United has announced that they’re raising their fees for United Club memberships:
- Memberships for general members are increasing by $50 effective immediately
- Memberships for Premier Silver, Gold, and Platinum members are increasing effective August 18, 2015
- United is no longer offering discounted spousal memberships — previously you could add a spouse for $250 per year, while now it’ll cost you an extra $550 per year (the full cost of a membership)
With the above in mind, let’s look at the actual changes.
Here’s the fee chart for a United Club membership from April:
Meanwhile here’s the current fee chart for a United Club membership:
That second chart is the current pricing, and doesn’t reflect the price increases we’ll see for elite members as of August 18, 2015:
The discounts for some MileagePlus Premier members will change effective August 18, 2015. Pricing for Premier members as of that date will be: Premier Silver and Premier Gold – $550/70,000 award miles ($1,100/140,000 miles with spouse), Premier Platinum – $500/65,000 miles ($1,050/135,000 miles with spouse), and Premier 1K – $450/60,000 miles ($1,000/130,000 miles with spouse).
So to recap:
- The cost of membership for Premier Silver members will be $550
- The cost of membership for Premier Gold members will be $550
- The cost of membership for Premier Platinum members will be $500
- The cost of membership for Premier 1K members will be $450
In fairness, I don’t think the price increases are all that horrible, given that United has invested in their lounge food lately.
Furthermore, United isn’t changing the lounge guesting policy, as members are still allowed to guest in all immediately family or two guests. Meanwhile when Delta announced SkyClub changes, they completely eliminated free guesting privileges for “basic” club members.
Of course this makes the value proposition of the United Club Card all the more compelling, given that it has a $395 annual fee and comes with a United Club membership.
These increase don’t seem unreasonable, given the improved product available in United Clubs. I think the harshest change here is that there’s no more discount for adding a spouse to a membership. I’m surprised they’d do that, since you’d think that in most cases spouses wouldn’t be using clubs as much as the primary members, and therefore United was doing quite well with that. But I guess not.
What do you make of the changes to the United Club membership fees?