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Paying $525 a year for an airline credit card might not seem like a great move at first glance. But if you look at the big picture — and fly United Airlines with some regularity — you might find the United Club℠ Infinite Card is a good value.
Here are the benefits to consider when deciding whether this premium credit card is worth its annual fee.
Valuable perks of the United Club℠ Infinite Card
Annual fee waived first year
The first year you own the United Club℠ Infinite Card, the annual fee is $0, meaning you can enjoy hundreds of dollars’ worth of perks for no cost for a full year.
Airport lounge access
As a United Club℠ Infinite Card customer, you’ll enjoy complimentary bar service, light snacks, free Wi-Fi and extra space to relax or work before takeoff at over 45 United Club locations worldwide. Eligible travel companions can join, too. This lounge membership normally costs up to $650 per year.
» Learn more: Credit cards with airport lounge access
Two free checked bags
The primary cardmember and one other traveler on the same reservation can check their first and second bag free — saving you up to $320 round-trip on United-operated flights.
Bonus miles on purchases
Earn 4 miles per $1 spent on United purchases such as tickets; in-flight food, beverages and Wi-Fi; and Economy Plus seating. You’ll earn 2 miles per $1 spent on other travel purchases and at restaurants, including eligible delivery services. All other purchases earn 1 mile per dollar. We value United miles at 1 cent each.
» Learn more: United MileagePlus program: The complete guide
Where available, you and your travel companions flying on the same reservation can use designated check-in lines, priority security lanes, priority boarding and priority baggage handling thanks to Premier Access. While there is no direct monetary value to this perk, it will likely save you time each time you travel with United.
Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit
Get up to $100 back when you use your United Club℠ Infinite Card to pay for Global Entry ($100 application fee) or TSA Precheck ($85 application fee) once every four years.
Other great perks
25% back on food, beverage and Wi-Fi purchases onboard United- and United Express-operated flights.
Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President's Circle membership.
Cardmember-only access to award seats on some flights.
Room upgrades and perks on qualifying Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection stays.
Travel and purchase protections like trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip delay reimbursement, auto rental collision damage waiver, purchase protection, return protection and extended warranty protection.
No foreign transaction fees.
» Learn more: NerdWallet’s best airline credit cards
The bottom line
Shelling out $525 for a travel credit card might feel extravagant at first, but looking more closely, you’ll find that even the casual United flyer can earn back the upfront cost with free checked bags, a United Club membership and other perks.
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 2021, 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