Or, consider other cards for 50,000 more miles or points that transfer into United miles with additional flexibility for your everyday spending.
$1,000 toward travel or transfer to United, Southwest, and more.
Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card - $85 annual fee.
The United MileagePlus Explorer Card now has a special offer: 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
The $95 annual fee is NOT waived the first year.
Usually, the offer sits around 30,000 miles for a while, with targeted deals for 50,000 miles. So an offer open to the public for a full 50,000 miles is a decent opportunity if you’re looking to earn more United miles, though since the annual fee isn’t waived you’re basically paying $95 for an extra 20,000 miles versus the standard offer.
But you may want to check to see if you are targeted for a bigger offer of up to 70k miles here. And if you shop for flights while logged into United.com you might see an offer to earn the bonus miles, plus a statement credit.
If you have a small business, the Explorer Business Card is openly available with a 50k miles offer and a $0 introductory annual fee the first year.
If you’ve recently met the spending requirement for a big bonus on the Chase Sapphire Reserve, this is a good addon bonus to travel even further, since the points from your Sapphire can transfer into United miles anytime.
Just be aware that if you’ve opened 5 or more credit cards in the last 2 years, you may have a tough time getting approved for this card from Chase.
United charges for awards based on the region you’re flying to, and has two kinds of award prices – ‘Saver’ and ‘Standard.’
‘Saver’ prices are United’s lowest award prices, and are available if you’re flexible with your plans.
Here are United’s Saver award prices for flights from the U.S. All prices are one-way, so you can double the number to get a roundtrip price.
|Economy||Business - United flights||Business - partner flights|
|U.S. Mainland, Canada, Alaska||12,500||25,000||25,000|
|Northern South America||20,000||35,000||35,000|
|Southern South America||30,000||55,000||55,000|
|Central / Southern Africa||40,000||70,000||80,000|
|Australia / New Zealand||40,000||70,000||80,000|
There are some places where it’s tough to find Saver priced awards, and these include:
If you’re okay with flying Economy Class though, United miles are outstanding for international travel and can get you all over the world pretty easily.
United miles are some of the most useful around for international travel, with options like these…
Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, SAS, and more are all bookable with your miles.
United has lots of flights to Japan, or you can fly its partner ANA, which is highly regarded with service from many U.S. cities.
You can fly United or any Star Alliance airline with award space and you can even tag on an extra free flight within Europe, so you can see two cities in one trip for the same price, thanks to the United Excursionist Perk feature.
Short flights 700 miles of less in distance each way are even cheaper, at 20,000 miles roundtrip.
The United Explorer Card offers Group 2 priority boarding on United flights and a free first checked bag for you and a traveling companion, which can save you up to $50 per person roundtrip.
You also have access to the Luxury Hotels and Resorts Collection, for upgrades and perks at hotels worldwide when you book with your card.
And there are no foreign transaction fees.
If you had a United Explorer card before, you can get this offer if it’s been at least 2 years since you last got an introductory bonus for the United Explorer card.
It’s okay if you recently got another card bonus, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve. That’s considered a separate product and it’s fine to hold more than one card with Chase, and earn a bonus from several of their cards.
The catch is, if you’ve opened 5 or more cards in the last 2 years from any bank, you might have a hard time getting approved.
Yes, there is a small business version of the Explorer Card that earns 2x miles at restaurants, gas stations, and office supply stores.
You can’t send United miles into a Chase Sapphire account. But you can transfer Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve points into United miles anytime, so you can build on the miles you earn with the Explorer Card.
Yes, you and your spouse / significant other can each apply for your own cards separately and earn two bonuses, but the bonuses will go to separate MileagePlus accounts.
Combining miles from two accounts costs money, and isn’t usually worth it. Instead, you can book tickets in the name of anyone you’d like from your MileagePlus account. So for example, your spouse could use miles to book a ticket in your name anytime, or vice versa.
If you already have a United MileagePlus account, just use that account number when you apply to make sure the miles from your new card go into the account with the miles you’ve already earned.
Unfortunately, no you won’t be able to take advantage of the free checked bag on a ticket you already purchased. The free bag benefit only kicks in when you use your Explorer Card to pay for the ticket.
Primary car rental collision damage coverage. That lets you avoid having to file a claim with your own auto insurance carrier if you damage your rental car. Coverage also applies in any country you rent, there are no special exclusions.
Flight delay coverage. If a flight you book with the card is delayed by 12 hours or more, you can get reimbursed for hotel, meal, and other reasonable costs, up to $500. And it can be a flight on any airline, not just United.
Trip cancellation coverage. When you book nonrefundable travel with the card, like plane tickets or cruise tickets, you can get reimbursed if a serious illness, weather, or other covered event keeps you from making your original plans.
Follow @MileCards on Twitter for the latest updates and new offers
Foreign Transaction Fee Waived
Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?
Leave a comment below -- we'll reply shortly -- no need to use your real name. Or, use the email form at the top of the page for private advice.
"These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered."