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The United MileagePlus Explorer Card is a great card to apply for if you think you are going to be flying United Airlines. The standard sign-up bonus allows you to earn 30,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. That offer isn’t horrible but there’s a much better offer where you can earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000-$3,000 in the first 3 months your account is open, plus another 5,000 for adding an authorized user.
The only issue is that sometimes you’ve got to do a little bit of work to find this offer (or to have the offer find you). So here’s how you can try to increase your odds of getting the 50,000 United MileagePlus Explorer Card offer.
Sign up for a MileagePlus Account
If you have not done so, you need sign up for a MileagePlus account! Typically, after you sign-up, you will receive either an email or letter in the mail (or both) containing the 50,000 promotion. Sometimes it can take up to two months for the offer to arrive so try to be patient. Unfortunately, not everyone will receive this offer and there’s no way of knowing if you will receive it or not so it’s a bit of a guessing game.
Check the United website for ads
If you don’t ever receive on in the mail or email, then try logging into United Airline’s website and go through the process of planning an online booking. At each different step in the process, check to see if an advertisement pops up for the 50,000 United MileagePlus Explorer Card offer. This is how Brad first received his targeted offer and it showed up about two weeks after he joined MileagePlus. On the other hand, this advertisement never showed up for me and I had to wait about 1.5 months for my targeted offer to arrive in the mail.
Buy something through the United MileagePlus Shopping Portal
One method that people have had success with is purchasing an item through the MileagePlus Shopping portal. It seems that a few weeks after making a purchase through the shopping portal many people received the 50,000 offer so it might be a good idea to go ahead and make a purchase through the portal as soon as you can if you really want this offer.
Make a purchase on the MPX App
A similar tactic is to make a purchase on the United MPX App. The app is a great tool for earning United miles on purchases from different retailers and restaurants, often earning you 2-5 miles per dollar spent. Reports from Reddit showed that some may have been issued the promotional offer right after making a purchase on the app.
In light of the above, it might even be worth it to sign-up for the dining rewards and eat out at a restaurant to see if that has any effect. It may not have any effect but I don’t see how it could hurt.
Call and talk (beg) to Chase
If all else fails, you can try calling into Chase and requesting to be matched to the 50,000 offer after you have signed up for the 30,000 offer. I know some have had success with getting the 50,000 miles, despite never having received the 50,000 offer in any form. At the same time, I’ve seen reports where others were denied due to the fact that they weren’t targeted. Thus, your mileage will vary on this, but if you’ve tried everything else then you might as well give it a shot.
And if you happen to receive the 50,000 miles offer after getting approved for the 30,000 offer, Chase will almost always honor the higher offer so long as you contact them within 90 days of opening up your account.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.