Targeted United 55,000 Mile Card & United Club Card With No Annual Fee

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Chase United Explorer

I first wrote about the Chase United Explorer credit card with 55,000 miles about a year ago.  This is a great deal because you get 50,000 United miles after spending $1,000 within 3 months and another 5,000 miles for adding an authorized user.  And some folks have got a $50 statement credit as well!

You also get 10,000 miles after spending $25,000 within a calendar year which is a lot of spending, so I consider this a card with a 55,000 mile sign-up bonus.

The card also gets you 1 free bag and priority boarding on United flights.

50,000 United miles is enough for 2 domestic coach tickets or a 1-way business class ticket to Europe.

You can usually get approved for a business card from Chase as well,  so you could apply for the Chase Ink Plus or Chase Ink Bold for another 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points, which you can transfer to United miles and use for a return business class ticket to Europe.

If you do apply for a business credit card, see this post on how to fill up the application and this post on how to call the reconsideration department and get approved.

However, not everyone is able to see the 55,000 mile offer in their account, so here are a few different ways to get the offer.

1.   Email.  You may receive the Chase United Explorer 55,000 mile offer via email.  Here’s what my email looked like.

The subject line read “Daraius, earn 50,000 bonus miles and perks like United Club passes.”  You could search your email account for an email from United with those terms (use your name instead of mine!)

2.   Bank Branch.  If you live in a city with a Chase branch, you could just pop into the bank and sign up for the card in the bank branch.  You can search for a Chase branch here.

Thanks to Tesa & sona for commenting on their recent experience getting the 55,000 United Explorer card in a Chase branch.  The offer available in bank branches requires $2,000 in spending (instead of $1,000) within 3 months.

However, if you plan on applying for multiple cards in the same day, it could be better to visit the branch in the morning and apply for your other cards after that so that you can call the reconsideration department to get your other applications approved during business hours.

3.   Targeted Links.   In my earlier post on the Chase United card, I’ve listed different links which get you to the 55,000 mile offer.  But those links are temperamental.  Sometimes they get you to the offer and sometimes they show you the regular 30,000 mile offer.

I wasn’t able to use the links to get to the 55,000 mile offer despite having an email with the offer which was valid until January 15, 2013!

The FlyerTalk thread discussing the offer suggested you may be able to see the offer if you have recent mile-earning activity in your United account.  So I transferred 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to my United account and I was able to see the 55,000 mile offer!

Check out this post for other ways to earn United miles besides flying.

Interestingly, I also got an offer to the United Club card with the $395 annual fee waived for the 1st year!

4.   What Else?   You could apply for the regular 30,000 mile United Explorer and send Chase a secure message asking for the 55,000 mile version along with the $50 statement credit.

Readers have reported success the 55,000 mile version (as has Emily), but your miles may vary.  However, this has worked for the last year, but could end anytime.  So try steps 1 to 3 first!

What If I already have a United Explorer card?

If you have an older United credit card which is not a United Explorer card, you should be able to get the sign-up bonus again.

The terms do state:

“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.”

But Emily, other blog readers, and folks on this Flyer Talk thread have got the bonus again.

Readers have also written in that they were able to get the sign-up bonus on a new Chase United Explorer card despite having a Continental card which was later converted to a United Explorer card, but your experience could be different.

And if you got the United card with a 30,000 mile bonus in the last 3 months it doesn’t hurt sending a secure message to ask to get matched to the 55,000 offer.

United Club Card With No Annual Fee

The United Club card gets you:

  • Access to United & Star Alliance lounges
  • Free Premier Access (priority boarding, security, etc.)
  • Free Hyatt Platinum status (free internet)
  • Earns 1.5 United miles per $1 spent
  • Waives the $75 late ticketing fee on award bookings

However, the card has a high $395 annual fee.  But you can get the fee waived by either going to a Chase branch or sending Chase a secure message before applying for the card and asking if they will waive the annual fee.

But I was also able to see the annual fee waived for the 1st year when I logged into my United account (see #3 above) after recent mile-earning activity (in my case transferring Ultimate Rewards points to United).

I’m not sure if I got lucky, or if this works for everyone who can see the United Explorer with 55,000 miles in their account.

If I had to pick one card between the United Explorer with 55,000 miles or the United Club card with lounge access, but no sign-on bonus, I’d choose the Chase United Explorer card because the sign-up bonus is higher.

But if I was a Big Spender, I’d choose the United Club card because it offers 1.5 miles per $1 spent.

Bottom Line

The Chase United Explorer card with 55,000 miles after spending $1,000 within 3 months is a great way to earn more United miles, and is one of the best offers available.

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153 responses to “Targeted United 55,000 Mile Card & United Club Card With No Annual Fee

  1. @Tammy Horvath @Amy in Ecuador – Thanks!

