Last updated on November 17th, 2021
United and Chase recently announced an impressive new sign-up bonus to the United Explorer Business Card: 100,000 miles after an initial spend. Unfortunately, this offer is for an extremely limited time only. Here’s everything you need to know.
Story at a Glance
- United Explorer’s 100,000 miles offer expires October 10, 2019
- Requires $25,000 in spending in 6 months (50,000 miles for $5,000 in spending in 90 days; 50,000 miles after spending $25,000 in 6 months)
- United MileagePlus miles have a value of 1.25 cents per points, making value of offer ~$1,250
- Aer Lingus Visa Signature, British Airways Visa Signature, JetBlue Business Card, and others may offer better value
Hoping to Get the United Explorer Sign-Up Bonus? Act Quickly!
The United Explorer Business Card from Chase is currently offering its highest sign-up bonus to new applicants: 100,000 bonus United miles. This impressive bonus might not be the first of its kind, with Aer Lingus famously offering 120,000 earlier this year (though that offer has expired). For those who are interested, 100,000 United miles don’t come free. As with other introductory offers from major airlines or credit card issuers, the sign-up bonus comes with the provision that a minimum spending threshold is met. In the case of the United Explorer Business Card, this threshold is broken into two parts: First, cardholders receive 50,000 bonus miles when they use their card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of opening an account; second, they receive an additional 50,000 miles when they use their card to make $25,000 in total purchases within the first 6 months of having the card. It’s important to note that miles in the United Mileage Plus program have a value of around 1.25 to 1.3 cents per point. These calculations are arrived at through the careful charting of the costs of flights between major destinations at different times of day and season, as well as through different classes of carriage. This formulation puts the value of 100,000 United miles at around $1,200. It is also important to note that the United Explorer introductory offer expires rather soon – and by that we mean October 10, 2019 (we told you it was soon)!
Better Airline Card Options Are Available
While the United Explorer Business Card offer may expire soon, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of impressive sign-up bonuses out there from other major carriers. Chase provides excellent sign-up bonuses for all of their airline rewards credit cards. Three in particular currently offer an impressive 100,000 introductory bonus miles: the Aer Lingus Visa Signature; the British Airways Visa Signature; and the Iberia Visa Signature Card. These three cards are excellent options for those who frequently travel with Oneworld Alliance carriers, which – beyond Aer Lingus, British Airways, and Iberia – includes American Airlines, Qantas, Japan Airlines, and – until their partnership expires – LATAM, South America’s largest carrier. The Aer Lingus, British Airways, and Iberia Visa Signature cards all also earn Avios, which is the currency of the International Airlines Group – consisting of these airlines – as well as Vueling, a Spanish discount carrier.
Avios May Offer Better Value for European Travelers
With the Aer Lingus Visa Signature, 100,000 Avios is earnable after making $20,000 in purchases within the first year of card membership. This sum is suitable for up to 6 one-way economy journeys from London to New York. With the United Explorer Business Card, on the other hand, 100,000 miles requires $25,000 in purchases in just 6 months. While the United Explorer card is a business card, all but the highest echelon of firms is likely to spend around $25,000 in purchases in 6 months, making the introductory bonus likely to be 50,000 miles rather than 100,000 for smaller companies. For other businesses that will likely spend the requisite $25,000 within a full year, choosing a personal card like the Aer Lingus or the British Airways Visa Signature and adding a few additional authorized users may be a better fit.
JetBlue is an Excellent Option for American Travelers
With 50,000 points being the likely sign-up bonus for many companies that apply for the United Business Explorer, are there other options to consider? The short answer is yes, with the JetBlue Business Card being a great place to start. JetBlue is ideal for those who travel to many destinations in the U.S. and Latin America, and the JetBlue Business Card is an excellent tool to help employees get the most out of their travel. New JetBlue Business Card accounts earn an impressive 60,000 points for a very minimal initial spend. Companies earn 50,000 points when they use the card to make just $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days, plus another 10,000 points when an employee makes a purchase with their complimentary employee card. Since flight rewards redemptions with the TrueBlue program start as low as 5,000 points, the sign-up bonus is good for up to 12 one-way trips for employees – for just $1,000!
Summing It All Up
United’s impressive-looking sign-up bonus is just that – impressive looking. Unfortunately, the required spending of $25,000 in just 6 months puts the total bonus out of reach for all but a select few companies. Fortunately, however, there are many offers from other airlines that are as competitive – if not better – than those of the United Explorer Business Card. Before rushing to sign-up for your next personal or business card, make sure you have all the information you need so you don’t leave anything to chance. At BestCards, our team takes out all the guesswork. Our expert team of credit card analysts dissect every card offering to provide only the most accurate and impartial reviews available. We offer card reviews from credit card providers of all sizes nationwide.