Earn Up To 65,000 Miles On My Favorite Airline Credit Card

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Update: DEAD!

Originally posted on 11/7/19:

Limited Time Offer: Earn Up To 65,000 Miles On My Favorite Airline Credit Card; How To Take Advantage Of United’s Most Generous Awards

Limited time signup bonus

For a limited time, you can earn 40,000 bonus miles for opening a Chase United Explorer card and spending $2,000 within 3 months plus you can earn another 25,000 bonus miles for spending another $8,000 within 6 months.

That means you’ll have at least 75,000 miles if you spend $10K in 6 months.

Note you can also earn up to 100,000 miles on the United Explorer Business Card. You can read more about that card here.

Annual fee

The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year with this offer.

Welcome bonus terms

You can receive the bonus on this card if you haven’t received a bonus on a United Explorer Consumer card in the past 24 months and don’t currently have a United Explorer Consumer card.

You can receive the bonus on this card even if you got a United business card in the past 24 months or currently have a United business card.


All Chase cards are now subject to 5/24 restrictions. That means it will be hard to get approved if you have been approved for 5 or more consumer credit cards in the past 24 months. Read more about that here.

Card benefits

United has added new features to the United Explorer card this year:

  • It now earns 2 miles per dollar on hotels and dining as well as on United purchases.
  • Cardholders get Global Entry/Pre-Check for free.
  • Cardholders get a 25% rebate on inflight WiFi, food, and drink purchases.

United miles also no longer expire and close-in award fees are being eliminated on 11/15.

The card continues to offer benefits like:

  • A free checked bag for the cardholder and a companion, even on basic economy fares.
  • A free carry-on bag for the cardholder and companions, even on basic economy fares.
  • Priority boarding for the cardholder and companions, even on basic economy fares.
  • 2 free United Club passes every year for being a cardmember.
  • Primary rental car CDW insurance in every country.
  • No foreign exchange fees.
  • Exclusive cardmember access to auctions that allow you to use your miles for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. A few years ago I used 25K miles for 4 field box seats to an Indians game along with the right to run onto the field before the top of the 7th inning and swipe 2nd base right off the field. Nobody could believe it as I walked around the ballpark with 2nd base. I even got it signed after the game by the Indians wining pitcher that night, who was equally shocked that I actually had 2nd base.
  • Cardholders with United elite status get free upgrades on coach award tickets on upgrade eligible routes.
  • If you spend $25K on the card in 2019 it waives the requirement to spend $3K on United flights to get Silver status, $6K on United flights to get Gold status, and $9K on United flights to get Platinum status. You only need to fly the 25K, 50K, or 75K miles like in the good old days.
  • Starting in 2020 you can earn 500 PQPs for spending $12K annually or 1,000 PQPs for spending $24K annually. Learn more about the new PQP system in this post.

Expanded award ticket availability

The reason this card is the best airline card you can get isn’t for the spending benefits, it’s for the perks. And they are awesome.

The reason this is my favorite airline card is that the United card is the only airline card that offers expanded award ticket availability.

This increases the value of your miles significantly and in turn makes the Chase Quadfecta/Quinfecta spending strategy even more valuable.

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).

It’s not just slightly expanded. There is a world of difference between the availability that cardholders can access and the availability for non-cardholders.

Availability calendar for non-cardholders:



Availability calendar for cardholders:

Read more about this in the United Expert Mode post.

This availability differential applies to all domestic and international routes and makes it crucial to be a United cardholders.

Expanded Plan B availability

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 class awards when there’s only saver coach available! Read more about Plan B in this post.

No airline besides United offers a Plan B style award redemption.

Discounted awards for cardholders

United runs promotions offering discounts on award flights for cardholders.

They have offered these discounts for travel to TahitiSki destinationsHawaii, Mexico, The Caribbean, and more.

