United Club Infinite card: Nice new benefits for the same price.

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The United Club Infinite Card recently added a number of valuable perks. We hadn’t previously reported on this additions, but it is worth being aware if you either have the card or fly United often and has missed discussion of these changes.

Current Offer & Key Card Details

Card Offer and Details
United Club℠ Infinite Card
75K miles
75K miles after $3K spend in the first 3 months.

$525 Annual Fee

FM Mini Review: While pricey, the Chase United Club Infinite Card is a great choice for those who want a United club membership and waived close-in award fees.


Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
Travel
Dine
Brand

Earning rate: ⚬ 4X United ⚬ 2X dining & travel

Big spend bonus: Beginning in 2022, earn up to 4,000 PQPs per year: 500 PQPs per $12K spend (up to $96K spend)

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ United Club membership ⚬ Unlocks complimentary elite upgrades on award tickets, including companions on the same reservation ⚬ 10% discount on saver level economy awards within the continental US and Canada ⚬ 10,000 miles for signing up for CLEAR by June 30, 2022 using your card ⚬ IHG Platinum Status ⚬ $75 statement credit for IHG properties charged to the card between 1/1 and 12/1/22 ⚬ Priority check-in, security screening, baggage handling, and boarding ⚬ Free 1st and 2nd checked bags ⚬ Hertz President's Circle Elite Status ⚬ Primary auto rental collision damage waiver

New Benefits

10% discount on economy awards

Effective immediately upon the announcement at the end of September, United Club Infinite cardholders get 10% off on saver-level economy class award tickets within the continental US and Canada. That’s a nice benefit that could add up if you regularly redeem United miles for those qualifying saver-level economy class tickets.

To get this discount, a cardholder just needs to log in at United.com before searching and the discounted pricing will automatically be displayed.

IHG Benefits

File this under “really weird”: United Club Infinite cardholders now get IHG Platinum status. Additionally, the card will come with a $75 statement credit for purchases at IHG properties between 1/1/22 and 12/31/2022.

While that may not seem odd to you if you’re not very familiar with United and their partnerships, what makes this particularly weird is the fact that United has a long-established partnership with Marriott Bonvoy. For years now, there has been a standing 10% transfer bonus from Marriott to United miles (on top of the normal transfer ratio) and high-level Marriott elite members (Titanium and Ambassador) get United Premier Silver elite status. That makes this tie-in with IHG particularly strange: one would think that United would have looked first at enhancing reciprocal benefits with Marriott.

That said, the issuer here is Chase and ultimately the benefits that Chase can offer likely depends largely on its own partnerships. Given that Amex and Chase have a complicated agreement over the Marriott credit cards, maybe it just wasn’t possible to do something in conjunction with Marriott. Still, IHG feels like an odd fit.

Complimentary companion upgrades on award tickets

While United Club Infinite cardholders have previously qualified for complimentary upgrades on award tickets, United is now expanding that benefit to companions on the same reservation. That’s a nice perk as an upgrade might matter more to you when you are traveling with family, so the ability to get an additional person or two upgraded with you would be very helpful.

Coming in 2022: Earn up to 4,000 PQPs through credit card spend

The United Club Infinite card offers 500 Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) per $12K spend on the card in a calendar year. Currently, there is a limit of 3,000 PQPs per year earned via card spend. Beginning in 2022, cardholders will be eligible to earn up to 4,000 PQPs through spend.

Personally, I find this addition kind of dull given that maxing out 4,000 PQPs would require $96K spend. I would think there are far more valuable strategies for $96K credit card spend than United Premier Silver or halfway to Gold, but some with very high spend capacity may disagree.

10,000 miles for signing up for CLEAR

The final perk added is 10,000 United miles for signing up for CLEAR by June 30, 2022. That’s nice considering the fact that you can also get a reduced rate of $119 for CLEAR. On the other hand, if you have an Amex Platinum card (or were targeted for the Amex Offer on other cards), you can get the full purchase price of CLEAR back (potentially for two people in a family). Furthermore, for a brief time United recently offered a $100 United Travel Bank credit when signing up for CLEAR through United Mileage Plus. You could have used your Amex Platinum card and gotten CLEAR for free plus $100 in United credit, so this offer doesn’t seem wildly exciting.

If you don’t have access to the Amex paths, getting CLEAR and 10,000 United miles for $119 probably isn’t a bad deal.

Bottom line

The nice thing about all of the above enhancements is that they come without any increase in the annual fee. It’s great to see an immediate benefit like the 10% discount on saver economy domestic flights and overall I expect that many cardholders will find some decent value in these benefits. The IHG credit is totally unexpected and adds to a card that is already a strong value for anyone who would otherwise consider paying for a United Club membership. Overall, these are nice adds.

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