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Why I added the United Business Card to my wallet — beyond ‘just’ the 150K bonus miles

The Points Guy logo The Points Guy 9/13/2021 Summer Hull
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I’ve got a “healthy” number of rewards credit cards. In my wallet, you’ll find no-annual-fee cards, store cards, mid-tier cards, airline cards, hotel cards, transferable points cards, cash-back cards and premium credit cards. (And a nearly perfect credit score, just in case the previous sentence makes me sound ripe for a Dr. Phil-style intervention.)

But my wallet isn’t stale with the same card lineup year after year. It’s ever-evolving to keep up with new card products, cards that align with my current travel and spending needs, etc. So with a mountain of house-building expenses (including two home offices and miles of cabling!) that have yet to slow down, it was time to leverage our spending with another card — and welcome bonus.

My target this time: Earn 150,000 United MileagePlus miles from one bonus. Here’s how and why the newest card in my wallet is the United Business Card.

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It has a big fat bonus

I almost exclusively apply for new cards when a massive welcome bonus is involved, which immediately narrowed the field. TPG has a list of cards with bonuses worth $1,000 or more and bonuses of 100,000 points or more if you aren’t sure where to start looking for your next card.

The New United Quest Card with its 100,000-mile welcome bonus (until Sept. 22) was my original target, but I changed course to the United Business Card since I have an LLC and a few business credit cards. (Here’s more on what may qualify you for a small-business card.).

The more I looked at the card, the more it was an absolute no-brainer of choice for a frequent United traveler like me.

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy) © Provided by The Points Guy (Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

First, it offers a sign-up bonus of up to 150,000 miles: 75,000 bonus miles after $5,000 on purchases in the first three months the account is open and an additional 75,000 bonus miles after spending a total of $20,000 on purchases in the first six months your account is open.

TPG values United miles at 1.3 cents each, which would mean the bonus is worth up to $1,950, which sounds about right since that’s more than enough miles for a round-trip business-class ticket with a lie-flat seat to Europe. Or, it’s a lot of 7,000-mile tickets to Florida. I know I can get solid value out of my United miles in a lot of different ways.

a close up of an office chair: (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

It will more than pay for itself each year

Honestly, they had me at 150,000 United miles, but there are other great perks that will likely keep this card in my wallet. For the $99 annual fee, it actually packs a lot of punch.

First, it awards a 5,000-mile bonus at each account anniversary if you also have a United personal card, which is pretty great since I do indeed have one of those.

It also comes with two United Club passes for each account anniversary. I received the first duo of electronic codes for lounge access before receiving my new physical credit card.

a group of people performing on a counter: United Club. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy United Club. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

The 5,000 bonus miles and United Club passes alone can be valued higher than the $99 annual fee … but there’s actually more.

The United Business Card also comes with a $100 United travel credit after seven United purchases of $100 or more on the card each card anniversary year.

This is easier to qualify for than it seems, as the terms indicate that qualifying purchases don’t include just flights but also seat upgrades, Economy Plus seat fees, etc. Historically, at least a few times each year, I pay $100-plus to upgrade, so if I put those expenses here and use the card to book a few of my United flights, I should trigger that $100 credit.

Bottom line

Most of the card’s other benefits, such as travel protections, 25% back on United inflight purchases, waived first checked bag fee, priority boarding, expanded award availability, etc., I have duplicated with United status or on other cards. However, if you don’t have access to those perks elsewhere, then they would also confer value.

It’s possible to do a whole bunch of travel on 150,000 United miles — or really live it up on a flight or two at the lie-flat end of the plane.

But beyond this initial injection of miles, the United Business Card looks to be a great pairing for a United personal card, especially if you’re a United regular, like me.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.

And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free. 

These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.


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