New 5K Saver Awards

United recently introduced new lower cost saver awards starting at just 5K miles:


I went about compiling a list of all award rates on all of United’s flights to/from NYC and here’s where I found one-way saver awards for less than the normal rate:

  • Atlanta, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Montreal, Myrtle Beach, Orlando, Toronto: 5K
  • Asheville, Norfolk, Richmond, Washington DC: 5.5K
  • Burlington, Portland/PWM: 6K
  • Knoxville, Savannah, Syracuse: 9K
  • Buffalo, Charleston, Charlotte, Cleveland, Grand Rapids, Rochester: 9.5K
  • Houston: 10.5K
  • Denver, Minneapolis, New Orleans: 11K
  • Miami, West Palm Beach: 11.5K
  • Dallas, Madison, Nashville, Seattle: 12K

Short haul routes to/from NYC where I only found the regular 10K saver rate:Akron, Albany, Bangor, Boston, Detroit, Greensboro, Greenville, Halifax, Hilton Head, Indianapolis, Louisville, Nantucket, Pittsburgh, Presque Isle, Providence, Quebec City, Raleigh, South Bend, Traverse City

Long haul routes to/from NYC where I only found the regular 12.5K saver rate: Austin, Bentonville, Bozeman, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Jackson Hole, Kansas City, Key West, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Memphis, Milwaukee, Montrose, Orange County, Palm Springs, Pensacola, Phoenix, Portland/PDX, Rapid City, S. Louis, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Sarasota, Steamboat Springs, Tampa, Vail, Vancouver

The advantage of United MileagePlus

Note that United will remove their award charts on 11/15 and the future of the program is up in the air at this point.

In general I’m a big fan of United miles as they’re part of the Star Alliance, which has the best award availability of any airline alliance.

Best of all, United never charges any fuel surcharges. Other airlines like American 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.

A short-haul United domestic award under 700 miles in distance is just 10,000 miles.  That’s more than the BA 7.5K short-haul, but availability is much better, it allows for a longer flight distance, and you are allowed to have connections for the same rate, something that BA doesn’t allow.



Short-haul nonstop flights within any region outside of the US are just 8K miles:


United is also the only major US carrier that caps the mileage rate for standard awards at a reasonable rate.

For example the last time there was a limited time offer on this card I checked on award space from NYC to LA:

American charged 82.5K-97.5K miles with their variable standard award pricing:


Delta charged 142.5K-152.5K miles with their variable standard award pricing:



All JetBlue award pricing is variable and they wanted 81K-152.4K miles:




Alaska is the only airline flying nonstop between NYC and LAX without lie-flat seating in business class and they wanted 70K miles:



With United there was a saver award for 32.5K. Those come and go, but the standard awards on United are just 50K-60K on this route. That’s significantly less than other airlines. Best of all, cardholders can book a standard award even if it’s the last coach or business seat on the plane:

Excursionist Perk

While American and Delta have eliminated free stopovers, United continues to offer a free excursionist perk as described in this post. Just use the multi-city award search on United.com to piece it together.


A round-trip to 2 Hawaiian Islands is just 45,000 miles round-trip thanks to the free excursionist perk:


A round-trip ticket to 2 European or South American cities is just 60,000 miles round-trip thanks to the free excursionist perk:



A flight to 2 of my favorite cities in Asia, Hong Kong and Chiang Mai, Thailand is 80K miles thanks to the perk:


You’re even allowed a free open jaw in addition to the perk to really maximize your travel. For example this itinerary includes travel to London, Paris, and Zurich. You can take a train or use 4.5K BA Avios to get from London to Paris to fill the hole in the open jaw:


Of course the free stopover isn’t just useful from the US.

You can stopover in NYC and LA when flying from Tel Aviv to the US:



If you find yourself in Japan you can fly on the island hopper to 2 cities in Micronesia (I’ve been hankering to get back to Palau since the moment I left) for 30K miles:

Partner airlines

United has dozens of partner airlines which means lots of great award opportunities. It can be worth checking for award space on partner sites like ANA or Aeroplan.com to search for award availability and then call United to book if you don’t see availability on United.

Partners airlines include:

  • ANA
  • Aegean Airlines
  • Aer Lingus
  • Air Canada
  • Air China
  • Air Dolomiti
  • Air India
  • Air New Zealand
  • Aeromar
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Austrian Airlines
  • Avianca Airlines
  • Azul Brazilian Airlines
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Cape Air
  • Copa Airlines
  • Croatia Airlines
  • EVA Air
  • Edelweiss
  • Egyptair
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Eurowings
  • Germanwings
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Island Air
  • Juneyao Airlines
  • LOT Polish
  • Lufthansa
  • Scandinavian Airlines
  • Shenzhen Airlines
  • Silver Airways
  • Singapore
  • South African Airways
  • Swiss International Airlines
  • TAP Portugal
  • THAI
  • Turkish Airlines

Will you signup for a United card?

