United℠ Explorer Card Review (2020.1 Update: 60k Offer with $3k Spending Requirement)

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United℠ Explorer Card (Chase UA Explorer) Review

2020.1 Update: 65k offer has expired. Starting today, the card is offering a 60k miles offer with $3000 spending requirement in the first 3 months. The requirement is much smaller than the previous one which was $10k in total. This 60k offer ends at 04/02/20.

2019.11 Update: The card is now offering a 65k miles sign-up bonus! Spend $2000 within 3 months and you can earn 40k miles. Spend more than $10k in the first 6 months and you will earn an additional 25k miles. AF is waived for the first year. It’s the best ever public offer on this card. This offer ends at 01/22/20.

Application Link

Benefits

  1. 60k offer: earn 60,000 United miles after spending $3,000 in 3 months. The recent best public offer is 40k+25k (but with a much higher spending requirement), and the recent best targeted offer is 70k+5k+$50 (first year annual fee NOT waived).
  2. We value UA miles at 1.4 cents (Airline Miles Value). So the 60k sign-up bonus is worth about $840! See A Beginner’s Guide to UA Miles to check for details about UA Miles.
  3. Earn 2x UA miles on United, restaurants and hotels. Earn 1x UA mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  4. Get 2 United Club one-time passes each year.
  5. First checked bag free on United flights when purchasing tickets (or paying the tax and fees for award tickets) with this card..
  6. Group 2 boarding on United flights when purchasing tickets (or paying the tax and fees for award tickets) with this card.
  7. Earn 25% back on in flight purchases.
  8. Get 25% bonus miles on MileagePlus X purchases.
  9. More award availability (XN cabin) with this card.
  10. Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit.
  11. No foreign transaction fee.
  12. Refer a friend (targeted): You can earn 5,000 bonus UA miles for every approved account you refer, up to a maximum of 10 approved referrals (50,000 UA miles) per calendar year.

Disadvantage

  1. Annual fee $95, waived for the first year.

Recommended Application Time

  1. [5/24 Rule] If you have 5 or more new accounts opened in the past 24 months, Chase will not approve your application on this card, no matter how high your credit score is. The number of new accounts includes all credit card accounts, not only Chase accounts. See this post for details about how to possibly bypass this rule.
  2. You are not eligible for this sign-up bonus if you received a sign-up bonus on this card within 24 months. Note that what matters here is the time you got the sign-up bonus, not the time you opened or closed the account.
  3. Don』t apply for more than 2 Chase credit cards within 30 days, or it』s highly likely that you will get rejected.
  4. We recommend you to apply for this card after you have a credit history for more than a year.

Summary

The sign-up bonus on this card is usually very nice, so it is worth applying. However, the reward rate of everyday spending is not very impressive, which makes it hard to justify the $95 annual fee. If you fly UA a lot so that you can take advantage of those UA related perks, then this credit card is worth keeping. Otherwise you can consider downgrading it to the no fee Chase United MileagePlus Rewards card after one year.

Related Credit Cards

Recommended Downgrade Options

After Applying

  • Call 800-436-7927 to check Chase application status. This is an automated telephone line, and the information has the following meanings: Receive decision in 2 weeks means your application is probably approved; Receive decision in 7-10 days means your application is probably rejected; Receive decision in 30 days simply means your application requires further review and there’s nothing to tell you for now.
  • Chase reconsideration backdoor number: 888-270-2127 or 888-609-7805. Call it if you didn』t get approve immediately. Your personal information will be acquired and they will then review it. You seldom answer questions, instead, just enjoy the music and then you get approved or rejected, or further information is needed to be hand in to the branch or faxed.

Historical Offers Chart

Note: Sometimes there are offers such as 40k+25k on this card, but the spending requirement for the latter 25k is huge. Therefore, we don』t treat them as sign-up bonus; instead, we treat them as spending bonus instead.

Application Link


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