United’s business credit cards both offer a generous sign-up bonus, a solid rewards rate on United purchases and benefits for small-business owners who travel frequently. Which is best for you will depend on your spending habits and appetite for luxury perks.
Last year, Chase added a new offering to its portfolio of co-branded United business cards. The United℠ Business Card joined the higher-end United Club Business Card as the airline’s only business cards currently accepting new applications.
Both cards offer a great rewards rate on United purchases and perks for small-business owners who travel frequently, as well as sign-up bonuses that require a fairly low spend.
Here we take a closer look at the value of these bonuses and each United business card’s features to help you decide which is the best choice for you.
See related: Which United Airlines credit card should you choose?
Comparing United business credit cards
The United Business and United Club Business cards offer the same rewards rate on United purchases and comparable sign-up bonus offers, but they vary considerably when it comes to their annual fees, rewards rates on non-United purchases and perks.
United℠ Business Card*
United℠ Club Business Card
|Sign-up bonus||Up to 150,000 bonus miles:||75,000 miles when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months|
|Estimated annual earnings over 3 years ($48,000 spend)||$1,404||$1,441|
Ongoing rewards and annual fees
Both cards get you 2 miles per dollar on United purchases. In addition, the United Business Card offers 2 miles per dollar on transit and commute purchases, 2 miles per dollar on gas station, office supply store and restaurant purchases and 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases.
Instead of awarding bonus miles in a specific spending category outside of United purchases, the United Club Business Card gets you a higher general rewards rate of 1.5 miles per dollar on every purchase.
According to our estimates, while transit, gas station, restaurant and office supply store purchases make up a decent chunk of most small-business owners’ expenses, the United Business Card’s bonus rate in these categories is not high enough to outweigh the Club Business card’s base rate on general purchases. We estimate that the United Business Card has an average rewards rate of 1.29 miles per dollar, compared to the United Club Business Card’s 1.57 miles per dollar.
Even so, many small-business owners – especially those who place a lower priority on lounge access – may find that the United Business Card offers a better long-term value due to its much lower annual fee. The United Business Card charges an annual fee of just $99, about a fifth that of the United Club Business Card ($450).
Who is eligible for the sign-up bonus?
These bonuses are only available to new cardholders and previous cardholders who have not received a new cardmember bonus in the past 24 months. Of course, you must first qualify for the cards, which are designed for cardholders with a credit score in the excellent range (at least 740).
Best ways to spend 150,000 MileagePlus miles
150,000 miles can take you a long way on United, whether you use them to travel on United flights or transfer to one of the airline’s numerous Star Alliance partners. MileagePlus miles are very valuable – worth 1.5 cents per mile by our estimates – but the value can vary greatly depending on how you use your miles.
United MileagePlus redemption options
|Redemption option||Average mile value (cents)||Value of 150,000-mile sign-up bonus|
|Saver airfare – economy||1.4||$2,100|
|Saver airfare – business/first class||2.7||$4,050|
|Everyday airfare – economy||1.0||$1,500|
|Everyday airfare – business/first class||1.4||$2,100|
Keep in mind, however, that United has shifted away from its fixed awards chart in favor of a dynamic award pricing model, making it harder to know how far your miles will take you. Still, a sign-up bonus of up to 150,000 miles (75,000 miles after spending $5,000 in first three months, plus an additional 75,000 miles after spending $20,000 total in first six months) is sure to cover a good amount of travel. And if the spending requirement to earn 150,000 miles on the United Business looks too high for your current budget, you can still can plenty of value out of 75,000 miles you can get after spending $5,000 in the first three months.
Should you apply for the United Business Card or the United Club Business Card?
Both of these cards give you a chance to score a solid sign-up bonus and could offer good value for small-business owners who want to earn rewards with United. But we can draw a pretty clear distinction between the two.
Unless you place a premium on United Club lounge access or spend much more than the average small-business owner, you’ll probably be better off with the United Business Card. Though its average rewards rate is less than that of the United Club Business Card, the United Business Card charges a lower annual fee and still offers plenty of compelling perks, including some not available with its luxury alternative. However, if your business spends a ton of money or you are already considering investing in a premium lounge membership, the Club Business card may well be worth it.
*All information about the United Business Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The issuer did not provide the content, nor is it responsible for its accuracy.