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Earn Up To 80,000 Miles With United Airlines Credit Card Bonuses


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Starting June 14, two United Airlines credit cards are offering raised welcome bonuses to help you start the summer travel season off right.

The promotion is the latest part of a wave of new credit card offers geared toward travelers looking to earn points and miles and cash them in to save on future trips. With airline fares soaring, this extra incentive to take out a new credit card comes at a good time.


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Here’s what you need to know about the new United Airlines credit card welcome bonuses, plus how to maximize your United MileagePlus miles when it’s time to redeem them for travel.

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United’s two new welcome offers

The United Quest℠ Card and the United Gateway℠ Card are each offering elevated welcome bonuses for new cardmembers.

Those looking to sign up for the United Quest Card can earn 80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 within the first three months of opening their account. Note that current cardholders and those who have already received a new cardmember bonus for any United Quest Card in the last 24 months are not eligible for the new welcome offer.

With the United Gateway Card, new cardholders can earn 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 within the first three months of card membership. They’ll also be able to start with an introductory 0% APR on purchases for the first 12 months from account opening (after, 17.24% to 24.24% variable APR). Note that the welcome offer is only available to those who aren’t already cardholders and who haven’t received a new cardmember bonus for this card in the last 24 months.

While both cards let you earn United MileagePlus miles, each offer very different benefits and are designed for different types of travelers.

Here’s what you get with the United Quest Card

The United Quest Card is geared more toward frequent travelers. On top of the sizable 80,000-mile bonus after spending $5,000 within the first three months of opening their account, new cardholders will also receive the following valuable travel benefits:

  • Annual United Airlines statement credit of $125 each anniversary to reimburse you for United purchases made that year
  • Two 5,000-mile anniversary award flight credits (up to twice a year), which puts 5,000 United miles back in your account when you book award flights with United or United Express
  • Complimentary first and second checked bags, worth a value of up to $320 round trip
  • Priority boarding for the cardholder and their companions
  • $100 statement credit every four years to use for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS
  • Additional hotel benefits such as daily breakfast for two, room upgrades (based on availability), early check-in and late check-out (based on availability) and a special amenity worth $100 when you stay at properties within Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
  • Premier seat upgrades on award tickets
  • 25% back via statement credit for inflight purchases made while flying with the carrier
  • Comprehensive travel insurance including auto rental collision damage waiver for rental cars, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, plus travel and emergency assistance
  • Access to Visa Signature® Concierge Service and exclusive culinary, entertainment and sporting events
  • No foreign transaction fees

By spending with their card, cardholders can also earn:

  • 3X miles per dollar on all purchases with United Airlines (after the $125 statement credit)
  • 2X miles per dollar for all other travel-related charges, including flights, train rides, local transit, cruises, car rentals, hotel stays, ride-share services and tolls, among others
  • 2X thousands per dollar on dining, as well as certain delivery and streaming services
  • 1X mile per dollar for all other purchases made with the card

Lastly, the United Quest Card comes with a moderate $250 annual fee, which is pretty reasonable considering the welcome bonus alone is worth roughly $800 (at a 1 cent per point valuation).

United Quest℠ Card

  • rewards

    Earn 3x miles on United® purchases, 2x miles on dining, select streaming services and all other travel, 1x on all other purchases

  • welcome bonus

    Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

  • annual fee

  • Enter APR

    N/A for purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    17.24% to 24.24% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Here’s what you get with the United Gateway Card

While the United Gateway Card is a bit of a step down from the United Quest Card, it still packs a punch for United flyers who don’t want to pay an annual fee. New cardholders can earn the decent 30,000-mile bonus after spending $1,000 within the first three months of card membership, plus an introductory interest-free period. They’ll receive the following travel benefits:

  • 25% back via statement credit for inflight purchases made while flying with the carrier
  • Additional hotel benefits such as daily breakfast for two, room upgrades (based on availability), early check-in and late check-out (based on availability) and a special amenity worth $100 when you stay at properties within Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
  • Comprehensive travel insurance including auto rental collision damage waiver for rental cars, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, plus travel and emergency assistance
  • Access to Visa Signature Concierge Service and exclusive culinary, entertainment and sporting events
  • No foreign transaction fees

By spending with the card, you’ll be able to earn:

  • 2X miles per dollar on United purchases, including tickets, baggage fees and Economy Plus® as well as inflight food, beverages and Wi-Fi
  • 2X miles per dollar spent at gas stations and on local transit and commuting, including taxi rides, trains, tolls, mass transit and other ride-sharing services
  • 1X thousands per dollar for all other purchases

Lastly, the United Gateway Card has no annual fee, making it a great pick for anyone who wants to earn United MileagePlus miles without any overhead.

United Gateway℠ Card

  • rewards

    Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases, at gas stations and on local transit and commuting; 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases

  • welcome bonus

    Earn up to 30,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open

  • annual fee

  • Enter APR

    0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening on purchases.

  • Regular APR

    17.24% to 24.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fees

  • Credit needed

As you’re earning thousands, keep these 3 things in mind

United Airlines has a wide route network that includes 210 destinations within the US, making it easy to fly nearly anywhere within the 50 states, as well as 120 destinations internationally.

As you’re earning United MileagePlus miles on your purchases, keep these three factors in mind, especially when it’s time to redeem them.

1. You can redeem thousands with United’s Star AllianceTM partners

When you’re searching for flights on United’s website, you may end up coming across some that are offered by other carriers. The airlines you’ll see listed are part of United’s Star Alliance, a network that United Airlines is a member of.

With 26 total airlines, you’ll have the ability to redeem your United miles for flights with partner carriers such as Air Canada, Air New Zealand, Egyptair, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Portugal and Turkish Airlines, among others. This alliance with other airlines makes earning United MileagePlus miles a great value for those who enjoy traveling abroad.

2. You can bump up your balance with transferable points

If you’re enthusiastic about earning United miles, consider also applying for a travel rewards credit card that lets you transfer the points you earn to the United MileagePlus loyalty program. That way, for example, you’ll be able to select United Airlines as your Chase transfer partner and redeem those miles with the carrier or any of its partner airlines as described above, depending on your travel needs.

Cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offer the ability to transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards® points directly to United MileagePlus at a 1:1 ratio — meaning 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equates to 1,000 United miles.

3. Your miles can devalue at any time

Be aware that airline and hotel loyalty programs can succumb to devaluation at any time. For example, an airline can change a specific route from 40,000 miles to 50,000 miles at the flip of a switch, making your miles less valuable without any notice. This actually happens quite regularly as travel brands try to mitigate the risk of consumers redeeming too many thousands within a short period of time.

Because there’s always a chance of this happening, it’s best to redeem thousands quickly but efficiently. Now, that’s not to say you should waste them on items such as gift cards or retail merchandise as your miles are then valued well below what they’d be worth if you redeemed them for flights. Just try not to sit on them for too long or you may encounter an unfortunate devaluation.

bottom line

Publisher Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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