New Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Card: 30,000 Bonus Miles & Improved Benefits

United MileagePlus Explorer Card BigAs the next step into the merger of United and Continental Airlines, the respective affiliated credit cards have announced some improved benefits that also bring them much closer together. Replacing the ole’ gray United MileagePlus Signature card is the new United MileagePlus® Explorer Card.

Here are the perk highlights for the card (application link):

  • Start with 30,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Check your first bag for free – save up to $100 per round-trip
  • Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United Club with two one-time-use passes every year
  • No foreign transaction fees!
  • Earn double miles on United ticket purchases, and 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • Your miles don’t expire as long as you’re a Cardmember, with no limit to the number of miles you can earn
  • Use your miles for any seat, any time, on any United flight
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95

In addition to the 30,000 bonus miles you’ll receive, the opportunity to earn even more is present.  Every year you spend $25,000 in purchases using your United MileagePlus Explorer Card, you’ll earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles AND when you add an authorized user to your account, another 5,000 bonus miles are awarded.

Current Chase United Cardholder?
The old Chase United Signature card lacks some of the nicer perks above, but has a lower $60 annual fee. If you want to keep it, don’t do anything and Chase will not upgrade you automatically. If you do want to upgrade, simply call the number on your card and it will be converted without changing your card number.

This card does offer unique features, yet be sure to compare with the other ways to rack up $500+ in credit card bonuses

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  1. Note that Chase is keeping track of who applies for what UA/CO card and you will NOT be able to double dip.

    The verbiage:

    United MileagePlus Explorer cardmembers will only receive one 50,000 bonus miles award if they apply for both the United Explorer Card and the Continental OnePass Plus Card after 7/19/2011.

    Either way, this “up to 40,000 miles” is a trash offer from them as it’s really only 30k miles with the yearly spend bonus. 40k is just marketing to catch the attention.

    Also note, if you hold status with either UA or CO, if you log into your United MileagePlus account, you will see a targeted offer for this new card that is “up to 60,000 miles”. Much better but only targeted

  2. So if you apply for both, you get 50,000 miles? Isn’t that just double the usual 25,000 miles for each card separately? Or are they not allowing the authorized user bonus if you apply for both?

  3. The wording is actually a bit ambiguous due to the fact that there are different mileage bonuses circulating the web.

    Basically what it means is that you can’t sign up for the old OnePass Plus credit card that has a bonus AND also sign up for the old United Explorer CC and receive both xx,000 bonuses. More or less… they won’t let you double dip sign-up bonuses.

    It’s sad news really but there’s more verbiage in the T&C of this new card that seems that Chase will be cracking down on churners (i.e. those who sign up just for bonuses then cancel shortly thereafter).

  4. Anthony says:

    Just to clarify….. If you already have the Continental OnePass Plus card and received bonus miles when signing up for that card, will you receive the 30k miles for signing up for and using the United credit card?

  5. @Anthony – Yes, the way I read the fine print, you should be able to get the bonus miles if you only have the Continental from before 7/19 and not the United. Here is what I find on the United application:

    25,000 Bonus Miles:
    With this bonus offer you will receive 25,000 bonus miles. You will qualify and receive your bonus after your first use of the card. First use includes using your account for purchases, balance transfers, or any checks that are used to access your account; cash advances are not included. After qualifying, please allow 6–8 weeks for bonus miles to post to your account. This one-time bonus offer is valid only for first-time United Airlines personal cardmembers with new accounts. Previous and existing United Airlines personal cardmembers/accounts are not eligible for this bonus offer.

    There is nothing about previous/existing Continental cardholders.

    The quote that Mike L has posted appears to be fine print from the targeted 60k bonus to certain Elite members (although I am Elite and didn’t get it). It basically says that people who don’t have either card before 7/19 can’t get both the New United and New Continental cards and get bonuses from each.

  6. The One Pass Plus card had free one baggage check for the passenger and something like 8 fellow travelers if booked on the card. Wonder if that’s changing?

  7. @Steve – I found this on the Continental site for Chase Continental (non-fancy-Presidential) cardholders:

    Primary cardmembers and a companion get their first standard checked bag free each time they fly Continental or United when they purchase their tickets with their Card (a savings of up to $100 per round trip).

    For credit card accounts opened prior to July 19, 2011: Effective for flights flown on or after Jan. 1, 2012, the number of customers receiving the free bag waiver will be limited to the primary cardmember and one companion.

    It would appear you would get your old terms until the end of 2011. Was it always that you had to buy your tickets on the card?

  8. Can the miles from this card be redeemed for cash/gift cards/anything besides airline tickets?

  9. Yup no more free first check in for 10 on the same reservation.

    And you didn’t have to buy the tickets with the card, but you did have to all be on the same res.

  10. anybody else having trouble now getting signed up for new credit card offers? I have now opened up too many chase cards with all of these offers, that they are not allowing me, or under my wife’s name, open any more. I have great credit so anyway others are getting around this? how is jonathan getting all of these without them saying, “no more”?

  11. I’m not having problems. I have 5 Chase cards right now, 3 since April. The latest one was the old United Explorer card for 50k bonus.

    What I had to do was call the Chase reconsideration line (888-270-2127) and inquire about my non-instant approval. They ask a few questions like “Why do you want this card if you already have xxx cards?”. Answer intelligently. Then they just shifted credit from one card to this new one. I have almost $50K in credit with Chase so it was easy for me to shift around enough credit to have enough for them to approve my latest card.

  12. Florence P Miller says:

    Why would Iwanr an Explorer cES QHWN I am already a UNITED ELITE and have a grey United-Chase Visa signature card. I see no benefits. Please advise.

  13. @Florence P Miller – Any old United or Continental Chase credit card will be ‘transformed’ into the new Explorer card anyway so to you it probably doesn’t matter.

  14. I am about to get the United Explorer card, as a means to get my expired miles re-instated. Is there any problem with cancelling the card a few months later? Thanks for any advice! Mike

  15. I applied for and received an Explorer card thinking that I can collect my 25,000 miles, cancel my old Signature card, and transfer the miles from the Signature account to the Explorer account. Are you saying I can’t do that?

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