United Explorer Credit Card Offering 55,000 Bonus Miles

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The United Explorer Card now comes with 50,000 bonus miles after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first three months the account is open. Plus you get 5,000 bonus miles for adding an authorized user on the application. (The AU’s card comes to you, and you don’t have to input a social security number or make a purchase with the card to get the 5k extra miles.)

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This limited time offer ends June 2, 2015. The is a huge increase on the previous sign up bonus of 30,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first three months.

The card also comes with priority boarding, a free checked bag, two United Club passes per year, and extra award space for cardholders.

Quick Facts

  • Sign Up Bonus: 50,000 MileagePlus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months + 5,000 more miles for adding an authorized user
  • Category Bonuses: 2x on United flights
  • Lounge access: two United Club passes per year
  • Benefits while flying United: free checked bag and priority boarding
  • Global Acceptance: Chip technology and no foreign transaction fees
  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year and $95 thereafter

Sign Up Bonus

The headline sign up bonus is 50,000 United miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the card.

Do not miss the chance to get 5,000 extra miles for adding an authorized user. You are sent the extra card, and you can cut it up if you want. The person you make an authorized user is still eligible to open the United card for himself for 50,000 bonus miles.

Category Bonus

  • Earn 2x miles on United flights

Lounge Access

Get two United Club one-day passes per year. These normally cost $50 each to purchase.

Chip and No Foreign Transaction Fees

The United card has a chip for global acceptance, and there are no foreign transaction fees when using the card.

Priority Boarding and a Free Checked Bag

The United card comes with early boarding on United flights, so you will get overhead space for your carry on. Nothing annoys me more than having to gate-check a carry on, so that I am delayed 20 minutes on arrival to collect my bag.

However, if you want to check a bag, you and your companion will get a free checked bag if you use your United card to book a United flight. That’s $25 per person per direction in saved bag fees.

The Card’s Biggest Secret Benefit: Extra Award Space

The card proudly advertises that cardholders get last-seat availability for Standard awards. That means if you are willing to pay twice the price of a Saver award, you can barge onto any flight. This benefit isn’t a big deal to me because Standard awards cost a lot of miles.

Far more important is the secret benefit that Chase and United don’t mention. United Explorer cardholders get extra Saver economy award space on United flights that is normally set aside only for United elites. I wrote about this secret benefit here. If you use this extra Saver award space even once, you way more than pay the annual fee.

Annual Fee

The annual fee is $0 for the first year and $95 thereafter. If you cancel the United card to avoid an annual fee, your miles are unaffected. They expire after 18 months of no earning or spending activity in your United account.

Bottom Line

The United card joins the growing ranks of 50,000 mile limited time offers. Also check out the AA personal and business cards, the Citi ThankYou Premier, and Citi Prestige. We’re living in an amazing time to get free travel just from signing up for a credit card.


Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

The comments section below is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all questions are answered.

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5 COMMENTS

    • You can only get this bonus if you’re 24 months since your last bonus on the Chase United Explorer card.

  1. There is also a better offer for 50K miles and additional $50 statement credit. The link for this better offer appears when you login to united and try to book any airfare. DOC has screenshot of how it looks.

    • Thank you for the tip, MilesCollector! Glad I scrolled down and checked the comments before pressing ‘send’ on my application!

  2. How long does it take for miles to post in your account after the CC statement ends? My gf got this card, and statement closed 2 days ago, and we are waiting on this bonus so we can book award flights. On her Chase account, it says that the miles were credited 2 days ago, but her United account is not showing them.I thought that normally it’s a 1-2 day process?

    Super-annoying, as we’d like to book the flights before availability dwindles away

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