New United Gateway card: no annual fee, limited-time grocery bonus

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  • Chase and United just launched the no-annual-fee United Gateway℠ Card.
  • If you have the old United TravelBank card or the legacy United MileagePlus card, you’ll be transitioned to the United Gateway.
  • Through September 2021, you can earn 3x miles on grocery-store purchases with this new card (on up to $1,500 spent per month, then 1x).
  • This card is best for those who want to earn United miles toward future flights, but don’t want extra airline benefits like a free checked bag or priority boarding.
  • See Business Insider’s list of the best airline credit cards »

United and Chase just announced the new United Gateway℠ Card, which can help you earn miles toward future award flights without having to pay an annual fee. 

With the United Gateway card, you can earn 3x miles on grocery-store purchases (on up to $1,500 per month, then 1x) through the end of September 2021. The card also earns 2x miles on United purchases, gas, public transit, rideshare services, and taxis. You’ll also earn a flat 1 mile per dollar spent on non-bonus purchases, which is pretty standard among airline credit cards.

Regular APR

16.49% – 23.49% Variable

Credit Score

Good to Excellent

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn 20,000 bonus miles
    • No annual fee
    • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United Airlines purchases, at gas stations and on local transit and commuting
    • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United Airlines purchases
    • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at gas stations
    • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on local transit and commuting
    • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
    • Earn 3 miles per $1 spent at grocery stores, on up to $1,500 per month through 9/30/2021

    While travel is still mostly at a standstill due to the pandemic, this card may still be hitting the market at the perfect time. According to Luc Bondar, United’s Vice President of Marketing and Loyalty, the airline’s customers have asked for a credit card with no annual fee that lets them quickly earn miles for flights, upgrades, and more.

    We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

    The new United Gateway Credit Card

    The new United Gateway Credit Card offers a pretty wimpy sign-up bonus of 20,000 miles you can earn right off the bat, but it does come with a low minimum spending requirement of just $1,000 within three months of opening an account. 

    In addition to the fact you can earn 3x miles on groceries until the end of September of next year and 2x miles on United purchases, gas and transit, this card does stand out due to a few basic features. You won’t get any frequent flyer perks like priority boarding or a free checked bag, but you do get benefits such as secondary auto rental coverage, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, extended warranty protection on eligible items and purchase protection against damage or theft.

    The Gateway card will replace the United TravelBank and legacy United MileagePlus cards for consumers who still have them. Existing cardholders of the United TravelBank Card should note that, once they are transitioned to the new United Gateway℠ Card, they will start earning miles instead of TravelBank Cash.

    This card’s trip cancellation and interruption insurance benefit is fairly robust and worth using since you’ll get up to $1,500 per person and up to $6,000 per trip covered when you use your credit card for prepaid, nonrefundable passenger fares and your trip is cancelled or cut short for a covered reason.

    Meanwhile, this card’s purchase protection can also be helpful since it covers purchases against damage or theft for up to 120 days, and you get up to $500 in coverage per claim and up to $50,000 in coverage per account.

    Should you sign up?

    Signing up for the new United Gateway℠ Card can absolutely make sense if you want to earn United miles now for travel later on. With the ability to earn 3x miles on grocery spending through the end of September 30, 2021 as well as 2x miles on United purchases, gas and transit, you have the potential to rack up a lot of miles through the end of 2020 and beyond.

    However, you should also keep in mind that United MileagePlus is a transfer partner of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. As a result, you can transfer points from cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® to your United account at a 1:1 ratio.

    Based on this partnership, it could be wise to pair your United Gateway℠ Card with a Chase travel credit card that lets you earn more points in different categories. From there, you can pool your points in your United account to book economy or premium flights with United or partners in the Star Alliance.

    With that being said, don’t forget that United Airlines offers several alternative credit card options that let you earn miles in the United MilagePlus program. Before you sign up, you should compare the United Gateway℠ Card to other cards United offers, including the United℠ Explorer Card, the United℠ Business Card, the United Club℠ Infinite Card, and the United℠ Club Business Card.

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    Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.

    Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

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