Why We Are Hitting United Club Card Before CSR

The time has come to bring player two on the scene. My wife will be under 5/24 in the first time in two years! She has been hitting only AmEx Business cards, and has flown under the radar of Chase’s draconian churn police! This has all paid off because now we had 24 months to devise a perfect churning plan. Right now her credit karma score looks like this:

Even better is hitting 24 months on her 5th card on 01 July 2019:

Now only one slot will be opened, and you would think that she should jump right on CSR! However the current offer for CSR is 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Where as the United Club card is 50K United MP for only $3k spend! We are planning another European trip and want to supplement her current 140k miles with either UR transfers or with more United Miles.

The United Club Card does come with Star Alliance Lounge access, as well as access to all domestic United Clubs while flying on any airlines. However this is just the smallest perk. What makes this card useful is this trifecta:

I was lucky to have the United Explorer card before I joined. This card was covered under the SCRA, so I product changed it to an United CLub Card, and had it ever since.

I finally got a chance to book our first summer trip. List price for 2 adults and three kids to fly ORD to RAP (Rapid City, SD) would have been an astronomical $2,583 just for the flights alone! I was able to book using my United Club Card (5/24 restricted) right now you can get 50K Bonus Miles using the link: clubcardinvite.com. Keep in mind they will waive the $450 annual fee, but you have to not had more than 5 cards in the last 24 months AT ANY BANK. The United Club card also gave me the ability to find lower fares when paying with points. When I searched for these segments on united.com they had them listed for 12.5K Mileage Plus for each one way segment:

The other hidden benefit from the United Club Card is Hertz Presidential Circle membership which has given me an upgrade to an Cadillac Escalade in the past when we traveled to Hawaii. This status sometimes gives you a lower rate. I ended up booking a Standard SUV via delta.com for sky miles for this trip at an amazing $49 a day with taxes for a Standard SUV.

I used my now defunct United Gift Registry funded by $200 AmEx Platinum reimbursements to fly the entire family to Hawaii. I booked a Hyundai Santa Fe Sport or similar (5 Passenger Standard SUV Group L SFAR (L) ) and ended up with this:

Cadillac Escalade Upgrade from Hertz Presidential Circle via United Club Card

I booked my whole family to fly to Mount Rushmore for 12,500 United Miles a segment (using some topped off UR points):

This flight would have been $479 a person! You can get about 3.8 cents per UR point this way. The best part is I got upgraded to first class since the flight is so stupid expensive and empty:

The takeaway lesson is this, it might be time to try to get under 5/24. You just got to stick to AmEx Biz cards for 24 months. It is hard, but in the long run well worth it to not try to get that 5th AmEx personal platinum just because you can!


8 thoughts on “Why We Are Hitting United Club Card Before CSR

  1. Dave says:

    Maybe, but those of us not graced with CPC have a significantly higher risk of shutdown, and I am scared.

  2. Strugglebus says:

    Derp, while she’s under 5/24, why don’t you open a Chase business card? You can always open it, wait a week or so, and then go back to the United Club card if you still want it that bad.

    *Southwest’s Business Performance looks like a pretty good deal (either just released or about to – 80k Rapid Rewards miles). Also looks like you could still get the bonus, even if you already had the Southwest Premier bonus. thx
    – Strugglebus

    • uiucderp2011 says:

      Sounds like a good idea, can you hit ink premier and ink cash?

      • strugglebus says:

        I believe so. (Guessing you meant ‘ink preferred’.) *Don’t know if you can get the bonus for BOTH of them, but should be able to still get them if you want. Heard they don’t add to your 5/24 count either. Read that in your blog!

    • Garry says:

      Does Chase waive AF for business cards? And if so, what about for spouses?

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