|by Mr Credit Card|
The United Mileage Plus Debit Card is a debit card that allows those with a Chase checking account to earn miles from a debit card. Let’s have a look at this debit card.
Miles Rewards – The United Mileage Plus Debit Card allows you to earn one United Mileage Plus Miles for every two dollars that you spend on the card. New debit cardholders get a 2,500 bonus miles into their United account. You will also get an an additional 2,500 bonus miles if you add a debit card to an existing joint account holder. You can use the debit card to pay your bills at United Dining Plus Restaurant partners and United Shopping Mall to earn extra miles. There is a $25 annual fee with this debit card.
Preferred Version – There is also a Preferred version of this debit card with a $65 annual fee. But you can earn one miles for every dollar that you spend on the debit card, compared to one miles for every two dollars on the basic version.
Qualifying transactions – Chase on their website defines the following as qualifying transactions : “include all debit card purchases made without using a Personal Identification Number (PIN). Such “non-PIN” purchases include purchases you sign for, Internet purchases, phone or mail-order purchases, small dollar purchases that do not require a signature, bill payments (where billers process the transaction as a credit transaction) and contactless purchases (purchases made by holding your blink®-enabled card to a secure reader). Cash advances and cash transactions do not qualify.”.
If you are asked to select debit or credit, you have to select “credit” (it will still be deducted from your checking account).
Verdict and Opinion – The best way to compare these debit cards is to actually look at the United credit card versions. I would give the basic version a skip because you only earn one mile for every two dollars and yet you have to pay a $25 annual fee. The Preferred version is actually comparable to the regular Mileage Plus Visa Signature (which has a $60 annual fee and also allows you to earn one mile for every dollar that you spend on the card). However, the Mileage Plus Visa Signature credit card allows you to earn 30,000 bonus miles after you spend $250 on the credit card after you have received it.
The other higher end versions of Uniteds’ credit cards allow you to earn double miles, but they all come with much higher fees that makes it really difficult to compare apples with apples. For example, the Mileage Plus Select Visa allows you to earn triple points, but has a $130 annual fee. The Mileage Plus Access Visa has a $275 annual fee, let’s you only earn one mile for every dollar you spend, but comes with perks like getting 10,000 EQM every year if you spend $35,000 and annual economy-plus seating!
Perhaps the most economical way to earn United Mileage Plus Miles is to actually get the Chase Sapphire Card because you can transfer points you earn to United Mileage Plus Miles, and there is no annual fee on the card!
For those who are looking to maximize their earnings of United Miles, perhaps the higher end United Credit Cards offer a better alternative. The Chase Sapphire Card should also be considered because there is no annual fee and you can transfer points into United miles. But there will be folks who simply do not believe in using credit cards, but still want a way to earn extra United Mileage Plus Miles. That being the case, the United Mileage Plus debit card would be a good idea. I would recommend going for the Preferred version over the basic version. You obviously also have to check the various fees for opening a checking account with Chase.