Leave a Reply

83 Comments On "Earn Up To 65,000 Miles On My Favorite Airline Credit Card"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


Can I get this offer if I already have a united explorer credit card that my husband is primary on?


Xn for partners too?


Are there any Chase cards are not subject to 5/24


Wish I could get the card. The cancelled my 6 cards in June! Hope much longer do I need to wait?


About 5/24
All chase are also beeing counted as part of the 5

I remember the was some card that didn’t get listed on your 5.


If you have the United card and want to book an award travel flight, will you have to pay the additional $75 fee besides the points if your flight is within the week?

Esti A

Got approved 1 week ago for base 40k. Will chase match to this new offer?


Hi Dan I was approved for this card a few days ago before this offer so I will message them to request a match. I still don’t see expanded availability when searching for award flights. Do you have any idea how long it would take for my MileagePlus account to update to start showing expand availability as a card holder? Thank you!


Does this card give you an extra free bag if flying international on a ticket which already includes 1 free check in bag?
And can you use the free extra bag perk on a partner airline?


What will happen to the expanded award availability benefit with the move to dynamic pricing?


Does United explorer business also give free Global Entry/Pre-Check?


If I had the Explorer card and downgraded it to the no-fee version (which earns 1 mile for every 2 dollars – no other benefits), would I still qualify for the sign up bonus?

I’m at 4/24 right now (already have CSR, Freedom Unlimited, and Freedom) and trying to figure out which card to use my 5th slot on.


And now their miles don’t expire!


Dan, I would hate to get the card, and then lose the expanded award availability feature when United revamps their program 11/15. Do you think this feature can be lost?


This is a valid question. Dan, why don’t you answer this before pushing this credit card?

You should be clear if a key benefit will soon go away or be diluted!


When does this offer expire?


Does Expanded Plan B availability still exist?


@dan Do Bonus points disappear if you downgrade a card before 12 months? Does it create a “red flag”? In other words is there any problem with opening a card hitting the bonus then downgrading, thereby avoiding 3/4 of the annual fee?


Chase: don’t think so because Dan advised earlier to sign up for ink preferred, then downgrade to avoid AF
AmEx: think so because they are more “strict”
Dan, can you please confirm?


Dan, please?


Hi Dan, I see you writing a lot about booking on partner airlines, how does that work, do I just search for a flight on their website? They are always so expensive…
Let’s say to Europe, a regular flight is 60k United points, which is way more expensive than a regular cash ticket, do u have an article maybe where u explain this a little?


Dan, if I book a united flight w UR points. Does this card get me a free carry on and checked bag?

Sara Stein

While I maintain a U.S. address, I lam a U.S. citizen and live in Israel. Can I still get this card?


But partner airlines like AC will still show only the seats available to non cardholders, correct?

Fabulous banana

Is there an expiration date (or estimate) on this offer cuz i would wait till 11/15 to see what they do with their points before signing up


Is there any way to avoid the Philippines Call Center?


I took your advice and got the United Explorers Business card a few months ago and just hit the spending to get 50k pts (there’s no way I’m going to spend $25k in 6 months to get the extra 50k points (100k total)). Anyway, since I’m not working on that anymore, can I (should I) get this card and start working on getting these 75k points? Could I have 2 United cards (under the same MileagePlus account)? Would I just let the UEB card go dormant? I don’t want to pay 2 annual fees. I’d rather have 1 active card.

Nate the Great

Two questions. Delta Platinum and this card, when you close them, to they claw back your points?


I now live in Israel and fly once a year if that. Is it worth it to get this card. I appreciate your constructive input. Thanks


is united miles still the most valuable?
is there any valuable millage card with a no annual fee


Doesn’t show availability when clicking link it says not available anymore


Bought a United ticket to EY with the United card. They would not give us the extra bag free. That was why I bought the ticket with their card. Never again.


Is this the best offer for this card?

Still Processing

Applied for the card before 559 and it’s still “Verifying information”. Says if you refresh or hit back arrow you lose the request. Any suggestions?


I’m not sure how your getting the free stop over when I try the example you posted ewr to LAX than tlv it shows me first 32k points then plus 42.5?


i applied @ 550
still awaiting a response
this is the message im getting
Verifying your information…
Thank you. We’re processing your request and may need more information from you. We appreciate your patience. Please don’t click “Refresh” or the “Back” arrow in your browser window or your request will be lost.


still alive


Will I get the free first bag etc when booking a Basic Economy ticket via Expedia, or must be purchased directly from ua.com?