Chase United Explorer Linky
This has long been a targeted offer but is now available publicly. This limited time offer will expire September 2nd. The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.
You’ll earn 50,000 bonus miles for spending $2,000 within 3 months and an additional 5,000 miles for adding a free additional user card and making a purchase within 3 months.
Spend $2,000 on a new card and add an additional user and you’ll have 57,000 miles.
A short-haul United domestic award under 700 miles in distance is just 10,000 miles. That’s a lot more than the BA 4.5K short-haul, but it allow for a longer distance and you are allowed to have connections for the same rate, something that BA doesn’t allow.
A round-trip ticket to 2 European or South American cities is just 60,000 miles round-trip thanks to a free stopover. You’re even allowed a free open jaw on the same itinerary as a free stopover to really maximize your travel.
Best of all United never charges any fuel surcharges. Other airlines like American and USAirways collect massive fuel surcharges to fly on British Airways. Delta charges fuel surcharges to fly on some partners and if you originate in Europe and other regions. United will never collect a fuel surcharge and they have access to awards on 36 partner airlines which means better availability on more awards.
The United card is easily my favorite of all of the airline cards:
-It is the only card that gives expanded award ticket availability. Cardholders have access to expanded saver coach award availability (XN class), last seat standard coach award availability (YN class), and last seat standard business/first class award availability (JN class).
-You can read about examples of expanded availability in this post.
-You can learn more about searching for those classes in expert mode in this post.
-As you have better access to saver coach awards you’ll also have better ability to do Plan B awards. Plan B allows you to redeem for saver business and first class awards when there’s only saver coach available. Based on DDF reports and my own experience people have better than 95% odds of being seated in business class on a Plan B redemption.
-Read more about Plan B in this post.
No airline besides United offers a Plan B redemption.
-The United and Chase Sapphire Preferred cards are among the only cards that come with primary rental car CDW insurance. Almost every other card only has secondary coverage when you rent a car in your home country. This means that if you damage your rental vehicle you must file the claim with your own personal insurance policy first, and only if they won’t cover the damage will the credit card cover the damage. Even additional cardholders get primary coverage when they rent.
With primary rental car CDW insurance you will not have to file anything with your own insurance company. Chase will cover the entire bill for any damage to your rental car. Just be sure to decline the rental agency’s CDW coverage. This primary coverage applies in every country in the world.
No airline card besides United offers primary CDW insurance.
-The United Explorer card gives 2 free United Club passes every year for being a cardmember.
-The United Explorer card gives a 10K mileage bonus every year in which you spend $25K. That means you’ll earn at least 1.4 miles per dollar spent everywhere if you spend $25K in a year. Spending $25K in a year also waives the requirement to spend $2.5K on United flights to get Silver status, $5K on United flights to get Gold status, and $7.5K on United flights to get Platinum status. You only need to fly the 25K, 50K, or 75K miles like in the good old days.
-Your miles will never expire as long as you are a United cardholder even if you don’t have any activity.
-A massive benefit for United elite members is that they can get free upgrades on coach award tickets on upgrade eligible routes if they have a United card.
Plus United is the only airline that assigns elite benefits to people that you redeem awards for. That means people you book for have access to benefits like Economy Plus, lounge access, and more.
Last Friday morning I flew with my family from Los Angeles to Cleveland on 12.5K saver award tickets and all 4 of us were upgraded thanks to my elite status and having a United card!
Other card benefits:
-No foreign exchange fees
-Double miles on United purchases.
-Priority boarding so that you’ll have space for your carry-ons.
-First checked bag is free.
United has 36 partner airlines which means lots of award opportunities. However not all of them are currently bookable online, you’ll have to call (or use the Aeroplan or ANA sites) to get the full picture:
United partners that currently must be booked over the phone:
-Great Lakes Airlines
-LOT Polish (An excellent option with great availability in coach and business for flights to Israel)
And here’s the list of partners currently bookable on United.com:
-Air New Zealand
-Azul Brazilian Airlines
-South African Airways
-Swiss International Airlines
Other Chase consumer cards you can simultaneously include the Chase British Airways (50K signup points, 1.25 Avios per dollar, and an annual companion award ticket if you spend $30K+ in a year), the Chase Sapphire Preferred (40K signup points plus another 5K points for adding a free additional user, no fee the first year, plus 2.14 points per dollar on travel and dining with no Foreign Exchange fees), the Chase Freedom (which has no annual fee, gives 5 points per dollar in rotating categories, and 10% bonus points if you have a Chase checking account making it 5.5 points per dollar), and the Chase Marriott (70K signup points and a free category 1-4 night for a limited time plus a free anniversary category 1-5 night with no fee the first year).