United Gateway Card review

United Gateway Card review

Updated: March 14, 2024

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Updated: March 14, 2024

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Ratings Policy
Rewards Rating:
3.4 rating
3.4 rating
3.4 / 5
Rewards Value:3.0
Annual Percentage Rate:3.0
Rewards Flexibility:3.0
Issuer Customer Experience:4.0

In a Nutshell:

Though it falls short of other United credit cards when it comes to perks and ongoing rewards value, the United Gateway Card could be a good fit for occasional travelers looking to avoid an annual fee.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate

  • 2 miles per dollar on United Airlines purchases
  • 2 miles per dollar at gas stations and on local transit and commuting
  • 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases

Sign-Up Bonus

20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in the first three months


Annual Fee




21.99% - 28.99% Variable


  • No annual fee
  • No blackout dates
  • No limit on miles you can collect
  • Use miles for airfare on United, car rentals, hotel stays, merchandise, donation or annual fee reimbursement
  • Open-jaw, one-way and round-trip tickets permitted
  • No fuel surcharges for United flights or any partner airlines


  • Saver Awards are capacity-controlled
  • Weak sign-up bonus for a no-annual-fee card
  • $75 fee if you book flights less than 21 days in advance
  • High fees for award changes
  • Limited cardholder perks

Chase Customer Service Ratings

  • J. D. Power 2020 customer satisfaction rating: 607 (25% of issuers in this category ranked higher)
  • 24/7 customer service?: Yes
  • Online chat available?: No
  • Google Play Store mobile app rating: 4.4/5
  • Apple Store mobile app rating: 4.8/5
Very Good

Other Notable Features: 25% in-flight discount, no foreign transaction fee, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, extended warranty, purchase protection

If you’re a United Airlines fan looking forward to traveling more, the United Gateway Card could be a great place to start or restart your travel rewards journey. This top-notch airline rewards card offers an impressive sign-up bonus and decent rewards rate on United flights, all while charging no annual fee.

However, the card falls short when it comes to perks, and it’s missing basic benefits like free checked bags and priority boarding. While the United Gateway Card can make a lot of sense as a starter travel card, more frequent flyers will likely be happier with a higher-tier United card or a general travel credit card.

See related: Best United Airlines credit cards

Sign-up bonus

The United Gateway card is offering a sign-up bonus of 20,000 miles after you spend $1,000 in the first three months, which is worth around $180 in United travel based on Bankrate’s latest airline mile valuations (with United miles worth 0.9 cents apiece).

This is a step down from the card’s previous 30,000 bonus, placing the welcome offer value below what you’ll find on many other no-annual-fee travel cards, with most competitors offering bonuses worth at least $200.

This bonus pales in comparison to the offer available on the popular UnitedSM Explorer Card. That card comes with a sign-up bonus of 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open. But since the Explorer card charges an annual fee of $95 after the first year, the United Gateway may still be a better fit if you only travel occasionally.

Earning rewards

The United Gateway card’s ongoing rewards should be a good fit if you fly regularly with United or spend a lot of time on the road. You’ll earn 2 miles per dollar on United purchases, including tickets, in-flight food and beverages, Wi-Fi, baggage fees and more. You’ll also earn 2 miles per dollar at gas stations and on local transit and commuting, as well as 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases.

If your spending habits in the card’s bonus categories match those of the average consumer, the card may not earn you much in the way of rewards long term. Given the card’s lackluster perks as well, this card’s ongoing value isn’t very impressive even compared to many other no-annual-fee rewards cards.

Redeeming United miles

Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent data on the average person’s annual expenses and a $22,500 yearly spend, we estimate that the average person will earn around $241 worth of United miles per year with the United Gateway Card – with no annual fee to cut into the earnings.

While the most obvious use of your United miles will be booking flights with United or one of the airline’s more than 25 partners, you can also redeem for a United Club membership, TSA Precheck application, gift cards, merchandise, hotel bookings, car rentals, cruises and more. You can even donate your United miles to select charities.

However, non-airfare redemptions will typically require you to sacrifice mile value, so you’re best off using your rewards to book flights.

Card benefits

As should be expected given its $0 annual fee, the United Gateway Card lacks much in the way of cardholder benefits and luxury travel perks. You’ll miss out not only on things like United elite status, free checked bags, expedited security screening and other perks often found on higher-tier airline and travel rewards cards.

