Chase United Airlines Explorer Sign-Up Bonus Increased to 50,000 Miles

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For a limited time, Chase has increased the sign-up bonus on the United Explorer card to 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the 1st 3 months.

And you’ll get an additional 5,000 miles if you add an authorized user and make a purchase within the 1st 3 months.

Normally, the public sign-up bonus on this card is 30,000 miles, although folks in the past have been able to get targeted offers for higher bonuses.


Earn 50,000 United Airlines Miles With the Chase United Explorer Card!

Is This a Good Deal?

Link:   Chase United MileagePlus® Explorer Card

Link:   My Review of the Chase United Explorer Card

Usually, the sign-up bonus on this card is 30,000 miles.  So 50,000 miles is a good deal, if you haven’t been able to get an increased targeted offer in the past!

Some folks have been able to get the 50,000 mile offer by applying at a Chase branch, but not everyone has a branch nearby!

With this card, you get:

  • 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the 1st 3 months
  • 2 miles per $1 you spend on United Airlines
  • 1 mile per $1 you spend on everything else
  • 5,000 miles when you add an authorized user
  • Free 1st checked bag saves up to $100 per round-trip
  • Priority boarding
  • 2 United Club lounge passes per year
  • 10,000 bonus United Airlines miles when you spend more than $25,000 on the card each year
  • $95 annual fee
  • No foreign currency fees

I Think “Yay, More Miles!” Every Time I Buy Something Too! 🙂

I like this card because you get a free checked bag, priority boarding, and 2 lounge passes each year (worth $50 each).  That’s a great deal for a card with the annual fee waived for the 1st year!

If you travel overseas, this is a good card to use because it doesn’t charge foreign currency fees.

If you’re a Big Spender, you’ll get 10,000 bonus miles after spending $25,000 in 1 year, or a total of 35,000 miles for spending $25,000.  That’s like getting 1.4 miles for every $1 you spend (35,000 miles / $25,000 spent).

And if you spend $25,000 or more in a calendar year on the card, United Airlines will waive the Premier Qualifying Dollars requirement to earn elite status.  This means that you only have to earn the miles required for a status level (with the exception of their top-tier Premier 1K status), and not meet a minimum spending requirement:

In 2014, the PQD requirement is waived for Premier Silver, Premier Gold and Premier Platinum qualification if you meet one of the following criteria:

You spend at least $25,000 in Net Purchases in 2014 on a MileagePlus co-branded credit card issued by Chase Bank USA, N.A.

The PQD waiver does not apply for Premier 1K qualification

And 50,000 United Airlines miles can take you to a lot of places!

What Can You Do With 50,000 United Airlines Miles?

Link:   United Airlines Award Chart

Link:   United Airlines Partner Award Chart

Link:   My Guide to Earning and Using United Miles

Even though United Airlines has devalued its award chart in the past year, and recently announced changes to how it runs its frequent flyer program, many folks still consider them to be their favorite US airline frequent flyer program.

That’s because they usually have lots of award seats available, and you can use United Airlines miles on lots of other Star Alliance airlines.


Emily and I Flew United Airlines From Maui Back to the US Mainland With Miles

With 50,000 United Airlines miles, you could get:

  • 2 round-trip domestic (Mainland US, Alaska, and Canada) coach class tickets (25,000 miles each)
  • 2 1-way coach class tickets to Hawaii from the Mainland US (22,500 miles each)
  • A 1-way saver award coach class ticket to South America, Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, India, or Australia (between 20,000 and 42,500 miles)

I prefer using United Airlines miles on their own flights, because when they made changes to their program last year, it became much more expensive to use United Airlines miles on their partner airlines.  Especially for First Class and Business Class award seats!

Other Ways to Get United Airlines Miles

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred

Link:   Chase Ink Bold

Link:   Chase Ink Plus

Link:   Chase Freedom

There are ways to earn United Airlines miles without a United Airlines credit card!  If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, (no longer offered) Chase Ink Bold, or Chase Ink Plus cards, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines instantly at a 1:1 ratio.

And if you have a Chase Freedom card, you can indirectly transfer points to United Airlines as long as you also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Bold, or Chase Ink Plus card.


You Can Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to United Airlines at a 1:1 Ratio

Many folks prefer earning United Airlines miles this way, because the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, and Chase Freedom cards have category bonuses which help you earn lots of points!

That said, if you already have those cards or if you’d really like the perks such as the free checked bag and lounge passes, the Chase United Explorer increased sign-up bonus could be a good deal for you.

Bottom Line

Chase has increased the public sign-up bonus on the Chase United Explorer card to 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the 1st 3 months.  This is usually a 30,000 mile sign-up bonus, so it’s a good deal.

That said, in the past folks have been able to get a higher sign-up bonus through targeted offers or applying through a Chase branch.  And there are lots of other ways to earn United Airlines miles!

