United MileagePlus Explorer Card Review: Useful for Frequent Flyers

This United Explorer card could be an option for you.

With the United Explorer Card from Chase, you’ll earn two miles for every $1 spent at restaurants and on hotel accommodations, get 25 percent back on in-flight purchases and receive other United travel benefits, including statement credits for Global Entry or TSA Precheck.

Keep reading our review to find out if this United Airlines credit card is the best travel credit card for you.

United Explorer Card at a Glance
APR 17.74% to 24.74% variable APR
Intro APR N/A
Annual Fee $0 intro annual fee for the first year, after that $95
Foreign Transaction Fee None
Rewards 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants; 2 miles per $1 spent on hotel accommodations when purchased directly from the hotel; 2 miles per $1 spent on purchases from United, including tickets, Economy Plus, in-flight food, beverages and WiFi; 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
Sign-Up Bonus 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening; 5,000 bonus miles after you add an authorized user and make your first purchase within the first 3 months from account opening
Pros Up to $100 as a statement credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck every 4 years; 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and WiFi on United-operated flights
Cons No intro APR; annual fee after the first year; rewards are only good for United flights
Rates are accurate as of Sept. 5, 2018.

Earn More Perks From Your Credit Card

In this review:

Related: Bank of America Premium Rewards Card Review — Plenty of Travel Perks

What You Need to Know About the United Explorer Card

The United Explorer Card can be used to earn reward miles for United flights, and also comes with a variety of travel benefits and protections.

Best for: People who frequently fly with United Airlines.

Best Features of the United Explorer Card

This United MileagePlus Card has no annual fee for the first year, and you have the potential to earn thousands of miles as part of the current sign-up bonus. Other card features include:

  • Several ways to earn double rewards miles
  • Travel benefits
  • United Club passes
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Travel and purchase coverage

Earn More Perks From Your Credit Card

For people who often fly with United Airlines, this card can be a beneficial travel rewards card option.

United Explorer Card Travel Benefits

Cardholders of this United credit card will get a number of additional travel benefits that go beyond rewards miles. These benefits include:

  • 25 percent back on United in-flight purchases
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA Precheck fee credit
  • First checked bag free
  • Priority boarding
  • Redeem miles for award travel on United and Star Alliance partner airlines
  • Redeem miles for upgrades, in-flight WiFi, hotel stays, car rentals, merchandise, gift cards and events
  • No blackout dates
  • Premier upgrades on award tickets
  • Perks at the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
  • Inside Access events
  • United Airlines MileagePlus events
  • Two United Club one-time passes per year

Read: 7 Best Ways to Use Credit Card Rewards Points

United Explorer Card Travel and Purchase Coverage

Frequent travelers can get peace of mind in knowing that they’re covered for many of the unfortunate incidents that can come with flying, plus cardholders get a number of extra benefits. Here are the United MileagePlus Explorer Card’s built-in benefits:

Earn More Perks From Your Credit Card
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Baggage delay insurance of up to $100
  • Lost luggage reimbursement of up to $3,000 per passenger
  • Trip delay reimbursement of up to $500
  • Purchase protection on new purchases for up to $10,000
  • Extended warranty protection
  • 24-hour Visa Concierge service
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance of up to $1,500

Should You Apply for a United Explorer Card?

The United Explorer Card comes with travel benefits that go beyond reward miles, plus an attractive sign-up bonus offer. However, keep in mind that this MileagePlus card really only benefits people who fly United frequently.

Up Next: United Airlines Credit Card Comparison — Travel Rewards for Business and Personal Spending

More on Credit Cards

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

GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack, Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions and other financial services organizations. Some companies mentioned in this article might be clients of ConsumerTrack, Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings and roundups are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the companies included in the article. All fees and rates are subject to change at the issuers’ discretion. Some interest rates might be short-term or promotional offers only, and it is possible additional terms and conditions must be met in order to obtain the interest rates listed. Rates and availability might vary by region. Verify terms and conditions before opening an account.

About the Author

Gabrielle Olya

Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert. 

Read More

Untitled design (1)
Close popup The GBR Closer icon

Sending you timely financial stories that you can bank on.

Sign up for our daily newsletter for the latest financial news and trending topics.

Please enter an email.
Please enter a valid email address.
There was an unknown error. Please try again later.

For our full Privacy Policy, click here.