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United℠ Explorer Card: review

For travelers who fly United Airlines the United℠ Explorer Card has the most mass appeal of the airline’s cards: It delivers excellent value at a reasonable cost, even for those who fly only a couple of times a year.

With an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $95, it is a fantastic card to rack up the miles on your airfare and redeem them for free flights. .

Pros & Cons


  • Annual fee waived the first year
  • Free First Checked Bag when you pay with your card & Priority Boarding
  • Earn unlimited miles with no caps
  • No blackout dates


  • Seat limitations on Saver Awards
  • Everyday Awards flight pricing is expensive
  • No 0% intro APR offer
  • High regular APR

Rates, fees & offers

  • Annual fee: $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95
  • Rewards rate: 1x – 2x
  • Bonus offer: 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
  • Intro APR: N/A
  • Ongoing APR
    APR: 16.49% – 23.49% Variable APR

Penalty APR: 29.99%
Cash Advance APR: 24.99%, Variable

  • Balance transfer fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Foreign transaction fee: None


Credit card travel benefits

  • Free first checked bag: for you and a companion, save up to $140 per roundtrip
  • Priority boarding
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® fee credit
  • 25% back on United inflight purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Travel and shop with confidence with built-in benefits including Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Purchase Protection and more.

MileagePlus program benefits

  • Earn up to 1,000 Premier qualifying points: You’ll earn 500 PQP for every $12,000 you spend on purchases with your Explorer Card (up to 1,000 PQP in a calendar year) that can be applied toward your Premier status qualification, up to the Premier 1K level
  • No blackout dates for MileagePlus members booking award flights on United
  • MileagePlus miles don’t expire

Other benefits

  • Complimentary DashPass from DoorDash: Your card unlocks a year of complementary DashPass, meaning you’ll get unlimited delivery from the places you love with $0 delivery fees and lower service fees on eligible orders of $12 or more. After that, you are automatically enrolled in DashPass at the current monthly rate.
  • Luxury Hotels & Resort Collection: Receive complimentary Cardmember benefits at luxury hotels and resorts worldwide.
  • Exclusive Cardmember events: Purchase or use miles for unique experiences offered by United Card Events from Chase and United MileagePlus Exclusives.

How to request this card

Applying for a credit card is very simple and you can do it through the app or website. But you need:

  • Social Security Number
  • Gross income
  • Employer name (if applicable)
  • Rent/mortgage amount

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