Will you apply for this card because of the increased bonus?

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41 responses to “Chase United Airlines Explorer Sign-Up Bonus Increased to 50,000 Miles

  1. I just canceled my explorer card last month. Too soon to get this?

  2. Just applied and instantly approved via your referral link, though I found it last night while surfing facebook

  3. What if you’ve had this card previously? I had this same card a few years ago and cancelled it once the annual fee came up (nearly 2 years ago). Think I can get the offer again?

  4. @Karen From their terms and service it states “This new cardmember bonus offer is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this consumer credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this consumer credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this consumer credit card within the last 24 months.”

    So it’s looking like you might be able to. I’ll have to check when my expired.

  5. Better offer here:

    Includes $50 statement credit

  6. @Karen P : According to the offer details, “This new cardmember bonus offer is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this consumer credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this consumer credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this consumer credit card within the last 24 months.” So, I guess you are eligible for the sign up bonus. I just wonder how to interpret ‘within the last 24 months’ in the (ii); within 24 months from the date the account was closed? or from the exact day the bonus mileage was posted on my account? or from the date I was approved for this card previously?

  7. It’s nice to have the extra $50 statement credit. Is the link safe and not fishing for personal data? Just wondering.

  8. @Nick, wish you could have posted that link earlier. I applied it earlier and got approved but without $50 statement credit. Anyway, thanks for posting that link so other people can get that $50 statement credit. 🙂

  9. @Abc it’s a legit link

    @KenL you should be able to get the $50 statement credit matched by sending a secure message. Chase is usually very generous with this. Same for anybody who got the card in the last 90 days with a lesser bonus, just send an SM.

  10. Grr! I just applied for this card and was approved 5 days ago! Any chance if I call them, they will let me in on the current offer?

  11. Thank you for the information. My mom does not travel anymore – if she applies can she put my frequent flyer number in? I’m not sure how that works. Thank you!

  12. I feel United and Chase has been so generous to me, this is the 4th 50k offer I received (1 from Continental, 2 from United). Now I already have United Club card (and will keep it), so surprised they approved me again!

    Anyway, I try to fly United as much as possible, for good Karma.

  13. Thanks for posting the T and C for this card. How strict is Chase about not giving the bonus to current or previous card holders?

  14. Nick’s link to the better offer proves that the bloggers only post offers that get the commission, not the ABSOLUTE best offer for their readers.
    Again here’s the link: 50K + 5K + $50 statement credit (

  15. what about the mother in law rule? 🙂

  16. I got the Explorer card in April 2012 and cancelled it in February 2013. From what I am reading it sounds like they go back to 24 months from when you receive the card, not when you cancel the card? Do you think I would be eligible for the bonus again?

  17. I’m not trying to be difficult but why haven’t you acknowledged the better offer for this card? I know you’re aware of it but not even to make an update to this post? So much for always promoting the best offer…

  18. Not sure that everyone would agree that the 50 statement credit offer is better. Both offers come with 50,000 mile bonus, but the one with the $50.00 statement credit requires an additional 3,000 in spend for both the bonus and the credit. I suppose it depends on what you typically spend in the requisite period. I think links to both offers should be available and this blog has not deleted the links to the offer with the $50.00 statement credit – so not sure why some are having a problem with this blog.

  19. oops, just realized the first link above was to a spend requirement of only 2,000 not 5,000. The one post by Tri above had indicated a 5,000 spend, but the link was to a 2,000 spend. That offer is better, but again the link is still on this post.

  20. If you are planning on canceling the card before you have to pay the annual fee, do you have to have used your miles that you earned on the offer? I don’t have any plans in the near future to be flying United, but I’d love to get these points for when I do need them?

  21. Darius, what is your take on this language in the “pricing and terms” in addition to the 24months language under “offer details?” I received my previous signup bonus in Aug2012 but didn’t cancel the cards until Feb13. I am hoping I can apply just before the Sept2 cutoff and get it. Love the website!

    Replying to this offer: If you omit any information on the form, we may deny your request for an account. Chase cardmembers who currently have or have had a Chase credit card in any Rewards Program associated with this offer or have received a similar bonus offer, may not be eligible for a second Chase credit card in the same Rewards Program, or for any bonus offer. Chase cardmembers currently receiving promotional pricing, or Chase cardmembers with a history of only using their current or prior Chase card for promotional pricing offers, are not eligible for a second Chase credit card with promotional pricing.

  22. Hey Everyone, Maybe my call (along probably with 50,000 others) got them to change the offer for the Business card, but it is now available for 50,000 bonus points. For me this only worked from Darius’ original offer, bottom of the page on the right. Not the one offering the $50 credit–didn’t even see business cards offered on that page. But maybe you’ll have a different experience.

