Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

When does the (physical) UC membership card arrive after Club credit card approval?

When does the (physical) UC membership card arrive after Club credit card approval?

Old Aug 5, 22, 1:58 pm
  #31  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: CLE, DCA, and 30k feet
Programs: Honors LT Diamond; United 1K; Hertz PC
Posts: 3,365
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
While UA stopped issuing physical elite cards over recent years, I have a physical UAC (expiring at the end of this month), so in the last year physical UC cards were issued.
Data point:
I renewed my membership (via PerksPlus points redemption) for a February 28 expiration date -- I think I renewed it in January but might have been late December -- and despite the PerksPlus rep [who I'm pretty sure is the one of the same two reps who have always handled my redemptions] saying that I should have a new card in 4-6 weeks one has never come -- I assumed that the UC cards had gone the way of the physical elite cards so never followed up, particularly since the BP scan is what gets you into the club anyways...
lincolnjkc is offline  
Old Aug 5, 22, 4:49 pm
  #32  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: NYC suburbs
Programs: UA LT Gold (BIS), AA LT Plat (CC SUBs & BD), Hilton Dia (CC), Hyatt Glob (BIB), several others
Posts: 1,926
Originally Posted by paule123 View Post
Not to veer too far OT, ... if you insisted you're GE they would let you through, but I could be wrong.
Sorry to continue OT, I'll keep it short. My last 2 trips to Canada, Feb 2020 and Feb 2019, return from skiing Whistler, in order to use the expedited screening line for US Custom Preclearance at Vancouver Airport they required a physical GE card. I did a fair amount of groveling, including showing a copy of my GE card and playing the Navy retired (ID) card; I was NOT allowed to use the expedited line. (Yes, I made the same mistake ... twice !)
SPN Lifer likes this.
Dr Jabadski is online now  
Old Aug 5, 22, 9:23 pm
  #33  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: NYC / TYO / Up in the Air
Programs: UA GS 1.5MM, AA 2MM, EK, BA, SQ, CX, Marriot LT, Accor P
Posts: 4,979
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
You are talking about your elite status card and yes that has not been provided since 2019 (for GS). It is a different card from UC member.

This talk about status is not relevant to the original query

If you are *G and travelling international, you don't need a UC membership, you are better off as *G (and virtual cards work).
If you are travelling domestic and have a UC membership, you don't need a UC card as it is coded in your BP

The only time you need a physical UC card is an individual without status or *S travelling internationally (believe this is the case for the OP). In the past *A lounges don't have access to UC member database, don't know if that has changed
Otherwise, you don't need the physical UC card

The fact that no one has UA elite physical card is a non sequitur to this discussion.
NO - I'm not - reread my post before invalidating it for no reason - but thanks for the "correction" - sorry I used an international example for why someone should use apple wallet....

When I was a UA club member I never received a physical card -- perhaps it was due to when I joined but I never got one -- just on my app - and it seems like I'm not the only one.... And remember until recently GS didn't get UA access so as a club member I think I know what I'm talking about...

Was just trying to be helpful to OP -- I guess our experiences are different -- doesn't mean I'm wrong - or warrant such a response....
SPN Lifer likes this.

Last edited by bmwe92fan; Aug 5, 22 at 11:10 pm
bmwe92fan is offline  
Old Aug 5, 22, 11:38 pm
  #34  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 60,559
Originally Posted by bmwe92fan View Post
...
When I was a UA club member I never received a physical card ---
That's odd, I have been a member since the mid-80's and have always received a card annually. My new UC card for this year is due this month so we will see how that goes.

However for UC admittance, you have not needed a card for many years as the UC card is tied to your UA member numbers and a BP scan was sufficient to validate admittance. So if if on a domestic only trip, your UC membership even without a card were have been validated and if on an international trip, *G status or the encoded UC membership would gain one access to UCs.

