Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
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.
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.
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.