Last Week for United 50,000 Miles Offer!

Please note this site has financial relationships with American Express and this post may contain affiliate links. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here to learn more about my partners.

This offer has ended.  Check here for current offers.


Some credit card offers are both good enough and widely marketed enough to get the attention of even non miles and points enthusiasts (a.k.a., regular folks).  The current temporarily increased offer for 50,000 United miles via the MileagePlus Explorer card after spending $2,000 is one of those offers that is getting the attention of all sorts of travelers and it is set to end on September 2nd.  That means this is the last week for the 50,000 mile offer, so it is time to get serious about deciding if this offer is right for you.

United MileagePlus® Explorer Card: 50,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days+ additional 5,000 miles for authorized user that makes a purchase

I’ve gotten texts, emails, messages, and more from friends and family members who don’t normally raise an eyebrow at miles, but are interested in this 50,000 United miles offer that they have received in their mailbox, seen at the airport, or noticed online.    They all ask the same question, they think 50,000 miles (or 55,000 with an authorized user) look pretty good, but want to make sure it is an offer really worth getting.

Are 50,000 United Miles Worth Applying For:

My answer?  Yes!  Yes!  A million times over, yes.  Getting 50,000 United miles for spending $2,000 in the first three months with a $0 introductory annual fee the first year is absolutely worth getting.  In fact, it is worth getting for both yourself and your partner, if you have one.  The regular public sign-up offer for this card is 30,000 miles, so this is a very big improvement that is set to go away on September 2nd.

United royally jacked up award prices for premium cabin long haul awards – especially on partner airlines – earlier this year, but there are still tons of other good ways to use United miles, and when you have the United card you seem to ‘unofficially’ have access to a bit more United operated award inventory than without.

Four Ways to Use United Miles:

There are infinite ways to use United miles, but here are four different ideas just to get you thinking about what you can do with all these miles.

Awards in Lower 48 + Canada just 12,500 miles each way:

It may not be sexy, but lots of people use their miles to fly on domestic saver awards in the lower 48 and even to Canada for just 12,500 United miles each way.  With airfares continuing to trend upward and domestic round trip airfares averaging $509 for the first half of 2014, using 25,000 miles for a domestic round trip actually doesn’t sound that bad!

I have found domestic award availability with United to be pretty decent, certainly better than via some other programs such as Delta.

United BusinessFirst to Europe for 57,500 miles each way:

When United changed their award chart in February, they left United operated flights to Europe relatively affordable on miles at 57,500 miles each way for United BusinessFirst to Europe.  I happen to really enjoy United business class as the seat is totally adequate for sleeping as you cross the Atlantic, the in-flight entertainment in decent, there are no fuel surcharges, and availability for the awards isn’t too bad.  Sure it isn’t as luxurious as some foreign carriers, but who cares?!  You have a bed and you are flying to Europe and that is more than good enough for me!

57.5k United miles to Europe

57.5k United miles to Europe

Visit several cities via stopovers and open-jaws:

United has pretty generous routing rules so you can have up to one stopovers and and two open jaws on round trip award tickets between two zones (including Alaska).  This can be used to your advantage to visit different cities on one large trip, or to tack on a “free one way” to start or end an entirely different trip.  You can read more about this concept in this post.

Intra Hawaii Awards for 6,000 Miles:

On a recent trip to Hawaii we needed to fly on United’s partner Hawaiian Airlines between Honolulu and Hawaii and prices for the intra-Hawaii segment were a little higher than I wanted to pay with cash, so we just used 6,000 United miles each and we were able to hop between the Hawaiian islands without feeling the pain with our wallet.


Hawaiian sunrise

Who can get the bonus miles:

If you have had this card in the past, pay attention to the language in the terms that indicates:

This new cardmember bonus offer is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this consumer credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this consumer credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this consumer credit card within the last 24 months

Good luck if you go for the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card – that is a bunch of United miles and absolutely worth going for in my book.  Just remember the advertized deadline is coming up very soon on September 2nd!


Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

Disclaimer: The comments below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. So, if I understand this correctly, my husband may be eligible for another personal UEP. He got his last one in 6/12 and cancelled it in 7/13. Does this mean he would indeed be eligible for the bonus again?

    • Kathy, my reading of the terms says yes as he seems to meet both criteria.
      This new cardmember bonus offer is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this consumer credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this consumer credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this consumer credit card within the last 24 months

  2. Why are you not suggesting your readers use the Chase link that also adds $50 in statement credit? I’m a long time reader, have enjoyed listening to you in person at the Chicago Seminars and really enjoy the blog. But I think it’s unacceptable that you don’t provide the link with the exact same offer + $50 for your readers. Not even a lousy reference to it while still promoting your affiliate link. At the end of the day you are making money by costing your readers money.

  3. Thanks for the quick response. I understand it can be more difficult to get to, but that’s never stopped anyone in the miles & points world from trying. At an absolute minimum, it should be referenced and the best known link provided. If you weren’t compensated for the affiliate link, I am 100% sure you would have mentioned the other one – to at least let people try. To not even mention it in a post pushing the link that pays you is still, in my opinion, unacceptable.

    My wife used the following link yesterday, provided by Greg from Frequent Miler, and it worked perfectly:

    Or try this one:

    Also – nothing in the T&C references that the offer is targeted in any way.

    • Alex, I can see the offer on those pages, but once I hit apply and have to log in they don’t work for me. I have included it previously when writing about this offer and am happy to have the links here for those they work for. That version of the offer has been a moving target, but certainly good if it works for you. Congrats to your wife!

  4. I believe my last response either went to a spam filter – possibly because I provided working links. Could you please take a look and allow the comment to be shown?

    • TJ, I have shared that offer when I thought anyone could use it. Happy to have the links here. Wrote a whole post on it before in fact. I just can’t even pretend to try and keep up with offers that don’t work for everyone. That said if I post a final reminder on this offer on 9/2 I’m happy to mention the other version too. Really not a conspiracy, just something that doesn’t work for everyone.

      • One more clarification – the link you posted above isn’t exactly “a whole post” about the $50 statement credit offer. You wrote a post that didn’t mention it at all and then included an update later based on reader feedback. So “in fact” you didn’t write a whole post about it.

        I thought it was handled just fine in this post from you. I just don’t understand why you wouldn’t do that again:

        • Alex, I have written a whole post on the $50 statement credit offer right after it came out, I just didn’t link to that post specifically as I didn’t know that statement of mine would be in question and instead simply added a link to the first post that came up with the statement credit offer in it. Here is the link to the full post on the offer.

          Added it then and wrote about it then when I thought the statement credit link worked across the board. It doesn’t. Certainly could have still included it in this post as an option, but I just don’t normally include non-public links as that rabbit hole is endless. This post is already 3 posts old and as such as limited eyeballs at this point either way. Always glad to have feedback though so will include it in the final reminder on this offer around 9/2, but in general I only share truly public offers unless there is a glaring reason to venture from that.

          Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

  5. Thank you for the correcting me. I obviously thought you were referring to the post you linked for me. That’s my mistake.

    By the way – I’m not one of those guys trying to get attention from other readers or do some type of “gotcha” comment. It was just very fresh in my mind that if I hadn’t seen the link previously or elsewhere, I would be out $50 for no reason. Then I saw this post today and was disappointed, that’s all.

    No need to respond, just needed to voice my opinion. Thanks for the answers.

    • Alex, I certainly never intend to disappoint. I’m sure it doesn’t seem this way, but it is hard to draw the line of where to include and leave out info in posts to keep them helpful for the widest net of people. In another context, did the same with a hotel promo page update today and deciding whether to put targeted offers in there or not (opted yes for Hyatt which is really no longer targeted, and no for SPG that still seems very targeted). No perfect answer for sure, but it is not as simple as affiliate offer vs not affiliate as it goes well beyond that arena. This one is on the line. Opinions always welcome for sure.

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