Is a New Chase United MileagePlus Awards Card Coming Soon?

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One of Emily’s oldest credit cards is the Chase United (MileagePlus) Signature card.  This card isn’t worth keeping for the annual fee, but we pay the annual fee to help build her credit history.

New United Awards Card Chase 1

Will There be a Public Offer for the United Awards Card?

Recently, Emily was approved for the United Explorer card – which offers 50,000 United miles after spending $1,000 within 3 months, another 5,000 miles for adding an additional user, and a $50 statement credit.  This is one of the best offers available because that’s just 5,000 short of the 60,000 needed for a round-trip coach trip to Europe or South America or more than enough for a 1-way business class award to Europe or South America.

Our plan was to get the sign-up bonus on the United Explorer card, and to later call Chase and ask them to convert Emily’s older United Signature card to a United Explorer card and keep its older credit history.

This way, Emily would have 2 United Explorer cards.  We could always trade the newer Explorer for another Chase card when we called the reconsideration department next (I don’t really need 2 United Explorer cards, so can I cancel one of them to get approved for the Chase XXX card?)

Upgrading a card usually keeps the older card’s account history and length (which helps your credit score), but we would not have received the sign-up bonus on the United Explorer card if we had just upgraded the United Signature card to the Explorer card.


Yesterday, Emily got a thick envelope in the mail (my favorite kind!) with a United Mileage Plus Awards card.  It turns out that her old United Signature card is being converted to a new United MileagePlus Awards card.

Her old United Signature card (now called United Awards card) now offers priority boarding i.e. being able to board the plane before general boarding starts.

I always thought that the United Signature card would eventually just disappear as United focused on the United Club and United Explorer card.  But it appears that they are introducing a new United Awards card and converting old United Signature cards to United Awards cards.

I went to the Chase website and there was a new tab for the Chase United Awards card.  The information page does not mention a sign-up bonus and there is no “Apply Now” link on the Chase webpage.

Perhaps I’m too optimistic, but I’d expect that eventually we’d see a sign-up bonus for the “new” United Awards card.  Otherwise, why else would Chase and United go through the trouble of re-branding the card and setting up a new tab on the Chase website?

I don’t expect the sign-up bonus to be as generous as the offer on the United Explorer card, because the United Awards card has fewer benefits.  Let’s see what happens!

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44 responses to “Is a New Chase United MileagePlus Awards Card Coming Soon?

  1. One can only hope.

  2. D, is there any way someone would be able to get the signup bonuses for both cards? I.e. signing up for the older card, and then if Chase introduces a “new” United Card, people would be able to sign up for that one as well?

  3. Chase doesn’t have a United card worth putting spending on if one has a Sapphire Preferred. (This is a broad problem with Chase’s co-branded cards.)

    At the moment, as even at the lowest level of United elite, there’s no reason for me to put any spending on the MP Explorer card beyond a first coffee to get the bonus. If I were to get the card, I would bank the miles and put it in the drawer until it was time to cancel. I don’t book many domestic awards, and would be at the same bottom of the pile for upgrades; the first bag is already free.

    Sure, I could get the MP Club Card, and earn 1.5 miles per dollar, but that would require me to spend >$36K just to match the sign-up bonus of the MP Explorer. When other cards have more extensive category bonuses, forget it.

    Lounges are nice, but I try to spend as little time as possible in airports and don’t fly that frequently.

    In short, as an infrequent (silver) United flyer, neither of the Chase United cards appeals to me in a way that would make Chase any money. I hope the new card, if there is one, can be an exception.

    In sum,

  4. {commenting before coffee is hazardous}

    • @Lively – Indeed.

      @Jacob – You can usually get the bonus for each separate card product, so you can get the bonus for the Mileage Plus Explorer and then a “new” version of the United card later on.

      @harvson3 – Good point! If you’re a Big Spender and can spend more than $25K a year, the United Explorer will get you 10K extra miles for an earning rate of 1.4 miles per $1 (up to 25k within a calendar year). But if you spend less than that, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a better choice. However, I don’t think the new “Awards” card will be any different. The AMEX Delta card has the same problem with the American Express Premier Rewards Gold card as well.

