Last updated: 11/30/2022

United℠ Explorer

Earns: United MileagePlus


Worthwhile if you really want United perks, including free checked bags and a few Club passes. But the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is similar—with the same annual fee and 2x points on dining spending—while also earning bonus points for travel spending. Most importantly, it offers much more flexibility in using your points.

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Here’s how much you would earn with this card

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  • Decent bonus miles on dining and hotels (2 points per dollar).
  • Good perks for United travel.


  • $95 annual fee after first year.
  • United miles can be hard to use at a good value.

See how the United℠ Explorer compares to other credit cards

United℠ Explorer Other Cards

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Reward Rate = 2x

Value = 1.3 cents per point
Effective Value = 2.6 %


Reward Rate = 2x

Value = 1.3 cents per point
Effective Value = 2.6 %


Reward Rate = 1x

Value = 1.3 cents per point
Effective Value = 1.3 %


Welcome Bonus = 50,000

Value = 1.3 cents per point
Effective Value = $650


Annual Fee = $95

Welcome Bonus


Bonus Rating


After you spend $3,000 in 6 months

GigaInfo about Welcome Bonuses Welcome Bonuses 101 Article
Spending Rewards
2x Hotels




In the top 15% of cards.

2x Dining




In the top 50% of cards.

2x United Airlines




In the top 15% of cards.

1x All Other



Is this card right for me?

That depends on your individual spending patterns. We have a tool that figures it out for you. Learn what you could earn.

Program Name
United MileagePlus
Gigapoints Value
1.3¢ per point
Other Card Information

Earn up to 70,000 bonus miles. Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn an additional 10,000 miles after you spend $6,000 total on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open.

Annual Fee
  • $0 first year
  • $95 thereafter
Use this card for…

You can earn more rewards by using different cards for different purchases. We built a tool that tells you which card to use, when. Just plug in your favorite brand, store, or category to find out which card pays the most.

Use the Best Card For tool Go

Additional perks of owning this card

Free first checked bag

Free first checked bags – a savings of up to $140 per roundtrip. Terms Apply.

25% off United onboard

25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi onboard United-operated flights when you pay with your Explorer Card.

Priority boarding

The primary cardmember and companions on the same reservation will be invited to board United-operated flights prior to general boarding.

Global Entry or TSA Precheck

Up to $100 Global Entry, TSA PreCheck(R) or NEXUS fee credit.

2 Club Passes per year

Take some time to relax before your flight with two United Club one-time passes, which will be deposited into your MileagePlus account after account opening and each year for your Cardmember anniversary.

No blackout dates

As the primary Cardmember, you will also enjoy expanded award availability when you use miles to book any United-operated flight, any time, with no restrictions or blackout dates.

One year DashPass

Get one-year complimentary DashPass, a membership for both DoorDash and Caviar that provides unlimited deliveries with $0 delivery fees and lower service fees on eligible orders. After that, you are automatically enrolled in DashPass at the current monthly rate. Activate by 12/31/24.

The Fine Print

PURCHASES APR 18.74% – 25.74%
BALANCE TRANSFER FEE Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
CASH ADVANCE APR 27.24% Variable
CASH ADVANCE FEE Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.