United MP Chase Visa - To change/upgrade from Select to Club?

Discussion in 'Other Credit Card Programs' started by matthewsf, Nov 14, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. matthewsf

    matthewsf Active Member

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    I am contemplating upgrading my United Mileage Plus SELECT Visa card to the CLUB for the upcoming year and would love to get some feedback on whether it’s indeed the right choice to make given my circumstances. I’m currently a Premier Executive (SA Gold) but will drop down to just Premier in 2013. With 1-2 international family trips a year, I currently use the credit card to rack up the miles since I have been redeeming them for award seats for us (2 adults; 1 baby). The single main benefit we take advantage of is the ability to access airport lounges while on the road. That can range from 2-6 visits per trip depending on the number of stops and/or countries. With my dip down to SA Silver that will now go away. The Select card also gives up to 5,000 PQM credit; 5,000 anniversary bonus miles; 3 m.p.d. at United and 2 m.p.d. category bonus in restaurant, gas, and markets, all of which we use. The Club only gives 2 miles at United and 1.5 for all else, with no PQ credit or annual gift. To earn that ‘missing’ 5,000 EQM would mean an extra mileage run from SFO-NYC costing $300-320. The Club Card does waive FTFs, so that would amount to a savings of $60-150, based on our spending.

    I do have a basic Priority Pass membership so I can tap into that @ $27 per person, per visit if I stay with the old card. Naturally, I would be more judicious with the number of times I might actually go in and use it. So the question is do I forgo all the category and United bonus miles I would be receiving with the Select card in order to have the lounge access with the Club card for these trips? Or is it better to stick with it, pay out of pocket when necessary and continue my earnings as I do now? I have not yet broken down the mileage earnings by category to specifically see if there would be a net loss or gain of miles (and how much) based on what is spent in each category, but can do so if necessary.
  2. travelpye

    travelpye Silver Member

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    Would you not be able simply to add the UA Club while retaining the Select? I have not been following the availability of this offer closely, but I have read within the last few weeks that the fee- waived- for- first- year offer for Club card may still be available if you visit a Chase bank branch. If that is the case, you could try out the Club card for "free" and evaluate the usefulness of both cards.

    You could also check out the Skyguide Executive thread on Milepoint, in the AM EX forum I believe, and consider whether you might wish to sign up for that service for $19.99 a year, which should reimburse you for paid club visits. I have not used that service yet, but several have posted their experiences there. http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/skyguide-executive-privilege-club-lounge-access-for-30-yr.1909/
    YULtide and boondr like this.
  3. theBOAT
    Original Member

    theBOAT Silver Member

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    I currently have both cards, and would recommend adding the Club card to your wallet, not upgrading the Select card. First off, the Select card is very strong at earning redeemable miles via it's more extensive bonus categories (fuel, groceries, home improvement stores) that the currently-available Explorer card does not offer, let alone the ability to earn Elite miles via spend on UA.com (and the triple miles vs double miles there).

    You then have the Club card to "mop up" the regular non-bonus category spend at 1.5x miles. It's a win-win that is not available to anyone that's coming to the table today wanting UA miles cards. Icing on the cake if you're going to end up purchasing lounge access anyway, like I was.

    This is all predicated on the assumption that the extra $95/year in annual fees won't break you... Hope this helps.


    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint

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