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The United Explorer Card has a 50,000 point signup bonus and it’s available through tomorrow only. (The standard public bonus is just 30,000 miles.)
The spend requirement is just $2000 within 90 days, there’s no fee the first year ($95 thereafter) and the card comes with primary collision damage coverage for rental cars.
You even get an additional 5000 miles for adding an authorized user and making a purchase within the same 90 day period.
Some folks can even get the card with a $50 statement credit — it’s something that Chase is offering through the purchase process of United tickets.
Similar offers that I’ve highlighted in the past have been targeted, but it’s been possible for many to maneuver and get targeted. I posted about those when there was no referral credit, such as as part of my list of top 10 credit card signup offers. Through tomorrow the offer is much easier for many people to get as a public offer.
And some previous United Explorer accountholders are eligible — if you don’t have the card and haven’t gotten a signup bonus for it in the past 24 months.
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
The card is great for the signup bonus. I don’t currently have it, and haven’t gotten the bonus for it in 24 months, so I’m going to sign up for it today.
The card is also great to have for the benefits, especially if you are a semi-regular United flyer who doesn’t fly them enough (or spend enough with them) to earn elite status.
Benefits like having elite status:
- First checked bag free — for the cardholder and a companion on the same reservation.
- Priority boarding — avoid having to gate check your bag.
- Access to last seat availability when redeeming for ‘standard’ (extra miles) awards.
Benefits that improve travel, which elites status doesn’t offer:
- 2 United Club passes each year.
- United elite members become eligible for complimentary upgrades on domestic award tickets.
Other great card benefits:
- No foreign transaction fees
- Primary collision damage coverage on rental cars.
I like this card a lot for the signup, and for the benefits. But I do not love it for ongoing spend.
In fact, for most people who aren’t spending exactly $25,000 on the card and who aren’t doing more than 40% of their spend on travel and dining, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is better even for earning United miles — and of course comes with the flexibility to transfer points to other airline programs (like British Airways, Southwest, Korean, and Singapore) as well as hotel programs.
And Sapphire Preferred also has no foreign transaction fees and primary rental car collision damage.
So – and not at the same time – I think you get the United Explorer for the bonus and benefits, and keep the card for the United flying benefits unless you’re a United elite. And get Sapphire Preferred for the bonus and the value it provides for ongoing spend.
United Explorer Card
Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either.