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United Re-Launches No-Fee Credit Card with Miles Instead of Cash

United Re-Launches No-Fee Credit Card with Miles Instead of Cash
Joe Cortez

After the lackluster reception of the United TravelBank credit card, the airline is trying again with a no annual fee card that offers miles instead of cash towards airfare. The United Gateway Card will give flyers bonus MileagePlus miles on United purchases, at gas stations and on local transit and commuting.

Although the United TravelBank Credit Card never earned widespread appeal, United Airlines and Chase are trying again with an offering to infrequent flyers who want a no annual fee option. Launched Oct. 1, 2020, the United Gateway Card will offer flyers miles, instead of a cash-back balance, with every purchase.

Double Miles on Three Categories: United Purchases, Gas Stations and Local Transit

The launch of the new card ends the three-year experiment of the TravelBank card, which allowed flyers to earn cash back to put towards airfare, instead of MileagePlus miles. With this new option, flyers will pick up miles with every purchase. Moreover, those with an existing TravelBank card will be converted to a United Gateway Card by Oct. 31, 2020.

As an introductory offer, qualified flyers will earn triple miles on grocery store purchases, up to $1,500 per month, through Sept. 30, 2021. The intro bonus also includes 20,000 MileagePlus miles after spending $1,000 in the first three months the account is open.

Flyers holding the card can earn double miles per $1 spent in three different categories: all United purchases, gas station purchases and local transit and commuting. The “local transit” category includes ride sharing, taxis, train tickets and tolls. Flyers will earn one mile per $1 spent everywhere else.

In addition to the 25 percent discount on inflight purchases, flyers will also get a small stipend for travel insurance as well. Flyers can be reimbursed up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip for pre-paid, nonrefundable passenger fares for covered situations, including sickness or injury.

However, the card doesn’t offer the key benefits of the other cards with an annual fee. This includes a free checked bag, priority boarding, or passes to United Club locations.

FlyerTalkers’ Take on the United Gateway Card

FlyerTalkers were among the first to be notified of the new card, and had the first chance to downgrade to the new option. In their interactions with Chase customer service, the community says the new card still offers expanded award availability options.

“I did ask the [customer service representative] specifically about the expanded award availability feature via phone during the downgrade request and she paused, seemed a tad uncertain, but answered that yes, benefits were largely unchanged,” FlyerTalker KurFTBiz wrote on the forums. “That mainly the earning rates, passes, and boarding benefits were different.”

Those who are interested in the new card and bonus offer have a limited time to apply. The 20,000 MileagePlus miles offer is only available through Nov. 30, 2020.

Ed. Note: The opinions expressed by the FlyerTalk community are those of the forum members, and do not necessarily reflect those of FlyerTalk, Chase, or United Airlines. FlyerTalk does not take any commission from Chase on credit cards.

Feature image courtesy: United Airlines

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