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This article was last updated Feb 01, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
United Airlines stopped taking applications for its United MileagePlus Presidential PlusSM Card soon after its merger with Continental Airlines in May 2010 — so why is it still so popular almost 10 years later?
Because it’s the only United-branded credit card that helps cardholders keep their MileagePlus Elite status, where they earn 1,000 Premier Qualifying Miles (PQMs) for every $5,000 spent on the card, with no limits on how many you can earn. PQMs are based on the number of paid flight miles traveled and the fare purchased.
This is in stark contrast to United’s current credit card lineup, the United℠ Explorer Card and the United Club℠ Card. We’ll take a look at the similarities and differences between the United MileagePlus Presidential PlusSM Card and the airline’s two other Chase-branded credit cards.
Compare United credit cards
|United MileagePlus Presidential PlusSM Card||United Club℠ Card||United℠ Explorer Card|
|Annual Fee||See Terms||$450||$0 Intro for First Year, then $95|
|Regular Purchase APR||See Terms||18.24% - 25.24% Variable||17.99% - 24.99% Variable|
|Rewards||2 miles per $1 spent on tickets purchased from United, accommodations purchased directly with a hotel and at car rental agencies. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.||Earn 1.5 miles per $1 spent on purchases||Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants, on hotel stays and on purchases from United. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.|
|Sign-up Bonus||N/A||Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.||60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||See Terms||None||$0|
The United MileagePlus Presidential PlusSM Card and the United℠ Explorer Card are better when it comes to the rewards category. The United MileagePlus Presidential PlusSM Card allows members to earn 2 miles per dollar spent on United tickets, rooms purchased directly with a hotel and at car rental agencies and 1 mile per dollar spent on everything else.
The United℠ Explorer Card allows cardmembers to Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants, on hotel stays and on purchases from United. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.. The United Club℠ Card only allows cardmembers to Earn 1.5 miles per $1 spent on purchases.
Like the luxury United Club℠ Card, the United MileagePlus Presidential PlusSM Card comes with a free annual United Club airport lounge membership. Both cards give cardmembers and companions on the same reservation access to priority check-in lines, security lanes, boarding and baggage handling. And they both come with two free checked bags for the cardmember and one companion.
The United℠ Explorer Card only offers a free checked bag for the cardholder and one companion traveling on the same reservation and priority boarding for everyone on the same reservation. The United MileagePlus Presidential PlusSM Card and the United Club℠ Card come with an automatic Hertz Gold Plus Rewards® President’s Circle® membership.
If you’re also a United MileagePlus Premier® member and traveling on an award ticket, you receive free Premier upgrades on United-operated flights when available if you carry the United MileagePlus Presidential PlusSM Card or the United Club℠ Card.
Those with the United MileagePlus Presidential PlusSM Card and the United Club℠ Card can book award tickets within 21 days of travel without having to pay the $25 close-in award booking fee.
When it comes to specialized help on the ground, the United Club℠ Card and the United℠ Explorer Card come with Visa Signature® Concierge service. The United MileagePlus Presidential PlusSM Card has its own dedicated United Chase MileagePlus® World Elite Presidential PlusSM Card concierge services line at 888-300-3548.
Perks offered by the United Club℠ Card and the United℠ Explorer Card include:
- Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance
- Baggage delay insurance
- Lost luggage reimbursement
- Trip delay reimbursement
- Auto rental collision damage waiver
- Purchase protection
- Extended warranty
The United MileagePlus Presidential PlusSM Card comes with all of the above, along with emergency evacuation and transportation, travel accident insurance and travel and emergency assistance services. The United Club℠ Card also comes with price and return protection.
But the United℠ Explorer Card has its own set of exclusive perks, including up to a $100 credit to cover enrollment fees for either Global Entry or TSA Precheck; a 25% discount on in-flight food and beverage and Wi-Fi purchases; and two free United Club passes a year.
Read our Review of the United℠ Explorer Card.
The bottom line
Although this card is no longer available for new applications, it remains popular because of its appealing benefits, especially because it’s the only United credit card that helps cardmembers maintain their MileagePlus elite status. So your only remaining options are the United Club℠ Card and the United℠ Explorer Card.
Go for the luxury United Club℠ Card if you want a card that gives you free lounge access, good travel and purchase protections, more free checked bags and priority handling for the cardholder and their traveling companions. Choose the United℠ Explorer Card if you want solid travel and purchase perks, along with priority handling, fee credits and discounts at a lower annual rate.
The information related to the United MileagePlus Presidential PlusSM Card, and the United Club℠ Card has been independently collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. The United MileagePlus Presidential PlusSM Card is currently unavailable to new applicants.