Best Credit Cards For United Miles

Get our picks for the best credit cards for earning United Miles. Calculate which cards will give you the most miles and best return based on your spend.
Last Updated: 2020-12-24

Our Top Picks

Our top picks for best credit cards for earning United Miles are:

  • Chase United Explorer Card
  • Chase United Club Infinite Card
  • Chase United Gateway Card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • Chase Ink Business Preferred

Do note that these are all Chase credit cards and that the 5/24 rule applies. The 5/24 rule means that you will usually not be approved if you've opened more than 5 new accounts (any kind of credit) in the past 24 months. So if you're looking to up your rewards card count, be sure to go for Chase cards first before doing anything else. You can use Credit Karma (free) to see how many accounts you have opened in the past 24 months.

United Explorer Card Chase United Explorer Card

The United Explorer Card is a great option if you frequently fly United. It earns 2 United Miles per $1 spent on United, restaurants, and hotel purchases which is good overall.

The best part about the card is it's benefits which includes a free checked bag, 2 annual United Club passes, priority boarding, discounts on in-flight purchases, and up to $100 towards a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application. The card also offers great travel and purchase protection as with pretty much all Chase credit cards.

United Club Infinite Card Chase United Club Infinite Card

If you want spend heavy directly with United and you would like United Club membership, the United Club Infinite Card is what you're looking for. It earns 4 United Miles per $1 spent on United purchases and 2 miles per $1 spent on dining and travel.

Benefits of the card include United Club Membership, Hertz President Circle status, United Premier access, free checked bag, and more. It's a great card to have if you're really looking to go all in with United.

United Gatewater Card Chase United Gateway Card

If you want to keep the fees "lite", the no-annual fee United Gateway Card is for you. The card earns 2 United Miles per $1 spent on United, gas station, and transit purchases and also offers a discount on in-flight purchases. Plus, you'll have access to the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection as well as Chase's great travel and purchase protection.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a premium-luxury card that can be great for earning points transferrable to United while receive a bunch of useful travel benefits. The card earns 3 Ultimate Rewards Points per $1 on travel & dining purchases and 1 Ultimate Rewards Point per $1 spent on everything else. Points earned are transferrable to United at a 1:1 ratio and the card has no foreign transaction fee, meaning this is a great travel card if you're looking to earn United Miles.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes loaded with elite travel benefits which can be great if you travel a fair amount of times per year. Some benefits of the card include a $300 annual travel credit, Priority Pass Membership, and a 50% boost to point value when redeeemed on the Chase Travel Portal. Do note that United Club access is not included on the card, so you'll still need to either pick up the United Club or United Club Business Card or pay for United Club Membership if you want it.

lyft pink
All Chase credit cards offer Lyft and DoorDash benefits until 2022.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a step down from the Reserve, but it still can offer a decent amount of points for a significantly lower annual fee. The card earns 2 Ultimate Rewards Points per $1 spent on both travel and dining and 1 Ultimate Rewards Point per $1 spent everywhere else.

The main benefit of the card is the 25% boost to point value when redeeming Ultimate Rewards Points on the travel portal. This allows you to redeem your points for no less than 1.25 cents each for travel which is a great alternative if you can't find a good award redemption transferring and using United Miles.

If you end up grabbing up the Chase Sapphire Preferred (or Reserve for that matter), I recommend pairing it with Chase's no-annual fee cash back credit cards. This will allow you to convert cash back earned with Chase into Ultimate Rewards Points which can then be transferred to United.

Chase Business Ink Preferred Card Chase Business Ink Preferred Card

If you're looking for a great business card option for earning United Miles, the Chase Ink Business Preferred is a solid choice. It earns 3 Ultimate Rewards Points per $1 spent on travel, shipping, internet, cable, advertising and phone services. The Chase Business Ink Preferred Card also offers a 25% bonus to point value when redeeming Ultimate Rewards Points on the travel portal and offers Chase's usual great travel and purchase protections.

Best Credit Card Calculator

This calculator will give you a list of the best credit cards for earning United Miles based on your monthly, yearly, or quarterly spend across different categories. Results will include credit cards that earn United Miles directly and credit cards that earn rewards that are transferable to your United MileagePlus account.

After your results are displayed, you can click on more info to get a more accurate number by adjusting and changing the cash value of perks, spend bonuses, sign up bonuses, annual fees and authorized user fees, and much more. You'll also be able to compare the results side by side any U.S. credit card featured on the site.

Best Cards By Estimated Return

Get a list of credit cards that gives you the best return. This is based on spend, currency value, annual credits, and annual fees.

Best Cards By Total Points

Get a list of credit cards that earns you the most points/miles based on spend. Currency value, annual credits, and annual fees are not factored into this search. Great for those who get waived fees (i.e. military).

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Results

Do note that results may take a few seconds to generate after doing a search. For more accurate results, I recommend using the Rewards Calculator. Some credit cards may appear in this list more than once if there's more than one path to transferring rewards. Credit cards with negative returns may also appear in this list, but be sure to consider the perks of the card before canceling it out as an option!
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