For the *A lounges, either status or UC membership. Before *G was regularly encode in BPs, either your status card or UC card could get you admittance but status was the better method for LH lounges as it gets you Senator Lounge access and UC membership just get the Business Class Lounge. Fortunately, *A lounges are now good taking virtual status cards (preCOVID many lounges would not take a virtual UC card, even the *A rules required a physical card).
SPN Lifer and lsquare like this.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Aug 5, 22 at 11:50 pm Reason: *A lounges
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Aug 5, 22, 11:44 pm
  #35  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: NYC / TYO / Up in the Air
Programs: UA GS 1.5MM, AA 2MM, EK, BA, SQ, CX, Marriot LT, Accor P
Posts: 4,979
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
That's odd, I have been a member since the mid-80's and have always received a card annually. My new UC card for this year is due this month so we will see how that goes.

However for UC admittance, you have not needed a card as the UC card is tied to your UA member numbers and a BP scan was sufficient to validate admittance. So if if on a domestic only trip, your UC membership even without a card were have been validated and if on an international trip, *G status or the encoded UC membership would gain one access to UCs.
Well -- I wasn't with UA since the 1980's -- and I became UA GS via CO -- and once I decided to join as I was travelling in the US much more so I valued it -- I was never sent a physical card -- only via the app-- and was never asked for one -- ever -- as others have reported there really is no need for one -- but I did add it to my apple wallet -- along with my *A card -- as trying to find these things in the UA app is -- let's just say - frustrating.....

I joined the UA club in Boston at the club after the usual UA delay -- and renewed many times -- but never received a physical card -- and never expected one as it showed up in the app the same day....

ETA -- the only time I've EVER needed to show any proof of *A / club membership outside of my BP was with Lufthansa -- typically a few times per month -- who for some reason still wont accept what a BP says...

Last edited by bmwe92fan; Aug 5, 22 at 11:57 pm
bmwe92fan is offline  
Old Aug 6, 22, 7:20 pm
  #36  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 417
Originally Posted by bmwe92fan View Post
I'm GS - -and before that I was a club member -- I haven't got a physical card in years -- but the lounges will accept the digital cards as they can scan them -- my tip -- add the card to your apple wallet -- I can't tell you how hard it is to try and find the card in the UA app after flying all night to FRA and they want to scan the card -- in spite of the BP showing my status (GS/*A)...
I can of course pull up the digital card in the app, and I have also put it in Apple Wallet. It seems to me that this should serve the same purpose as the physical card, but some of the things the airlines do are not explainable.

Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
The only time you need a physical UC card is an individual without status or *S travelling internationally (believe this is the case for the OP). In the past *A lounges don't have access to UC member database, don't know if that has changed

Otherwise, you don't need the physical UC card
Yes, this is my case. But shouldn't the digital card do the same thing?

Originally Posted by paule123 View Post
I flew YYZ-ORD on UA metal last month (ticketed on UA) and went to the transborder MLL. They just scanned my BP and let me in, didn't ask for a membership card. I'm a UC member via the UA PPMC.
I booked our Air Canada tickets with points under my Aeroplan account, so my United MP number is not in that reservation. All three flights are on Air Canada metal. Also, since my wife is along, I'll need to guest her in. Her United MP number is on her ticket, but it isn't connected to mine in any way, so there's still no connection to my United account in any way.

Would there be any advantage to replacing my Aeroplan number with my United MP number in the reservation? They're award tickets, so there are no points to be earned anyway. We'll be using MLL lounges in YVR and YYZ.

I will also be traveling soon with a friend, all on United metal. Our tickets are booked together in my United account, so I don't expect any issues at the UC. However, I'd also like to hit up a MLL if possible. Maybe that can be a test to see how it works without the physical card before my wife and I fly on Air Canada.

Originally Posted by bmwe92fan View Post
NO - I'm not - reread my post before invalidating it for no reason - but thanks for the "correction" - sorry I used an international example for why someone should use apple wallet....
I added my United Club card to Apple Wallet, for whatever that's worth. The card in Apple Wallet look pretty much the same as the digital card in the United app, so I'm not sure what difference that will make!

