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As one of the largest airlines in the United States, United Airlines features a wide route network and an enviable partnership within Star Alliance. United loyalists have a range of co-branded credit cards from which to choose, but what happens when you want more than one? Is it possible to have multiple United credit cards?
The quick answer is yes, you can have two or more United credit cards at a time. But it’s important to understand the different rules and criteria involved. Let’s take a look.
United credit cards currently available
United has partnered with Chase to offer a series of credit cards. They tend to keep the lineup fresh by introducing and retiring cards on occasion, though there are six currently available.
Personal United credit cards
United has four credit cards designed for personal use:
United Gateway℠ Card: Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, this card has no annual fee.
United℠ Explorer Card: Earn up to 70,000 bonus miles. Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn an additional 10,000 miles after you spend $6,000 total on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open. Plus, get two United Club one-time passes per year and your first checked bag free on United flights. The annual fee is $0 intro for the first year, then $95.
United Quest℠ Card: Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, get up to $125 in statement credits each year and up to 10,000 miles back on award redemptions after your first anniversary. The card comes with a $250 annual fee.
United Club℠ Infinite Card: Earn 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus enjoy a United Club membership and two free checked bags on United flights. This card has a $525 annual fee.
United small business credit cards
United also offers two cards designed for small-business owners:
United℠ Business Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, receive two one-time United Club passes each year and a free checked bag on United flights, all for a $0 intro for the first year, then $99 annual fee.
United Club℠ Business Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, enjoy two free checked bags and a United Club membership. You’ll pay a $450 annual fee.
Understanding Chase bank’s credit card rules
Ever heard of the 5/24 rule? The term is used to describe Chase’s strategy when it comes to approving credit card applications. In short, this means that in order to be approved for a Chase credit card, you’ll need to have opened fewer than five new credit cards in a 24-month span.
Be aware that this is fewer than five credit cards, so you’ll need to be at four cards or under in order to gain approval. Also, this applies to all credit cards — across all issuers — not just those provided by Chase. This means that if you’ve recently opened a slew of American Express, Citi, Capital One or Discover credit cards, Chase will consider these when processing your application.
There is virtually no wiggle room on this, so if you’re at or above the 5/24 count, you won’t be able to acquire an additional United card.
The good news is that many small business cards aren’t included within this number, so you can potentially have multiple new business cards from other issuers and still be under the 5/24 threshold that Chase requires. This includes Chase’s own United business credit cards.
» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now
How this can impact welcome bonus eligibility
Like many card issuers, Chase has restricted how and when you earn welcome bonuses. Although it’s not as strict as American Express, which allows you to earn a welcome bonus just once per lifetime, you’ll still experience a waiting period.
In order to receive a welcome bonus on a United credit card, you must not currently hold the card and you must not have received the card’s welcome bonus within the last 24 months. This applies to both personal and small business cards.
What does this mean in practice? Let’s say that you hold the United℠ Explorer Card, which you received in August 2018. You like the card, but want to boost your United MileagePlus account since you’re thinking of taking an international trip.
As a current cardholder, you’re not eligible for the bonus. You can, however, cancel the card. Once the card is no longer active, you’ll qualify under Chase’s criteria and will be able to receive the bonus again.
Note that being able to sign up for the card and being eligible to receive a welcome bonus are two separate things: You can apply for and be approved for a card without being eligible for the welcome bonus.
» Learn more: The best travel credit card welcome bonuses right now
How many United cards can I have?
Theoretically, it’s possible to hold all United credit cards at once, though that may not be a great idea. Although Chase doesn’t publish an upper limit on the number of cards you can have, you’ll want to consider the annual cost of maintaining each card, as well as the spending amount required to earn each card’s welcome bonus.
That being said, if you’re looking to maximize the number of United cards that you hold and you also qualify for a small business card, applying for one or both business options will grant you two United cards without taking up a valuable spot for Chase’s 5/24 rule.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card