In This Review..
The United℠ Explorer Card is a Visa credit card offered through Chase bank that is an Airline branded card through United Airlines. This card is designed entirely for frequent fliers of United Airlines, and has great perks that make the cardholders overall travel experience less expensive and much more stress-free.
With United Explorer card, you can earn 2x per $1 spent on United purchases, hotel accommodations, restaurants & eligible delivery services and 1x per $1 spent on all other purchases. The miles that you accumulate through using this card don’t expire, just so long as the account is active.
When you sign up for the United Explorer Card, the new cardholder will receive 60,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. The card comes with an annual fee of $95 ($0 first year) and the variable APR is 21.99% – 28.99% variable, based on your credit worthiness.
Overall, from seat upgrades to 25% off discounts on all in-flight purchases and more benefits as you can read below, the United Explorer Card can make flying with United Airlines a much more relaxing process.
United℠ Explorer Card
Sign up Bonus
21.99% – 28.99% variable
$95 ($0 first year)
Balance Transfer Fee
$5 or 5%
Average – Good
Card & Issuer Reputation
- 3.6/5 on
Let’s take a look at the benefits of the United Explorer card and see if it’s the right one for your wallet or not.
The United Explorer Card offers a priority boarding onto your flight.
While these seem like less important perk, they are certainly subtle things that can make traveling much less stressful.
When cardholders have an active United Explorer Card, they will receive two One-Time passes annually into United Club lounges. This is something that not to many airlines will give their cardholders for free.
If anything, they will be available for purchase at a discounted rate, or something not even that. United Club passes such as these can make long layovers much more enjoyable and relaxing
A great perk to the United Explorer Card is that the miles that you accumulate through using this card don’t expire, just so long as the account is active.
This can be extremely beneficial because the cardholder truly does have the opportunity to pick and choose when and what to use their points on, whether it be flights, seat upgrades, or something else entirely.
There are over 1,000 luxury hotels and resorts in the collection and you can enjoy room upgrades, early check in and late check out if available, along with other amenities including complimentary breakfast.
Your new purchases are covered for 120 days against theft and damage with a cap of $10k per claim and $50k per year. You can also extend the manufacturer warranty on eligible products by an additional year.
The card doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee – a great rewards if you're traveling abroad frequently.
You can receive two United Club one times passes every year on your membership anniversary. In the United Club, you’ll enjoy complimentary snacks, beverages, WiFi and access to workspaces.
TSA Precheck has some great benefits for travelers, You can receive up to $100 in statement credit as reimbursement every four years for your application fee when you charge it to your card.
If your trip is cut short or canceled due to severe weather, sickness or other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $1,500 per person or $6,000 per trip for any non refundable, pre-paid passenger fares.
You can claim up to $100 per day for three days if your bags are delayed over six hours as reimbursement for essential purchases. If your check or carry on bags are damaged or lost by your carrier, you’ll also have up to $3,000 per passenger in coverage.
If you charge your entire rental cost to your United card, you’ll receive auto rental collision damage coverage for most rental cars domestic and abroad.
Let’s take a look at the drawbacks of the United Explore credit card and see if it’s the right one for your wallet or not.
The United Explorer Card offers new card holders a waived annual fee for the first year. After this, the annual fee is $95 ($0 first year). This is average or higher than other travel cards in the industry.
However, with the rewards that are offered with obtained points, the United Explorer Card certainly has the potential to pay the cardholder back and make the annual fee worth it.
While the United Explorer Card does waive the annual fee for the first year, there are really hardly any other perks past this. Comparable travel rewards cards such as the Bank of America Travel Rewards card don’t have an annual fee to have an active account, and offer an Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases.
This fee is $5 or 5% of the transfer, whichever is bigger.
The fee is incurred when you transfer debts from one or more credit cards to your Wells Fargo Rewards Card. This fee is upfront and will be added to your debt load when transferred.
Simulate Your Rewards: How Much You Earn?
Despite the fact that we've looked at a variety of card features, understanding the actual cash benefits can be difficult without a direct scenario comparison.
Because both of these cards are intended for everyday use, we'll examine typical monthly spending to see what rewards the cards provide, so you can see what rewards you could earn with similar spending.
However, keep in mind that the numbers should be adjusted to your regular spending categories, which may differ – so the exact calculation is dependent on your personal habits.
