Review Of The United Explorer Card 0

The United Explorer Card offers some great benefits…if you’re loyal to the United brand. Sound like you? Let the Simple Flying United Explorer Card review give you all the details you need before you start earning miles for your next trip with this airline rewards credit card.


With this card, you can expect…

  • 2 miles per $1 spent on hotels, restaurants and United purchases
  • 1 mile per $1 spent on everything else
  • 40,000-mile bonus if you spend $2,000 in the first three months
  • 25,000-mile additional bonus if you spend $10,000 in the first six months
  • No annual bonus
  • $95 annual fee, waived the first year
  • 17.99–24.99 percent variable APR
  • No miles earning limits

Welcome Bonus

United’s current welcome bonus is 40,000 miles if you spend $2,000 in the first three months and then an additional 25,000 miles if you spend $10,000 in the first six months. This is an excellent sign-up bonus, as it gives you enough miles to book an economy-class, round-trip, domestic ticket, totally for free, or if you book a Saver Award, you could even have enough miles to book a flight nearly $1,000 in value.

Earning Potential

The earning potential isn’t amazing, but it isn’t half bad either. You don’t get 3, 4 or 5 miles for any particular category, like you would with some cards, but you do get 2 miles per dollar spent on hotels, restaurants and United purchases, and then 1 mile on everything else.

There’s no limit to the number of miles you can earn and you can then use your miles for airfare on United, car rental and hotel stays with travel partners, merchandise or an annual fee reimbursement.

As stated in the Welcome Bonus section, you can find pretty good award redemption options, particularly if you’re traveling within North or Central America, or to the Caribbean.

Open-jaw, one-way and round-trip award tickets are all permitted.

And, unlike British Airways, there are no dreaded fuel surcharges.

So, if you’re considering this card, to make the most of it, you will want to put the majority of your spending on dining, hotels and flights on the card, versus another travel card. If you do spend a lot on dining and hotels, and can get more miles from a different card that you already have, that’s something you’ll want to consider before signing up for the United Explorer Card.

Travel-Related Perks

The United Explorer Card comes with lots of travel-related perks, such as…

  • A free checked bag
  • $100 credit for Global Entry and TSA Precheck every four years
  • Priority boarding
  • A 25 percent discount on in-flight purchases
  • Two one-time passes to the United Club each year
  • Room upgrades
  • Free daily breakfast for two at luxury resorts
  • Concierge services
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Lost luggage and trip delay reimbursement
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
  • Primary car rental insurance

Lounge Passes

Free lounge passes are one of this card’s great perks.

The lounge passes are one of the better perks that this card offers, as it can really come in handy when you have a long layover or a flight delay. Most large airports in the United States do have a United Club lounge, giving you the opportunity to retreat from the normal airport harried experience, to have a little bit of calm, with free food and drinks, and WiFi.

Primary Rental Coverage

Another good thing the United Explorer Card offers is the primary rental coverage. Most cards do not offer primary rental coverage, instead opting for secondary rental coverage. This means you don’t have to deal with your own insurance company in the event of rental theft or damage to any rental car paid for with the United Explorer Card.


This card is, again, really best for those who are loyal to the United brand for one reason or another, whether it’s just the airline that best serves the destinations you frequent, or you just really like their service. The United Explorer Card gives you the opportunity to get the most miles possible out of your everyday spending, so that you can save up for those free award flights. It also comes in handy with the added perks, so that you can take along a free checked bag and visit the lounge on occasion.

If you don’t use United for most of your travel, though, you should probably look elsewhere; additionally, if you’re looking for a travel rewards card with no annual fee, there are some other options available.

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