Why Did We Get the 72,500 United Explorer Card? The bonus seems middling in comparison to the recent 110K Aeroplan card, which we also recently got, but as we've often discussed, it's important to diversify frequent flyer miles, given the relatively frequent award chart devaluations.
First, the offer, which we obtained on our most recent United Airlines flight (it's also available online, but without the extra 2500 bonus):
- Earn 60,000 United MileagePlus bonus miles after spending $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- Earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles after spending another $3000, for a total of $6000 within the first 6 months of account opening
- 2500 bonus miles are available when providing a valid promotional code from an application received on a United Airlines flight
- After making the requisite spend to earn the bonus, allow up to 6-8 weeks for the bonus miles to post to your United MileagePlus account
Why We Still Value United Miles
There's no question that there are more attractive award charts than United MileagePlus. For example, Aeroplan charges 60,000 miles each way for SWISS Business Class from JFK to GVA, vs. 73,000 United MileagePlus miles each way, while ANA First Class is 110,000 Aeroplan points if available, while United MileagePlus charges 121,000 points. And if you have Virgin Atlantic miles, ANA First Class is just 55,000 miles each way.
That said, we've found ourselves on quite a few United Airlines Polaris flights when booking flat bed business class to Hawaii and even other nonstop flights where United offers the most convenient option. These flights haven't been at the saver award level, which means they're not available as awards to Aeroplan or any other Star Alliance partner. That means we've been depleting our Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which transfer 1:1 to United MileagePlus. For us, earning additional United miles via a signup bonus makes sense, whereas those who never fly United metal will likely prefer a different credit card signup bonus.
Which frequent flyer miles have you redeemed most, in recent months?
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