United has gifted us an early Christmas gift: A slew of elevated intro bonus offers on each of their co-branded Chase credit cards. While airline cards are not as flexible as general travel cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Amex Platinum, United’s points are still super valuable. In fact, the flights I suggested to Zach were all booked via United’s travel portal.
Cards and bonuses available:
United Gateway: 30,000 points after spending $1000 within three months of opening the card
United Explorer: 60,000 points after spending $3000 within three months of opening the card
United Quest: 80,000 points after spending $5000 within three months of opening the card
United Infinite: 100,000 points after spending $5000 within three months of opening the card.
Before diving on the highest offer, ensure you can take full advantage of the benefits offered by the more cards. The Infinite’s 100,000-point bonus could be worth as much as $1300, but its annual fee is $525. If you’re not flying United regularly, the intro could be worth it for a year, but beyond that initial earn, you’ll be losing money.
Which card is right for you?
For non United loyalists, the best option is likely the Explorer card. It’s free for the first year, and the subsequent $95 annual fee is comfortably offset by just one or two flights a year.
Its 60,000 point intro bonus requires $3000 of spending in three months, but the card gifts you solid perks, including two lounge visits a year, a free checked bag for you and a companion, a $100 statement credit for TSA Precheck or Global Entry, and 25% off in-flight purchases.