First Impressions: United MileagePlus Explorer

One more card never hurt anyone right?


Well, here’s the newest addition to the family:  the United MileagePlus Explorer Visa Signature from Chase.


Chase MP Mail

Here’s what came in the envelope, along with some other mail that I promptly recycled.

Nothing to report here, again.  I mean really, all online credit card applications are the same now.  The only thing special about this one is the fact that I had a specific mail offer code.  The code was linked to my United MileagePlus account number, so I had to login to access my offer.  50,000 MileagePlus miles after a $2,000 spend in 90 days.  Not bad, right?  The current public offer is for 30,000 MP miles after a $1,000 spend in 90 days.  I received the mail offer after some miles from a few Copa Airlines flights posted to my account, but the public offer does get bumped up to 50,000 miles once or twice a year, so keep an eye out for it.

I was approved instantly for a $12,000 credit line, and received instant notification of the approval (via email).  The next step was setting up a Chase account, which was really easy.  I’m actually already familiar with online accounts at Chase, since I frequently logged in to pay my portion of a card I was an authorized user on.

The card took over a week to get here.  Don’t get me wrong, this is a totally normal timeframe.  I was just spoiled recently, with the Citi AAdvantage Executive.  But hey, for a $450 fee, that one better get to me as fast as they can slap my name on it.

The Card

Chase MP Front

The card itself is neat, simple.  A dark blue, it only has your name on front, along with United and Chase branding, and a silhouette of the United logo.  You find all the real information on the back, like the card number, expiration date, and your MileagePlus number.  This card is directly linked to your MileagePlus number, but if you added an authorized user, their card won’t have anything shown in that same spot.  This is because the MileagePlus number is tied directly to the individual name of the primary cardholder.

Chase MP Back

Note the MileagePlus number (covered up) on the primary card, right, but not on the authorized user card, left.

Card Benefits

  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Annual fee of $95 waived for the first year.
  • First checked bag free for the primary cardholder and one guest, on United operated flights purchased with the card.
  • Two single use United Club passes each year you have the card.
  • Priority boarding on United operated flights.
  • Visa Signature card benefits, including auto rental insurance, 24/7 concierge services, and travel accident insurance.

The Bonus

For the MileagePlus Explorer, wait for the 50,000 miles offer.  This usually comes around once or twice a year to the public, or as a targeted offer.  By “targeted” I mean the offer is only for specific people.  For example, I received a mail offer code, for 50,000 miles after a $2,000 spend.  I got the offer after some Copa Airlines flights posted to my United MP account.  So, if you have miles posting to your United account soon, keep an eye out for an offer (email or snail mail).  This card is paired (like some other Chase cards) with an additional 5,000 miles for adding an authorized user and making a purchase with that card too.  So if you have a willing and trusted accomplice, it’s all the more useful.


If you’re thinking about getting into the miles game, remember, credit cards can be dangerous.  Any interest carried on the card will totally negate the sign-up bonuses, so apply wisely.  Never sign up for cards with spend bonuses you can’t hit with your everyday spending, and always, always pay off your card before any interest accrues.



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