That said, the card offers a handful of useful benefits, including:

  • A 25% discount on United in-flight purchases. You’ll get 25% back as a statement credit on in-flight purchases like food, beverage and Wi-Fi on United-operated flights.
  • No foreign transaction fees. You won’t be charged a fee when you use the card abroad. Many cards charge a fee of 3% of the purchase price for every foreign transaction.
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance, which gets you up to $1,500 per person or $6,000 per trip for prepaid, nonrefundable passenger fares should your trip be canceled or shortened due to sickness, injury or other covered situations.
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver, which provides primary insurance coverage when you charge the entire cost of a car rental to the card and decline the rental company’s insurance.
  • Extended warranty coverage, which extends the length of a U.S. manufacturer’s warranty on an item you purchase with the card by an additional year (on eligible warranties of three years or less).
  • Purchase protection, which covers you up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account for damage and theft on new purchases for 120 days.

See related: Are credit card annual fees worth it?

Approval odds

As is the case with most travel and airline rewards cards, you’ll need good to excellent credit to qualify for the United Gateway Card (a credit score in the 670 to 850 range). Unfortunately, Chase does not offer preapproval for the United Gateway Card, so it’s a good idea to check your credit score and ensure you’re in a good place before you put it at risk with a hard pull.

Also keep in mind Chase’s “5/24” rule, which holds that you’ll likely not be approved for a new Chase card if you’ve opened at least five credit card accounts in the last 24 months (including those from issuers other than Chase).

How does the United Gateway Card compare to other travel rewards cards?

While the United Gateway card offers decent ongoing rewards for United loyalists and charges no annual fee, it falls short on perks and limits flight redemptions to United and its partners. If you want a bit more flexibility in how you can earn and redeem miles, a general travel rewards credit card may be a better fit.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Bank of America Travel Rewards

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Capital One VentureOne

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

Rewards rate

  • 5% cash back on travel booked through the Chase Travel portal
  • 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases
  • 1.5% cash back on general purchases
Rewards rate

1.5 points per dollar on every purchase

Rewards rate

1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase

Sign-up bonus

Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back.

Sign-up bonus

25,000 online bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days

Sign-up bonus

20,000 miles if you spend $500 in the first three months

Annual fee


Annual fee


Annual fee


Other things to know

  • Easily transfer rewards to other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards
  • Redeem for travel, cash back, merchandise, gift cards and more
  • Rewards don’t expire
Other things to know

  • Redeem points for dining and travel purchases, including those on third-party booking sites
  • Poor redemption value for cash back
  • Higher rewards rate for Bank of America Preferred Rewards® account holders
Other things to know

  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for first 15 months; 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable) APR thereafter
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Transfer miles to over 15+ travel partners

Chase Freedom Unlimited
If you want a lot more flexibility in how you can earn and redeem rewards, the Freedom Unlimited is a good option. The card offers a great variety of bonus cash back categories, including 5% cash back on Chase Travel purchases, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, as well as 1.5% cash back on general purchases. You can redeem rewards for travel and, should you get a higher-tier Chase travel card down the line, potentially transfer Ultimate Rewards points to United or redeem points for travel at a higher value through Chase.

Bank of America Travel® Rewards credit card
If you prefer to keep things simple, the Bank of America Travel Rewards card may be a better fit, thanks to its flat rate of 1.5 points on every purchase. You’ll pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fee and can use your points to pay for any dining or travel-related purchase. Plus, if you’re a Bank of America customer, you may be able to take advantage of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards® program to enjoy a higher rewards earning rate based on the size of your bank balance.

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Another flat-rate travel rewards card, the Capital One VentureOne offers 1.25 miles per dollar on all purchases. You can secure a 20,000-mile bonus after spending just $500 in the first three months – worth up to $200 in travel purchases – and can enjoy one of the most flexible redemption schemes on a travel card. You can use your miles for bookings made through the Capital One Travel Center and for outside travel purchases. You can also transfer your miles to a number of Capital One airline partners.

Why get the United Gateway Card?

  • You frequently fly with United and don’t mind only being able to use your rewards with United or one of its partners.
  • You want to earn rewards with United without paying an annual fee.
  • You spend heavily on gas, transit and commuting.
  • You don’t mind forgoing luxury perks like airport lounge access.

How to use the United Gateway Card

  • Use the card for all flight bookings and other purchases with United, as well as at gas stations.
  • Spend at least $1,000 in the first three months to secure the sign-up bonus.
  • Use the card for all purchases abroad.

Is the United Gateway Card worth it?

It may be – but only if you regularly fly with United, spend a lot of time on the road and don’t mind forgoing travel perks in order to avoid an annual fee.

All reviews are prepared by CreditCards.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.

Responses to comments in the discussion section below are not provided, reviewed, approved, endorsed or commissioned by our financial partners. It is not our partner’s responsibility to ensure all posts or questions are answered.

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