United Club℠ Infinite Card review: Is it the airline’s friendliest card?

Young woman on a trip to Europe after maximizing the benefits of the United MileagePlus Club CardImage: Young woman on a trip to Europe after maximizing the benefits of the United MileagePlus Club Card

In a Nutshell

The United MileagePlus® Club Card offers plenty to frequent United Airlines flyers looking for a luxury travel experience. With United Club lounge membership, designated check-in lines, priority security lanes where available, and two free checked bags, you could end up getting a lot of value from the card — if you’re looking for these kinds of perks.
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Pros Cons
Strong sign-up bonus High annual fee
United Club lounge access Miles can only be used on United or one of its partners
2 free checked bags for primary cardholder and one companion on the same reservation  
Premier Access benefits that include designated check-in lines, priority security lanes and priority boarding  


What frequent flyers need to know about the United Club℠ Infinite Card

Like many premium credit cards with high annual fees, the value of the United Club℠ Infinite Card depends on how you intend to use it. Having no foreign transaction fees is a given with a card of this caliber, but some perks stand out and make this card quite lucrative — if you can take full advantage of them.

United Club lounge membership

The first notable benefit with this card is membership in the United Club lounge program. As a member, you’ll gain access to more than 45 United Club locations and many other Star Alliance lounges worldwide. The United Club has amenities like complimentary drinks, snacks and Wi-Fi.

You can bring up to two guests or one adult guest and dependent children with you into the lounge each visit. You’ll need to have a same-day boarding pass for a United or Star Alliance partner flight to enter one of these lounges.

United says membership is worth up to $650 per year — the cost of an annual general membership to the United Club. But it’s worth noting that you’ll only really get that value if you plan to use the lounge regularly.

Premier Access can help you avoid lines

If you hate waiting in lines, this benefit may sell you on the United Club℠ Infinite Card. You’ll get to use a dedicated fast lane at United check-in, a faster security lane for premium passengers (where available) and priority boarding. You also get priority baggage handling so you can get out of the airport quickly when you check your bags.

Plus, the card offers up to a $100 credit every four years for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fees.

A strong sign-up bonus and rewards rate

New cardholders can earn 75,000 bonus miles when they spend at least $3,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening their account. You can use your MileagePlus® miles for travel on United.

For regular purchase activity, the card gives you four miles per $1 spent on United bookings, two miles per $1 spent on dining at restaurants and all other travel, and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Two free checked bags for you and a companion

If you travel with luggage, you’ll likely get serious value out of this card’s two free checked bags for both you and a companion. Regular bag fees on United are $35 for the first bag and $45 for a second bag each way, so this benefit could be worth as much as $320 for two people on a round-trip flight.

Maximizing the benefits of the United Club℠ Infinite Card

If you do decide this card is right for you, your travel habits will help determine if you get maximum value. At the same time, it might not be terribly difficult to cover the hefty $525 annual fee. For instance, if you take a companion on two domestic trips and check two bags each both ways, you’ve already covered it.

For many cardholders, the best value of the United Club℠ Infinite Card comes from the United Club membership. More visits mean more value, so you won’t get as much from this perk if you can’t access a United Club lounge at airports you frequent.

This card also gives you opportunities for upgrades when available and a wide range of trip and purchase protections and insurance. If you like to use these safety nets when you travel, you have one more reason to appreciate this card.

Who this card is good for

This card is geared toward frequent and loyal customers of United Airlines. But only those who want to check bags, enjoy the luxury of a United Club and zip through many airport lines will likely feel like they’re getting full value. It’s a card for those who want extra perks specifically with United, not at the airport generally.

On the flip side, this card probably won’t be worth it for United flyers who typically don’t check bags and don’t expect to spend a lot of time in the United Club. United fans could get better value out of one of the airline’s cards with a lower annual fee, even if the sign-up bonus and rewards rates aren’t as impressive.

Not sure this is the card for you? Consider these alternatives.


About the author: Eric Rosenberg is a finance, travel and technology writer in Ventura, California. He has an MBA in finance from the University of Denver. When he’s away from the keyboard, Eric enjoys exploring the world, flying small… Read more.