Best Airline Credit Cards

United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card

Annual fee: $0 the first year, then $95
Interest rates: 16.99 to 23.99% APR
Sign-up bonus: 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months; 10,000 bonus miles if you spend $25,000 in a calendar year

With the United MileagePlus Explorer Business card, you’ll earn double miles for business purchases of United tickets and purchases in certain categories and one mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases. Also, you’ll get your first checked bag for free, priority boarding and two United Club passes on each anniversary.

United MileagePlus Club Business Card

Annual fee: $450
Interest rates: 16.99 to 23.99% APR
Sign-up bonus: $100 statement credit after first purchase

With this card, earn two miles per $1 spent on United purchases and 1.5 miles per dollar on all other purchases. You’ll also receive a United Club membership, Premier Access travel services and free first and second checked bags — plus you can get employee cards at no added cost.

All cards offer additional services, including travel and purchase protection benefits, such as trip cancellation and baggage delay insurance, along with purchase protection, price protection and return protection. Cards also carry various luxury hotel and experiential event benefits.

Pros and Cons of the United Airlines Credit Cards

The United Airlines credit cards differ in the details but carry similar pros and cons. Here’s an overview of the best and worst the cards have to offer:

Pros

  • $0 for the TravelBank card; $0 the first year for the Explorer cards
  • 2x United miles multipliers on the Explorer and Club cards
  • 1.5x miles on all purchases on the Club cards
  • Club membership with the Club cards
  • Sign-up bonuses on all cards
  • Various travel and concierge services on all cards, including free bags and priority boarding
  • No foreign transaction fees on all cards
  • Can earn cash back with the TravelBank card

Cons

  • High-interest rates of 16.99 to 23.99% APR if you don’t pay your balances in full
  • $450 annual fees for the Club cards, and $95 annual fees for the Explorer cards after the first year

Are United Airlines Credit Cards Worth It?

For people who frequently travel on United Airlines, each of these cards is a good way to rack up miles and enjoy benefits. The Club cards, with their annual fees of $450, aren’t directed at casual travelers but at those who often fly, require extra perks and enjoy frequenting the United Club lounges. But all United travelers can enjoy bonus miles, priority boarding and free baggage by using the cards, which makes them valuable for United travelers but not as relevant for general fliers.

Learn More: 10 Best Airline Credit Cards