Best Point Earning Credit Cards

Extracting Value From The United MileagePlus Cards

With Chase beginning to tighten things up a bit for the repeat customer, I thought it may be a good idea to see what kind of value we could get from the Chase cards we already have. With most credit cards, the draw is all about the sign-up bonus – of course! But, with many of those cards, once we meet the minimum spending, the cards are relegated to a nice spot in the sock drawer.

Extracting Value From The United MileagePlus Cards

United MileagePlus

While that is a good place for certain credit cards, there are some cards that we can find extra value in. One of those cards is the Chase United MileagePlus cards. The card is available as both a personal and business card and both cards have seen bonuses at the 50,000 mile amount (that is the new constant for the business version). Obviously, the sign-up bonus is great, but if you are interested in United miles (which is obviously why we got the card in the first place), there is a good reason to make this a permanent resident in your wallet.

In addition to perks like 2 United Club passes on each anniversary and a single checked bag for your trips, there is one additional facet to the card that makes it interesting. It is the spending threshold bonus. After spending $25,000 on the card in a calendar year, you will receive a bonus of 10,000 miles.

United MileagePlus Business Card Link (not a referral link)

United MileagePlus Explorer Card Link (not a referral link)

How To Earn 1.4 Miles For Every $1 Spent

If you spend exactly $25,000 on this card in a calendar year (ending December 31), that means your effective earning on the card is 1.4 United miles per dollar. That is a great spend bonus! The high-fee United Club card (see the cost analysis review on that card here) pays out 1.5 miles on every dollar spent, but if you are spending $25,000 in a year, the United basic cards are definitely the ones that you want to do that on.

Spending $25,000 in a year on a credit card does seem like a lot, but it can be done! Many people do manufactured spending but even if you do not, using the United MileagePlus cards can be a good card for everyday use. It is not the best card to use for categories that offer bonuses – for sure – but if you want to earn United miles and do it simply, this is a great card to use for that.

Who Is This Card Benefit For?

This benefit of earning 10,000 bonus United miles after spending $25,000 in a calendar year is good for people who travel on United. It is also good for people that want to make things simple in their credit card strategy. Of course, there are better cards to use for many categories that can feed into the United MileagePlus program, but if you want to keep it simple, this card is good for you. Being able to earn 1.4 United miles on every $1 (when spending $25,000) makes this is a useful card to pull out of the drawer.

Who Is This Spending Threshold Not For?

If you can play with the categories and bonuses from cards like the Chase Ink Plus then you may be better off earning potential United miles that way. Since you can buy gift cards at office supply stores that you can use for everyday spending, it is a great way to generate points. Another customer that this threshold bonus is not good for is the person who has a very difficult time spending $25,000 in a calendar year. It is easy to buy and sell some things to help get you there, but if you do not want to deal with that, then this card may not be for you.


The miles for the sign-up bonus make the United MileagePlus cards a winner. United and Chase like to advertise that this card can waive your first bag fee as well. That is great, but do not leave an extra 10,000 miles on the table by storing this card away! It is always good to find out how much value you can extract from your current cards and this is one of them.

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • Thanks for the reminder on the 10,000 bonus miles. This card funds a Serve (with Isis), so that is already 18,000 miles/per year (assuming Amex doesn’t kill CC funding). So that means we can get 17,000 miles if I hit exactly $7K more in spend, which is worth it (2.43 miles/dollar)! I keep it for the primary rental CDW, which fortunately (or not!) paid out ~$800 this year!