Friday, June 22, 2012

Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Card

It sometimes feels so unfair that Chase has a such a large share of the best travel credit cards in the industry (or at least those with the biggest starting bonuses) so that I can never figure out which to get. The Chase United MileagePlus Explorer card has been around for a while and has been floating around for the past while with a 40k United miles bonus. Recently though, there's been a new link which offers a potential 65k (55k easy) United miles bonus as long as you log in to your United Mileage Plus account in some other tab. To top that off, you also get $50 in cold hard cash applied to your statement.

Given the value of United miles, this is definitely a great deal since you can claim a flight to Europe for 60k miles and a flight to North Asia for 65k on any Star Alliance partner meaning you just need to accumulate a tad more or fly a few more times for that free transatlantic or transpacific flight. On top of that, you get a number of privileges such as priority boarding, free checked bag and 2 United Club passes each year.

Although the offer does come with an additional 10k United miles after spending $25k in the first calendar year, this is likely out of reach for most people and even if you do spend $25k, it would be much more worthwhile to accumulate those points using say the Amex Starwood card or the Chase Sapphire card where you can get a lot more value out of the points. For example, $25k spending on the Starwood card would net you 30k United miles and the Chase Sapphire card offers category bonuses for common purchases like restaurants.

This particular credit card offer comes with:
  • Free 50k United miles after first use
  • Free 5k United miles after adding additional cardmember within first 2 months
  • Additional 10k United miles after spending $25k in the first calendar year
  • First checked bag free
  • Priority Boarding
  • 2 United Club passes each year
  • 2 United miles per $1 on United purchases
  • 1 United mile per $1 on everything else
  • First year annual fee waived ($95 value)
  • $50 statement credit after your first purchase
While I wouldn't recommend you use this card for your regular spending, it is definitely worth getting for the easy 55k United miles and somewhat worth holding on to for $95 each year to get free priority boarding, complimentary checked bag and the United Club passes - especially if you are an infrequent traveler. Now I just gotta figure out whether I want this one more or the Chase Hyatt.....decisions, decisions....

Disclaimer: This card is only available to US residents.  Also, I am not paid by Chase to endorse their products.

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