There are two great offers out (one public and one targeted) for the United MileagePlus Explorer Card. These offers can be accessed by using the link below or by going through a “dummy booking.” A dummy booking is when you go through all the different steps online to make a booking except for the final step which would be actually buying the ticket. It’s often the case that credit card offers will appear when you get close to checking out and this is one of those times. In fact, if you go the dummy booking route or use a link below, you might be able to get one of these offers and an additional $50 credit on top off that!
Update: Some offers are no longer available — click here for the latest deals!
There’s a public offer out for the United Explorer Card for 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 (some also recently received the offer for only $2,000 in spend and I’ve seen this offer for as low as $1,000 in spend). You also earn an additional 5,000 miles when you add authorized user and make a purchase for a total of 55,000 miles.
The standard public offer is 30,000 miles with a lower spend of $1,000 or $2,000 but with the waived annual fee. This offer does not come with annual fee waived but if you’re willing to apply for the small business card version, you can get the annual fee waived!
I think the 50,000 mile offer is a decent deal worth considering, but the annual fee kills a bit of my excitement for the offer since there have been offers with annual fees waived in the past. Even just recently, there were 50,000 mile offers for $2,000 spend an no annual fee. Because of that, I’d look into the no annual fee business version or try my luck with the 70K offer below that might make paying the annual fee more worth it.
Remember this card is subject to 5/24. If you are over 5/24, then consider going in-branch and seeing if you have a pre-approval for this card. If you do, you might be able to get around 5/24 and get approved for this card.
There are also targeted offers going out for 70,000 miles after spending $3,000!
With this offer, you also get the additional 5,000 miles after you add an authorized user and make a purchase. To see if you’re targeted log in using this link and see what appears. You may also try to go through the process of a “dummy booking” to see if an ad for the offer shows up or try this link here to see if you can access the offer with a $50 statement credit.
I actually received this 70K targeted offer as pictured below but since I am well above 5/24 I will not be applying. Otherwise, I’d definitely consider applying for it since it is one of the best offers for this card ever available.
Although the annual fee is not waived for this offer either, it might be worth it for many since that’s a lot of miles. For example, if you were to combine this offer with a 50K offer for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’d have more than enough United miles to get you roundtrip in business class to Europe! For just two cards and only one $95 annual fee (with a possibility of a $50 statement credit), that’s a steal!
Getting the 70K offer with no annual fee
You might be able to get around the $95 annual fee if you applied for a lower offer already without an annual fee. You can do this by sending a secured message or by calling Chase to try to get matched to the 70,000 mile offer. People have had mixed with success with this, so YMMV.
If you’re not familiar with the perks of the United MileagePlus Explorer Card, it offers a host of solid benefits for a co-branded airline card that only has an annual fee of $95. Here’s a rundown of some of the major benefits:
Annual Spend Bonus
- The Explorer card allows you to earn an additional 10,000 miles so long as you spend $25,000 in a calendar year
- Earn two miles for each $1 spent on tickets purchased from United and 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases. Your miles don’t expire as long as your credit card account is open, with no limit to the number of miles you can earn.
Priority boarding privileges
- Primary cardmembers and their companions traveling on the same reservation can board United-operated flights prior to general boarding. To receive priority boarding, just add your MileagePlus number to your reservation.
- The primary cardholder who is also a Mileage Plus Premier member traveling on an award ticket will be eligible for Complimentary Premier Upgrades on eligible United and Copa operated flights. (You have to be a Premier member for this benefit, but it’s something to be aware of.)
- Two lounge passes every anniversary year that are good for at least one year (mine were good for 1.5 year from my application date). This is a $100 value as a one-time pass for one person will cost you $50. Expect to wait about 3-6 weeks for your lounge passes to arrive.
Free Checked Bag
- The primary cardmember and one companion traveling on the same reservation will each receive their first standard checked bag free — calculated as a $25 value for the first checked bag, each way, per person — on United-operated flights when purchasing tickets with their United MileagePlus Explorer card.
- This is great because unlike some other airlines this benefit works for both domestic and international flights. Also, even if you are booking an award flight you can still get this benefit so long as you use your Explorer card to pay for the fees and taxes associated with your purchase.
Use miles for any seat, any time, on any United flight
- Primary cardmembers can use their miles to book any available seat, any time on any United-operated flight when they redeem miles at the MileagePlus Standard Award level. No limitations, no restrictions and no blackout dates on available seats if you provide your MileagePlus number before starting the award booking process. This obviously means spending more miles for your trips but the increased availability is definitely something that can come in handy at times.
- Having this card also often provides you with additional award space so you might be able to find more open award seats on United than someone who doesn’t have this card. This is one of the biggest benefits (and not publicly stated) to this card to people who frequently use awards on United.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
- Baggage delay insurance – reimbursement for up to essentials for up to $100 a day for 3 days
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement – up to $3,000 per passenger for lost or damages bags.
- Trip delay reimbursement – up to $500 per ticket for delays more than 12 hours
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance – up to $10,000 for pre-paid, non-refundable purchases
- Travel accident insurance – up to $500,000
- PRIMARY rental car insurance
- Covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.
- Extends the time period of the U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year, on eligible warranties of three years or less.
- If a card purchase you made in the U.S. is advertised for less in print or online within 90 days, you can be reimbursed the difference up to $500 per item, $2,500 per year.
- You can be reimbursed for eligible items that the store won’t take back within 90 days of purchase, up to $500 per item, $1,000 per year.
For the person under 5/24 these are two great offers that are worth jumping on. Hopefully, you can get targeted for the 70K offer but even if you can’t, a 50K offer with no annual the first year is definitely still a great deal to take advantage of.
H/T to Reddit Churning.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, and CNBC. Read my bio.