50,000 Mile United Explorer Offer Plus 5,000 Additional Miles

by on August 1, 2014 · 61 comments

in Chase, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Credit Cards, United

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Update: The offers mentioned below for the Chase United Explorer Visa is no longer available. View the current offer here.

Chase has relaunched the United Explorer card with an increased sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles (after spending $2,000 within the first 3 months from account opening) plus an additional 5,000 when you add an authorized user and make a purchase within the first 3 months. The standard bonus for this card is 30,000 miles, and while there have been targeted offers floating around for as high as 60,000 miles, the present offer is the best publicly available one we’ve seen in a while. As with previous offers, this card has a $95 annual fee that’s waived the first year.

Key Perks:
-Priority boarding (for the cardholder and companions on the same reservation)
- 2 United Club passes per year
- Free first checked bag on United operated flights (for the cardholder and one companion on the same reservation when you use your Explorer card to purchase tickets). Note: when redeeming miles for an award flight, you can still get a free checked bag by using your card to pay for the TSA security fee.

Mileage Earning

  • Earn 5,000 bonus miles when you add an authorized user and make a purchase within the first three months;
  • Earn 2x miles on United purchases
  • Earn 10,000 bonus miles when you spend $25,000 in net purchases each calendar year

The 5,000 miles for adding an authorized user is a no-brainer; it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes extra when you call to activate your card. Earning 2x miles on United purchases is nice, but I’d rather earn 2x Ultimate Rewards points by using my Chase Sapphire Preferred for its travel category bonus. So, you’d probably want to use the Explorer to buy United tickets in order to get the free checked bag, but then use Sapphire or another card for in-flight purchases.

The 10,000 mile bonus after spending $25,000 would effectively boost your miles earning to 1.67 miles per dollar spent, or 2.67 miles/$ if you spent the entire $25,000 on United purchases. If you spend that much on United airfare each year, the bonus is a freebie. Otherwise, I’d use other cards like the Sapphire Preferred or the Starwood Preferred Guest card from American Express for everyday spending because those points can be transferred to a number of different partners.


In my most recent monthly valuations, I list United miles at 1.5 cents apiece, so I’d value the sign-up bonus for the Mileageplus Explorer card plus the extra 5,000 miles for adding an authorized user at about $825. If you take just four one-way United flights each year, the free checked bag benefit will save you $100, and I value the two club passes at about $25 each. Thus, you’re getting around $1,000 worth of travel and benefits out of the Mileageplus Explorer just by signing up and meeting the spending requirement.

For those who have had this card previously and are curious about earning the bonus a second time, the card application has this to say:

“”This new cardmember bonus offer is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this consumer credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this consumer credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this consumer credit card within the last 24 months.”

So if you’re not a current cardholder and it has been more than 24 months since you last earned a bonus for this card, then you’re eligible.

It’s unclear how long this offer will be available. If you’re considering signing up, I recommend doing so sooner rather than later.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Adam

    Got something in the mail yesterday with this offer. Said it was available until October 31.

  • Brenton

    I was targeted with something in the mail, and then saw it in mileageplus. Mine is a limited time offer through September 2nd.

  • Ch

    How often can you churn this card?

  • Mike

    I believe it is every 2 years last time I tried.

  • Beth

    How long does one need to wait have to wait after closing their last United 50k card? 18 mo? 24 mo? I closed my last card May ’13

  • ch

    2 years from receiving the bonus or 2 years from closing the card?

  • PR@TPG

    The language in the application states:

    “This new cardmember bonus offer is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this consumer credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this consumer credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this consumer credit card within the last 24 months.”

  • PJ

    If I currently have a no fee chase Mileage Plus card (downgraded before fee came due 4 years ago) will I be eligible to receive bonus offer?

  • On5

    Sshhh….don’t spoil the TPG party! They’re trying to hype cc commissions here people! LIMITED TIME! Won’t last!

  • Sean Hall

    I have the personal already. Would this work for the business?

  • Savvy Consumer

    The 50,000 + 5,000 Miles offer for the United MileagePlus Card is always available if you walk into a Chase branch and apply. If there’s no Chase branch near you, then this offer makes more sense.

