United Elevates Bonus Miles on Two Cards
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Two airline credit cards, the United Explorer Card and the United Club Infinite Card, have bumped up the sign-up bonus miles you can earn without traveling.
The United Club Infinite Card has revived its 100,000-mile bonus offer, and the United Explorer Card has increased its offer from 40,000 to 60,000 miles. The United Club Infinite Card and the 100,000-mile bonus was introduced in March.
Cardholders can redeem miles for flights, hotel stays, rental cars, gift cards and more. Just keep in mind that your travel redemptions may be limited to domestic trips for the near future because of coronavirus restrictions.
Here’s what you need to know.
Both cards offer above-average sign-up bonuses.
- United Explorer Card: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on card purchases in the first three months.
- United Club Infinite Card: Earn 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on card purchases in the first three months.
Is the Offer Worthwhile?
Both sign-up bonuses can deliver good value.
The United Explorer Card’s bonus is worth about $1,000, and the United Club Infinite Card’s bonus is worth about $1,600, according to U.S. News research.
The cards charge no annual fee the first year, but the fee kicks in the second year and could erode the value of the bonus. The United Explorer Card charges a $95 annual fee, and the United Club Infinite Card requires a hefty $525 fee.
Comparing Sign-Up Bonuses
These United sign-up bonuses are competitive among airline cards, and the United Club Infinite Card’s bonus is not easily matched. You should still compare these cards with other credit cards that offer similar sign-up bonuses, which include:
- AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard. This card earns 60,000 bonus miles when you use it to make a purchase in any amount in the first 90 days, but it also charges a $99 annual fee. The United Explorer Card earns the same 60,000-mile bonus, but you’ll need to spend $3,000 within that same amount of time. You won’t owe the card’s $95 annual fee until the second year.
- The Platinum Card from American Express. Although the flagship travel card from American Express earns 60,000 points when you spend $5,000 on it in the first three months, it charges a $550 annual fee. Comparatively, the United Club Infinite Card with the 100,000-mile bonus and the $525 annual fee in the second year offers more miles for your triple-digit fee.
Should You Claim the Offer?
Whether to claim the offer depends on your budget and your travel itinerary. Claiming one of these United sign-up bonuses could make sense if you are hoping to pocket miles for post-coronavirus travel or planning to spend thousands on an airline card.
You may want to rethink your plans if you value flexibility in how you can redeem your rewards. In that case, you a general travel card or another type of card may be a better choice.