I absolutely love to travel. I don’t have enough money to travel as much as I’d like. This means that I have to come up with creative ways to satisfy my wanderlust. One of the strategies that I use is credit card signup bonuses. I recently listed five cards that I planned to get in the next year. I successfully got the Chase Sapphire Reserve card on my second try. The United MileagePlus Explorer card was not one of the cards on this list. However, I got a mailer with an invitation to earn 70,000 bonus miles in one signup bonus.
Since I was pretty sure that I was under the infamous Chase 5/24 rule and I had not applied for any cards since the Sapphire Reserve success, I decided to apply. The screen after the application gave me a pending status. I figured all was lost. It was not, however. I called the reconsideration line and learned that Chase had approved me. The 70,000 is not a public offer, but if you get the mailer, it’s probably worth going after. Additionally, if you’re already a United MilagePlus member, you might be able to get a link by filling out a dummy flight reservation.
Current Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Card Bonus
The current public signup bonus on the United MileagePlus Explorer Card is 50,000 (it’s usually 30,000), and this bonus is good until 7/31/2017. After spending $3,000 over the first three months after approval, you’ll earn the 50,000 bonus miles, plus at least 3,000 miles for meeting the spending requirement. You’ll earn at least one mile per dollar spent. There’s a $95 annual fee that’s not waived, but the miles you’ll earn will more than offset the fee.
Your first checked bag is free on domestic flights with the card. That’s a plus, but I may not even benefit from this. Also, there are no foreign transaction fees. I can earn the bonus partially from spend on my upcoming European vacation to the Czech Republic. I’ll incur no foreign exchange fees on the trip, which is great. Another great benefit is the two United Club passes that the offer provides. I’ve never spent any time in an airport lounge before, but I’m planning to utilize a couple on my upcoming trip to Prague. My United Club passes came in the mail today.
Where Can You Go With the United MileagePlus Explorer Card Bonus?
Obviously, you can go further on the 70,000 miles that I’ll get after meeting the minimum spend than you would on the 50,000- mile public offer. 53,000 miles is nothing to sneeze at, however, and this bonus could get you to some cool places.
The United MileagePlus award chart shows that 50,000 is a great bonus as long as you stick with Saver level awards. This bonus could get you two round-trip tickets within the US (excluding Alaska and Hawaii) and Canada in economy class or one round trip in business class. You could get a round-trip economy ticket to Hawaii (45,000 miles), or a one-way business class seat to the island paradise.
As long as you stay in the Saver-level award category, you can also get one round-trip ticket to Mexico, Central America, or the Caribbean (35,000 miles). A business class seat to the same destinations will set you back 30,000 miles, so you can only get a one-way ticket in business class with the award. Northern South America will set you back 40,000 for a round-trip ticket in economy or 35,000 for a one-way redemption in business class.
Additional Redemption Options With The United MileagePlus Explorer Card
With the current 50,000-mile bonus from the United MileagePlus Explorer Card, you can also snag a one-way economy ticket to these destinations:
- Europe (30,000 miles)
- Middle East (42,500 miles)
- Africa (40,000 miles)
- Southern South America (30,000 miles–spend $2,000 more and you could get a one-way business class ticket for 55,000 miles!)
- North Asia (35,000 miles)
- Central Asia (42,500 miles)
- South Asia (40,000 miles)
- Japan (35,000 miles)
- Oceania (35,000 miles)
- Australia/New Zealand (40,000 miles)
- Here’s an interactive award chart
It’s easy to see that this one signup bonus can get you to just about anywhere in the world that United Airlines or its partners fly. You might have to come up with an alternate way to get back if you don’t have enough Mileage Plus miles, but you could pay for the cheaper leg of such a trip or use another credit card’s program’s points or another airline’s miles. The options are basically only limited by your imagination and creativity. You can sign up for the Chase United MileagePlus Explorer card with this link. Keep in mind that you have to have solid credit to earn approval. Also, you’ll have to get past the Chase 5/24 rule. Do NOT apply if you can’t pay off the bill in full every month.
Where would you like to go with 50,000 United miles? Let me know in the comments.
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