We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Update: A credit card offer in this post may no longer be available, but check the Hot Deals for the latest offers!
Until September 2, 2014, the sign-up bonus on the Chase United Explorer card is increased to 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 in the 1st 3 months. And you’ll get an additional 5,000 points for adding an authorized user. And you may be able to get a version with an extra $50 statement credit!
Normally, the sign-up bonus on this card is 30,000 miles, so the increased bonus is a good deal. But do you know all the benefits you get with this card?
The Top 10 Benefits!
Link: Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Card
1. 50,000 Miles After Completing Minimum Spending
You’ll get 50,000 United Airlines miles after spending $2,000 in the 1st 3 months. That’s more than enough miles for:
- 2 domestic round-trip coach class tickets
- 1 round-trip coach class ticket from the US Mainland to Hawaii
- 1 round-trip coach class ticket to Northern South America
- A 1-way coach class ticket to Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, or the South Pacific
And remember, you don’t have to use your miles on United Airlines. They can be used for award tickets on any Star Alliance airline, including Air Canada, Lufthansa, and Singapore Airlines.
2. Free Checked Bag
You’ll get a free checked bag for yourself and 1 traveling companion on the same reservation when you use the Chase United Explorer card to pay for your ticket.
Normally, United Airlines charges $25 to check a bag on domestic flights, so you could save up to $100 if you and a friend take a round-trip flight. That’s a great perk!
If you’re traveling on an award ticket, you’ll also get a free checked bag as long as you pay for the taxes and fees on the ticket with the card.
Note: You only get a free checked bag on United Airlines and United Express flights, not partner airlines.
3. 5,000 Extra Miles for Adding an Authorized User
If you add an authorized user to your Chase United Explorer card and they make a purchase within 3 months, you’ll get an extra 5,000 miles.
Then earn an extra 3,000 miles, and you have enough for a round-trip coach class award ticket to Europe!
4. Primary Car Insurance
The Chase United Explorer is 1 of the only cards that provides primary CDW (collision damage waiver) rental car coverage. Most other cards only offer secondary CDW coverage, which means you’ll have to file a claim through your personal auto insurance policy 1st. Then the credit card insurance pays for what’s not covered by your personal policy.
So if you damage your rental car, the Chase United Explorer card will cover the repairs without you going through your personal auto insurance policy.
This also applies to authorized users!
5. Access Extra Award Seats Other Folks Can’t Get!
When you have the Chase United Explorer card, you get access to award seats NOT available to the general public!
Sometimes (especially during very popular travel times) when you try to book a seat with United Airlines miles, the flight appears to have no seats available. But when you’re a United Explorer cardholder, United Airlines WILL allow you to book seats on that same flight!
That’s because United Airlines will always allow United Explorer cardholders to book an award seat on any United Airlines flight that isn’t yet sold out.
6. Two Free United Club Passes Each Year
You’ll get 2 free passes to United Club lounges when you open your account, and again every 12 months. Each pass is good for 1 visit.
It’s so much nicer to wait in airports when you can hang out in a lounge! And if you were to buy a United Club lounge pass, it would cost $50 per visit. So you’re getting $100 worth of lounge passes each year. Not bad!
7. 10,000 Mile Bonus After You Spend $25,000 Each Year
The Chase United Explorer card is good for big spenders, because you’ll get an extra 10,000 miles when you spend more than $25,000 in a calendar year.
10,000 United Airlines miles is enough for a domestic 1-way, short haul, coach class ticket. So it’s definitely worth it if you can spend that kind of money!
8. Waived PQD Requirement
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 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.
9. Priority Boarding
Chase United Explorer cardholders get priority boarding, which usually means getting to board after pre-boards and elite status holders.
This also means access to more available overhead bin space, and more time to get settled and comfortable in your seat.
10. Premier Elites Get Upgrades on Award Tickets
Normally, United Airlines elite flyers can only get upgrades on paid tickets. But if you have the Chase United Explorer card, you can get upgrades on award tickets, too!
Getting upgraded on an award ticket is an incredible perk. But it’s always subject to availability, not guaranteed.
11. Bonus Benefit: No Foreign Currency Fees
The Chase United Explorer card does NOT charge foreign currency fees. Many other cards charge fees up to ~3% for foreign transactions.
If you travel overseas a lot, this is a great benefit. You’ll save a lot of money!
The Chase United Explorer card has an increased sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles until September 2, 2014. That’s enough for 2 round-trip coach class domestic award tickets!
But the card comes with lots of other benefits, including a free checked bag, priority boarding, lounge passes, access to extra award seats, and perks for elite status members.
Emily has this card and we’ve enjoyed its benefits very much. What do you like best about the Chase United Explorer card?