Earn 50k Miles With the United MileagePlus Explorer Card

Feb 9, 2018

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If you need to boost your United MileagePlus account, now’s an optimal time to add this card to your wallet. The United MileagePlus Explorer Card was most recently offering a sign-up bonus of 40,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first three months, but it’s just increased the offer to 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months. The Explorer Card has a $95 annual fee that’s waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.

According to our most recent point valuations, United miles are worth 1.4 cents apiece, which makes the new 50,000-mile offer worth $700, $140 more than the previous 40k bonus. 50,000 miles can get you a round-trip domestic flight in the business-class cabin, a round-trip economy flight to Hawaii or even a one-way economy flight to Japan, among many other redemptions.

In addition to netting you a nice sum of miles from the sign-up offer, the Explorer Card gets you 2x miles on United purchases (equal to a 2.8% return on this spending based on our valuations) and 1 mile per dollar on everything else. You also get flight-related perks on United, such as priority boarding and a free checked bag for you and one companion on the same reservation. As a cardholder with elite status, you’ll be eligible for upgrades on award tickets, and you’ll have access to more award flights than non-cardholders. Another nice benefit: Each year you’ll receive two United Club passes.

This card could make sense for you if you’re short on United miles for an upcoming award trip on UA or Star Alliance metal — especially now that it’s offering an elevated sign-up bonus. It can also come in handy if you’re hoping to earn United elite status, since spending $25,000 on United cards in a calendar year waives the Premier Qualifying Dollar (PQD) requirement (except for United 1K status). If you spend $25,000 in a calendar year on the Explorer Card, you’ll also earn 10,000 bonus miles, which would get you another $140 in value.

Feature photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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