Chase United Gateway Card Review
- No annual fee
- Introductory APR period
- Ancillary travel protections
- No free baggage perk
- No airport lounge access
- Modest sign-up bonus
If you’re of the belief that you shouldn’t pay an annual fee just to be able to use a credit card — but you’re still looking for some added perks — the Chase United Gateway Card might be your tempo. Although the card can’t compete with the many feature-rich cards that are available, it does offer some benefits — particularly for United flyers — without charging an annual fee.
Here are the features that rank most highly with the United Gateway Card.
No Annual Fee
You’ll receive all of the features and benefits of the United Gateway Card without paying an annual fee.
The Chase United Gateway Card offers a 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months after account opening. Additionally, the card offers an APR, which is high in an absolute sense but lower than many comparable cards that reach 29.99%.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
You won’t pay a foreign transaction fee using the Chase United Gateway Card, whether you are traveling overseas or simply shopping on a foreign website.
If you’re looking to redeem rewards miles for future flights, it pays to use a card that is associated with a large fleet flying to a wide range of destinations, as is the case with United Airlines. You may also be able to redeem your United miles on some of the airline’s Star Alliance partners.
How the Chase United Gateway Card Stands Out
The United Gateway Card doesn’t have a ton of additional features, but the fact that you can get them all for no annual fee makes the card interesting for some holders. Essentially, all of the perks are gravy because it doesn’t cost anything to own the card.
The 20,000-mile signup bonus, after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, isn’t particularly noteworthy, but it’s still worth a few hundred dollars when used for travel. The 0% APR for the first 12 months can be handy if you’ve got a big expense coming up but don’t expect to have the cash to pay it off for a few months. The 0% rate is followed by rates of APR after the promotional period ends.
If you do fly United, you’ll get 2x miles on your purchases, along with 25% off in-flight and Club premium drink purchases. You’ll also earn 2x miles on gas stations, local transit and commuting. You can earn higher rewards on other types of cards, but most of them carry an annual fee as well. With the United Gateway Card, your perks are essentially gratis.
One noteworthy benefit of the United Gateway Card is that even though it doesn’t charge an annual fee, it comes with many of the same ancillary travel benefits that all Chase and United cards possess. However, as you might expect, coverages are greater with higher-tier cards that charge a fee. The United Gateway offers the following protections:
- Trip Cancellation or Interruption Insurance
- Visa Concierge
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
- Purchase Protection
- Extended Warranty Protection
Although many cards offer these types of travel protections, they aren’t particularly common with no-fee cards. The United Gateway Card offers auto rental coverage, however it is secondary, not primary as with some of the more expensive Chase/United cards. Trip cancellation/interruption coverage levels are fairly high for a card with no annual fee. However, the card lacks the lost luggage and baggage delay coverage that higher-tier cards offer. Purchase protection covers damage or theft to items you buy using the card up to $500 per item or $50,000 per account.
Comparable United Credit Card Options
Chase offers four United-related credit cards, all with varying annual fees and levels of benefits. The United Gateway Card is at the bottom of the pyramid in terms of the available cards, which makes it well-suited for certain cardholders. However, for those who are willing to pay a bit more to upgrade their benefits, the Explorer and Quest cards could be good options.
United Explorer Card
The United Explorer Card is one step up from the bottom-tier United Gateway Card. It charges an annual fee of $95, but that fee is waived for the first year. Since it carries many more benefits than the United Gateway Card, it might be worth it for some potential card holders to try this card instead for a year, particularly for occasional United travelers.
In addition to the considerably larger 50,000-mile sign-up bonus after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, the United Explorer Card offers significant perks for United travelers, including one free checked bag and priority boarding. The Explorer Card also gives a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck once every four years, in addition to enhanced levels of the ancillary travel benefits offered by the United Gateway Card. Many United travelers will find the Explorer Card to be a more valuable card, even with the $95 annual fee. But if you rarely travel anyway or are particularly fee-averse, the United Gateway Card might still be a better option.
United Quest Card
The Chase United Quest Card is the next step up on the Chase and United ladder, and it comes with a much steeper annual fee of $250. However, you’re getting extra value for the additional fee, particularly if you are a more frequent United flyer. The sign-up bonus bumps up once again, to 70,000 miles, after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, which is generally enough for roundtrip international flight.
The card also offers 3x miles on United purchases, vs. the 2x miles for both the Explorer and Gateway cards. You can offset half of the annual fee with the card’s $125 yearly credit for United purchases, and you’ll also receive two free checked bags — compared to the Gateway card’s offering of none. If you fly more than a couple of times per year, this benefit alone can save you hundreds of dollars and cover the annual fee. Beyond that, the United Quest Card shares the same $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit that the Explorer card offers but the Gateway card does not.
How To Apply
Applying for the Chase United Gateway Card is easy on the Chase website. In addition to standard information like your name, address and date of birth, you’ll have to provide your Social Security number, annual income and employment status. Some applications are approved immediately online, while others may take 7-10 business days to gain approval.
Who the Chase United Gateway Card Is Best For
The Chase United Gateway Card is best for occasional United travelers that don’t want to pay an annual fee for a credit card but also don’t require much by way of travel benefits. More frequent flyers will likely prefer a different card in the Chase and United stable, but if you’re just dipping your toe into the rewards card world, there’s nothing wrong with getting some benefits with a free card, even if they aren’t that extensive. The introductory APR is an additional non-travel-related perk that might entice cardholders that want some flexibility with their financing, even if they never intend to travel on United.
The Chase United Gateway Card is aptly named, as it appears to be intended to be a “gateway” card that Chase hopes will lead users to their more expensive, feature-packed cards like the United Quest Card or the United Club Infinite Card. If you’re just looking to dabble with a United-based card, there’s little downside to picking up a no-fee card like the United Gateway. The modest sign-up bonus, introductory APR rate and lack of foreign transaction fees can make the card worthwhile for some fee-averse users. However, if you’re a regular United flyer or are looking for a card with some truly valuable features and benefits, you might want to consider some of the other options in the Chase United stable, even if you have to pay an annual fee.
- Do you get free baggage with the United Gateway Card?
- No, the United Gateway card doesn't offer any baggage perks.
- What credit score is needed for the United Gateway Card?
- Chase doesn't disclose its minimum credit score requirements for its lineup of cards. As the United Gateway Card isn't an elite card, you can likely qualify with a good credit score of 640 or above. However, as with all cards, the higher your score, the more likely you are to qualify.
- What is the United Gateway Card?
- The United Gateway Card occupies the bottom rung of Chase's stable of United-related credit cards. The entry-level United Gateway Card offers some limited perks while charging no annual fee.
- Does the United Gateway Card have a foreign transaction fee?
- No, the United Gateway Card doesn't charge any foreign transaction fees.
Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Oct. 4, 2022.
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The information related to Chase United Gateway, United Explorer, and United Quest cards was collected by GOBankingRates and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of these cards. Product details may vary. Please see issuer website for current information. GOBankingRates does not receive commission for these products.