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What would you do with 125,000 United miles?

If you’re going to get a new credit card, you might as well get one when the sign-up bonus can bring you a ton of miles. That’s why this might be the right time for you to get the United Business Explorer Card since Chase just launched a massive sign-up bonus offer. Now, off the bat, I’ll just say the minimum spend requirement but it could still fit what you need and get you a ton of miles to book some fun flights across the world.

Let’s take a look at the bonus details and the ongoing perks offered by this card.

Sign-Up Bonus: 100,000 United Miles

united polaris business class cabin

Chase has been offering tiered sign-up bonuses more and more in the last year or so. Currently, Chase has split the bonus that comes with the United Business Explorer Card into two tiers. Here’s how the sign-up bonus works:

  • Earn 50,000 United miles when you spend $5,000 within the first 3 months
  • Earn 50,000 United miles when you spend an additional $20,000 within the first 6 months

So, that means if you spend $25,000 during your first 6 months with the card, you’ll earn 100,000 United miles as the sign-up bonus. If you have a lot of spend that doesn’t fall under bonus categories (more on that below), you’ll end up with 125,000 United miles after hitting the minimum spend. Remember, you’ll earn 1X mile on each dollar of that $25,000 in spend too.

Think about it like this. If you’re using the United Business Explorer on purchases that would typically earn 1X, you’ll be earning 5X miles per dollar if you hit meet the full minimum spend of $25,000. It’s a tall order for many, but very useful if your business is going to spend the money anyway.

Previously, we’ve seen offers for 75,000 United miles with a smaller minimum spend requirement. While I’d probably prefer that, I don’t know if that offer will be back soon (if at all). Still, 125,000 United miles is a massive haul that at least deserves a look.

Bonus Categories

Now, the bonus categories that come with the United Business Explorer Card won’t blow you out of the water but they might fill a gap that your other cards don’t cover right now. The bonus categories are as follows:

  • 2X gas stations, office supply stores and restaurants
  • 2X on purchases with United including flights,  inflight food and drink, WiFi and Economy Plus seats
  • 1X on all other purchases

What Can You Do With 125,000 United Miles?

SAS Business Class Bed

I like to say points are pointless if you don’t know how to use them, so let’s take a look at how you can use 125,000 United miles. Whether you’re looking to book business class or economy award tickets, you’ll have some options.

For economy flyers, that 125,000 miles is enough for two round-trip tickets between the USA and Europe at 60,000 miles each. If you only need one-way flights, that’s four flights at 30,000 miles apiece. For business class flyers, you could book one round-trip business class award ticket to/from Europe for 120,000 if you fly on United.

A quick note on the United MileagePlus program: Award flights on United will no longer be governed by an award chart. Instead, United will start using dynamic award pricing for flights on/after November 15, 2019. This will not impact the rates required to fly partners.

If you want to fly a partner airline, you’d need 140,000 miles for the round-trip but you can get the remaining 15,000 miles by transferring Ultimate Rewards points to your United account. Considering how many cards earn Ultimate Rewards points, that should be pretty easy.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how you can use United miles. Make sure you check out some of our favorite ways to redeem United miles for more inspiration.

United Explorer Business Card Benefits

Beyond earning United miles for award flights, the United Business Explorer Card has several benefits that might make it a keeper for you. Let’s take a look at some of the important ones.

Expanded Award Availability

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If you need an economy award ticket on a United flight, this perk can really come through for you. With a United cardholder, you get access to more award space and the difference can be massive. The expanded saver level award space (the cheapest award possible) is classified as XN fare class.

You also get access to more Everyday level award space in both economy and business class — YN and JN, respectively. Of course, Everyday level awards require a TON of miles and won’t be worth it for the vast majority of people.

Perks On United Flights

As a cardholder, you and a travel companion who is on your reservation each get a free checked bag on United flights. You’ll even get a free checked bag — and carry-on bag — when you book basic economy tickets. As annoying as those tickets can be, at least you won’t have to worry about bag fees. Finally, you’ll get priority boarding — in basic economy too — so you can grab that precious overhead space for your bag.

Spend Waiver For Elite Status

If you find yourself regularly flying United on cheap cash tickets, it can be tough to reach the spend requirements to earn elite status because of the Premier Qualifying Dollar (PQD) requirement. With the United Business Explorer Card, you can get a spend waiver if you spend $25,000 on the card in a calendar year. You might have realized that’s the same amount you must spend to get the full 100,000-mile sign-up bonus. Kind of like a 2-for-1 special.

Upgrades On Award Tickets If You Have Elite Status

United 737 MAX 9

Speaking of elite status stuff, there’s one more perk you should know. If you have elite status AND this card, you are eligible for upgrades on economy award tickets. While these upgrades get prioritized below cash tickets, it’s nice to have the chance at a little more comfort on your flight at no extra cost.

2 United Club Passes

I won’t claim that United Clubs are particularly special but they can be a nice respite from the hustle and bustle of the airport. If nothing else, they offer a place to grab a snack and a drink then grab a seat and charge your phone or laptop. With the United Business Explorer Card, you’ll get 2 United Club passes each year you have the card.

If you don’t have a use for them, they can make great gifts for your friends who don’t travel much. While regular travelers might not be wowed by a United Club, it really can be a special treat for someone who doesn’t get to travel very often.

Final Thoughts

While I wouldn’t prioritize this card over earning Ultimate Rewards points with the Ink Business Preferred credit card, the United Business Explorer Card could provide a huge boost to your United balance. Just make sure your eligible for the card as it is restricted by the Chase 5/24 rule.

Fortunately, it pairs nicely with Ultimate Rewards cards as United is a Chase partner. Throw in the perks that come with this card and you might find that it’s a keeper for you if you fly United regularly. As always, it all comes down to your particular travel needs.

Spencer Howard

Spencer Howard is a credit card rewards and award travel expert. He’s living proof that points and miles can unlock many of the greatest travel experiences and uses his skills to tick off new bucket...

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