By Ben Hedges AKA The Credit Shifu
United is one of the US’s big three legacy carriers. The airline brought in its new Polaris business class a few years ago which has been met with a pretty warm reception by most premium cabin travelers. I personally took a Polaris flight last year and I can tell you the bed is really comfy (Pro tip: you gotta ask for the extra mattress pad), the lounge before the flight was great, but the food, I would only rate as okay, and the presentation of the food very average! But all in all a very comfortable flight.
See my review of the flight here
That flight from London to New York cost me 60,000 United miles, plus about $300 in taxes. But after a devaluation last summer that flight now costs 80,000 miles on a saver fare. It is sad to see these opportunities getting harder to obtain, but United’s credit card bonuses do increase from time to time too, and right now there is a bonus on the market that would cover you for that one way flight or other similar itineraries. That is the new 100,000 United mile bonus on the United℠ Business Card from Chase. In this article we will go through the bonus and some of my views on the card.
Spend $5000 in the first three months you have the card open to get 100,000 United miles. If we use a Points Guy valuation (1.45 cents pp) that works out at $1450 in average value. The Points Guy does skew his valuations towards economy bookings though, so if you used the points to book Polaris, you would get a lot more value than that. My flight last year would have cost $4000 and you can get the same flight for 80k miles, so that would be a value of 5 cents per mile.
Just remember Chase has the following small print about this bonus: This bonus offer is available to you if you do not have this card and have not received a new Cardmember bonus for this card in the past 24 months.
So if you have had the card before and canceled it, you may want to just check how long ago that was before you apply.
Rewards Earning Rates
Here are the rewards rates on the United Business Card:
7x on United Flights (5x for being a member of Milage Plus and 2x from the card)
2x on other United purchases
3x on hotel stays booked through United Hotels
2x on gas, dining (includes delivery), office supply, local transit (includes ride share), taxicabs, train tickets, tolls and mass transit
1x on everything else
You also get given 5000 bonus miles each card anniversary.
You get 2 one time United Club passes per year, which United says is $100+ in value
Your first checked bag is free (United cites $140 per round trip as the value for this)
$100 United credit after you purchase 7 United flights of $100 or more each year
25% back on United inflight food and drink (plus premium food and drink at United Club)
Earn 25 Premier Qualifying Points for every $500 you spend (Up to 1000 PQP/year)
Annual Fee $99
If you know you will fly United on an economy ticket at least once per year, and you don’t have a status that would get you into the United Club, then using the 2 United club passes is an easy way of offsetting the annual fee and thus making the card pay for itself. Actually even the 5000 miles you get given each anniversary if you keep the card open beyond year one are worth $72.50 (using 1.45 cents each as the value), so that takes you ¾ of the way to offsetting that $99 AF too. Thus you will essentially be getting the other benefits like free checked bags, priority boarding etc… for free.
The point earning categories could be better. This is really just a 2x card, even though they say 7x on United, (5x of that comes from being a Mileageplus member, not from the card itself). However I will say it is a broad set of categories you can earn that 2x on. So in my opinion it is still a decent card and now is a great time to get it, due to the inflated bonus. If you want something more flexible I recommend the Chase Ink Preferred Business card that also currently has a 100k Chase points bonus (for spending $8000 in three months), which can be transferred to United or a load of other Airlines and Hotels.
Learn more on the United℠ Business Card
Learn more on the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
These are business credit cards, however with Chase you can apply using your personal Social Security Number instead of an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Thus anyone who works as in independent contractor (i.e. gets a 1099 form at the end of the year) will be able to apply for business credit cards from Chase.