55K United MileagePlus Explorer + $50 Statement Credit Worth It?

50K United MileagePlus Explorer Offer with $50 Statement Credit

 

There's a 55K United MileagePlus Explorer + $50 Statement Credit offer available if you start a United.com booking. While not new, this is better than the 50K public offer available on the Chase Web site, so it bears mentioning for anyone considering the card. Keep in mind that this card is subject to Chase 5/24, more on this below. But first, the offer and how to see it:

  • Earn 50K bonus MileagePlus miles after spending $3000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn 5000 bonus MileagePlus miles after adding an authorized user and making a purchase with the card during the first 3 months (so 55K for the 50K signup bonus plus 5K for authorized user)
  • Priority boarding for cardmember and companions on the same reservation
  • Free first checked bag for the primary cardmember and one companioin traveling on the same reservation on United operated flights when tickets are purchased from United with your United MileagePlus Explorer card and your MileagePlus number is included on the reservation.
  • Earn a $50 statement credit after your first purchase
  • 2 United Club passes each year
  • Earn 2X MileagePlus miles per $1 spent on United Airlines tickets
  • Earn 1 MileagePlus mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • $95 annual fee is NOT waived the first year

To see this offer, start a paid United reservation at United.com. After selecting a flight, you should see the offer on the right of the next screen:

55K United MileagePlus offer with $50 Statement Credit

 

Analysis: is the 50K United MileagePlus Explorer + $50 Statement Credit Worth It?

For those who are eligible for the card, this could be a good offer for the first year, assuming they've already picked up other Chase cards they want, such as the 50K Chase Sapphire Reserve and 80K Ink Business Preferred (recall that Ultimate Rewards points transfer 1:1 to United). With the $50 statement credit, it effectively costs $45 the first year.

You don't have to fly United or want to fly United to make the card worthwhile the first year, when you earn the bonus, since you can use the points towards any Star Alliance award. United MileagePlus awards don't have fuel surcharges, so awards such as SWISS Business Class or Austrian Business Class can be a good use.

Unless you actually fly United, however, or really value the annual 2 United Club passes, it's hard to see the value of keeping the card past the first year. And for anyone with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, that card's 3X is better for all United ticket purchases than the United card's 2X on United tickets, not to mention Ultimate Rewards points are better to have than United miles, given the ability to transfer to other partners such as Korean, Singapore, Air France, British Airways, etc.

 

FAQ

Can I Earn the Bonus If I've Previously Had the United MileagePlus Explorer Card?

You're eligible for the United MileagePlus Explorer 50K bonus if you are not a current cardmember and you have earned a bonus for this card within the last 24 months. Keep in mind that is not the same has not having applied for the card within the past 2 years, since you have up to 3 months to earn the bonus. To be safe, if you're not exactly sure when you received the bonus, be sure you haven't applied for the card within the past 27 months.

 

What is Chase 5/24? 

Chase currently does not approve you for most Chase cards (there are some exceptions such as the British Airways Visa, Hyatt Visa, Marriott Visa, Ritz-Carlton Visa and a few others) if you have opened 5 credit cards of any kind over the past 24 months. This includes credit cards of any kind, not just Chase cards. Key exceptions are most Business cards, except for those from Capital One (which aren't worth getting in any case). If you've been added as an authorized user, that also counts. So consider not adding your spouse or partner as an authorized user, if you want to keep your options open for Chase cards; consider adding your kid instead to earn the extra 5000 MileagePlus miles.

 

Does the Free Checked Bag Apply to United Award Reservations as Well?

Yes, although again, only United flights and only if you use your United MileagePlus Explorer card to pay taxes and fees on the award ticket.

Do you have or plan to get the 55K United MileagePlus Explorer card with a $50 statement credit?

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