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United℠ Explorer Card welcome bonus: 50k miles after $3k of spend in 3 months

United℠ Explorer Card card art
United℠ Explorer Card

Chase and United currently offer 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of opening a new United℠ Explorer Card. Here are the details of the best United℠ Explorer Card welcome bonus available:

  • Standard offer: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • There are no in-branch or exclusive offers currently available that are better than this offer.

Here are the details on all of the currently-available offers on the United℠ Explorer Card:

Online welcome bonus: 50k miles after $3,000 spent in 3 months

United℠ Explorer Card offer: 50k miles after $3k spent in 3 months. (Annual fee: annual_fees)

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card card art

bonus_miles_full Get this welcome bonus.

A good welcome bonus, especially considering that the card has a $0 introductory annual fee in the the first year. Rewards are earned as United MileagePlus milea.

United Club one-time passes. Free first checked bag. Earns PQPs. (More in our United card roundup.)

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In-brach United℠ Explorer Card welcome offers:

On many of its Chase-branded cards, Chase will offer a better in-branch welcome offer. Unfortunately, Chase doesn’t seem to offer better in-branch offers on their co-branded cards like the United credit cards. We know of no current or previous better in-branch offers on this card.

About the United℠ Explorer Card

United℠ Explorer Card card art
United℠ Explorer Card

The United℠ Explorer Card offers a free first checked bag on United, one-time passes to the United Club each year, a credit for Trusted traveler programs, and the opportunity to earn Premier Qualifying Points toward status. The card has a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

When you use the United℠ Explorer Card for United purchases, you’ll earn 2 miles per dollar. You’ll also earn 2 miles per dollar on dining and hotel accommodations purchased directly with the hotel. Other purchases earn 1 mile per dollar.

With the United℠ Explorer Card, you’ll get a first free checked bag for you and a companion. When you travel on United, you’ll receive Priority boarding and 25% back on United inflight and club premium drink purchases. Twice a year, you’ll be able to treat yourself to lounge access with the 2 United Club℠ passes that you’ll get each year. The card also includes travel insurance coverages like baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and trip delay reimbursement.

Visit our overview and comparison of the United credit cards for more on the United℠ Explorer Card and to compare it against all of the other United Airlines credit cards.

My take on the United℠ Explorer Card welcome bonus

The 50,000 miles you can earn with the current United℠ Explorer Card is an average bonus for an entry-level airline credit card. But if you’re interested in United miles, it’s a bonus to consider, especially considering that the card offers a $0 introductory annual fee in the first year.

Can you get a better bonus? The current welcome bonus is the standard bonus on this card. You might be able to get a slightly increased bonus by waiting for a Chase limited-time offer on the United℠ Explorer Card. The last limited time offer on this card we know about earned 10,000 additional miles and ended on March 14, 2024.

Other ways to get United miles. A new cardmember welcome bonus on the United Explorer card is far from the only way to get United miles. We have an article featuring all current United credit card welcome bonuses and Chase Ultimate Rewards® transfer to Untied miles if you hold a premium Ultimate Rewards credit card. We have an overview of the current Ultimate Rewards® welcome bonuses. Chase Ink small business cards typically offer the most lucrative welcome bonuses. If you’re looking for a card with a giant welcome bonus and no annual fee, the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card and Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card are probably your best bets.

My verdict: If you’re interested in United miles and not currently pursuing another welcome bonus, the United℠ Explorer Card can be a good choice, but if you don’t already have the Ink Business Cash or Ink Business Unlimited, look at those cards first—you’ll earn more points that you can transfer to United on cards with no annual fee.

A few notes on applying for Chase cards

  • 5/24 rule. Chase generally won’t approve you if your credit report is showing 5 or more new credit card accounts opened in the last 24 months. This rule is knows as the 5/24 rule. If you’re unsure if you are “under 5/24” you should check your 5/24 status before applying for a Chase card. Note that recently this rule seems to have softened, especially for Ink cards. See our coverage about Chase 5/24 for more.
  • Only one Sapphire-branded card. You can only hold one Chase Sapphire-branded card at a time. This means you can have either a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or a Chase Sapphire Reserve®, but not both.
  • You can get a welcome bonus on a Chase card, even if you’ve had the card previously. How often you can earn a welcome bonus on a Chase card varies by card family.
    • Most cards allow you to earn a welcome bonus if it has been at least 24 months since your last received a welcome bonus on the same card.
    • Chase Sapphire-branded cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you can only earn a welcome bonus once every 48 months. (We published a separate article to help you determine if you can get a Sapphire welcome bonus.)
    • Marriott cards have their own special rules.
  • Chase will match an increased bonus. If you apply for a Chase card and the bank offers a higher bonus within 90 days, you can send Chase a secure message or call them to have your welcome offer matched.
  • In-branch offers are sometimes better. Chase sometimes has better credit card welcome offers in-branch than it will publish on its own website or through affiliate networks. Check all channels to make sure you’re getting the best bonus.
  • Chase business cards do not report to personal credit reports and do not impact your 5/24 status as long as they are current.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best bonus on a United credit card?

United frequently changes the bonuses it offers on its credit cards. We track the best United bonuses on our overview of United credit card welcome bonuses.

Can I use United miles for someone else?

Yes. You can book tickets for yourself or others using your United MileagePlus miles.

About the author

  • Aaron Hurd

    Aaron Hurd is a credit card, travel rewards, and loyalty program expert. Over the past 15 years, he has authored over a thousand expert contributions published by leading outlets including WSJ, TIME, Newsweek, Forbes, NerdWallet, The Points Guy, Bankrate, CNET, and many others. He has also served in consulting roles for many of these same outlets, designing content strategy, hiring teams of teams of editors and contributors, developing thought-leadership pieces, and ghost-editing for senior editors. Aaron is well-known in the miles and points community and regularly presents about travel rewards at conferences like the Chicago Seminars and Minnebar. Aaron has enjoyed the game of optimizing credit card rewards since getting his first credit card shortly after he turned 18. He started learning about credit cards and travel rewards from the (now defunct) FatWallet Finance forums and FlyerTalk. He holds more than 40 open credit cards and has first-hand experience with almost every major credit card product.

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