Chase and United Airlines have just launched a new welcome bonus on the popular United℠ Explorer Business Card, valid through October 10, 2019. While this card has a big welcome bonus, there is also a significant spending requirement that goes along with it. So let’s take a look at the details.
United Explorer Business Card 100K welcome bonus
The $95 annual fee United Explorer Business Card is offering a welcome bonus of up to 100,000 MileagePlus bonus miles. With this bonus you can earn 50,000 bonus miles twice for completing certain spending thresholds:
- Earn 50,000 MileagePlus bonus miles after spending $5,000 within the first three months
- Earn an additional 50,000 MileagePlus bonus miles after spending a total of $25,000 within the first six months
So altogether if you spent $25,000 you’d earn at least 125,000 miles, which is the equivalent of five miles per dollar.
Personally, I value United miles at ~1.4 cents each, so to me those bonus miles are worth $1,400.
In terms of eligibility for the card, this card is subject to 5/24, meaning you typically won’t be approved if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months. Furthermore, the bonus isn’t available to those who currently have the card, or those who have received a bonus on the card in the past 24 months.
Redeem your United miles towards a Polaris ticket
Using United MileagePlus Miles
While United did announce changes to their award pricing as a few months ago, there are still lots of great uses of United miles. While they no longer have award charts, as of now they haven’t changed award pricing on partner airlines, so you can redeem on partner airlines at reasonable costs.
Furthermore, if you can find saver level award space on United in international business class, that can also represent a good deal.
One of the positive aspects of the new program is that a lot of short-haul awards are pricing at lower levels than ever before.
United Explorer Business Card benefits
The United Explorer Business Card offers a variety of perks, including:
- A free first checked bag for the primary cardmember and one companion traveling on the same reservation, when the primary cardmember purchases the ticket with their card; this is up to a $120 value on a roundtrip ticket
- Priority boarding for the primary cardmember and companions on the same reservation
- Two anniversary United Club passes, which will be deposited into your MileagePlus account after opening, and each year for your cardmember anniversary; a day pass usually costs $50, so that’s up to a $100 value
- Premier upgrades on award tickets, as MileagePlus Premier members only receive complimentary upgrades on award tickets if they have a MileagePlus credit card
- Expanded award availability, which gives you access to more Everyday Award level tickets, with no blackout dates
I’d say those are some very well rounded perks. For many, the United Club passes more than justify the annual fee. If you’re an elite member, then the complimentary upgrades on award tickets could be worth quite a bit, while if you’re a non-elite, the first checked bag free and priority boarding are valuable perks.
Two annual United Club passes is a nice perk
United Explorer Business Card bonus categories
In addition to the great perks and welcome bonus, the United Explorer Business Card offers 2x miles per dollar spent on United purchases, as well as 2x miles at restaurants, gas stations, and office supply stores.
While those aren’t the best bonus categories of any cards, they’re pretty good for an airline card.
Earn double miles for United purchases with the card
The United Explorer Business Card has a great new welcome bonus, which many small business owners might find useful. This is an especially good offer if you have a business that spends a decent amount in non-bonused categories, where the incremental spending will really come in handy.
This is a card that can be worth holding onto long term, for the United Club passes, priority boarding, free checked bags, and more. If you don’t yet have this card and are eligible, I’d highly recommend prioritizing it.
For other options, see this post about the best credit cards for earning United miles.