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50,000 Miles with United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card

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Chase has relaunched the United MileagePlus Explorer Business card, (by following this link) with a sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles after you spend $2,000 in the first three months of account opening. Normally the bonus on this card is only 30,000 miles, but this new offer now puts it in line with other co-branded airline business cards such as the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard. As with the previous offer, the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.

If you qualify for a business credit card, you can access this 50,000 point offer, by following this link to the United Explorer consumer application and clicking the link at the top of the page that says ‘Are You a Business Owner’. Note that this is a business-only offer, so you will need to specify your business details when filling out the application.

Key Benefits

Unlike many airline credit cards, the MileagePlus Explorer Business card earns bonus miles in categories other than direct spending with the airline. You’ll earn 2x MileagePlus miles for each $1 spent at restaurants, gas stations, and office supply stores (as well as 2x miles for each $1 spent on tickets purchased from United). You’ll earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. Apart from the sign-up bonus, you can earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles when you spend at least $25,000 on the card in a calendar year.

This card can improve your travel experience as well, offering priority boarding (for you and companions traveling on the same reservation), a free first checked bag on United operated flights (for you and one companion on the same reservation when you use your Explorer card to purchase tickets), and two United Club passes annually.

United-Airlines
Get priority boarding, a free checked bag, and two United Club passes annually.

In my most recent monthly valuations, I list United miles at 1.5 cents apiece, so I would value the sign-up bonus at $750. If you check a bag on 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. If you were to meet the $25,000 annual spending requirement, you’d earn an extra 10,000 miles (worth $150), though I might recommend putting that spending on a different card. All told, I think you’ll reasonably get at least $1,000 in value from this card in the first year.

United Airlines Club lounge
United Airlines Club lounge

If you consistently spend a lot at restaurants, gas stations, and office supply stores, or if you fly United often, this card is a good option. Personally, I’d stick with the Chase Sapphire Preferred for 2x Ultimate Rewards points on my dining expenses, and the Chase Ink Plus for 5x points on office supplies, but those cards won’t offer you the same flight benefits. First checked bags cost $25, so if you do fly United frequently, the United MileagePlus Explorer Business card can provide a ton of value.

While the MileagePlus program has undergone a lot of changes in the last year or so (many of them negative), there’s still plenty of value to be found on the United award chart. Check out these posts for ideas, and for more details on the program in general:

  • Using the United Explorer Bonus in a Post-Devaluation World
  • What is United Airlines Premier Elite Status Worth?
  • United Partner Awards Pricing at Lower Levels on Some Routes
  • Overview of United Airlines Award Routing Rules

    Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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    • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
    • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
    • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
    • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
    • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
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    Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
    N/A 16.24%-23.24% Variable Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95 0% Excellent Credit