At the beginning of the month, United and Chase rolled out some fantastic limited time offers on two of their co-branded credit cards, which are valid through September 30, 2020. I wanted to provide a reminder of this, for anyone who has been considering getting one of these cards.
Let’s take a look at the details of these excellent offers:
United Explorer Card — earn up to 60K miles
The United℠ Explorer Card is offering a limited time welcome bonus of 60,000 MileagePlus miles after spending $3,000 within three months. The card has a $95 annual fee, though it’s waived for the first year.
The perks of the United Explorer Card include:
- A first checked bag free for you and one companion when flying United
- Priority boarding with Group 2 on United flights
- Two United Club passes annually
- 25% back on United inflight purchases of food, drinks, and wifi
- A Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit once every four years
- MileagePlus Premier members with the card can receive upgrades on award tickets, while they’re otherwise only valid on revenue tickets
- Expanded award availability on United flights
- The ability to earn Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) towards status with spending
- Access to Chase Offers, which can save you money on purchases with some retailers
Receive expanded access to award availability with the Explorer Card
United Club Infinite Card — earn up to 100K miles
The United Club℠ Infinite Card is offering a limited time welcome bonus of 100,000 MileagePlus miles after spending $5,000 within three months. The card has a $525 annual fee, and it’s not waived for the first year.
In addition to the overlapping perks with the United Explorer Card, the perks of the United Club Infinite Card include:
- A United Club membership for as long as you have the card
- A first and second checked bag free for you and one companion when flying United
- Premier Access travel services, including priority check-in, security, boarding, and baggage handling
Receive a United Club membership with the Infinite Card
Which of the two cards is better?
The first thing worth noting is that you’re potentially eligible for the bonuses on both of these cards, so if you don’t have either of them, you could earn up to 160K MileagePlus miles. That’s huge, and could earn you a lot of travel.
If you’re trying to decide between the two cards, though, which should you pick? Admittedly travel perks are the primary benefits of these cards, and they may not have as wide appeal as they had in the past right now, given that fewer people are traveling.
Generally speaking, I’d say:
- The United Club℠ Infinite Card is only worth it long-term if you’re a frequent United flyer who values (or would otherwise pay for) United Club access
- The United℠ Explorer Card offers some robust perks given the reasonable annual fee, which is even waived the first year
As a casual United flyer I’d definitely recommend the United Explorer Card, given the value of benefits like a free checked bag, priority boarding, savings on inflight purchases, etc.
That being said, there’s one other potential strategy here:
- The United Club Infinite Card bonus is 40K miles bigger
- You could apply for the United Club Infinite Card, give it a try for a year, and then if after a year you’re not happy with the benefits, you could always downgrade it to the United Explorer Card
I know this isn’t the ideal time to get a card that’s about travel perks, though the reality is that the bonuses on these cards are better than in the past, and the spending requirements are quite reasonable as well.
Earn up to 160K miles with these two offers
Two personal co-branded United and Chase credit cards are offering limited time welcome bonuses through September 30, 2020.
The United℠ Explorer Card is offering up to 60K miles, while the United Club℠ Infinite Card is offering up to 100K miles. While admittedly a lot of the travel benefits aren’t particularly valuable right now, these are among the best bonuses we’ve seen on the cards with reasonable spending requirements.
It could absolutely be worth signing up for one of these cards now so that you can earn rewards for future travel.