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Five years ago there was a 100,000 mile offer for the premium American Airlines card with $450 annual fee. But we haven’t seen a U.S. airline credit card offering 100,000 miles as an initial bonus since then.
At the beginning of the year the UnitedSM Explorer Business Card had a best-ever 75,000 mile offer. Right now – definitely for a limited time – you can earn up to 100,000 bonus miles after qualifying purchases:
- 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
- Another 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $25,000 total on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open.
That’s an average of $4166.67 per month in spend to earn the full bonus, which is why there are easy ways to meet minimum spending on a credit card.
The card’s annual fee is $95. You receive 2 United Club passes each year with card renewal, a free checked bag, and priority boarding. In addition, United cardholders along with elites get better award availability and access to redeem miles for last seat availability. Ongoing spend will earn 2 miles per dollar at restaurants, gas stations, office supply stores and on United purchases.
This is a really good offer for the card, the best public offer there’s been in my opinion, and the first 100,000 mile offer from a U.S. airline in five years. A few years ago I got excited when this card was being offered with just 50,000 miles. This is a great way to pick up 100,000 United miles. So if you have fewer than 5 new cards opened in the last 24 months definitely consider this one.
I find that United miles are the most flexible of any U.S. airline currency for business class awards to Europe and Asia, since United has the most partners through Star Alliance (and you can combine partners to get where you’re going).
While award pricing won’t be constrained by the old award chart starting with travel November 15 onward, that’s a change for United flights… they’re still pricing Star Alliance redemptions based on fixed cost. And there’s never any fuel surcharges on United awards.