Last Chance to Earn Up to 50k Miles With the United MileagePlus Explorer Card
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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – United MileagePlus Explorer Card
Hands-down, my most valuable airline credit card is the United MileagePlus Explorer Card (or its business counterpart, the United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card) from Chase. As I outlined in my credit card inventory post last month, as a United elite member, having the MileagePlus Explorer Card linked to my account makes me eligible for complimentary upgrades on award tickets — I’ve booked transcon flights to San Diego for 12,500 miles and ended up in first class numerous times, thanks to this card. To me, that makes it well worth the $95 annual fee.
And, if you aren’t a United elite member, this card opens up tons more economy award availability, both on international flights and those within the US. (See this post for more details on how that works.) Other benefits include a free first checked bag, priority boarding, 2 annual United Club passes and the ability to earn a Premier-Qualifying Dollar (PQD) waiver (excluding 1K status) and 10,000 bonus miles after spending $25,000 on the card each year.
Current 50,000-Mile Offer
Perhaps even better, through the end of the month (July 31, 2017), Chase is offering an elevated bonus of 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months for both of these cards. (Note that you may even be targeted for a higher offer of 70,000 miles.) TPG values United miles at 1.5 cents apiece, so the 50,000-mile sign-up bonus gets you $750 in value. Of course, the actual value depends on how you redeem them, and you have a variety of options using this one bonus alone. For example, with 50,000 miles, you could book a round-trip domestic flight in first class at the Saver level, two domestic Saver round-trips in economy or a one-way Saver flight in the main cabin from the US to Europe.
You’ll also earn 2 miles per dollar on all United purchases, and you won’t ever have to pay foreign transaction fees. Both cards have a $95 annual fee — the fee is waived for the first year with the business card’s current offer, but not for the personal card. And with the personal card, you can earn 5,000 bonus miles when you add an authorized user and they make a purchase in the first three months, in addition to the 10,000-mile annual spending bonus outlined above.
While this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a 50,000-mile offer from Chase, it’s not clear when (or if) a similar deal might return. If you’re considering adding either (or both) of these cards to your wallet, now’s the time to act.