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Chase United Gateway Credit Card Review

Chase United Gateway Credit Card Review

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Oct 05, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

Chase and United Airlines launched the United Gateway℠ Card in October 2020, a no-annual-fee card replacing the United℠ TravelBank Card. Unlike the old card, the United Gateway℠ Card allows cardholders to earn miles within the MileagePlus rewards program. As the only United card available to new applicants with no annual fee, the new card is perfect for occasional travelers who want an airline card affiliated with United Airlines.

Existing United℠ TravelBank Card cardholders, as well as those with a legacy United MileagePlus® card, were transitioned to the United Gateway℠ Card in September 2020. Cardholders who previously had the United℠ TravelBank Card will retain any rewards earned on that card.

We’ll break down the pros and cons of the United Gateway℠ Card, and compare it with another United Airlines credit card so you can decide which card is best for your travel needs.

United Gateway℠ Card pros

Sign-up bonus. New cardmembers can earn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

Rewards. 2X miles per $1 spent on United Airlines purchases, at gas stations and on local transit and commuting. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. Plus, 3X miles on grocery store purchases up to $1,500 per month through 9/30/2021.

Redemption options for United MileagePlus miles include the following:

  • For flights on United and Star Alliance partner airlines
  • To upgrade your seat or a friend’s seat when flying
  • For cruises on more than 24 cruise lines
  • Hotel stays
  • Car rentals
  • To buy merchandise such as electronics and jewelry
  • Gift cards
  • To book “experiences” like concerts and sporting events

You can also redeem 11,000 miles to apply for TSA Precheck, which normally costs $85. And you can transfer anywhere from 500 to 100,000 miles to another MileagePlus member.

Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses

No annual fee. If you fly United frequently enough to want an airline card, but not so often that it makes sense to pay for a more premium card, you’ll like the United Gateway℠ Card’s annual fee of $0.

Trip cancellation/interruption insurance. If your trip is canceled or cut short for a covered reason like sickness or injury, this benefit may cover up to $1,500 per person (maximum of $6,000 reimbursement per trip).

Concierge service. Get assistance 24/7 with travel-related needs, ranging from restaurant recommendations to arranging gifts, when you call 1-800-953-7392.

No foreign transaction fee. When traveling outside the United States with this card, you don’t have to worry about being charged a fee on each transaction — the foreign transaction fee is $0.

25% back on United in-flight purchases. Get a statement credit when you use your United Gateway℠ Card to purchase food, beverages or Wi-Fi on board United-operated flights.

United Gateway℠ Card cons

No priority boarding. Many airline credit cards offer priority boarding as a benefit, but the United Gateway℠ Card does not.

No waived checked bag fees. Your first checked bag costs $35 when flying United in economy class, or $30 if you buy the checked bag online at least 24 hours in advance of the flight. Many airline cards offer your first checked bag for free, which can result in substantial savings for frequent travelers. The United Gateway℠ Card does not come with that benefit, however.

Credit Cards That Offer Free Checked Bags

No airport lounge access. If you need airport lounge access, don’t expect to find it on a no-annual-fee card. Travelers hoping to relax at United Club lounges during layovers should look at the United℠ Explorer Card (two one-time passes), which has a $0 intro for the first year, then $95 annual fee, or the United Club℠ Infinite Card (unlimited access), which has a $0 intro annual fee, then $525 annual fee, instead.

Credit Cards with Unlimited Lounge Access

  • $0 intro annual fee, then $525

  • Earn 4 miles per $1 spent on United purchases, 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel and dining and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.

  • Free first and second checked bags - a savings of up to $320 per roundtrip. Terms Apply

Highlights
  • $0 intro annual fee, then $525
  • Earn 4 miles per $1 spent on United purchases including tickets, Economy Plus, inflight food, beverages and Wi-Fi, and other United charges.
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining at restaurants and eligible delivery services including GrubHub, Caviar, Seamless and DoorDash
  • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck™ fee credit
  • Free first and second checked bags - a savings of up to $320 per roundtrip. Terms Apply
  • 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi on board United-operated flight when you pay with your Club Card

See additional details for United Club℠ Infinite Card

More Info

Low rewards rate for gas and transit. Earning 2 miles per $1 spent on gas and transit is just OK, considering that some cards offer up to 5% back on gas and 3% back on transit purchases.

Compare it with the United℠ Explorer Card

  • 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open

  • 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

  • Priority boarding, free first checked bag, & $0 foreign transaction fee

Highlights
  • 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants, on hotel stays, and on United purchases
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck™ fee credit
  • 25% back on United inflight purchases
  • Check your first bag for free (a savings of up to $140 per roundtrip) when you use your card to purchase your ticket
  • Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United Club? with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants and eligible delivery services including GrubHub, Caviar, Seamless and DoorDash

See additional details for United℠ Explorer Card

More Info

Both the United Gateway℠ Card and United℠ Explorer Card earn United MileagePlus miles. However, the United℠ Explorer Card offers more benefits in exchange for an annual fee. Here’s how the two cards stack up against each other:

United Gateway℠ Card vs. United℠ Explorer Card

 United Gateway℠ CardUnited℠ Explorer Card
Sign-up bonusEarn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
RewardsEarn 2X miles per $1 spent on United Airlines purchases, at gas stations and on local transit and commuting. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. Plus, 3X miles on grocery store purchases up to $1,500 per month through 9/30/2021.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.
Annual fee$0$0 intro for the first year, then $95.
Foreign transaction fee$0$0
Free checked bagsNoneOne each for cardholder and companion on same reservation.
Global Entry/TSA Precheck creditNoneUp to $100 every 4 years.
Priority boardingNoYes, for cardholder and companions traveling on same itinerary.
Regular purchase APR16.49% - 23.49% variable16.49% to 23.49% variable

United℠ Explorer Card Review

Is the United Gateway℠ Card right for you?

Occasional travelers who enjoy flying on United or with partner airlines in the Star Alliance will find value in this card — it earns miles in useful, everyday spending categories and charges a $0 annual fee.

However, more frequent travelers looking for valuable benefits may benefit from considering the United℠ Explorer Card instead.

While it does charge an annual fee ($0 intro for the first year, then $95), benefits including a free checked bag for you and one companion and reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA Precheck every four years help you recoup that cost.

Meanwhile, travelers who aren’t regular United flyers should check out our list of best airline credit cards to find a card that fits their travel habits. And those who like flexibility in earning travel rewards may prefer a travel card not tied to any specific airline.


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