  5. CanadianMillionMiler

    @Daraius – The United (MileagePlus) Signature card can be downgraded to the no fee version whereby you get 1 mile/$2 spent and Emily would still be able to keep her old credit history with the downgrade instead of paying for the renewal fee.

  6. After reading this blog post and looking at the Chase website, I am now curious as to just how many Chase United Mileage Plus cards are out there… I say this because we have a United MileagePlus Select card (I don’t know the history of this one since my husband brought it with him when we got married), and it isn’t mentioned on their site at all. I know that it is being actively maintained by Chase, as like Emily we got new cards in the mail about a month ago to replace those issued prior to the merger (there was a big U logo on the front of the card). The Select card has an annual fee of either $79 or $89 (I think) so I tried to cancel it when we got the Explorer card…but we were offered 10k miles to *not* cancel it. Much like you re: your extra Explorer card, I figure the Select card will be a good trade-in card the next time we have to call the reconsideration line (although they haven’t made us cancel any cards yet, just move balances between Chase cards).

  7. I recall a similar landing page like the one above for the United Select card, even before it was eventually replaced with one that had a new graphic on the front. IMO, just because they show card details doesn’t mean they’re going to start issuing new cards under that name. They also show the OnePass Plus and PresidentialPlus cards on that page, too. Out of five card products “advertised,” only two are actually being issued.

  8. If it is a new card altogether, do you think it will offer any different benefits? Is it possible they offer additional benefits on this card?

  9. Hi D. Sorry to post this question here, but was not too sure where to ask it! I saw that you mentioned calling Chase to convert the signature card to explorer. Will this still entitle Emilyto the bonuses (vs submitting a new application)? I am asking because I currently have a Citi Premiere card, and the annual fee is coming up. I am thinking of getting another Citi card. Last time I submitted a citi application, it was denied. I called reconsideration and they closed a different card to give me the card I wanted. Should I do the same thing (submit app, then call in to convert Premier to new card), or can I skip a step and call the reconsideration line directly?

  10. Interesting – my husband is in the same boat with an old United MP card. He was very reluctant to get the new card since he has a large credit limit and extensive history with the old card, and doesn’t want to deal with a wallet full of cards. I managed to sway him with the priority boarding and the first checked bag free – so do you know if the first checked bag free is a bennie of the “new” old card? I can’t get the Chase website to come up right now. He would be over the moon to cancel the Explorer card and keep his older card with new benefits.

  11. Daraius, I am not sure why this card is even there.. When I applied for my United Club card last month, I talked to the representative in detail about the Explorer vs Award card as well as Club vs Presidential Plus card… he himself was amazed at the similarities and said may be some of them will be discontinued as they do not offer any significant difference in perks

    • @SP Ask away anywhere! No, converting doesn’t get Emily the new bonus, which is why she applied for the Explorer separately (to get the bonus) and then converted her old card to the Explorer and will cancel the newer Explorer card later on. I would apply for the Citi card and then cancel another card to get approved for it, or even the cancel the Citi card before applying for the new card since Citi doesn’t have a very strong reconsideration department in my opinion.

      @Susan – He can always upgrade his older United card to the Explorer (he will keep the same account history and card number) and cancel the newer Explorer card (which I’m assuming he got a sign-up bonus for). I don’t believe the United Awards card gives a free bag benefit.

      @Naif – I wonder what will happen to this card as well!

  12. So what’s the over/under on when the “old” card will go away? For those of us without any card is it worth it to apply for the old one in order to eventually get the signup bonus for both cards?

  13. i also got this new Awards card, but when i compare the benefits to the Explorer Card, it looks like they have all the same benefits as the Awards Card and much more. What benefits does the Awards Card have that the Explorer does not have? Why even offer it? My old card had other perks such as I got 5000 EQM awards for spending on, a companion ticket, $2 per $1 spend on, etc… If feel like i got significantly downgraded…

    • @Matt – You can’t apply for the old United Signature or Awards card. But the Explorer card has a nice 55K sign up bonus now which shouldn’t prevent you from the sign-up bonus on another United card (non-Explorer) later on.

      @EW – The Explorer card has better perks than the Awards card. I’m thinking the Awards card will an entry level card while the Explorer will be a mid-range card, and the Club card will the the premium card.

      – I agree, but too bad there is a cap on the Freedom’s 5% category bonuses. But it is one of the few category bonus cards which I think make sense for lots of people.

