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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – United MileagePlus Explorer Card
Now could be a great time to sign up for the United MileagePlus Explorer Card or the United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card if you’re hoping to boost your United account balance for an upcoming award booking. Both cards are currently offering elevated sign-up bonuses of 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. Even better, some cardholders are being targeted for 70,000-mile offers, just like we saw in June.
The standard sign-up offer for these co-branded cards is 30,000 miles after you spend $1,000 in the first three months, so the current bonus is a significant step up. You have to spend $2,000 more in the first three months to earn the miles, but that’s still a relatively reasonable spending requirement — especially with Tax Day not too far away.
TPG values United miles at 1.4 cents apiece, so this 50,000-mile sign-up bonus gets you $700 in value. Of course, the actual value depends on how you redeem them, and you have a variety of options using this one bonus alone. For example, with 50,000 miles, you could book a round-trip domestic flight in first class at the Saver level, two domestic Saver round-trips in economy or a one-way Saver flight in the main cabin from the US to Europe.
Beyond the 50,000 miles you’ll earn for meeting the minimum spending requirement, these cards could be worth having thanks to the perks they extend to you when you’re flying United. With both the MileagePlus Explorer Card and the MileagePlus Explorer Business Card, you’ll get a free first checked bag, priority boarding and two United Club passes per cardmembership year.
You’ll also earn 2 miles per dollar spent on tickets purchased from United, and you won’t ever have to pay foreign transaction fees. Both cards have a $95 annual fee — it appears to be waived the first year with the business card’s current offer, but not for the personal card. And with the personal card, you can earn 5,000 bonus miles when you add an authorized user and they make a purchase in the first three months. Additionally, both cards offer a Premier-Qualifying Dollar (PQD) waiver, plus 10,000 bonus miles, when you spend $25,000 or more on the card each calendar year.
We saw similar bonuses on these cards last summer, but if you missed out then and are looking to jump-start your award travel on United or other Star Alliance carriers, now could be a great time to sign up for either, or both, of these cards.
How would you use 50,000 United miles?
The information for the United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card has been collected independently by ThePointsGuy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
This cash back card has a focus on dining and entertainment where you can earn unlimited 4% cash back in those spending categories. You can also earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
- Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
- No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
- No foreign transaction fees
- Access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 after that