United Explorer Card Review: A Variety of Airline-Based Rewards

The United Explorer Card offers customers enticing rewards.

United Airlines is a major American airline that flies nearly 150 million passengers to more than 350 destinations, and JPMorgan Chase is the largest bank in the U.S., with over $2 trillion in assets according to the Federal Reserve. Prospective Chase cardholders can select from almost 30 different Chase credit cards, each with its own perks and conditions. Travelers, however, might want to consider the United Explorer card from Chasewhich comes with a variety of airline-based rewards.

Keep reading to find out if this Chase travel credit card fits your lifestyle.

United Explorer Review

The Chase United Explorer credit card is intended for personal use. Any individual over the age of 18 may apply for the card. This Chase card allows you to rack up MileagePlus miles, which you can use toward your next United flight. You earn one mile for every $1 spent on all purchases and two miles for every $1 spent purchasing a ticket from United, eating at a restaurant or buying hotel accommodations.

Earn More Perks From Your Credit Card

Earn United MileagePlus Bonus Miles

New United Explorer card members can receive 40,000 bonus miles provided they make $2,000 worth of purchases within the first three months of opening an account. Once you qualify for the bonus, you’ll have to wait six to eight weeks for the credit to appear on your account. If you close the account within six months of opening but would otherwise qualify for the bonus, Chase and United can revoke the bonus miles. On top of thousands of bonus miles, card members can also expect a $100 credit after their first purchase.

Don’t enjoy traveling solo? You can qualify for an additional 5,000 bonus miles if you add another user to your account within the first three months of opening it and after making your first purchase.

Travel Benefits

The United Explorer card comes with a variety of advantages capable of making travel a cinch. When you use the card to pay the $100 Global Entry application fee or the $85 TSA Precheck fee, you will be issued a credit that will cover the cost of the application.

Earn More Perks From Your Credit Card

When it comes time to check your bags, cardholders and one travel buddy on the same reservation each get to check their first bag free. Don’t worry about rushing to your gate, either. United Explorer lets you take advantage of priority boarding, but you must include your MileagePlus number in your United or United Express reservation. Once on board, treat yourself to some snacks or leisure items; Chase offers 25 percent back on food, drinks or WiFi purchases made on United and United Express flights.

See: The Best Travel Credit Cards

United Explorer APR and Fees

The Chase United Explorer card comes with a variable APR, depending on your creditworthiness. APRs range from 17.74% to 24.74%. The bank will not charge you interest on purchases if you pay off your whole account balance by your bill’s due date.

United Explorer card members get their first year of membership free. After that, however, an annual membership fee of $95 is required.

Earn More Perks From Your Credit Card

Late payments incur an additional charge of $15 if the balance is less than $100, $27 if the balance is over $100 and $37 on balances exceeding $250. Returned payments also carry a fee of up to $37.

Chase Interest Rates: How to Get the Bank’s Best Rates

United Explorer Perks and Terms

The Chase United Explorer credit card comes with the following perks and terms:


  • Opportunity to earn 45,000 bonus miles
  • Two United Club one-time passes upon opening your account, and every 12 months thereafter
  • Multiple travel bonuses that save money on luggage, amenities and more
  • Relatively simple mile accrual system


  • Annual membership fee of $95 after the first year
  • Late payment fees increase by account balance
  • Limited flexibility when using miles since they’re restricted to United

Is the United Explorer Card Right for You?

The United Explorer card is primed for those who love traveling. Obviously, those who don’t enjoy flying United Airlines might find themselves at a disadvantage, but for those looking to streamline their travel, this card comes with many advantages. The travel benefits alone help you save money on top of the intended trips you can take with your accumulated miles.

Click through to read about the screening methods credit card companies are using.

More on Credit Cards

This content is not provided by the companies mentioned. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by either United Airlines or Chase Bank.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the bank advertiser, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. This site may be compensated through the bank advertiser Affiliate Program.

About the Author

Sean Dennison

Sean joined the GOBankingRates team in 2018, bringing with him several years of experience with both military and collegiate writing and editing experience. Sean’s first foray into writing happened when he enlisted in the Marines, with the occupational specialty of combat correspondent. He covered military affairs both in garrison and internationally when he deployed to Afghanistan. After finishing his enlistment, he completed his BA in English at UC Berkeley, eventually moving to Southern California.

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