United Gateway Card Review
The United Gateway Card is not one of our highest rated airline credit cards. You can consult our list of best airline credit cards for what we think are better options.
United Gateway Card Full Review
3 miles per dollar on certain grocery purchases
MileagePlus miles have a relatively high value per mile
No annual fee
Unique valuable bonus
No elite status or priority boarding with membership card
No free checked baggage
Permanent bonus mile categories have limited value
- 3 miles per dollar on select grocery purchases: This card offers 3 miles per dollar spent on up to $ 1,500 in grocery purchases per month until September 30, 2021. Purchases over $ 1,500 per month earn only 1 mile per dollar. The 3 mile earning rate equates to 6.57 cents per dollar spent, based on our estimate of 2.19 cents per mile.
- MileagePlus miles have a relatively high value per mile: United MileagePlus miles earned with this card are worth 2.19 cents per mile, based on our estimates. This is one of the highest mileage ratings we’ve seen for hotel and airline loyalty programs. When you combine that with multiple miles per dollar spent in certain categories, it adds even more value.
- No annual fee: Many airline cards charge an annual fee, but this is not the case. While this card doesn’t offer any premium benefits, the earning rates are decent considering the value of MileagePlus miles.
- Unique Valuable Bonus: You can earn 20,000 bonus miles, worth $ 438, when you make $ 1,000 in purchases on this card within the first three months of opening the account. This bonus is relatively robust for a no annual fee credit card that only requires $ 1000 in spending to earn it.
- No Elite status or priority boarding with membership to the card: The only airline-specific benefit you get with this card is a 25% discount on certain in-flight purchases. It won’t help you gain elite status or other perks, such as priority boarding. These features are usually reserved for cards with an annual fee that this card does not have.
- No free checked baggage: This card also does not offer free checked baggage. Again, this benefit is more common on credit cards with annual fees.
- The categories of permanent bonus miles have a limited value: While grocery store purchases are an excellent category of bonus miles, this category will expire at the end of September 2021. Current bonus mile categories, including some United purchases, gasoline, local transit and commuting, will not add up to much expense for many people.
Who is this card for
The United Gateway Card is one of the many United credit card offerings. United travelers who want to earn miles for award flights but don’t travel frequently or don’t care about United benefits may find this card attractive, especially because it doesn’t charge an annual fee. Its one-time bonus of 10,000 miles is relatively generous, and it should be possible to earn an award flight within a fairly short period of time.
One-time United Gateway card bonus
You can earn 20,000 bonus miles for spending $ 1,000 or more on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. Based on our valuations of 2.19 cents per mile when redeemed for Airline Rewards, this one-time bonus is worth up to $ 438. Compared to other cards with no annual fee, this is a relatively good bonus with reasonable spending requirements.
To earn the bonus, you cannot currently have this credit card or have had it and received a new cardholder bonus within the past 24 months. Bonus miles can take six to eight weeks to be credited to your account.
In order for bonus miles to be credited, your account must be open and not by default. To keep the bonus, your account must remain open for at least six months. Otherwise, Chase and United reserve the right to deduct miles from your MileagePlus program account.
The United Gateway Card offers several expense categories that earn more than the base mile per dollar spent on all other purchases. Until September 30, 2021, you earn 3 miles per dollar on a maximum of $ 1,500 per month in grocery purchases. Purchases over this limit earn 1 mile on the dollar.
You’ll earn 2 miles for every dollar spent on airline tickets, seat upgrades, EconomyPlus seats, onboard food and drink, in-flight Wi-Fi, baggage service fees and other United charges when purchased through United. The card also offers 2 miles per dollar spent on United Card events from Chase, gasoline, local transit, and commute. This includes carpooling services, taxis, tolls, train tickets and other public transportation.
Chase automatically transfers earned miles to United at the end of each billing cycle. You can lose any miles that have not yet been transferred if the status of your card account changes or if your card is closed due to fraud, program misuse, payment failure. payment, bankruptcy or some other reason.