  14. As far as I’m concerned, the Chase Freedom is the go to card for 99% of spending. Then use the Sapphire Preferred to convert those points to United miles. I do have a MileagePlus Explorer card that I do plan on keeping. The $50 in savings for no baggage per trip is worth it as are the 2 lounge passes. I only fly 2-3 times a year.

    You also get bonuses with the MileagePlus Explorer card every so often. This summer, it was 1.5 points/dollar for a few months. And I just got an email offer for 4000 United miles for signing up for Netflix with the card.

    The MileagePlus “Club” card doesn’t make sense for me no matter how much I want it to. The 1.5x points of the Club card can be achieved with the (no annual fee) Chase Freedom card every time you buy something that is $25. If you buy something for less than $25, you get even more than 1.5x points. Now if I were a constant flyer, flying for my job. Then I could see the Club card for the lounge access. But for casual flyers like myself, stick with the Freedom + Sapphire Preferred.

    (The above is assuming you have a Chase checking account + Freedom credit card)

  15. Hey Daraius,
    Forget paying the annual fee for the credit history. What card have you had the longest? Add her directly to that account, putting her social security on the card and making it a joint account; not the BS of making her an authorized user. Authorized user is only good for two things: 1. earn more miles/points, 2. convenience of keeping charges on certain cards. This of course has the risks that if you charge and don’t pay then she is directly liable. Of course all of the legal jargon doesn’t matter if you pay the card each month, especially if you pay it in full, as you indicate through your posting. And any legal advice should be directed to those

    My wife came to the US in the mid 2000’s and has credit history predating her arrival, ss, etc… It takes a few months for it to start showing up, but instantly there should be a boost to the credit history and score.

    United used to have a no fee ‘college’ version. I keep that open mainly for the credit history length.


  16. I just got the new card too. Question: the United Signature card used to give 5,000 EQM for spending a certain amount in a year ($35,000), I believe. Do you know if the new card does the same? I also used to gibe discounted vouchers. Does the new keeps all the old bennies?

  17. I just got this in the mail today as a replacement for my old Mileage Plus card, which was pretty basic but had no annual fee. Then Chase took over and eventually imposed a $65, but the product remained the same. Now they’ve “upgraded” to this new card, with the same annual fee. I dont want to pay this fee, but its by far my oldest card. Any ideas for how I could negotiate to waive the annual fee? I also just got the Mileage Plus Explorer card and they bumped me yesterday to the 65k offer upon my request.

    • @Azriel – You can call and ask if they will remove the annual fee. If not, you can wait until the miles from the Explorer post and then ask Chase to upgrade your older card to an Explorer and cancel the newer Explorer card (assuming you want to keep 1 Explorer card).

  18. So I got my new version of Mileage Plus, now Mileage Plus Awards card, in the mail yesterday. They changed my first name on the card from “Daniel” to “.aniel” emphis IS on the period. Not sure what the hell caused that to happen. So i got to reading and realized I opened this card 3 years ago for the miles, and havent really used it much and i think I just used those bonus miles for a one way ticket last week. So I took your advice and got approved for the Mileage Plus Explorer. I’m expecting to get the 50K miles, enough to get me to lisbon next year to see my sister.

    I’m thinking I may downgrade this old card to a non-annual fee since it has 3 years of credit history on it, or maybe call in to cancel it and see if they cough up 10K miles not to. Any suggestions welcomed.

  19. Hi Daraius,

    A data point for you and your readers. I have had the MileagePlus Select for 3 years now and was worried that it may get replaced with the MileagePlus Explorer. I also wanted to take advantage of the 65,000 offer for the Explorer card that I was still able to bring up after logging in to my mileage plus account. I applied last week and was not automatically approved. I called the reconsideration line (following your game plan) and after some additional preliminary questions the Chase rep approved me MileagePlus Explorer and confirmed the 50,000 after the first $1,000 spend and waiver of membership fee the first year. So I have both United products and didn’t have to move credit around or close one account. 🙂 I plan on applying for the Explorer Business as well, but I am not sure if Chase combines personal and business when assessing the max credit they will allow on an account. Should I wait to apply for the business Explorer in your opinion? Love your blog.

