UPDATE: This offer has expired.
Just last month, United upped the offer for their United MileagePlus Explorer Credit Card. Although the 60,000 mile offer is not the best we’ve seen, the minimum spend is significantly lower and now much more obtainable. (Last Fall the offer was 65k miles). This is definitely an offer worth considering, especially due to the benefits that come along with the card. Spoiler alert: Receive complimentary Global Entry. This is a reminder that this offer is expiring soon on due to the complimentary Global Entry you’ll receive as it is expiring soon — May 16, 2019.
- Key Link: United MileagePlus Explorer Credit Card — Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, plus an additional 25,000 bonus miles after you spend $8,000 total on purchases in the first 6 months. No annual fee for the first year, then $95 a year.
Travel benefits with this United credit card offer include:
As I mentioned above, aside from the increased welcome offer, this card also comes with some great benefits. The basics include free first checked bag (for the cardmember plus one companion), priority boarding, no foreign transaction fees and two United Club passes per anniversary year. While those benefits can definitely save you money while traveling (specifically the checked bag), the real savings is with Global Entry.
My favorite benefit…
My absolutely favorite benefit is that this will get complimentary Global Access or TSA Pre-Check. Ultimately you just pay for your application fee with your United Credit Card and the charge will automatically be reimbursed. Global Entry typically costs $100, while TSA Pre-Check costs slightly less at $85. Since Global Entry gets you TSA Pre-Check, you might as well apply for Global Entry instead — especially since it is free.
Typically this type of benefit only comes with credit cards that carry high annual fees. This card comes with your “normal” fee, although it is waived for the first year! In just year one you can actually come out ahead by $100! And that is on top of the bonus points you’ll earn just by meeting the minimum spend requirement. Tip: If you already have Global Entry, you can use your credit card to pay for another family members application and still be reimbursed. The names do not have to match.
For those not aware of Global Entry, it is a program that will give you expedited clearance upon entering the United States. If you ever travel internationally, you probably remember standing in a long line upon your return. By being approved for Global Entry, you can instead go to one of the kiosks and quickly be on your way. The only caveat is that you will need to go to a Global Entry center for the final approval process. With TSA Pre-Check, you’ll be able to go through the expedited security check lines throughout the US. This is a huge timesaver and can benefit anyone who travels!
So how many miles do you need to travel on United?
Domestic economy class tickets are 25,000 miles roundtrip, so this card can get you 2 free ticket (+ taxes) off the bat, plus some extra miles to spare. Or, if you are looking to fly internationally, 60,000 miles is the standard amount needed for a roundtrip flight to Europe. You can also just use the miles to increase your current account balance to fly in style up in the front of the plane!
Am I Eligible?
While this is a good card to increase your United balance, especially since the annual fee is waived for the first year, this card is subject to Chase’s “5/24” rule. That means if you’ve been approved for 5 or more credit cards in the past 24 months, Chase will not approve you for this card. Keep in mind though that only Chase and American Express PERSONAL cards (not BUSINESS cards) typically count towards the magical 5 number. Also, this offer is not available to those who are 1) currently a cardmember, and 2) have received a new cardmember bonus for this consumer credit card within the last 24 months.
If you are unsure where you fall into this, you can also use the Travel Freely site which is a cool tool that will help you decipher which cards you are and are not eligible for. You can learn more about Travel Freely here.
This is a great offer and one of the higher ones you’ll see for the card. Yes, you could have received an extra 5k miles this past fall, but that also required another $2k in spend, which is definitely a lot. My Global Entry is actually almost up, so this is actually the perfect card for me so it will earn me not only 60k miles (which I value at about $1,200), but also $100 back in my pocket due to the Global Entry application.