Anyway, I am extremely grateful for all of the DPs and discussions here. I'm a first time UC member, so it's all new to me. Thank you all very much!
g289t is offline  
Old Aug 6, 22, 8:01 pm
  #37  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 60,559
Originally Posted by g289t View Post
... Yes, this is my case. But shouldn't the digital card do the same thing?
...
In an ideal world, yes.
And for UA clubs, yes -- but your BP with you UA account will be sufficient

The issue is *A partner clubs have been problematic. While virtual / digital cards now seem to be wide accepted, that has not been true for the UC member virtual / digital card. While I have no need to use the UC card at partner lounges, that have been many reports of problems. That may be changing but the working widsom is a physical UC card will be needed at most lounges, AC ML have been particularly difficult in the past. Since digital status cards are widely accepted, there may be hope for the digital UC card going forward
ARR72 and g289t like this.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Aug 6, 22, 8:04 pm
  #38  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: CLE, DCA, and 30k feet
Programs: Honors LT Diamond; United 1K; Hertz PC
Posts: 3,365
Originally Posted by g289t View Post
Would there be any advantage to replacing my Aeroplan number with my United MP number in the reservation? They're award tickets, so there are no points to be earned anyway. We'll be using MLL lounges in YVR and YYZ.
I cant speak for AC/the MLLs (but as a UC and UA*G member, I've never needed anything more than my BP to get in) but based on experience/observations with the UCs I would expect that if you can put the MP# on the reservation it will make things smoother than trying to use an unattached credential for access.

Originally Posted by g289t View Post
I added my United Club card to Apple Wallet, for whatever that's worth. The card in Apple Wallet look pretty much the same as the digital card in the United app, so I'm not sure what difference that will make!

Anyway, I am extremely grateful for all of the DPs and discussions here. I'm a first time UC member, so it's all new to me. Thank you all very much!
I believe the advice revolves around the concept that the various wallets are relatively static (e.g. once something goes in it doesn't come out easily) while the credentials in the app are a bit more dynamic so if e.g. your phone can't connect to the Internet it may not load and require awkward social tap dancing while trying to summon the technology gods (because you know if it's not going to work, it's not going to work at the singularly most inconvenient time)
bmwe92fan and g289t like this.
lincolnjkc is offline  
Old Aug 6, 22, 8:11 pm
  #39  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: NYC / TYO / Up in the Air
Programs: UA GS 1.5MM, AA 2MM, EK, BA, SQ, CX, Marriot LT, Accor P
Posts: 4,979
Originally Posted by lincolnjkc View Post
I believe the advice revolves around the concept that the various wallets are relatively static (e.g. once something goes in it doesn't come out easily) while the credentials in the app are a bit more dynamic so if e.g. your phone can't connect to the Internet it may not load and require awkward social tap dancing while trying to summon the technology gods (because you know if it's not going to work, it's not going to work at the singularly most inconvenient time)
+1 -- I spent 10 minutes trying to get the UA card to show up in the app after flying all night to FRA trying to get into the SEN lounge -- my business associate had the same issue -- even though my BP showed *G LH didn't care.... The Apple Wallet is now my new go to -- it hasn't failed me yet....
lincolnjkc and g289t like this.
bmwe92fan is offline  
Old Aug 6, 22, 9:23 pm
  #40  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 929
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
While UA stopped issuing physical elite cards over recent years, I have a physical UAC (expiring at the end of this month), so in the last year physical UC cards were issued.
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
If you are *G and travelling international, you don't need a UC membership, you are better off as *G (and virtual cards work).
If you are travelling domestic and have a UC membership, you don't need a UC card as it is coded in your BP
And this exact reason is why they discontinued sending physical UC membership cards for Gold + by default as of last November since it should always be available via the BP both for UA and *A partners. Silver/non-status do still get one when they enroll/renew.

Originally Posted by Dr Jabadski View Post
Anyone know how to obtain a card? If so, please share. (I looked on the website, couldn’t find anything.) Thank you.

Being the masochist that I am I decided to call UA to request a card. Requested “account servicing”, 10 minutes elevator music, of course connected to reservations
Needs to be done by MileagePlus service center. If you get reservations, ask for Mileageplus Service Center since it has to be requested through the loyalty program application due to club membership being linked to a MilagePlus account. Reservations only has view-only access, so they can verify information in the profile to see UC membership validity, they can't do any of the card requesting process. Recommend trying during to contact MPSC during normal weekday US business hours as that seems to be when most of the US-based agents are working that desk, outside of that time you are almost always going to get an offshore agent.
SPN Lifer and g289t like this.
Lux Flyer is offline  
Old Aug 6, 22, 10:21 pm
  #41  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 60,559
Originally Posted by Lux Flyer View Post
And this exact reason is why they discontinued sending physical UC membership cards for Gold + by default as of last November since it should always be available via the BP both for UA and *A partners. Silver/non-status do still get one when they enroll/renew......
This is interesting, Wonder why UA has not communicated this to those expecting UC member cards but explains why some got cards and many did not.

