United Nations FCU Elite Credit Card Review 2024 (2024)

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United Nations FCU Elite Credit Card Review 2024 (1)

Our Verdict

As the premier travel rewards card for UNFCU members, the UNFCU® Elite Credit Card* stands out by offering five airport lounge passes per year and covering up to $20,000 of your credit card debt in the event of your untimely passing. But the meager $100 welcome bonus and ho-hum rewards make it hard to recommend over competing cards that offer bigger welcome bonuses, better rewards, more valuable perks and a travel redemption bonus.

That said, if you’re a UNFCU member who falls short of the steep credit qualifications for a premium travel rewards card from another bank, you might have a better chance applying for the Elite Credit Card.

United Nations FCU Elite Credit Card Review 2024 (2)

UNFCU® Elite Credit Card *

3.0

United Nations FCU Elite Credit Card Review 2024 (3)

Our ratings take into account the card’s rewards, fees, rates along with the card’s category. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Welcome Bonus

10,000 bonus points

Annual Fee

$50

Regular APR

15.15% - 17.24% variable APR

Credit Score

Good

Pros

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Intro 0% APR offer on purchases and balance transfers and low regular APR
  • Includes Visa-backed travel insurance
  • Five complimentary airport lounge passes per year
  • Credit Life Protection covers up to $20,000 of your credit card debt

Cons

  • Requires a United Nations Federal Credit Union membership
  • $50 annual fee
  • Dismal welcome bonus
  • Rewards potential falls short of other rewards cards
  • No travel redemption bonus

Highlights

  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 in the first four months of account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn 3 points per dollar spent on dining, 2 points on groceries and online food deliveries and 1 point on all other purchases
  • Introductory APR offer
  • Lounge access, concierge service and luxury hotel perks

More Highlights

Credit Score ranges are based on FICO® credit scoring. This is just one scoring method and a credit card issuer may use another method when considering your application. These are provided as guidelines only and approval is not guaranteed.

Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 in the first four months of account opening

Introduction

The United Nations Federal Credit Union Elite Credit Card offers an uneven combination of features pulled from the best travel rewards cards and everyday-use, no-fee rewards cards.

On the travel side, it offers 3 points per dollar spent on restaurants, a hearty suite of travel insurance, five airport lounge passes through Priority Pass and no foreign transaction fees.

On the everyday-use side it offers 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first six months, followed by a regular APR of 15.15% - 17.24% variable. Balance transfer fee $5 or 2% of the balance transfer amount, whichever is greater applies. The card also offers3 points per dollar spent on dining, 2 points at groceries and online food deliveries and 1 point per dollar on other purchases and some added life insurance through Credit Life Protection, which erases up to $20,000 in credit card debt in the event of your death.

But the end result is less like a Swiss Army Knife and more like a guitar that makes spaghetti: It makes neither good music nor good pasta, and you’re probably better off getting separate, purpose-built tools for each.

Case in point, the Elite Credit Card’s travel-centric competitor cards offer higher welcome bonuses, travel redemption multipliers, superior travel rewards, Global Entry credits and more. Its no-fee competitors—namely the Citi Double Cash® Card—offer 0% intro for 18 months on Balance Transfers and higher cash back potential on everyday purchases.

Barring the $175 worth of Priority Passes every 12 months from enrollment, it’s hard to make a competitive case for the UNFCU Elite Credit Card—but it may still be a solid choice if your options outside of UNFCU are limited.

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Featured Partner Offers

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

On Chase Bank USA, NA's Website

Welcome Bonus

60,000 bonus points

Annual Fee

$95

Credit Score

Excellent, Good

Regular APR

21.49%-28.49% Variable

Credit Score ranges are based on FICO® credit scoring. This is just one scoring method and a credit card issuer may use another method when considering your application. These are provided as guidelines only and approval is not guaranteed.

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Citi Double Cash® Card

On Citi's Website

Welcome Bonus

Earn $200 cash back

Annual Fee

$0

Credit Score

Excellent, Good, Fair

Regular APR

19.24% - 29.24% (Variable)

Credit Score ranges are based on FICO® credit scoring. This is just one scoring method and a credit card issuer may use another method when considering your application. These are provided as guidelines only and approval is not guaranteed.

Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

Discover it® Cash Back

On Discover's Website

Welcome Bonus

Cashback Match™

Annual Fee

$0

Credit Score

Excellent/Good

Regular APR

17.24% - 28.24% Variable APR

Credit Score ranges are based on FICO® credit scoring. This is just one scoring method and a credit card issuer may use another method when considering your application. These are provided as guidelines only and approval is not guaranteed.

INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.

Quick Facts

  • Earn 3 points per dollar spent on dining, 2 points at groceries and online food deliveries and 1 point per dollar on other purchases
  • $50 annual fee
  • Get five Priority Pass airport lounge passes every 12 months after enrolling
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first six months, followed by a regular APR of 15.15% - 17.24% variable. Balance transfer fee $5 or 2% of the balance transfer amount, whichever is greater applies
  • Includes travel accident insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance and lost luggage reimbursement

UNFCU Elite Credit Card Rewards

Earning Rewards

If you’ve researched other travel-centric rewards cards, the earning process with the UNFCU Elite Credit Card may look familiar. You’ll earn 3 points per dollar spent on dining, 2 points at groceries and online food deliveries and 1 point per dollar on other purchases.

As for what counts as “online food delivery,” UNFCU includes purchases from Seamless, GrubHub, and “others that facilitate online food orders from local restaurants.”

Redeeming Rewards

UNFCU Elite Credit Cardholders can redeem points for cash, airfare or hotel bookings. Points are worth one cent each and you must redeem a minimum of 2,500 points for $25.

As for hotels and airfare, the UNFCU Elite Credit Card doesn’t offer a travel redemption bonus like many competing cards do (such as an additional 25% boost with Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card) so there’s little apparent incentive to redeem your points for anything other than cash.

Rewards Potential

Forbes Advisor uses data from various U.S. government agencies to estimate the average household income and spending across various categories. The 70th percentile of wage earners bring in $116,000 annually. We base the rest of the household spending categories on that number.

United Nations FCU Elite Credit Card Rewards Potential
CategoryEarning RateEstimated Annual SpendEstimated Annual Earnings
Restaurants3X$3,85611,568 points
Groceries2X$4,2538,506 points
All Other Purchases1X$28,06828,068
48,142 points worth $481.42

0% Introductory Rates

The UNFCU Elite Credit Card offers 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first six months, followed by a regular APR of 15.15% - 17.24% variable. Balance transfer fee $5 or 2% of the balance transfer amount, whichever is greater applies.

Other UNFCU Elite Credit Card Benefits

  • No foreign transaction fees: UNFCU won’t charge you a fee for shopping overseas.
  • VIP airport lounge access: Cardholders receive five free Priority Pass airport lounge passes every 12 months starting from the date of enrollment in the program.
  • Travel insurance: You’ll receive up to $500,000 in travel accident insurance, $5,000 in trip cancellation and trip interruption Insurance and $3,000 in lost luggage reimbursement.
  • Credit Life Protection: In the event of your death, UNFCU will cover up to $20,000 of your credit card balance.
  • Fraud and identity theft protection: You’ll have access to fraud alerts, Visa zero fraud liability and ID theft protection (enrollment required).
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver: Also a Visa benefit, this serves as your auto rental collision insurance.

How the UNFCU Elite Credit Card Stacks Up

UNFCU® Elite Credit Card* vs. UNFCU Azure Credit Card*

If you’re a UNFCU member, you might also consider the Elite card’s stablemate: the Azure card.

In a nutshell, the UNFCU Azure Credit Card is more of an everyday-purchase card than a travel card. It has $0 annual fee, a $0 foreign transaction fee (still not bad) and sheds all forms of travel insurance in favor of cellphone protection, price protection and return protection.

Despite having no annual fee, the Azure card has the same welcome bonus and superior rewards, with 3x points for restaurants, online food deliveries, and groceries, 2x points for streaming services and transit, 1x point for every $1.00 spent on everything else.

If you’re less of a traveler, you’ll probably get far better value out of the Azure credit card than the Elite credit card. But before you commit, be sure to check out our running list of the best no annual fee cards.

UNFCU® Elite Credit Card* vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Back in the realm of rewards cards with annual fees, the UNFCU Elite Credit Card faces steep competition from our reigning overall travel card for beginners: the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

There’s a $95 annual fee, but comes with a hefty 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You’ll also get a similar suite of Visa-backed travel insurance as the UNFCU Elite Credit Card, a $50 annual credit for hotel stays booked through Chase and points worth 25% more when you book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Still, the Sapphire Preferred doesn’t offer airport lounge access nor does it offer any sort of introductory APR, so if you plan to take full advantage of both, the Elite may still be the better fit.

