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United MileagePlus Explorer Visa & MasterCard Versions

I am always amazed at how awesome Frequent Flyer University readers are.

I try to do my best on covering as much information about frequent flying and travel hacking on the site, but I am always grateful when readers submit new information to me because to be honest I am constantly learning.

Chris M. from Libertyville, IL, sent me this email this weekend. For taking the time to think about FFU while on the phone with Chase, I’ll be sending a $50 Starbucks giftcard his way.

How To Get Your Annual Fee Waived By Chase /  The United MileagePlus Explorer Visa & MasterCard

Parag, I was just talking with Chase, because I was hit with annual fees on my old United MileagePlus card (the old gray visa with the $60 fee), and the British Airways card which I signed up for last year.  Your readers might find this information quite useful:

  • The front line phone rep doesn’t have any power to waive fees— if you want to get your fees waived, you need to ask to be transferred to a “loyalty adviser”.  They are pretty quick and happy to waive the fee for you, and it doesn’t take a lot of strong-arming on your part.
  • If you had the Continental OnePass MasterCard before (the entry level one with $85 fee), that card automatically switched over to a United Explorer card, but as a Mastercard.  I asked the rep if it was possible to have both the old Mastercard version, and the new Visa version, and she said yes. Hopefully that means its possible to get a second sign up bonus for the Explorer card.
  • The rep was able to waive the fee on the United Card, but not on the BA card.  I asked if this was because I was asking for two fees to be waived at the same time, or if it was something unique to the BA card.  The rep said that the Chase marketing department only budgets refunds for certain cards they are promoting.  She said that the United card was one that had a budget, but the BA card did not.  Either way, it was pretty painless to get the $60 statement credit.

What Does This Mean

Thanks to Chris’s due diligence, we now know some pretty groundbreaking news that really changes the game. I’ll be writing more in-depth about these topics this week, but here is a basic summary.
  • You can get an annual fee waived on your Chase Cards, you just have to ask to speak to the right person and the Card has to have a marketing budget.
  • There are 2 types of MileagePlus Explorers Credit Cards, a Visa and MasterCard version, which most likely means that you can get a sign up bonus for each version of the card. If anyone who has the MasterCard version, and has tried or gotten the Visa version along with the sign up bonus, please let me know.
  • If you previously had the Continental OnePass MasterCard and had your card automatically switched over to the United MileagePlus Explorer MasterCard, you are still eligible for the current United MileagePlus Explorer Visa 30,000 mile offer because it is a Visa.
Overall, I am really excited about this news and I think everyone will be extremely happy if you can get a second 30,000 mile sign up bonus for the United MileagePlus Explorer Visa.

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