    @Corey – Yes, you should be able to get the personal card.

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  3. I already have chase freedom, saphaire and ink bold.. If I apply chase united explorer

    A. what are the chances that i will be approved ?
    B. Since i did get signing bonus from other chase card, will i still get that again for chase united explorer ?

  4. @dash – I can’t comment on the chances of getting approved, but they are distinct cards so you should be able to get the bonus.

  5. If I am an authorized user for my wife’s United Explorer card can I:

    a. Apply for a separate card myself and get the 50,000 bonus?
    b. Add my wife as an authorized user on my card to get an additional 5,000 miles?

  6. @Ron: Yes, you can do both. We have done this ourselves.

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  8. I just received this offer in the mail, though it now requires $2000 in purchases in the first 3 months. That will take some effort, unless I get the card quickly enough to buy my next airline tickets. What would be the fastest way to get the card? Going into a bank branch, calling the phone number, or going online?
    Thanks for your help!
    —And just to check- is it true that if you cancel the card at the end of the first year (to avoid paying the annual fee) that you get to keep those 50,000 miles and they would just expire as normal miles do (after 18 months of account non-use)?
    Thank you!

  9. @Liz A – Applying online should be the fastest way. The miles are yours to keep, though you could consider keeping the card if you travel on United a lot to save the checked bag fees.

  10. I applied for the Explorer card with the 30000 mile offer. Received the cards. Than sent message via Chase Online asking for the 50000 offer.
    They said I had an Explorer card in the past and received 50000 in May 2012, therefore I wont get any miles at all.
    I couldn’t find that anywhere on the application stating that this offer applies only to first time new customers.
    Any idea?

    PS: In the past I got the BA Chase card with 100000 avios, than closed card and a year later got another BA Chase card with 50000 avios. No problem here.

  11. @Max – Chase doesn’t let you get the bonus for the same time for a 2nd time.

  12. Just a quick question – can you use the two browser trick to apply for both the personal and business MileagePlus Explorer cards? I got the 50k offer on the United site today, for both. I’m interested in both of them as well as the United Club card, since my offer says the fee would be waived for the first year on that one. Is that too many Chase cards to apply for in a single app-o-rama? Thank you for your advice!

  13. I already have a MileagePlus Explorer card. If I upgrade to a MileagePlus Club card will Iget the fee waived for the first year of my new MP Club card? Thanks.

  14. Hi,

    I applied, and was approved, for the Chase United Explorer card with the offer of 50,000 enrollment miles after $1,000 in purchases within the first three months.
    I have a stupid question: The enrollment miles are transferred to the Cardmember’s account after the closing date on the credit card statement after reaching $1,000 in purchases within the 3-month timeframe and does not require that the $1000 balance be paid in full prior, right?

  15. Hi,

    I just got approved for the Mileage Plus Club Card today, but i’m still seeing the 50k United Explorer card offer showing up on my One Pass account. Can I sign up for the 50k offer too and get both cards? The Mileage Plus Club Card I got has the first year annual fee waiver. On the United Mileage Plus Explorer card I have an offer for basically 55k upon sign up and a $50 statement credit. Can I get that bonus too?

    Thanks for such an awesome site!

  16. If I just signed up for the mileage plus club card ($0 annual fee first year offer), can i still sign up for the United Explorer card and get the 55k bonus? I signed up for the Mileage Plus Club card on 9/12/2013, but the 55k offer is still showing up for the Explorer card.

  17. @jones – That’s correct, though you should pay the balance off in full to avoid interest charges.

    @J Mo @Jade – You’re eligible for the United Explorer card as well since they are separate products.

  18. Hey,
    I have a personal united explorer card. Can i apply for the business united explored card and get the 50 k miles ?


  19. @Raj – That shouldn’t prevent you from the bonus on the business United card.

  20. I remember reading that when spending 25k in a calendar year you also get some PQMs in addition to the 10k bonus points. Is this still the case? I’d love United status from spending alone.

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  22. Hi,

    I recently applied for Chase Sapphire preferred but got rejected with the reason being I don’t have enough gross anual income to qualify for the credit card. I would like to hear your suggestions with regards to re-applying for the Chase Sapphire preferred credit card and/or also applying for the United Mileage Explorer card. It would be great to get the extra 50,000 miles (or more) for that. The rejection letter is dated September 26, 2013.

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  26. If I took the offer and cancelled the card, how long do I have to wait to take the offer again? Or never?

  27. my husband signed up for the mileage plus card with the 50,000 mile offer, in a Chase branch on Thursday, Dec 19. I just want to tell people that it is still available.

