The information related to the Chase United Business Card has been collected by Money Crashers and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.
As a small-business owner, you’re leaving money on the table if you don’t use the credit card that offers the most valuable rewards and benefits available. And when you’re also a regular traveler, the right travel rewards card can give you tremendous value.
If you regularly fly with United but don’t have a massive business travel budget, the United Business Card might just be that card. Just be sure to understand its shortcomings before you apply.
What Is the United Business Card?
The United Business Card from Chase is the least expensive small-business credit card in United’s co-branded lineup, but it still packs plenty of compelling features.
As a new applicant, you start off with a very attractive sign-up bonus whose spend requirement should be manageable for most business owners. You also earn double miles not just on United Airlines purchases but also at restaurants, gas stations, office supply stores, and on local transit and commuting purchases.
This card also offers a wide range of benefits, even more than most airline cards in this price range. You start off with a free checked bag for yourself and a companion, as well as priority boarding. This card also features a $100 United travel credit after qualifying flight purchases, and 5,000 bonus miles each year when you have both a United personal and a business card.
If you’re trying to earn elite status, this card speeds up the process by giving you 500 Premier Qualifying Miles (PQP) for every $12,000 you spend on purchases with your card, up to 1,000 PQP in a calendar year. And when you’re waiting for your flight to depart, you can relax by using one of your two United Club one-time passes each year. You even get 25% off of in-flight purchases each year, plus expanded access to economy class award seats at the lowest mileage levels.
Other cardmember benefits include auto rental collision damage waiver coverage, baggage delay insurance and lost luggage reimbursement of up to $3,000 per passenger. If you have to cut short or cancel a trip, then you can be reimbursed up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable passenger fares. If your travel is delayed by more than 12 hours, or overnight, then you can be reimbursed for meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket.
Finally, you also receive purchase protection and extended warranty policies on certain nontravel purchases.
There’s a $95 annual fee for this card that’s waived in the first year. This card charges no foreign transaction fees either.
What Sets the United Business Card Apart?
This card has several features that help it distinguish itself from other airline credit cards.
- 5,000 mile anniversary bonus. If you already have a personal United credit card, such as the United Explorer Card or United Club Card, this card gives you 5,000 bonus miles each year on your account anniversary.
- $100 United travel credit. After you make seven qualifying flight purchases of $100 or more, United will give you a $100 credit.
- Outstanding travel insurance benefits. At a time when many card issuers have eliminated all of the travel insurance policies that used to be standard, the United Business Card still has you covered for most kinds of problems.
- United Club access. You get two free United Club (airport lounge) passes a year. That’s not much if you fly United every month. But if you don’t travel with United very often, this could be enough to use during an occasional long layover or delay.
- Waived first year’s annual fee. By waiving the $95 fee in the first year, United and Chase are effectively saying, “Give this card a try at no cost to you.”
Key Features of the United Business Card
The United Business Card has a strong sign-up bonus, a relatively generous rewards program, and plenty of perks for regular United flyers.
Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. This offer might not be available if you’ve received a new cardmember bonus for the United Business Card in the past 24 months.
With this card, there are plenty of purchases that qualify for double miles:
- United Airlines purchases
- Dining purchases, including eligible delivery services
- Gas station, office supply store, and local transit and commuting purchases
All other purchases earn 1 mile per $1 spent.
You can redeem your accumulated miles for award flights operated by United and its partners.
Exactly how much value you get from them is less clear. United no longer publishes an award chart, and in the past, it has changed redemption values without notifying anyone.
In general, you’ll need 80,000 to 100,000 miles for a one-way, business class ticket to Europe. You’ll need about half that if you travel in economy, and even fewer for economy flights within North America.
Valuable Travel Perks
Beyond rewards, travel perks and benefits are the real reason to have an airline card. These include:
- A free checked bag for you and a companion
- Priority boarding
- 25% back on United in-flight purchases
- Earn 500 Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) after spending $12,000 in a calendar year (up to 1,000 PQPs or $24,000 spent)
These perks come on top of numerous travel insurance and purchase protection policies:
- $1,500 per person in trip cancellation/interruption insurance
- $500 per person in trip delay reimbursement
- An additional $3,000 in lost luggage coverage
Anniversary Award Flight Credits
You can also earn two 5,000 mile anniversary awards so long as you have both this card and a United personal card, such as the United Explorer Card.
This card has a $95 annual fee for this card that’s waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.
This card requires good or better credit to qualify. If your FICO score is much below 700, or your personal credit history is limited, then you’ll likely have trouble being approved. However, this is pretty standard for a premium business travel credit card.
Pros & Cons
The United Business Card has some clutch upsides and a few downsides worth noting.
- Strong sign-up bonus
- Surprisingly generous travel perks
- United has lots of customer-friendly policies
- United miles’ redemption value can be low
- $100 annual flight credit comes with restrictions
- 2x miles category doesn’t cover everything
This card has lots of advantages, especially for regular United business travelers.
- Strong sign-up bonus. Earning 75,000 miles after spending $5,000 on new purchases is a competitive bonus.
- Generous travel perks. The $100 annual travel credit will outweigh the costs of this card’s annual fee, if you earn it. The 5,000 mile annual flight credit is also very valuable for anyone who also has a personal card. And it’s always nice to enjoy priority boarding, and a free checked bag for you and a companion.
- Broad bonus categories. Many airline credit cards only offer 2x miles for ticket purchases, but this card also offers 2x at restaurants, gas stations, office supply stores and on local transit and commuting.
- MileagePlus partners and policies. You can redeem your United miles for flights on its numerous Star Alliance and non-alliance partners. United also eliminated change and cancellation fees on awards, so you’re free to book a ticket when you find a good deal and cancel it later if it doesn’t work out.
This card has a lot going for it, especially at its price point. But it still has a few flaws:
- United devalues its miles. United eliminated its award charts several years ago, which means that it can always charge more miles for awards whenever it feels like it. For example, United recently started charging up to 50% more miles for many of its award flights to Europe — without any prior notice. Transatlantic travelers were understandably upset by this. So don’t count on the price you see now being available when it comes time to redeem your miles.
- Restrictions on its $100 annual flight credit. You have to read the fine print to find out that you only get it if you make seven transactions of $100 or more. You could split your round-trip tickets into one-ways for each traveler, but that’s a bit of a hassle.
- No across-the-board 2x miles category. There are some travel rewards cards that now offer 2x everywhere. Offering 2x miles for only certain purchases is so 1995.
How the United Business Card Stacks Up
This card’s closest competitor is probably the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®. Here’s how the two cards compare.
|United Business Card
|CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage®Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
|$95, waived the first year
|$99, waived the first year
|Up to 2x
|Up to 2x
|Foreign Transaction Fee
|Good or better
|Good or better
While these cards are pretty similar, the United Business Card has a slightly lower annual fee after the first year and offers some travel and purchase protections that the CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select card doesn’t. Its 2x bonus categories are broader as well, and its frequent flyer benefits more generous. So all in all, it’s the better option unless you rarely fly United.
The United Business Card is a strong offer for small business owners who fly United. It appeals to new applicants with an impressive sign-up bonus and a waiver on the first year’s annual fee. It then continues to offer value with double miles on many purchases, and numerous travel benefits.
The only place that you might stumble isn’t this card’s fault, exactly. When it comes time to redeem your miles, you might discover that United has devalued its miles — and that the award you were hoping to redeem now costs much more than it used to. But when you’re earning double miles on so many purchases, and enjoying so many benefits, this might not matter too much.
The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.