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Benefit of both elite status and credit card

Benefit of both elite status and credit card

Old Nov 25, 19, 8:14 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2017
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Benefit of both elite status and credit card

I've historically held a Mileage Plus Explorer Visa and held pretty low elite status. This year, I'm gold and will probably make it to 1K. I'm thinking of canceling the MP Explorer Visa when the annual fee comes due in February.

Any benefit or reason that I should keep the credit card? I know there's a discount on credit card purchases on United stuff but I also have the Amex platinum and given the difficulty of using the airline credit, I'll probably pick United and use the credit for food. Most other United purchases will be covered by elite status (bag fees, economy plus seat selection, etc...). Appreciate any insight people have.

Thanks!
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Old Nov 25, 19, 8:32 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
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Originally Posted by rccsd View Post
I've historically held a Mileage Plus Explorer Visa and held pretty low elite status. This year, I'm gold and will probably make it to 1K. I'm thinking of canceling the MP Explorer Visa when the annual fee comes due in February.

Any benefit or reason that I should keep the credit card? I know there's a discount on credit card purchases on United stuff but I also have the Amex platinum and given the difficulty of using the airline credit, I'll probably pick United and use the credit for food. Most other United purchases will be covered by elite status (bag fees, economy plus seat selection, etc...). Appreciate any insight people have.

Thanks!
If you're gold and plan to make 1k by the end of the year, better get flying

A big plus of the card is CPU eligibility on award tickets for the card holder. It's why I keep it and I've had good luck getting the upgrades too. As a 1k, even on an award, you have priority over all Platinum, etc.

Also for pricing awards, United also will give slightly lower rates for card holders at all status tiers. Pricing is a matrix of status tier and card/non-card holder. As 1k + credit card holder, you qualify for the best rates. I don't have an estimate of how much it's actually worth but I've seen material differences between award ticket pricing quoted for me as 1k + CC vs a GM with no card on the same flights.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 8:37 pm
  #3  
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First place to start is the list of Explorer card benefits, these are some that status does not provide (outside of earning miles on purchases)
  • 2 United Club passes each year for your travel
  • CPU award ticket eligibility for primary cardholder (only) if MP elite
  • 25% statement credit "rebate" on purchases of food, beverages, and wifi on United-operated flights
  • Global Entry / Pre-application statement credit rebate up to $100 once every four years


Originally Posted by k_den View Post
...
Also for pricing awards, United also will give slightly lower rates for card holders at all status tiers. Pricing is a matrix of status tier and card/non-card holder. As 1k + credit card holder, you qualify for the best rates. I don't have an estimate of how much it's actually worth but I've seen material differences between award ticket pricing quoted for me as 1k + CC vs a GM with no card on the same flights.
This is incorrect. You are referring to access to XN which either status or primary credit card holder receives. There is no additional benefit of elites to have a cardholder, the mileage is the same
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Old Nov 26, 19, 5:57 pm
  #4  
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Thanks for the insight. I have a couple of Amex cards with travel credits so I'll probably use those for food and lounge access. I have other cards for Global Entry and I'm not due for a couple of years so it comes down to CPU priority on award travel. Sounds like I'll dump the card until my status drops down and then reapply.
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Old Nov 26, 19, 6:37 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by rccsd View Post
Thanks for the insight. I have a couple of Amex cards with travel credits so I'll probably use those for food and lounge access. I have other cards for Global Entry and I'm not due for a couple of years so it comes down to CPU priority on award travel. Sounds like I'll dump the card until my status drops down and then reapply.
Itís not a matter of CPU priority, but rather CPU eligibility. Only cardholders (and Global Services members) are eligible for CPUs on awards.

The other perk I find marginally useful is the 25% bonus on MileagePlus X purchases. I wouldnít pay the annual fee for that by itself, but it adds to the utility of award CPUs. Award CPUs, of course, are only valuable if (a) you book CPU-eligible economy award tickets for yourself and (b) you can clear. With the advent of fully dynamic pricing, I donít know how much longer Iíll be doing that. (One of my main uses for miles has been last-minute Saver Economy tickets when the cash fare is high).
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