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UPDATE 23 January 2020: Chase has now confirmed that this card is being treated as a new product so all applicants are eligible for the welcome bonus even if they have received a United Business Explorer bonus in the last 24 months.
Officially, Chase has retired the United Business Explorer Card and has launched the United Business Card but, in essence, the new card is a revamped Business Explorer card complete with an impressive 100,000 mile welcome offer, a slightly increased annual fee, and a few new customer benefits too.
- Earn 100,000 United MileagePlus Miles after making $10,000 in purchases on the card in the first 3 months of membership.
- $99 (not waived in the first year)
- 2 miles/dollar for spending with United
- 2 miles/dollar for spending at restaurants
- 2 miles/dollar for spending at gas stations
- 2 miles/dollar for spending at office supply stores
- 2 miles/dollar for spending on local transit and commuting* **NEW**
- 1 mile/dollar for all other spending
*Includes taxis, ridesharing, mass transit, and tolls
- $100/year United Airlines travel credit (can be used after 7 United Airlines purchases of over $100 are made) – **NEW**
- 25% rebate on all United Airlines inflight spending – **NEW**
- 5,000 bonus miles on the card anniversary if the cardholder also holds a personal United Airlines credit card – **NEW**
- Free checked bag for up to 2 passengers on the same booking when fare is paid for with the United Business Explorer Card
- 2 United Club one-time passes per year
- Priority boarding for the cardmember and other passengers on the same booking as the cardmember.
- Primary auto rental collision insurance
- Trip delay cover (for delays of 12 hours or more)
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
- No foreign transaction fees
- Fee-free employee cards
Who Is Excluded From Applying?
Who Is Excluded From The Welcome Offer?
Chase has confirmed that this card is being treated as a new product so all applicants are eligible for the welcome bonus even if they have received a United Business Explorer bonus in the last 24 months.
The Welcome Offer
I value United miles at 1.4 cents each based on how much value I can get out of them (without too much trouble) when I redeem my MileagePlus balance for award bookings, and that values the welcome offer at $1,400….and that’s pretty impressive.
Also, the last time we saw a 100,000 point on this card’s predecessor it required a ridiculous amount of spending before it was triggered ($25,000) – this offer’s target spending of $10,000 should be considerably more manageable.
The New Annual Free & New Benefits
The United Business Card has an annual fee that’s $4 more than that of its predecessor but with that $4 come four new cardholder benefits that more than make up for the fee hike.
The newly introduced 25% rebate on purchases of food, beverages, and wi-fi onboard United-operated flights will probably cover the annual fee rise with a single purchase for most travelers, and United’s frequent flyers should be able to cover the whole of the card’s annual fee just by using the new $100/year United Airlines travel credit (infrequent flyers will struggle to meet the 7x $100+ purchase criteria that are required to trigger the credit).
The new 5,000 bonus miles on offer (every year) to cardmembers who also hold a personal United Airlines co-branded card (like the United Explorer Card) is nice (especially if you hold the no annual fee United TravelBank Card) but also a little odd. Does anyone really need a United Business card and a United personal card?
The new spending bonus category of 2 miles/dollar on local transit and commuting spending (which includes taxis, ridesharing, mass transit, and tolls) will be good for business owners who like to keep their business commute spending separate from their personal spending and who also want to earn as many United miles as possible but, for most people there will be better cards to use for this category of spending (e.g. the Ink Business Preferred credit card which offers 3 Ultimate Rewards points/dollar on up to $150,000 of travel spending per year).
The United Business card may cost a little more than its earlier incarnation but the added benefits more than make up for the fee increase and they make the card a much better proposition.
The 100,000 mile welcome bonus (which I value at $1,400) will probably be reason enough for a lot of people to apply for this card (especially as the spending requirement isn’t too onerous) but, if you’re a frequent United flyer, the fact that the new United Business card essentially pays for itself should be the deal clincher.