  23. Hi Darius,
    I’m relatively new to collecting points, so I apologize if you have already covered my questions. I tried searching your previous postings, but could not find any answers. My sons are graduating from college 6/2015 & 6/2016 so we wanted to take a family trip to Europe this June as a graduation gift for them. I really wanted to fly all four of us over in business class and home in coach. But, I only have enough miles for the trip over in business (I just applied for the Ink card and it should arrive any day), so I won’t have any miles available for the return trip until next month(?). So, to make a long question short, can I book the trip as a one way and then change it to a round trip (really need the stopovers and open jaws) without fees and penalties? I have the United Explorer perferred card and Chase UR points, so I found availability on Aer lingus with 4 business class awards and I’m afraid if I wait too long for the new points to post, the seats will be gone. I know using United miles for partner international flights are not the best use of miles, but United didn’t show any availability. Question 2: Is there a site where people “trade/exchange” their lounge passes? (Is this considered unethical?). I have two United passes that are going to expire in November so I can’t use them for our trip. I’ll get two more when my card anniversary hits, but that still only gets two of us in to the lounge (which will probably be my two sons!). Question 3: Last question, I promise! I’ve been using my Chase Freedom to reload a visa gift card at the gas station, but I will only load $200/week (not very cost effective with the fee) because I’m afraid that Chase will notice if I spend more. Is there a “safe” amount of money (or threshold amount) that you can spend on gift cards/visa cards for manufacturing spending, without triggering an alert? I really want to be able to do this when my Ink card arrives, but don’t know how much is a safe amount. Thank you so much for any info. you might provide!

    • @Tri @Sam – I’ve written about the better offer and the link doesn’t work for everyone!

      @Becky – The points are valid for 18 months with no activity in your United account. And it is easy to get activity in your United account.

      @Jonnie W – Thanks for the update!

      @Julie – You won’t be able to confer from a 1-way to round-trip without paying the fees (unless you have elite status). I don’t know of a place to trade lounge passes, but I do see them on ebay. I would use a reasonable amount, but that varies by person.

    • @DBest – That is usually possible, but I prefer to downgrade to the Freedom.

      @jackie k – Depends on your goals, but it is also inconvenient to buy $200 gift cards.

      @ Hassan – That’s true!

      @Ed – Very nice!

      @Soosie – It should be a different card.

  24. I applied for this card a week before they launched this offer and sent Chase a SM to inquire about about the bonus and $50 credit.
    They said they will not be giving me the $50 credit and will be applying the same policy to all customers in order to be fair. They did give me the 50,000 bonus however after spending $2,000.

  25. I just got my United MileagePlus card 2 days ago, and got a letter from Chase saying: “the bonus premium is only available to new card memebers, since our records show that you have taken advantage of this offer within past two years, your account is not eligible to receive the premium”.

    I did close the same credit card earlier this year, so is there any work around for this?


  26. Hi, I write from Switzerland. Is there a way to get a bonus miles credit card? For example, can I get the Chase United 50k miles in Switzerland?
    I have tried applying in the website but there is no way to select European countries? Can somebody help me please?

  27. What is Chase consideration line no. to call if instantly not approved?

    And one person mentioned he got letter saying he is not elgible for bonus as he got it in past.
    Any idea what to do in that case, and if any other person has received this letter?

  28. Hubby and I applied for (and was approved for) the 50K united offer a week or so before the $50 stmt credit was added to their offers. I called United immediately after I received my card, to request the $50 stmt credit – and here’s what their USPS mailed response says:
    “We reviewed the application you submitted in August 2014 and have confirmed that the 50,000 bonus miles promotion was offered along with the first year annual fee waiver. Regretfully the $50 statement credit was not part of the offer used to apply for this account.
    “Chase and United have various offers within the credit card marketplace. The MileagePlusExplorer card with 50,000 bonus miles and a $50 statement credit is an offer provided on the website during the reservation process. Only people who applied online at during the reservation process are eligible for this offer.
    “For this reason we are unable to honor your request to add the $50 statement credit to your account.”

    Nonsense – the offer is still active until Sept 2 and it is public:

    I’m going to call them back and see if I can convince them they have their facts mixed up. We’ll see . . .

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  33. I had the same experience as Jean C. They would not give me the $50 statement credit. Is there anything else I can do. I applied on August 19th, 2014.

  34. If you have an active united mileage regular card, can you apply for the business card and get the promotion?

    Kindly reply emergently.


  35. How to interpret the 24 months terms for this card? Is it within 24 months from the date the account was closed? or from the exact day the bonus mileage was posted on my account?


  36. I am interested in this card. What are its main highlights?

  37. My wife applied for the business card and added me as an authorized user a few months ago and she has earned the 50k miles. Would I be able to apply for the card for my own business and receive the 50k miles?

  38. can you use the miles for gift cards?