United MileagePlus® Explorer Card Review
Note: The United MileagePlus® Explorer Card has been updated to the United℠ Explorer Card. Click here for details on the new card.
One of the most popular travel cards, the United MileagePlus<sup>®</sup> Explorer Card from Chase is a well-worn favorite for explorers. It’s tied to the second biggest airline in the US and promises a slew of benefits. It comes with a sign-up bonus, better boarding and more. But does it make the cut as one of the top-rated travel cards?
Read below to see if this card is perfect for your travel needs.
The card has a special offer of 40,000 bonus miles after only spending $2,000 in three months. That minimum requirement is one of the lowest in the industry, and 40,000 miles can equal about two round-trip domestic flights or close to one international flight booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards. A one-way domestic trip starts at 10,000 miles, while a flight to Europe costs 30,000 miles.
You can also earn an extra 5,000 miles if you add an authorized user who makes at least one purchase within 90 days. If you spend more than $25,000 in a year, you can earn an extra 10,000 miles (not including the rewards earned from those initial purchases).
Users earn 2 miles back on United purchases and 1 mile per dollar on all other expenses. If you buy a United flight with this card, you and a traveling companion can also skip the extra baggage fee—a $100 bonus every time you fly.
United cardholders will also be able to board early during flights, a boon when overhead compartment space is limited. Plus, the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, which normally cost 3%. That’s a savings of $60 on $2,000.
Travel protection coverage from this card includes baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement, lost luggage reimbursement, and trip cancellation or trip interruption coverage. Users also get two free United Club passes a year, good for any airport with a United Club lounge—especially handy during long layovers.
There is a $95 annual fee, so consumers will need to evaluate if the annual fee is worth the extra perks from the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card.
The APR is between 17.49% and 24.49%, higher than the general average. However, most travel reward cards have higher APRs. As long as you pay off the balance every month you won’t have to worry about your interest rate.
The Bottom Line
If you live in Chicago, Denver, LA, Newark, Houston, San Francisco, or Washington D.C., you likely fly United often. Why not reward yourself with a card that gives you free checked bags, priority boarding, and free miles so you can travel more?
The United MileagePlus<sup>®</sup> Explorer Card does have a high APR and annual fee, but the benefits more than compensate. The low minimum spending limit makes it easy for cardholders to earn the welcome bonus, something that can’t be said for all travel cards.
Editorial Note: The information related to United MileagePlus® Explorer Card has been collected by Credit Cards House and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.
First published , last updated
Editorial Note: 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 any card issuer.