    • @Chad – Thanks for sharing! Chase does look at your business and personal lines together when granting new credit, but you may be able to reallocate to get approved. However, the business Explorer version doesn’t offer a 50K sign-up bonus. If you do decide to apply for it, you *could* ask for a match to the 55K offer, but not sure if you will get matched. If you’re looking for more United points, you could also get the Sapphire Preferred for 40K and the Ink Bold/Plus for 50K and transfer them to United.

  20. Hi Daraius,

    Good points.. thanks for your advice. I might as well go for the Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus as my next card to play it safe. Thanks again.

  21. The Chase site says the bonus is 30,000 miles (not 50 or 60 or whatever folks have been saying here – perhaps they changed it?).

    It also says that current owners of Mileage Plus Visas of any sort are NOT ELIGIBLE for the bonus. Folks above have said they have gotten the bonus despite this – how is this possible?

    Here’s the policy quote:

    “This bonus offer is valid only for first-time United MileagePlus Visa cardmembers with new accounts. Previous and existing United MileagePlus Visa cardmembers/accounts are not eligible for this bonus offer. ”

    – Tim

    • @Tim – The official offer is for 30/40K, but there is a targeted offer for 55K which works. You can apply for the regular offer and then send Chase a message asking to be matched to the better offer. The way it works with Chase is that you usually will get the bonus if you apply for a different card product – for example United MileagePlus Explorer vs. say the earlier United Mileage Plus Red Carpet club card.

  22. Thanks for the further info – I have the (supposedly now discontinued) MileagePlus Awards Signature card. Do you think I could switch to the MileagePlus Explorer? Seems the MileagePlus Explorer is a better deal anyway?

    – Tim

    • @Tim – If you switch, you won’t get the sign-up bonus. But you could reapply and get the sign up bonus on the Explorer. If you can’t get the targeted offer, you can apply for the regular offer and then ask to be matched to the higher offer. It does get you priority boarding and 1 free bag as well.

  23. Thanks again! One last question – what’s the difference between “switching” and “reapplying”?

    By “switching”, I meant I’d sign up for the Explorer card, keep my old MileagePlus Awards card, once I get the new Explorer card and the signup-bonus, I’d dump the old Awards card.

    ‘zat work? 🙂

    – Tim

    • @Tim – The way you define switching is how I define reapplying so you should be fine. Some folks “upgrade” or “switch” their existing card to a newer version, but you don’t usually get the sign up bonus that way. If your old Award card has been around for a long time, you could apply for the Explorer and get the bonus, then call the number on the back of the Awards card to upgrade it to the Explorer and then cancel the new Explorer card the next time you apply for a Chase card. That way, you save the account history on your old Awards card.

  24. Interesting way around it – I’ll give it a try – thanks!

    – Tim

  25. By the way – still don’t see the 50,000 point sign-up bonus.
    Even links posted a few days ago that say “go here to get it”:

    … when you navigate there, the website switches to the 30,000 point bonus page. Try it yourself.

    Can you point me to a page that says there is a 50,000 bonus? I never received such an offer, so I don’t know how I could convince Chase to honor it.

    – Tim

  26. If you sign up for the Business version of the Club Card, will each of the additional cards you order for your employees link to individual MP#’s or do all the miles racked up on all cards link to one MP#

  27. Has anyone been able to cancel the old card, and re-apply and again get the 50k offer going

  28. Hey D! I may of missed it, but there was no mentioning of an Annual Fee for the MileagePlus Awards card. I know we can’t apply for it, but if it has no AF, then downgrading from the Explorer to the Awards would be nice once I hit UA Silver or UA Gold (if one is elite, I don’t see a reason to keep the Explorer card unless I spend the $25K for 10K bonus miles). I am a big fan of downgrading/upgrading because then I won’t have to reapply and get a hard pull next year. I try to be hard pull-free year in, year out.

    Another question, is it possible to downgrade the MileagePlus Club Card to the Awards Card? Thanks D.

  29. My MPAwards card used to be a College Plus Visa and still earns at $2 per 1 point and no annual fee.
    Does anyone have recent experience on downgrading an annual fee MPAwards card to the no-annual fee version?

  30. Pingback: Can I Transfer United Miles To Another Airline? - Points of the Matter

  31. Will Chase approve anyone for a United Mileage Plus credit card if they have a bankruptcy on their credit report (2 yrs old)?