A quick heads up that TODAY, New Years Eve, is your last chance to apply for the United MileagePlus credit card whilst it still has the 12,000 miles sign-up bonus.
The United Airlines card, issued by MBNA, had historically been fundamentally ignored by pretty much everyone. There was no sign-up bonus (once a year they offered a whopping 5,000 miles!) and it wasn’t even mentioned on the MBNA website.
The card was revamped and relaunched in October. As is now the model with MBNA cards (Lufthansa, American, Etihad, Emirates etc) it comes as a double-pack with an American Express and a Visa.
Here are the core facts:
Generous (for a free credit card) sign-up bonus of 12,000 United MileagePlus miles
No annual fee
Acceptable earning rate of 1.25 miles per £1 on the American Express and 0.625 miles on the Visa
To qualify for the sign-up bonus, you must apply TODAY and spend £1,000 across both cards together within 90 days.
It is worth noting that United is the only airline to enforce a particularly poor exchange rate with Starwood Preferred Guest, in order to protect its own credit card. Whilst almost all other airlines transfer at 1:1 from Starwood, United transfers at an amazingly poor 2:1. This means that these cards are the only realistic way to earn decent levels of United miles on credit card spend.
However, United recently announced an incredibly bad devaluation of MileagePlus. This particularly impacts people outside the USA, since the hardest hit awards were Business Class and First Class redemptions on Star Alliance partners. There are over 40 articles on the devaluation listed here if you need to know more. A decent summary can be found here at View from the Wing.
It is very unlikely, therefore, that you would use this credit card as a good excuse to start building up United MileagePlus miles, especially as most people are trying to spend them as quickly as possible before the devaluation kicks in. However, if you want to top-up an existing balance then this is an easy way to earn 12,000 MileagePlus miles quickly and cheaply.
(To see our complete list of all current credit card bonuses, click here to visit our ‘Credit Cards Update’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)