Originally Posted by Dr Jabadski View Post
..... requested a card, agent said they do NOT mail cards anymore to Golds and higher because they don’t need a card, ...
Appears this supports what you heard

While this makes some sense, leaving your customers in the dark, does not.

This inverse status benefit is interest. No elite status cards for all levels and UC card for just Silver and non-elites. - a little Alice in Wonderland.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Aug 6, 22 at 10:29 pm Reason: This inverse status benefit
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Aug 6, 22, 10:39 pm
  #42  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 929
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
This is interesting, Wonder why UA has not communicated this to those expecting UC member cards but explains why some got cards and many did not.

While this makes some sense, leaving your customers in the dark, does not.
My guess is why draw attention to something that for the most part is a minor change and only a small minority of customers are going to notice/care about/be impacted by anyways. Probably a calculated risk that better to not announce it and deal with the small amount of customers who would notice/be impacted/have a method for them to still get a physical card vs. announcing it and the potential for negative publicity ("they're too cheap to even print a physical card) or cause more people to request the physical card, reducing the marginal cash savings they make form this move. I don't have numbers, but I'm sure it's easily 95+% of UC memberships aren't using the physical card to access the club and are unlikely to notice they didn't receive a physical card since they don't use it (how many are just sititng in a desk drawer somewhere?). Sometimes ignorance is truly bliss, why give them something to be upset about when they're otherwise not even going to be upset/even notice the silent change.

Similar idea of when food manufacturers decreasing their packaging sizes but not decreasing the price. Not like they're parading around to let you know your 8oz package is now only 7.6oz. And I'd argue that's something that should be disclosed moreso then getting rid a physical membership card.

Edit: to add answer to OP's original question
Originally Posted by g289t View Post
Is there any benefit in calling and asking for expedited processing and shipping?
This got missed in the discussion of status and whether a physical card is sent out. Assuming you're not *G (in which case a card wouldn't have been sent out without a specific request) - they do have procedures to expedite processing of the physical card if needed, similar to what I said to another poster, contact MPSC and explain the need for an expedited card. They also have the ability to track the status of your current UC card request using your MP# (if you get a good reservations agent who knows where to look, they can track it too, but have no ability to expedite things, only MPSC can do that part)
SPN Lifer and g289t like this.

Last edited by Lux Flyer; Aug 6, 22 at 10:49 pm
Lux Flyer is offline  
Old Aug 7, 22, 1:03 am
  #43  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Programs: DL, OZ, AC, AS, AA, BA, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, IHG
Posts: 13,125
This is all pretty disappointing news. I would love to get a card to add to my collection.
lsquare is offline  
Old Aug 7, 22, 1:36 am
  #44  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 929
Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
This is all pretty disappointing news. I would love to get a card to add to my collection.
Well if your signature is correct that you are still only a premier silver, if you get a UC membership, you would get a card.

It's only Gold + that doesn't get the card by default since on UA it is in their BP already and for *A partners, the *G is on the BP (which gets them access regardless of UC membership)
SPN Lifer likes this.
Lux Flyer is offline  
Old Aug 7, 22, 1:42 am
  #45  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Programs: DL, OZ, AC, AS, AA, BA, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, IHG
Posts: 13,125
Originally Posted by Lux Flyer View Post
Well if your signature is correct that you are still only a premier silver, if you get a UC membership, you would get a card.

It's only Gold + that doesn't get the card by default since on UA it is in their BP already and for *A partners, the *G is on the BP (which gets them access regardless of UC membership)
Long story short, I'm about to initiate a status challenge and I'm fairly certain I'll be approved to become 1K. I'm not tempted by the current Chase offers to get a CC with UC. I'm too cheap to buy a UC if I can get access through 1K. However, I have been accessing UCs lately through my AC status.
lsquare is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread