United MileagePlus Explorer Card

Best for United Airlines Patrons

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Why People Love it

  • Finance your next trip with a large signup bonus
  • Travel in style with United Club passes, priority boarding, and free checked bags
  • Travel abroad without the stress of foreign transaction fees


Application Process: Online, through Chase.

Annual Fee: $95, which is not waived for the first year.

APR: A variable rate between 16.99% to 23.99%. And no foreign transaction fees!

Rewards: The rewards are numerous if you're a frequent traveler who prefers United. Check out the perks of the United MileagePlus Explorer Card:

  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United tickets and 1 mile per $1 spent on other purchases
  • Free first checked bag
  • Priority boarding in Group 2
  • 2 United Club passes each year

A little-known additional perk: having a United MileagePlus Explorer Card allows you to hack the annoyances of United Basic Economy, allowing you to still board in Group 2 and bring a free carry-on bag when booking this restricted fare type.

Bonus Offers: Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend at least $2,000 within 3 months of opening the account. Be on the lookout for even better rewards when flying with United, or periodically throughout the year. You'll also earn the bonus of 10,000 miles once you reach $25,000 in card purchases.

There are so many perks of using the United MileagePlus Explorer Card as a frequent traveler, such as:

  • Earning miles for every dollar spent
  • Free first checked bag
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 2 United Club passes each year

Upgraded Points compares these perks to earning preferred status as a frequent flyer, but without having to put in the work.

This card really is a good deal for those that frequently fly with United Airlines, in addition to being a good card when traveling overseas, as no foreign transaction fees are charged.

If you don't often fly with United, this card will provide very limited perks. When redeeming rewards, you're limited to United flights and StarAlliance partners. Additionally, points don't accrue very fast when using this card for anything besides United-related purchases.

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