  28. I’d like to use my milage plus miles for something other than travel since I fly for free. It doesn’t appear to allow you pay down your account with it, nor am I able to transfer to other awards programs so I can add the points together for my large purchase. It would take forever for me to gain enough points on my own to purchase the product through the awards mall. I would need to purchase half of the product with points and the other half with the credit card which doesn’t appear to be an option. Any ideas on how I can utilize these points that seem trapped in this card?

  29. We have a United Mileage Plus card. We’ve had it for 12 years. Is it possible to upgrade to the Explorer? The proble, with having oth is you pay two annual fees. Thanks for your help!

  30. Would it be possible to get the full sized screen shot you posted of the 55k offer on the United MileagePlus Explorer card? I’m trying to get chase to give me the 55k offer (was accepted early Jan and my bonus just recently posted) but Chase is asking for evidence of the 55k offer I “had applied for”.

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  32. I applied for Explorer card back in December 2013, got approved for the 55k bonus, and just got the bonus credited to my United account. Now I am wondering about upgrading to the United Club card. Would love to know your thoughts on going about doing this or if it’s possible. Thanks!

  33. @Aaron – I don’t have it anymore!

    @Michael – You could call and ask to upgrade, but I don’t know if you will get annual fee waived for the first year.

  34. Are there any reports on the availability of the waived fee offer for the club card?


  35. @Sam Emara – I believe there are a few targeted offers floating around.

  36. I recently responded to a targeted United Club Card offer with the annual fee waived for the first year, and got approved. Can I still get the bonus (whatever is available at the time) if I apply for the United Explorer Card? Thanks

  37. My local branch has the Club Card with the $0 annual fee for the first year. If you want it, just head to your branch. They won’t say what offers they have in branch over the phone

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  39. After receiving a credit card, would I receive the allotted miles/points if I were to charge the initial amount required in another country besides the US. Another words do you receive the miles/points only if you charge for products in US dollars? I live in Mexico year round.

  40. @Lisa – You will get the points based on the conversion to US dollars. So it doesn’t matter where you live, as long as you complete the minimum spending.

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  44. Is the 55k miles offer still running? If yes, should I send them the secure message first or apply for the card first? (I already have a Chase Freedom card, so I have access to the secure message center). I understand that I might have to provide them proof of the promotion, but I’m not sure if the screenshots in this post will work (doesn’t the offer need to have a date?). Please advise.
    PS: I live in VA, and there is no Chase branch in a 150 mile radius!

  45. @Mike-H – It still shows up in my United account! You could apply and then send the secure message, but it isn’t 100% guaranteed that they will match you. Good luck!

  46. I had signed up for a mileageplus chase card last July and received the bonus. So I thought I would apply for a personal card and get another bonus, only I applied for , and received , another business card !! Will I receive a bonus again ?

  47. @jerry – Usually you can get the bonus for 1 personal and 1 business card.

  48. You should be able to apply for the regular version of the card and then send a secure message to get them to match it.

  49. Libby Barland

    Can these points be used for trip to SE Asia? I am new at this.
    Just got my card and wondering if i should get one for my husband.

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  51. Hi Darius;

    Does purchasing a United ticket with the MileagePlus Explorer card lead to 2 miles per dollar spent on the ticket AND miles for the actual distance flown (credited to one’s MileagePlus account)?



  52. For my trip San Francisco to India, the United mileageplus mileage credit did not get processed for the Lufthansa section of flight, but it was processed for the United sections. Has anyone else seen this ?

    I got the following response from Mileage Plus :

    In reviewing your flights from Los Angeles to Frankfurt to Bengaluru with Lufthansa, these flights were purchased on “K” booking classes. Lufthansa does not award MileagePlus® credit for this booking class for flights. We are sorry to disappoint you;MileagePlus credit will not be eligible for these flights.

    Each partner sets the booking classes that will be eligible in the MileagePlus program. These booking classes are subject to change by each partner.

    Please note that the booking class that appears on your passenger receipt or E-Ticket receipt may differ from the booking class that the operating airline uses to determine MileagePlus flight credit.

    All Economy class tickets are identified with the generic letter “Y” on the boarding pass, regardless of the actual booking class of the Economy fare that was purchased. Similarly, the identification letter on boarding passes for Business class is a “C” and First class is an “F”. The letter identifies the cabin of the aircraft in which you are seated.

    For the most current classes of service, please visit United. Under “Earn Award Miles” in the MileagePlus tab, click on “Airline Partners”, then choose the partner airline from the list.

    We realize that this can be very confusing, especially when it comes to earning miles. We hope that we have been able to fully explain your partner credit. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mileage Plus

  53. Hi,
    I got the Chase United Explorer and I spent the 2000$ required to get the 50k bonus miles, I also did a purchase with my additional card so I’m expecting 5k more miles.
    Yesterday my statement closed but I still don’t see the miles transferred to my united account.
    How log will it take, anyone knows?
    Thanks Luca

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