  • carmelsown

    I have the CSP now as my only card (clearly I’m a beginner) and I’m loyal to United and Marriott. I value the perks on the chain specific cards (checked bag, lounge passes, free night, 15 nights towards elite) so does it make sense for me to cancel the CSP (especially now that they’re dropping the dividend), sign up for the United and Marriott cards, then just put all my spending on those two?

  • Redpanda

    Ultimately, the CSP still has a higher earn rate than those cards and offers a more flexible alternative in terms of points. I think this flexibility allows for more valuable opportunities when it comes to redemption. For example, I’ve gotten up to 4 cents a point on value on some british airways redemptions. In my opinion, it would make sense to get those cards for their sign up bonuses and secondary perks like free nights/free checked bags, but the CSP is an overall better card to keep because of the incredible value of ultimate rewards points.

  • ferris

    Is an “authorized user” the same as a “cardholder”?

  • carmelsown

    Thank you. Yeah, that’s the way I was leaning. My concern is if i’m only going to fly United and stay Marriott, then I don’t really need that flexibility as much? i cant get 2x on dining via the Marriott card so that’s not an issue though i guess I would miss out on 2x travel. All three are Visa Signatures so that should cover just about every other perk the CSP offers, no?

  • Ling Lin

    I got one too. Thought I was special.

  • Redpanda

    The difference here is the value of the points, I think one united point is worth more than 2 marriott points. So if you don’t have the CSP, you are better off using the united card for dining, although the CSP would earn 2 united miles for dining and travel. Another thing to note is that the true value of the CSP comes from using it in conjunction with the freedom card which can give 5.5x on certain categories like gas/dining and amazon. I would not use the marriott card anywhere else but their hotels because of the low value of marriott points. I don’t think it’s a good idea to transfer to marriott from the CSP either. So you are better off transferring only to united.

  • carmelsown

    That’s a very good point. I hadn’t considered how weak Marriott’s points are, I’ll probably just wind up carrying all three.Thank you for your help!

  • Steve

    The language suggests from the receipt of bonus. I am wondering the same thing, though.

  • Steve

    Here’s a link to better public offer (same as the affiliate link, but with $50 credit after first purchase):

  • On5

    THERE IS A BETTER OFFER — a better offer which includes a $50 statement credit is floating around out there. Bloggers won’t mention it because it doesnt pay them their commission! Do your due diligence people and don’t believe everything you read!

  • carmelsown

    Does anyone know how long it takes to receive your United Club passes after approval?

  • PJ

    NO :) if you are married or have a Significant Other Best is Both of you all apply and put your SO on the application to pick up additional 5K…
    Do I hear another devaluation storm is coming?

  • PJ

    GET ALL OF THEM call 888 245 0625 for help : They just took away my Southwest ( rarely used) and gave me Marriott. They can often just reduce credit on one of your existing cards and make the new card POSSIBLE.

  • PJ

    Marriott’s 70K can not cover 2 nights in high category properties. In my case it can cover 7 nights stay in a suite a few miles away from DC with breakfast included. nice deal to spend 2K to get the card

  • PJ

    I believe it goes with the last lime your bonus was granted. NOT the time you closed your last card. YOU need to cease as a current member first; this worked for my friend to get a new round of Sapphire Preferred.

  • PJ

    I bet you are set unless the bonus wasofferred within the last 24 months maybe from the approval date on the card you cancelled.

  • Redpanda

    After I got approved, it took a week for the card to arrive and two weeks after that for the passes to arrive in the mail

  • Cosomono

    I have a United Explorer Card that was converted from a Continental Master Card. Chase still lists the product as a Continental card in their system, would is till be able to get the bonus since I technically never have had a United card?

  • JD

    Any confirmation on this? I’d like to know as well.

  • AK

    What happens to the annual fee if you cancel the card within a year?

  • nb123

    Hey Guys – with the “first checked bag free”, how does that work on international tickets? Most of the time on international flights you get one checked bag for free already. If you use this card does it mean you get a second checked bag free? or does the benefit really only apply to domestic flights?