Currently, United MileagePlus miles do not expire. United says there are no blackout dates or other award restrictions, but seats must be available for sale on a flight to book an award flight. That being said, rewards on partner-operated flights may have limits and restrictions.
Reward redemption details
United allows you to redeem your MileagePlus miles in several ways, including:
- Air prices
- Upgrade rewards
- Hotel rewards
- Cruise rewards
- Car rewards
- Merchandise rewards
- Apple products
- Gift cards
- United Club membership
- United Wi-Fi
- TSA pre-verification
- Donation of miles to partner charities
Overall, you’ll get the most bang for your buck by redeeming your miles for airline rewards that offer the highest value per mile. We have found that redeeming miles in this manner results in a typical value of 2.19 cents per mile. You can redeem your MileagePlus miles for flights on more than 35 airlines around the world in addition to United.
Non-flight redemption options normally result in a lower value per mile. Even then, redeeming your miles this way can make sense if you don’t plan on flying with United in the near future and want to unlock the value of your miles.
The MileagePlus program allows members of MileagePlus Premier or above to transfer up to 50,000 MileagePlus miles per calendar year to the Marriott Bonvoy program on a 1 mile to 1 point basis. We value Marriott Bonvoy points at 1.43 cents per mile, so this transfer is generally not good value unless you top up your Marriott Bonvoy points or aren’t planning on flying any time soon.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
At 2.19 cents per mile, United’s MileagePlus miles are one of the most valuable reward currencies. Even if you only get 1 mile per dollar spent, this card outperforms a simple 2% cash back credit card, as long as you use your miles to book airline tickets of equal or more value per. mile.
When you earn 2-3 miles per dollar spent, the value increases that much more. For these reasons, it would make sense to put all your purchases on this card unless you have a premium rewards credit card that offers even higher value per dollar spent.
When you redeem your rewards, you can usually get the best value for your money by booking premium award tickets, such as business class rewards. These tickets generally cost significantly more when paid for in cash, which in many cases translates into better value per mile.
For example, a return flight from Indianapolis, India, to Panama City, Florida in economy class would cost 25,000 miles plus $ 11.20 in taxes and fees, or $ 197.20 in cash, or a value of 0.744 cents per mile. However, a return flight from Indianapolis to Paris, France, in business class would cost 120,000 miles plus $ 160.85 in taxes and fees, or $ 6,312.35 in cash, or a value of 5.126 cents per mile. .
Great benefits of United Gateway Card
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: When you charge the full rental fee to this card and decline the rental company’s collision coverage, the card will provide primary coverage.
Trip cancellation and interruption insurance: You can be reimbursed up to $ 1,500 per person and $ 6,000 per trip for prepaid, non-refundable passenger fares if your trip is canceled or shortened by covered conditions, such as illness or injury.
- Visa concierge 24/7
- 25% back in statement credit on food, drink and Wi-Fi purchases on United-operated flights when you pay with your card
- Extended warranty protection
- Purchase protection
Chase, who issues the United Gateway Card, scored 809 out of 1,000 points in JD Power’s 2020 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Survey. The average of national issuers was 810.
Chase offers a mobile app that you can use to manage your credit card account. You can also call 800-537-7783 to reach the customer service representatives dedicated to this card.
This credit card offers a secure and contactless payment option. It also offers the option to lock and unlock your card in the Chase mobile app in case you misplace the card. Otherwise, the security features of this card are industry standard.
Fees to watch out for
If you plan to transfer a balance or use the cash advance feature, be aware of the associated fees. Cash advances cost $ 10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater. Balance transfers cost $ 5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
The United Gateway Card won’t appeal to frequent United travelers looking for a card that offers many benefits. However, infrequent United travelers who wish to earn miles for award flights may find value in MileagePlus’ one-time bonus and fairly high value per mile. Since this card does not charge an annual fee and MileagePlus miles do not expire, you can accumulate your miles over time until you have enough for the flights you want.