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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.
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!