When Should I Apply for the United MileagePlus Explorer?
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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – United MileagePlus Explorer Card
TPG reader Jason tweeted me to ask
@thepointsguy – “Is it worth signing up for the United MileagePlus Explorer card now?”
Right now the United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase is offering a sign-up bonus of 30,000 miles after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. My advice is not to sign up for the card just yet, because it’s possible (or even likely) that you could get a better deal. Chase sometimes offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles for this card, and often targets individuals for that same larger bonus (this happened to me when I was a United MileagePlus elite member).
Also, you may be able to find a better offer when booking airfare through the website, because United sometimes presents deals to those purchasing airfare or checking out. The 30,000 mile bonus is respectable, but I would hold off in hopes of a better offer.
If you happen to have a small business, the United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card currently offers a 50,000 mile bonus after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, so you could apply for that card now and then wait for a better bonus from the personal card.
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.