Limited Time: 50,000 Mile Bonus On United MileagePlus Explorer Card

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Update: These offers are expired. You can find the current offer details here.


For a limited time, Chase is offering an increased sign-up bonus of 50,000 United MileagePlus miles on the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card after spending $3,000 in the first three months. You can also earn an additional 5,000 bonus miles when you add an authorized user and they make a purchase in the first three months. That’s potentially a total of 55,000 MileagePlus miles, which is the best publicly available offer I’ve seen on the card in a long time.

The United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card is also offering 50,000 United MileagePlus miles after spending $2,000 in the the first three months, though there isn’t a bonus for adding authorized users.

I generally prefer Ultimate Rewards Cards

I don’t talk about these cards much, because in most cases the Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardInk Plus® Business Credit Card, or even the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card and Chase Freedom® Card are going to be better options:

  • They consistently have higher sign-up bonuses than what is publicly available for the United Card
  • They offer generous category bonuses on dining, travel, office supply stores, cable, internet, TV, etc.
  • I find the flexibility of Ultimate Rewards points to be incredibly valuable, since you can also transfer those points to Hyatt Gold Passport, Korean Air SkyPass, Singapore KrisFlyer, etc.

However, this is a great card for bolstering your United balances, and particularly for United flyers. Admittedly MileagePlus miles aren’t as valuable as they were pre-devaluation, but there are still some good uses of them.

Earning miles with the MileagePlus Explorer Card

In terms of the points earnings structure, the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card offers:

  • 2x miles per dollar spent on tickets purchased from United
  • 1x mile dollar spent on everything else
  • 10,000 bonus miles after spending $25,000 on the card in a calendar year

That basically means you’re earning 1.4 MileagePlus miles per dollar spent on non-bonused categories for the first $25,000, which is pretty tough to beat.

Earning miles with the MileagePlus Explorer Business Card

In comparison, the United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card offers:

  • 2x miles per dollar spent on tickets purchased from United
  • 2x miles per dollar spent at restaurants, gas stations, and office supply stores
  • 1x mile dollar spent on everything else
  • 10,000 bonus miles after spending $25,000 on the card in a calendar year

So these actually can be a rewarding card for everyday spend, assuming you spend quite a bit in non-bonused categories and spend at least $25,000.

MileagePlus Explorer Card benefits

Both cards also comes with some additional benefits, including:

  • Two United Club passes per year
  • Priority boarding for the card member and passengers on the same reservation
  • Free first checked bag on United operated flights for card member and one companion on the same reservation when purchasing tickets with their United MileagePlus Explorer personal or business Card. See for details.

Benefits for United flyers

There are two main perks that are worth mentioning for people who fly United on a regular basis.

Firstly, by having a co-branded MileagePlus credit card, the Premier Qualifying Dollars requirement for Premier Silver, Premier Gold and Premier Platinum qualification is waived if you spend at least $25,000 on the card in the year. Given you’d also receive the threshold bonus for spending $25,000 on the card, this is a good option for those flyers.

Furthermore, cardholders have “last seat” availability when redeeming miles for standard awards. That’s not something I’d ever recommend doing, but it’s worth mentioning, because nowadays even finding “standard” level availability isn’t a guarantee, particularly on tough routes like premium cabins to Hawaii.

Bottom line

This is a great sign-up bonus, and the card comes with some worthwhile benefits for United flyers. Furthermore, this is a card that it can make sense to put spend on, assuming you spend at least $25,000 on the card per year.


Non-Affiliate Product Disclaimer: The information for the United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card, Ink Plus® Business Credit Card, and Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card have been collected independently by One Mile At A Time. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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  1. Hey Lucky, can we give you money via a tip jar instead of being ripped off? $50 statement credit offer via dummy booking on

  2. Oh yeah, hurry up quick, this is a limited time offer!
    Just like the “store closing, everything must go!” sale down at Roscoe’s Oriental Rugs – the store that has been “going out of business” for the past 3 years.
    This is a standard offer, which comes and goes every month or two. There are better offers out there for this card, which do not enrich dishonest bloggers.

  3. @chris – yes as long as you pay for your award taxes/fees with your Explorer card under T&Cs (#5):
    Primary Cardmembers are eligible to receive applicable standard checked bag(s) free when they use their miles to book award travel on United-operated flights, as long as they pay for their award ticket taxes and service charges with their qualifying Card and include their MileagePlus account number in their reservation.

  4. If you had applied and cancelled the card more than 2 years ago, can I apply and get the bonus miles without issues?

  5. This bonus offer is available to you as long as you have not received a new cardmember bonus for this product in the past 24 months.

  6. Offer has been available for months in some form or another, prominent throughout DEN airport as well when travelling through.

  7. What is the likelihood of getting approved for two chase cards at once? (ie. United personal + United business)? Anyone have experience of getting two chase cards approved on the same day? Just wondering if I should space out the applications (Was approved for Chase IHG reward card back in February this year)

  8. Hi Lucky,

    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

  9. @ Kenny — The miles should post within a few days of the statement closing. I’d give it a few more days.

  10. Hi Lucky, if I closed this card in November 2013, but received the bonus more than 2 years ago, would I be eligible for it again? Or will it look at the close date to determine “2 years” Thanks!

  11. @ Matthew — The terms say the following:
    “This new cardmember bonus offer is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this consumer credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this consumer credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this consumer credit card within the last 24 months”

    Based on my interpretation you should be eligible as long as you got the bonus more than 24 months ago (even if you had the card open more recently).

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