Best CC for United Flyer?

Discussion in 'Other Credit Card Programs' started by Retailgeek, Jun 27, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. I'm currently a United Premier Exec. I've flow 50K EQM 10 consecutive years with an occational 100K year, I'm on pace for a 100K year this year. Some years I'm close to 100K, so it's appealing to get a card that earns some United EQM.

    I've never owned/used a millage credit card, but just changed jobs and now I pay for my own travel expenses and get reimbursed. So I'm looking to get a milage card, for the approx $40K of travel and work expenses I charge a year.

    My Red Carpet membership just expired, and with my current Premier Exec Status it will cost $400 or 50K miles to renew. One way or another I'll need red carpet club access, so I'm interested in a millage card that includes red carpet access. I have about 400K points in my united account at the moment, so would probably use miles over $$$.

    I seem to have missed the good credit card deals this year. The options I can currently find are:


    • United Milage Plus Club Visa - $395/year includes red carpet access. 30K millage bonus. 10K EQM after $35K spend (which I may or may not make). 1 point per dollar (no accelerator for united travel spend).
    • United Milage Plus Select - $95/year no red carpet. 30K millage bonus. 5K EQM/year. 3 points per $ on united travel, 2 point per $ on some charged including star alliance, and 1 point per mile on everything else.
    • United Milage Plus Signature - $0/ first year no red carpet. 50K millage bonus. No EQM. 1 point per $. (50K miles and no fee are a special offer for premere exec, which is a bummer because this is the least appealing card).
    • Continental Chase Presidents Plus - $300 first year w/ access to red carpet. 0 miles for signup. Roll-over EQM with no cap. 2 point per $ on contenental travel (not sure if this include united travel), 1 point per $ on all else.
    • Chase Sapphire Rewards. no fee. 50K millage bonus. no EQM, but millage accelerators and transfer miles to Continental (and then to united) or to hotels.

    It seems like my best deal is to do the Continental Chase Presients Plus card, even though I have status with United and not Chase, and even though they aren't offering any millage bonus for sign up. $300 for club access, roll-over EQM (at least for year until they merge cards), and possibly 2 points per mile for united flights (I'm assuming I'll get 2 pts/$ if I book my united flights on continental.com).

    Am I missing any deals I should look into? Do I understand my options properly?

    Thanks!

    Jason aka Retailgeek
     
  2. gleff
    Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

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    Get a card with lounge access and EQMs based on spend. If you're short on spend, buy some coins from the US mint. Or buy Amex gift cards through Bigcrumbs.

    If you aren't going to earn EQMs through spend, then get your lounge membership and then just get an Amex Premier Rewards gold card which earns 3x points on airfare, 2x points on gas/groceries, and Amex Membership Rewards points are more valuable than United miles anyway.

    The only reason to stick with a UA card is to earn those EQMs.

    And, of course, in addition to earning EQMs from credit card spend you can always worst-case redeem Choices for EQMs.

    Hit that 1K, baby!
     
  3. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Welcome to MP. At the rates you quote, you shouldn't pay for a lounge membership with miles; surely UA miles are worth at least one cent per mile. Also, you might be able to tax deduct at least part of your lounge membership as an unreimbursed business (travel) expense.
     
  4. Scottrick
    Original Member

    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I'm a big fan of the UA MP Select card. The bonus multipliers add up, and given that I am still a poor student and only book the cheapest options and mistake fares, I am unlikely to hit the EQM cap (if I do, ticket purchases will get shifted to my girlfriend's card). The CO OnePass Plus card was worth it for the sign up bonus, but I don't use it for anything because the spending bonus, really nothing more than 2X on UA/CO purchases, isn't nearly as good as with UA's card. With UA, I got the 2X *A partner bonus even when buying from Orbitz.

    The tables turn when it comes to club cards. If I had the money, and the spending to back it up, I would go for the CO Presidents Plus card over the UA MP Club card. The UA card costs more and requires you to hit an awfully high threshold before you get a one time EQM bonus. With CO, the EQM bonuses are smaller, more frequent, and you get to choose when to actually use the EQM, with no cap.

