UPDATE: This offer has expired.
United just increased the United MileagePlus Explorer Credit Card offer to where you can now earn up to 60,000. While this is not as good of an offer we saw last Fall (where you could earn up to 65k points), the minimum spend is significantly lower which might make earning the full amount of points more obtainable for folks. This offer expires 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:
- Free first checked bag: The primary Cardmember and one companion traveling on the same reservation will each receive their first standard checked bag free ($25 value for the first checked bag, each way, per person) on United-operated flights when purchasing tickets with their United MileagePlus Explorer Card.
- Priority boarding: Primary Cardmembers and their companions on the same reservation will be invited to board United-operated flights prior to general boarding.
- No fees on foreign transactions: Purchases made with your Explorer Card outside the U.S. will not be subject to foreign transaction fees.
- 2 United ClubSM passes per anniversary year: Take some time to relax before your flight with two one-time-use United Club passes each year. Enjoy complimentary beverages, snacks, and amenities like workspaces, free Wi-Fi and more.
My absolutely favorite benefit, however, is that this will get you complimentary Global Access or TSA Pre-Check. Typically the credit cards that reimburse up to $100 for one of these two fees come with very high annual fees. It is definitely rate to see a low annual fee with the benefit, especially one that is waived for the first year! Since Global Entry costs $100, you will be reimbursed the entire amount spent when you pay for your application fee with this card. Or, alternatively, you can instead enroll in TSA Pre-Check (only $85), but since Global Entry also comes with Pre-Check, you might as well get both — and for free!
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. Although sometimes a better usage of miles typically though is to use for international travel or business seats. A roundtrip flight to Europe in coach will run you 60,000 miles, which you’ll get with just this card offer.
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 magic 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.
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.