Spend Per Category
United℠ Explorer Card
$5,000 – U.S Supermarkets
$3,000 – Restaurants
$3,000 – Airline
$3,000 – Hotels
$4,000 – Gas
Estimated Total Points
Estimated Annual Value
The redemption methods are the same regardless of which Chase United card you choose. You can use your miles to fly to over 1,300 destinations around the world via the Star Alliance network, which includes United and other well-known airlines.
You can also use your miles for car rentals and hotel reservations through the CarAwards and HotelAwards programs. If you prefer to shop, you can use your miles to buy home goods, electronics, and other items from your favorite brands at the MileagePlusAwards website.
How To Make The Most of Explorer Card?
These tips for maximizing your Explorer card rewards:
- Prioritize Travel: While you can redeem your United Explorer miles for shopping or other rewards, the best redemption rates are usually found with travel deals. So, try to prioritize travel, even if it means waiting to accumulate enough miles for your plans.
- Be Flexible With Your Travel Dates: If at all possible, try to be flexible with your travel dates and destinations. This will allow you to search through the various redemption options to find the best value for your miles. Try out a few different itineraries to see which one works best for you.
- Don't Assume Miles Are the Best Option: Even if you want to redeem your miles, don't automatically assume that doing so is the best option. For example, if you're looking at an economy cross-country flight, it's possible that you'll only get 1 cent per mile. You would be better off paying cash and saving your miles for a better deal in this case.
- Use Your Card On Board: When you pay with your card, you will receive a 25% rebate in the form of a statement credit for your in-flight purchases, which include WiFi, food, and beverages. If you fly frequently, this could amount to hundreds of dollars per year.
- Use the Referral Program: If you want to boost your mile balance, refer a few family members and friends. You will receive a 20,000 mile bonus for each referral who applies and is accepted. With this program, you can earn up to 100,000 miles per anniversary year.
How To Apply For United Explorer Credit Card?
Visit the Chase Explorer Card homepage and click “Apply Now.”
A page appears to get you started, which includes your names, mailing address, date of birth, etc.. Next, specify your statement and communication delivery preference.
Now, take your time to read through the E-Sign Disclosure as well as the Pricing & terms. Lastly, agree to the certifications and click “Submit.”
Is the United Explorer Credit Card Right for You?
Despite the fact that the United Explorer Card does have many great rewards and benefits, it still is limited to an extent due to the fact that the United Explorer Card is designed for United Flyer loyalists.
If you are a fan of United and use their airline often, or think you will be flying with United frequently in the future, then this is a great card for you and it could certainly make your experience flying with United Airlines much better.
However, if you are an infrequent flyer with United, or prefer other airlines, then the United Explorer Card might not be the best viable option for you.
Compare The Alternatives
There are several other travel-focused credit cards that offer higher travel reward rates and bonuses when signing up. Let’s take a look at them and see if one is better suited for you than the United Explorer card:
United℠ Explorer Card
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Citi®/AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
$95 ($0 first year)
$99 (waived for the first 12 months)
1X – 2X 2x per $1 spent on United purchases, hotel accommodations, restaurants & eligible delivery services and 1x per $1 spent on all other purchases
1X – 2X 2X miles on delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide (including take-out and delivery in the U.S) and at U.S. supermarkets, and 1x miles on all other eligible purchases
1X – 2X 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants, and 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
60,000 miles 60,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
40,000 Miles 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months
50,000 Miles 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
Foreign Transaction Fee
$0. See Rates and Fees.
21.99% – 28.99% variable
21.24% – 29.99% (Variable)
The United Explorer card offers auto rental collision damage waiver protection.
If you charge the entire rental and decline the collision insurance from the rental company, you’ll enjoy primary coverage against collision damage or theft. Anyway, review the terms and conditions before to make sure you're covered.
One of the advantages of the Explorer card is that the miles don’t expire, so you can continue to accumulate them to save for a dream vacation or other rewards.
While Chase does occasionally send out pre approval letters for some of its cards, pre approval is not available, and you will need to submit an application and have Chase pull your credit.
This depends on how you redeem the miles. Typically, United flights will offer the best redemption deal and you can expect approximately 2 cents per mile. However, this can be as low as 1 cent per mile, depending on the specific flight or redemption deal.
Yes, the United Explorer card covers trip cancellation/interruption protection. So, if your trip is canceled by a covered situation, you can claim up to $6,000 per trip and up to $1,500 per person
Review Airline Credit Cards
Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express