You don’t see an airline credit card’s bonus offer this high every day. The United℠ Explorer Business Card’s latest offer doubles the amount of miles you could earn after qualifying purchases.
The current promotion is pretty substantial. The issuer, Chase, phrases it this way: “Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 100,000 after qualifying purchases. Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $25,000 total on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open.” That’s up from the previous offer of 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. This boosted offer ends Oct. 11, 2019.
The annual fee has also changed to $95. Previously, the annual fee was $0 for the first year, then $95, but now you’ll have to start paying the annual fee upfront.
You’ll also earn:
- 2 miles per $1 at gas stations, office supply stores and restaurants.
- 2 miles per $1 spent on United purchases.
- 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.
The United℠ Explorer Business Card comes with other perks as well, including:
- Free first checked bag for you and a travel companion, which could save you up to $120 round-trip.
- Two one-time United Club passes each year, worth over $100 in value. (Starting Nov. 1, you can’t use these passes unless you’re flying United.)
- Employee cards at no additional cost, and miles earned from their purchases accrue in your account.
- No foreign transaction fees.
The bottom line
If you’re in the market for a miles-earning business card and you fly United often, this could be an opportune time to sign up — especially if you’re able to meet the hefty spending requirement to earn the full bonus.
This bonus offer tops many other airline credit cards, which usually offer around 40,000 to 60,000 bonus miles. Southwest is one exception with the New! Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card’s bonus: Earn 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.. NerdWallet values Southwest miles at 1.7 cents each, meaning the bonus is worth roughly $1,360 worth of award travel.
Meanwhile, United MileagePlus miles are worth 1.3 cents on average, meaning the 100,000 bonus miles translates to about $1,300 of award travel. However, note that it will soon get harder to predict what you can do with your miles, as United is nixing its award chart for flights departing after Nov. 15.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2019, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Find the best travel credit card for you
United Airlines MileagePlus program: The complete guide
How to get started with frequent flyer programs