Should I upgrade my United from Select to Club?

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Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: San Francisco

Should I upgrade my United from Select to Club?

Postby matthewsf » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:05 pm

I am contemplating upgrading my United Mileage Plus SELECT Visa card to the CLUB for the upcoming year and would love to get some feedback on whether it’s indeed the right choice to make given my circumstances.

I’m currently a Premier Executive (SA Gold) but will drop down to just Premier in 2013. With 1-2 international family trips a year, I currently use the credit card to rack up the miles since I have been redeeming them for award seats for us (2 adults; 1 baby).

The single main benefit we take advantage of is the ability to access airport lounges while on the road. That can range from 2-6 visits per trip depending on the number of stops and/or countries. With my dip down to SA Silver that will now go away. The Select card also gives up to 5,000 PQM credit; 5,000 anniversary bonus miles; 3 m.p.d. at United and 2 m.p.d. category bonus in restaurant, gas, and markets, all of which we use. The Club only gives 2 miles at United and 1.5 for all else, with no category bonus, PQM credit or annual gift. To earn that ‘missing’ 5,000 PQM would mean an extra mileage run from SFO-NYC costing $300-320. The Club Card does waive FTFs, so that would amount to a savings of $60-150, based on our spending.

I do have a basic Priority Pass membership so I can tap into that @ $27 per person, per visit if I stay with the old card. Naturally, I would be more judicious with the number of times I might actually go in and use it. So the question is do I forgo all the category and United bonus miles, along with the PQM bonus I would be receiving with the Select card in order to have the lounge access with the Club card for these trips? Or is it better to stick with it, pay out of pocket when necessary and continue my earnings as I do now? I have not yet broken down the earnings by category to specifically see if there would be a net loss or gain of miles (and how much) based on what is spent in each category, but can do so if necessary.

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