The United Explorer Card Review (2019)


United Airlines Credit Card from Chase

Chase offers a United Airlines Branded Credit Card that allows customers to earn miles for future United Travel.  This card provides a substantial new cardholder sign up bonus.  Currently, new cardholders will receive a waived annual fee for their first year as a cardholder.  Credit Card features include:

  • 2x Miles at restaurants and hotels
  • 2x Miles when book with United
  • 1x Miles for all other card purchases
  • Free first checked bag when flying with United
  • Variable APR at 18.24%–25.24%
  • Waived first year annual fee, $95 thereafter
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • New cardholder sign up bonus
  • United Club Passes (2 annually)
United Explorer Card
United Explorer Card – A Sleek Steel Blue Theme

Explorer Card Benefits and Features

There are quite a few card features that make this a winner for travels.  One of the top features of this credit card is the free checked bag.  If you regularly fly with United Airlines this feature alone will make the annual fee well worth the cost.  United Airlines charges $60 for a checked bag.  This means on a round trip flight, cardholders will save $120 each time they travel with United.

Another big feature of this card that is not common for all airline travel cards is the 2x miles for restaurants and hotel purchases.  Cardholders will also have access to MileagePlus Dining Rewards in addition to the 2x restaurant miles.  This allows cardholders to earn even more miles when dining at select restaurants.  You can easily find locations that participate in this rewards program on the MileagePlus Dining Webpage.

Another feature travelers will enjoy is access to the United Club Lounges.  These lounges are located throughout airports around the world.  Cardholders will receive 2 complimentary passes each year.  Furthermore, cardholders will not incur additional transaction fees when making purchases outside of the United States.

Explorer Card New Customer Sign Up Bonus and In Flight Offers

One of the best features of this credit card is the new cardholder sign up bonus.  At this time, the current bonus offer is set at 40,000 miles.  In order to earn these miles consumers will be required to spend $2,000 on their new card in the first 3 months of opening their account.  Once you have completed the spending requirements your bonus will be awarded to your MileagePlus Account.

Travelers should also be on the lookout for in flight bonus offers for this credit card.  At times, United will offer additional bonus miles for customers traveling with United.  This will direct you to a specific website in order to claim your offer.

Applying For The United Credit Card

There are several websites available for customers to apply for the Explorer Credit Card.  If you have received a target offer by mail or by flight you may be directed to a specific website to apply.  It is important to use this link if you offer is beyond what is provided publicly.  If you are applying through the Explorer Card website you will be redirected to Chase to complete your application.

During the application process you will be asked to provide your Mileage Plus Account Number.  The Mileage Plus Rewards Program is free for United Customers.  Consumers can apply for the card even if they do not have an account.  If approved, your account will automatically be created and your miles will be credited to this new account.

Other United Options From Chase

In addition to the Explorer Card Chase also offers a zero annual fee United Credit Card.  The United Travel Bank Card allows consumers to earn Travel Bank Cash for United Purchases.  The sign up bonus for this card is not nearly as valuable as the Explorer Card.  Furthermore, cardholders will miss out on the benefit of free checked bags.  The Explorer Card is the better choice for consumers who travel somewhat regularly with United.  With this said, for individuals looking for a zero fee option, the Travel Bank Card is a great alternative.

United also has a premium United Club Card.  This credit card has even more benefits than the Explorer Card but comes with a much higher annual fee ($450).  The bonus offer is only slightly higher than the Explorer Card but you do earn miles at a 1.5x rate as opposed to 1x rate with the Explorer Card.  While there are some additional benefits, the Club Card is going to be geared towards high spenders who do significant travel with United.

Not looking for a United Rewards Card?  Check out these other travel cards and let us know which is your favorite in the comments below!

Final Thoughts

The United Explorer Card is a great option for travelers.  While this is an annual fee credit card the benefits provided will easily offset the fee for regular travelers.  The sign up bonus alone is worth several hundred dollars with United (depending on the flight).  Additionally, with the 2x category for restaurant purchases cardholders will find the miles adding up very fast.  Let us know what your favorite airline credit card is in the comments below!

Helpful Links:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here