The best United credit card is the United MileagePlus Explorer card because it rewards new cardholders with 40,000 miles for spending $2,000 in the first 3 months and provides priority boarding plus at least 1 free checked bag on all United flights. The United Explorer card also gives 2 one-time United Club passes after account opening and every account anniversary. The card has no annual fee for the first year, but charges $95 after that.
Another good option is the United MileagePlus Club Card, which provides unlimited access to United Club lounges worldwide. It also offers two free checked bags and priority boarding on United flights. Its initial bonus is 50,000 miles for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. And it has a $450 annual fee.
But you don’t have to get a co-branded United card to get the best value on United purchases. Chase Sapphire Preferred offers an even bigger initial bonus of 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. And through an ongoing partnership with United, you can transfer points to a United rewards account at a 1:1 ratio. The Preferred card has a $95 annual fee.
If you’re a frequent United flyer, you could combine the initial bonuses from multiple cards, like Sapphire Preferred and the United Explorer card, to earn a lot of free flights. It’s best to not apply for a more than one new card at a time, though – better to wait at least a few months between applications. Plus, each of the best United Airlines credit cards has an annual fee, so you have to take the cost into account as well.