United Credit Cards Now Offer Up to 100,000 Bonus Miles
by Lyle Daly | Updated July 21, 2021 - First published on Aug. 7, 2020
Want to stock up on United miles? Now is the time.
If you fly with United, its travel credit cards can provide valuable benefits and earn you lots of miles. For a limited time, you can earn even more miles than usual, because United is offering elevated sign-up bonuses on two of its most popular cards.
Here's everything you need to know about these bonuses, including the number of miles offered, what they're worth, and what's required to qualify for each card.
The new-and-improved United card bonuses
The United credit cards with bigger sign-up bonuses are:
- United℠ Explorer Card: 60,000 miles for spending $3,000 in three months; increased from 40,000 miles for spending $2,000 in three months
- United Club℠ Infinite Card: 100,000 miles for spending $5,000 in three months; no previous sign-up bonus
These are limited-time offers, and both end on Sept. 30, 2020.
Though it looks like the United Club℠ Infinite Card has improved much more than the United℠ Explorer Card, a bit of clarification is required. The United Club℠ Infinite Card carries a $525 annual fee, and for a few months, United waived that annual fee for the first year instead of offering a sign-up bonus. Before that, its sign-up bonus was sometimes as high as 100,000 miles. It has essentially gotten rid of the annual fee waiver and gone back to its biggest bonus offer. That's still a big improvement, because 100,000 miles can be worth much more than $525.
The United℠ Explorer Card is the more affordable option, with a $95 annual fee that's waived for the first year. Since it costs much less, it also lacks some of the high-value perks of the United Club℠ Infinite Card
How much are United miles worth?
United MileagePlus miles are generally worth from $0.01 to $0.015 per mile. The exact value depends on how you use them. It's possible to get over $0.02, and sometimes even over $0.03 per mile with the right booking. Results vary, but if you use them well, you should be able to consistently get at least $0.01 per mile at minimum.
Based on those values, the 60,000-mile bonus of the United℠ Explorer Card is worth around $600 to $900. The 100,000-mile bonus of the United Club℠ Infinite Card is worth about $1,000 to $1,500 (not figuring in the cost of the annual fee).
To successfully apply for either of these United cards, you should have good credit or better, meaning a FICO® Score of at least 670. That's not a strict rule, but you're much less likely to be approved with a lower credit score.
When it comes to strict rules, there are a few that affect who qualifies for these cards:
- You're not eligible for the United℠ Explorer Card if you've already gotten that card and received a sign-up bonus in the previous 24 months.
- You're not eligible for the United Club℠ Infinite Card if you already have any United ClubSM credit card, or if you've received a sign-up bonus with one of them in the previous 24 months.
- Your application for either card will most likely be denied if you've opened five or more credit cards in the last 24 months. That's due to Chase's 5/24 rule, as both these cards are issued by Chase.
Should you apply?
It's a great idea to apply now if you're interested in a credit card with United. Bonus offers can fluctuate, but 60,000 miles for the United℠ Explorer Card and 100,000 miles for the United Club℠ Infinite Card are typically the most you can get from these credit cards.
The other question is which card you should pick, and that depends on how often you fly with United. Frequent flyers are better off with the feature-packedUnited Club℠ Infinite Card. Even if you're holding off on travel for now because of the pandemic, you'll have a ton of miles ready for when you start flying again. If you don't want to pay such a hefty annual fee, the United℠ Explorer Card also offers quite a bit of value, and is free for the first year.
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