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.
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.
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.
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 Card 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:
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