United MileagePlus® Explorer Credit Card Review

United MileagePlus® Explorer Credit Card Review
Rebecca Hosley
on March 22, 2020
Read in 1 min

If you are a frequent flyer who wants to earn miles and other perks, the United MileagePlus® Explorer maybe your best option, especially if you live near a hub, such as Chicago, Los Angeles or Washington, D.C.

In this review, we’ll cover some of the key features of this United Airlines credit card in 2019, including rewards, benefits, and fees.

United Airlines Credit Card: The Basics

One of the best advantages of the MileagePlus Explorer card is the ability to earn miles which can be redeemed for flights and other rewards.

You’ll earn two miles for every dollar you spend on tickets purchased from United, and one mile for every dollar spent elsewhere.

As a new cardholder, you’ll receive 40,000 bonus miles if you spend $2,000 during the first three months you have the card, and 5,000 bonus miles if you add an authorized user during that same time.

Cardholders and one companion are also able to check their first bag for free when using this card to book a flight.

If you are someone who frequently checks bags, it’s easy to see how quickly those savings can add up, since it typically costs $100 per roundtrip to check a bag.

Another advantage is that you will receive priority boarding privileges – allowing you to settle into your seat early and get the first crack at the overhead bins.

You will also receive two one-time-use United Club℠ passes annually on your anniversary.

As you might expect, there are no foreign transaction fees if you use it while traveling overseas.

MileagePlus Explorer by the Numbers

While there are no annual fees during the first year, after the one-year mark, you will be charged $95 each year.

The variable APR rate is 17.24% – 24.24% depending on your credit score and other factors.

For cash advances, the variable APR is 26.24%, plus a 5% cash advance fee, with a minimum fee of $10.

The ability to earn miles is the main draw here, which could be why there is no introductory APR for initial purchases or balance transfers.

If you miss a payment, the maximum late payment fee is $37.

The Bottom Line

As long as your account is open your miles won’t expire, and there is no limit to how many you can earn.

Miles can be redeemed for travel on United flights, as well as Star Alliance™ and other partner airlines.

You can also redeem miles for flight upgrades, inflight Wi-Fi, hotel stays and car rentals.

They can also be used to purchase merchandise, gift cards and to attend special events.

This United Airlines credit card is designed for people with excellent credit, so if you are looking at this credit card vs. another airline card and your credit score is not the best, you may need to pick a different option, such as Delta or Jet Blue, which have less stringent requirements.

Rebecca Hosley Finance Journalist

Rebecca Hosley is a content writer based in Chicago.

She frequently writes about small business, insurance and finance.

In her free time, she enjoys trivia, craft beer and disc golf.

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