The United MileagePlus Explorer Card has long offered 50,000 miles if applied through a Chase branch, but an increased online offer is now available. Currently you can get up to 55,000 United bonus miles plus a $50 statement credit after spending $2,000 within the first three months of being a cardmember. This is currently the best public offer on the card and a great way to earn 55,000 United miles.
Application Link: United MileagePlus Explorer Card
There is another offer available on the United.com homepage, but that offers does not come with the additional $50 statement credit. Though it does say that the offer will expire on September 2, 2014.
United miles are still one of my favorite airline miles for award redemptions with stopovers because you can add a free stopover on round trip awards. The miles earned from this sign-up bonus are enough for two round trip awards within the US or one round trip award to Hawaii, Central America and Northern South America. It’s only 60,000 miles round trip on economy to Europe or Southern South America, so with a little more spend on the card you can fly there as well.
55,000 United MileagePlus Explorer Card Offer
This is a great offer for the United Explorer card and makes it a great time to apply if you have been looking to earn extra United miles.
You will earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 in the first three months and an additional 5,000 bonus miles when you add an authorized user and make a purchase.
To earn the extra 5,000 miles you would need to add an authorized user in your application information. Chase will send you a card in their name and they just need to make a single purchase to earn the extra miles. Once the 5,000 miles are earned, the authorized user does not have to keep or use the card, and can still apply for their own United Explorer card in the future.
The card earns 2 miles per dollar spent on tickets purchased from United and 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases. If you are a big spender, you will earn 10,000 bonus miles when you spend $25,000 or more in purchases on the card each year.
United MileagePlus Explorer Card comes with a free first checked bag for yourself and one traveling companion on United flights purchased with your card. Other benefits include priority boarding and two complimentary United Club lounge passes each year.
An interesting aspect of this card offer is that you will get extra Standard Award space as a cardholder. It is not clear how much better award availability will be for cardholders, but it does mention that your MileagePlus number associated with your card will allow you to get access to more award seats.
Annual Fee and Foreign Transaction Fees
The United Explorer card does not have any foreign transaction fees, so it is a great card to use while traveling abroad. The annual fee is also waived the first year, but is $95 after that.
Why United Miles are Valuable
United miles are among the best airline miles for international economy awards and for adding free stopovers. On top of that, United is part of Star Alliance so you get access to amazing award space and can book flights on any of the 27 Star Alliance member airlines. With the numerous valuable partner airlines and United’s user friendly website, United miles are among the easiest airline miles to use.
After United’s last devaluation, premium partner award redemptions went up considerably, but you can still fly on United’s own premium class cabins for a good value. United’s BusinessFirst and GlobalFirst offer fully flat beds and can be a good use of miles if you still want to redeem a premium cabin award.
Apart from that, the best use for United miles are for economy awards both domestically and for international flights. Their award chart is very competitive and allow you to book stopovers on round trip awards, which can add incredible value to an award ticket. Another huge benefit of United miles is that they do not charge fuel surcharges, so you will never pay extra fees on award tickets.
Don’t Forget that Chase Will Match Offers
If you have applied for the United MileagePlus Explorer card within the last 90 days you stand a good chance that Chase will match this increased bonus offer. In general Chase is the best bank when it comes to matching an improved offer on a card that you have recently been approved for.
All you need to do is send Chase a Secure Message through your online Chase account and request for them to match the better offer to your account. There are many success stories across the web that Chase fulfills these requests, and I have done it several times as well.