Chase has partnered with United Airlines on co-branded cards, and the United Explorer card remains one of its best.  United loyalists have an opportunity to not only rack up valuable United MileagePlus miles, but the card also comes with a sizeable welcome bonus.  For a card with a $95 yearly price tag, the United Explorer card gives you a whole lot of bang for your buck.

United Explorer

CURRENT WELCOME BONUS

40,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 during first 3 months

REWARDS

Earn 2 miles for every $1 spent on United purchases, hotels, & restaurants; 1X point on everything else

APR

16.49% – 23.49%

ANNUAL FEE

$0 for first year, then $95

FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE

0%

RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE

670 – 850

The United Explorer Card is best for …

People who fly frequently with United Airlines, particularly those who live near a United hub.  Additionally, those occasional flyers who also happen to spend more on restaurants and hotels can also benefit from the card.  The card’s low annual fee of $95 is much more affordable than the United Club Infinite Card, particularly for those who don’t care much for things like lounge access.

Welcome Bonus

The Explorer card offers a decent sign-up bonus.  Earn 40,000 miles after spending $2,000 during the first 3 months of account opening.  That translates into a spending budget of $667/month.  Considering United miles are worth more than the average airline miles, this bonus can be pretty substantial.

United Explorer Mileage Points

This card offers 2 miles for every $1 spent on United purchases, as well as restaurants, including eligible delivery services, & hotels (booked directly with the hotel).  Everything else earns 1 mile.  Purchases made with the card on United flights, such as beverages, are eligible for 25% back in statement credits.  In addition to earning miles on United, you can also earn miles on United Express, Star Alliance, and other airline partners.  Check for more details on united.com.

    Points Redemption

    Obviously, the best way to redeem miles is to book airfare through United Airlines.   United miles are worth over 2 cents per mile, and are worth much higher than most airlines, such as Delta.  As a cardholder, you will also have more flexibility on award availability, with no blackout dates or restrictions.  United miles can also be used to book flights on other airlines that are part of the Star Alliance.  Furthermore, you can also use them for hotel reservations, cruises, Apple products, Broadway tickets, car rentals, newspaper subscriptions etc.

      Additional Perks

      ▪   Fee Credit for Global Entry/TSA Pre✓

      ▪  Free First Checked Bag

      ▪  Priority Boarding

      ▪  2 United Club Passes – for United airport lounges

      ▪  Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance

      ▪  Lost Luggage Reimbursement

      ▪  Primary Rental Car Insurance

      The Bottom Line:

      There are several United Airlines-branded credit cards offered by Chase.  However, the United Explorer stands out as the best one for United loyalists who want more travel perks while not paying a hefty price tag.  Although there is no annual fee for the first year, cardmember do pay $95 from the second year onwards.  Not only can you accumulate miles on flights, but on hotels and dining.  If you don’t need the extra travel benefits, the United Gateway card offers the same rewards structure but without an annual fee.