Earlier this year, there were some announcements concerning changes coming to the United MileagePlus Explorer card. For starters, they dropped the “MileagePlus” part so we now have the new United Explorer Card.
The New United Explorer Card
Some of the changes were to the price protection and trip interruption coverage that Chase has changed on all of their cards. The single ding on the changes for this card was that they eliminated the 10,000 mile bonus after spending $25,000 in a calendar year.
Back in the day, that was a nice bonus for people that liked to fly United. But with cards like the Chase Freedom Unlimited (that earns 1.5% on everything), really no one should have been putting $25,000 on that card (unless they were trying for the qualifying dollar waiver for elite status). So, that is not a total loss for non-elites.
This is a big loss if you were using the United card to spend $25,000 in a year to get the elite qualifying spend waiver!
Additions to the New United Explorer Card
However, the new changes bring:
- the $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck reimbursement that seems to be on just about every card these days
- 25% off in-flight United purchases
- 2X miles on dining and hotel. Note: If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you should never be putting dining or hotel transactions on the United card!
The New United Explorer Card Bonus
We have seen offers in the past of 75,000 mile bonuses so this is hardly the best ever. But, if you are trying to get United miles in a hurry or you have another reason for getting the card (like the increased award availability only seen by cardholders and elite members), this is a nice offer.
Targeted Offer? You will need to sign-in to your account to see if you have this offer. The accounts I tried all had the 65,000 mile bonus (60,000 miles + 5,000 miles for authorized user) but it may be targeted.
Here are the details for the new United Explorer Card:
- Earn 60,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
- Earn 5,000 bonus miles when you add an authorized user and they make a purchase with the card
- 2X Miles at United, restaurants and hotels (when purchased directly with the hotel)
- Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA Precheck fee credit
- 25% back on United inflight Wi-Fi, food and drinks
- Priority boarding
- 2 United Club passes annually
- Annual fee – $95 (waived for the first year)
- Premier upgrades on award tickets – The primary Cardmember who is also a MileagePlus Premier® member and traveling on an award ticket can take advantage of Complimentary Premier Upgrades on United-operated flights (when available).
- LIMITED-TIME OFFER | Offer ends 7/16/18
- Offer not available if you have this card now and have had the bonus in the last 24 months. Also not available to those under Chase 5/24
I have the United Explorer card and have had it for years. I do not get any personal benefit out of the 2 United Club passes (because I have Star Alliance Gold status which gives me lounge access) but I have kept it for one valuable reason – increased award availability. There are times that I fly United and need to book international awards. The international award space is normally not an issue but finding domestic United awards can be a problem. This card gives me access to seats blocked for only cardmembers or elite members.
This card is also one of the few cards that offers primary rental car insurance. This is helpful if you rent vehicles and do not want to have any accident go to your personal insurance company.
If you have not had this card before, I think getting it at the 65,000 mile level is a pretty good deal. That will give you more than enough for a roundtrip ticket to Europe and almost enough to have roundtrip travel anywhere in the world. It is also almost enough to fly partners like Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, Turkish in business between the US and Europe. Not a bad deal!
Of course, if you do not have an immediate need for United miles or the access to blocked awards, it may pay to wait. We may see targeted 75,000 mile offers back.
But, if you only see the 40,000 mile offer – skip it! It is definitely not worth it!