  • Brenton

    Strike that, my offer actually from the mail does say October 31st

  • Stvr

    Why no discussion of the better offer? Come on TPG I knew you were a useless stooge but not THIS useless.

  • Ben S

    My favorite perk: United elites that hold this card are eligible for complementary upgrades on award itineraries as if they were revenue fares

  • Norzan

    Hi. For other cards like Ritz-Carlton or Club Carlson Premier Rewards, is the first year annual fee counted as qualified purchase towards new account offer? Thanks

  • Ralph

    Still no acknowledge of the better offer that includes a $50 statement credit? Frankly this proves you don’t care about your readers and it’s all about the bottom line….

  • SantiHolly Speranza

    Thank you TPG…. Another Acceptance in the bag and 55K miles coming my way! :)

  • JM

    So if I received the bonus in Aug of 2012, but closed it in Aug of 2013, I CAN get the bonus?

  • Ryan L

    If I have the United Club card can I still cash in on this offer? It seems like I can due to the “(i) current cardmembers of THIS consumer credit card” part.

  • TheMan876

    Can these points be cashed out?

  • PR@TPG

    Yes, this is a different card product and you should be eligible for the bonus so long as you meet the conditions specified in the offer details.

  • Golden Bear

    This is now false. I walked in last week and they told me that united had pulled all their offers from Chase branches the week before that.

  • akilduff

    i’m seeing different info on the miles expiring aspect. sounds like if i get the card but cancel before the annual fee kicks in after the first year, i lose the miles. so basically it’s an earn and use within one year deal, right?

  • thepointsguy

    You don’t pay it

  • thepointsguy

    The wording is confusing but they do not take back the miles- they’re just saying that if you cancel your card you need to worry about regular expiration because you won’t have the card automatically keeping account active

  • akilduff

    ah, that makes more sense. thank you for clarifying!

  • Nick

    I was wondering: after you spend the $2,000 on the card, how long does it take for your 50k reward miles to appear? And do they appear directly in your United Mileageplus account, or on Chase’s website (then needing to be withdrawn and deposited into your Mileageplus)?

  • Sure

    Checked with United. When you already have a free checked bag, this offer cannot be applied on top of it. That is why they cleverly call it ‘first checked bag’ instead of ‘one checked bag’

  • Gary

    I’m wondering the same thing. I’m planning on spending $2k the first week before the first statement hits. I want to know if I will receive the points right away. Anyone have experience with this?

  • Gary Thompson

    I’m planning on spending $2k the first week before the first statement hits. I want to know if I will receive the points right away or at least on the 1st statement if I meet the $2k requirement. I have a last minute trip I want to use the miles for. Thanks.

  • eye of newt

    How would you use this in conjunction with the bonus miles awarded by Barclays Arrival card? I just applied for that, but found out about the 50,000 bonus miles on Chase Explorer offer expiring tonight (9/2/14).

  • Luke Bornheimer

    I know the 50,000 bonus mile offer expired on 9/2. Does anyone know how you can still get the offer, either via link or in-person somewhere?

  • Earl Laughlin

    I was at the airport in Chicago on Saturday the 13th and they had guys trying to sign people up for 50K also my got an offer in the mail today for 50K

  • Luke Bornheimer

    Great to know—thanks for chiming in, Earl!

  • listen2learn

    Earl, do you think signing up and calling chase to match the 50k offer is plausible?

  • angrycustomer!

    It didn’t work. I just called United credit. I applied for the mileage card in the middle June when they offered 30,000 credit and got a mail from then in Aug saying that if i spend $2000 within before Sep 2nd i could get 50,000 credit. But they said i didn’t apply for the 50,000 promo when I got the mail. So I spent over $2000 before Sep 2nd and couldn’t get the extra 20,000credit. Their promo was very misleading. What a BS company!

  • aircow33

    would like to know, anyone?

  • Sue DeMorris

    Priority boarding, really?? They consider group 3&4 priority ?
    First flights booked with Chase explorer card and this was my seating group.

  • Katelynn
  • Joey

    Does anyone know if the 30,000 points sign-up offer is available to Canadian residents? I can’t find these eligibility details anywhere!. Thanks!

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