    As I understand it, bonuses that apply to UA purchases also apply to CO purchases and vice versa. They're treated as the same company. If you're spending $40K a year on travel, you should probably spend the first $5K on the UA Select card to max out the EQM bonus there. After that, it depends. I would keep booking tickets on that card because of the superior 3X bonus for tickets. But maybe other travel expenses could be put toward the CO PP card. You would need to spend $50K on the CO PP card to match the 10K EQM you'd earn on the UA Club card, but maybe you don't need that 10K EQM very badly, or you don't know WHEN you'll need it. If you really need it, it would be easier to spend $300 on a couple transcon mileage runs one weekend.
     
    HaveMilesWillTravel likes this.
  5. dgreen12
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    dgreen12 Silver Member

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    Airline club dues haven't been deductible in 25 years (IRC section 274(a)(3)).

    The cost of food and beverages for clients inside an airline club can be deductible (if appropriately documented), but not the annual club dues.
     
  6. Gary Steiger
    Original Member

    Gary Steiger Silver Member

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    American Express Membership Rewards points transfer 1:1 to Continental Airlines miles through September 30. The Premier Rewards card from American Express probably can get your 75,000 points. See how on my website below on the Credit Cards > Annual Fee Cards page in the American Express section near the bottom of the page.
     
  7. oneeyejack

    oneeyejack Gold Member

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    i've been using the MP select card and love it. have gotten a lot of united miles and with all the purchases you make through united, you will get 3x that amount. if you need RCC access i would just pay for it or use miles for it.
     



  8. I'm a UA Premier Exec member. I was (finally) getting ready to pull the trigger on a Chase mileage card, but I noticed that the cards that make the most sense for me don't seem to have any special offers for Premiere Exec.

    My first choice would be the Continental Presidential Plus. Because I need to renew my Red Carpet Club for $400 anyway, the card would be essentially free. And gives me the best EQM awards which can be transferred to United (and we'll see what they do after the end of the year). But although I've linked my United and Continental accounts, I don't have any status with Continental. So I'd get no bonus miles for opening the account (I'm assuming if I were Gold on Continental I'd get a mileage offer).

    My next choice would be the United Mileage Plus Select for the EQM bonus, but even though I'm Gold, I don't get any special offer for this card, so it would be the stock 30K bonus miles.

    As a Gold with United I'm offered the The basic Mileage Plus card with a 50K bonus, but it doesn't earn any EQM.

    Is there any other way for me get a better offer on the Continental Presidential Plus or United Mileage Plus Select cards? Can I call Chase, and if I do will they care about my united status?

    Assuming I can't get a better offer, should I just go for the Continental card and not worry about the lack of miles?

    Thanks!

    -Jason

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

     
  9. Scottrick
    Original Member

    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I've never heard of an extra mileage bonus due to status for either UA or CO. Sometimes offers will be targeted, but if you find the link from someone else, anyone can apply (this was the case for the last couple months of CO's 50K offer, I could only find it by following a link on a blog, but Chase and CO's web sites gave a 30K offer). If you want 50K, wait and pray, or build a time machine.

    I signed up for UA Select during a 30K promotion, but they later ran a 50K promotion. They gave me the extra 20K because it was within 6 months after I opened. But in this case, you are applying after the promotion ended. So you have to hope they increase the offer within 6 months from now.
     
  10. The United Mileage Plus Signature Visa card has a 30K bonus and a $60 annual fee, but if I sign in with my United Credentials, I get offered the same card with 50K and the first year annual fee waved.
     
  11. Tivoboy
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    Tivoboy Milepoint Guide

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    I think the EQM numbers on the United Milage Plus Club Visa are not accurately represented.
    One earns 5,000 EQM if they hit 35K$ in annual spend, and only 1 EQM per 10$ of ADDITIONAL spend ABOVE 35K$, which means you need another 50K$ in spend to get that next 5,000 EQM pop.

    Of course, I THINK the earning is actually at the 1 per 10$ level, so it starts to accrue prior to hitting the extra 50K$ in spend
     

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