New United Explorer card benefits coming

We recently reported changes to the benefits on the Citi AAdvantage World Elite Mastercard (See: New Citi American Airlines benefits & bonus coming soon). Chase is now getting in on the act, revamping the benefits on the Chase United MileagePlus Explorer card. Bonus categories are being added and some key benefits are being eliminated.

Beginning June 1st, the Chase MileagePlus United card will carry the following new benefits both for new applicants and existing cardholders:

  • Earn 2x at restaurants and hotels (new)
  • $100 Global Entry / TSA PreCheck statement credit (new)
  • 25% off in-flight purchases (new)

Unfortunately, Chase is eliminating the following benefits:

  • Bonus 10,000 miles after $25,000 spend in a calendar year
  • Removal of return protection / price protection

Other benefits like free checked bag, priority boarding, 2 annual United Club passes, and more will be unchanged. See our Chase United MileagePlus Explorer page for full card benefits.

While it’s nice to have some bonus categories, these categories are of limited use for many readers. It is already possible to get 2x at restaurants and hotels for the same annual fee with the Chase Sapphire Preferred or 3x with the Sapphire Reserve – and you would have the benefit of transferring those points 1:1 to United or a host of other partners. The Global Entry / TSA PreCheck benefit is nice if you don’t have other cards that offer it, though that type of credit has become very common.

On the other hand, if you strongly value other card perks like free checked baggage and expanded award availability and you don’t have a CSP or CSR, the card may still provide a good value proposition for you and you might be just as happy to earn 2x at hotels and restaurants. The free checked bags could certainly add up for a family traveling together, and if you are traveling regularly and paying for Wi-Fi or food/beverages on-board, the discount there could be a nice perk. While I have put $25K spend on a United card for the 10K bonus miles in the past, it doesn’t make much sense to do so these days if you can use a Freedom Unlimited (1.5x everywhere or 3x everywhere for a year with the current offer if you intend to spend more than $10K) and combine with a Sapphire Preferred or Reserve account – so the elimination of that benefit won’t be significant for many readers.

The loss of return protection and price protection don’t seem like a big deal until you need them, and it’s too bad that Chase is dropping that benefit on many cards.

Again, these changes will affect both current cardholders and new applicants, so whether you have the card, apply now, or apply after June 1st these changes will apply to you.

Note that this card is subject to 5/24, so it won’t be available to those readers with 5 or more new accounts in the past 24 months.

H/T: View from the Wing

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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13 Comments on "New United Explorer card benefits coming"

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Christian
Guest

Are these changes for the business card as well?

NJturtlePower
Guest

New Chase United MP Explorer personal card offer is 40K Miles for $2k spend / $0 AF 1st year, Business Explorer is 50K Miles for $3k spend $0 AF 1st year. Get both and ditch the one with lesser benifits after the first year. 😉

Adam
Guest

Thinking of re-applying for this card mostly for the increased award availability.
My understanding is that that’s just applicable for *Economy* awards, right?

And though I guess the card also offers free as-available award upgrades from Economy –> Business class, my guess is that being out of SFO I’d never ever see these, agreed?

psh
Guest

I’m happy to see another card offering Global Entry credit since I’d like to get Global Entry for everyone in my family of 5. This makes that goal a little easier without shelling out for the ultra-premium cards.

CaveDweller
Guest

GE is a good thing But my bag was the last one on a 747 !!!!!!!!!!!!

Ricardo
Guest

For the $25000 spent, 10000 miles bonus…will that be extended until the end of the year or the $25000 need to be spent before june?

Gooselator
Guest

Good question on the $25,000 spend. I have been starting to put spend on my personal card, but not heavily since I am concentrating on another mega spend goal. If you just make the spend by 6/1 but your card month is after that will you still get the bonus 10,000?

Juno
Guest

I just received my notice letter from United MileagePlus card and it is true that they are removing the 10k boost miles after $25 K spend. I spend about 75k a year on this Chase card and the 10k boost is nice but since this benefit is being removed I’ll be dropping my chase card and moving my spending to my Amex Platinum for boost miles and MQM qualification.