United Club Card Annual Fee Waived: Worth It?

The United Club Card comes with a hefty $395 annual fee for its benefits, which include access to the United Club Lounge, no close-in booking fees, priority check-in, security and boarding, free checked first and second bag and 1.5 United miles per dollar spent. 

Fortunately, it's not hard to get the $395 annual fee waived for the first year. Here's how:

1. Clear Your Browser Cache

2. Log into United.com 

3. Click on This Link

4. If You See a Generic Page, Close the Window and Click on the Link Above Again

You should see the United MileagePlus Club Card offer with no annual fee:

 

United Club Card Annual Fee Waived First Year

 

Even if for some reason you can't see the United Club Card annual fee waived offer, there are at least three other ways you can get access to it:

1. Send Chase a Secure Message

You can secure message Chase, mentioning that you've heard from a friend or colleague about a United Club Card offer with first year annual fee waived, and ask if you could be extended this offer if you apply.

 

2. Go into a Chase Retail Branch and Ask for It

Some folks on Flyertalk such as agprint mention simply stopping by a local Chase branch and being able to apply for the United Club Card offer with first year annual fee waived.


3. Get an Offer from Inside a United Club

If you or someone you know is visiting a United Club soon, look for offers that waive the annual fee. That said, it's likely easier to just do 1) or 2) above.


Now let's look at whether the United Club Card is worth it:

Pros

  • Access to United Clubs and participating Star Alliance lounges
  • Close-in booking fees waived
  • 2 United miles per dollar spent on United tickets
  • 1.5 United miles per dollar spent on all other spend
  • Priority check-in, security (where available), boarding and baggage handling
  • No fee for first and second checked bags 
  • Hyatt Platinum status
  • No foreign transaction fees

 

Cons

  • No signup bonus
  • You'll earn more United miles using the 5X Ink Bold and Ink Plus, 5X Freedom and 2.14X Sapphire Preferred category bonuses
  • Chase card, so may not be worth it given the many other attractive Chase credit cards
  • $395 annual fee after the first year (using the above ways to get the first year annual fee waived)
 
The Verdict: If you travel United a lot and would value United Club access but don't usually have access then the United Club Card could make sense for you, especially if you also sometimes pay close-in booking fees, since the card waives these (although not other fees, such as phone booking, changing your origin/destination, or redepositing miles).
 
I've also heard some families decide to get this card to make it easier when traveling with young kids at the airport, thanks to priority check-in, security and boarding. Families no longer get priority boarding privileges, so this card gets you those.
 
Personally, I don't have this card because I so rarely fly United and do very little domestic travel for that matter. But if you're not a United or Star Alliance elite and do travel a fair amount on United, this card could make sense to get, at least with the first year annual fee waived.
 
Do you have the United Club Card or plan to get it with the first year annual fee waived?
 
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