UNFCU® Elite Credit Card* vs. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card charges a $95 annual fee and offers 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening (rates & fees). You’ll also receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

You’ll earn 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and an unlimited 2 miles per dollar spent on other purchases, making the Venture Rewards one of the best cards for rapidly generating miles to spend on travel. It’s less ideal if you’re looking to generate cash back, since miles are worth less than a penny each.

But if your primary goal is to pay for travel using points, the Venture Rewards card is far more purpose-built than the UNFCU Elite Credit Card. Even though the latter card has a lower annual fee, the Venture Rewards more than makes up for it with a higher welcome bonus and other benefits.

Is the UNFCU Elite Credit Card for You?

Provided you qualify any card you want, there’s little reason to choose the UNFCU Elite Credit Card over an established premium travel rewards card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. Both offer a far better welcome bonus, superior rewards, travel redemption multipliers and more.

If you’re looking for an everyday use card, consider that there are no-fee cash back options that offer higher earnings potential and longer introductory APRs.

Find The Best Cash Back Credit Cards Of 2024

Learn More

Methodology

Forbes Advisor considers a variety of criteria when assigning credit cards a rating. Cards are graded based on numerous factors including:

  • Annual fees
  • Welcome bonus offers
  • Ongoing earning rates
  • Value of individual points or miles
  • Included travel or merchant credits
  • Additional cardholder benefits

Card features we expect cardholders to use the most often are weighted more heavily in our ratings. Altogether, the factors came together to provide a star rating for each individual card.

Read more: How Forbes Advisor Rates Credit Cards

*The information for the following card(s) has been collected independently by Forbes Advisor: UNFCU® Elite Credit Card, UNFCU Azure Credit Card. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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As a seasoned financial analyst and credit card expert with extensive experience in evaluating and comparing credit card offerings, I bring a wealth of knowledge to provide insights into the UNFCU® Elite Credit Card mentioned in the article. My expertise is rooted in a comprehensive understanding of credit card features, rewards programs, and the intricacies of financial products.

Analysis of the UNFCU® Elite Credit Card:

  1. Welcome Bonus:

    • The UNFCU® Elite Credit Card offers a welcome bonus of 10,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first four months.
    • While the welcome bonus is described as meager, it's crucial to consider the overall value proposition of the card.
  2. Annual Fee and APR:

    • The card has an annual fee of $50 and a variable APR ranging from 15.15% to 17.24%, depending on creditworthiness.
    • The low annual fee may appeal to budget-conscious consumers, but the article notes that it might not offset the lackluster rewards.
  3. Rewards Program:

    • Earning 3 points per dollar on dining, 2 points on groceries and online food deliveries, and 1 point on other purchases makes it a hybrid between travel and everyday-use cards.
    • The rewards potential is compared with competitors, highlighting the card's shortcomings in terms of welcome bonuses and rewards potential.
  4. Travel Benefits:

    • Noteworthy travel perks include five complimentary airport lounge passes per year through Priority Pass, no foreign transaction fees, and travel insurance.
    • The article emphasizes the card's weaker stance against competitors that offer better travel rewards and redemption options.
  5. Comparison with Competitors:

    • The article compares the UNFCU® Elite Credit Card with other prominent cards such as Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
    • It underscores the superior welcome bonuses, rewards, and travel redemption options offered by competitors.
  6. Recommendation:

    • The recommendation suggests that the UNFCU Elite Credit Card may be a viable option for UNFCU members who face challenges qualifying for premium travel cards from other banks.
    • However, it cautions against choosing this card over more competitive options available in the market.
  7. Methodology:

    • The methodology section outlines the criteria used by Forbes Advisor in rating credit cards, including annual fees, welcome bonuses, earning rates, and additional benefits.
    • The article emphasizes the importance of considering individual card features when assigning ratings.

In conclusion, the analysis provides a thorough examination of the UNFCU® Elite Credit Card, offering valuable insights into its strengths and weaknesses compared to other credit cards in the market.

United Nations FCU Elite Credit Card Review 2024 (2024)
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