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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.
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NEW INCREASED 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®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- 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, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards