United and Chase are out with a new offer to earn 60,000 MileagePlus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card membership.
And beyond the sign-up bonus, it has a handful of lucrative benefits like free baggage, an application credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, and gives you better access to cheap United award space to make your miles go even farther. And the card's $95 annual fee is even waived for the first year.
Read on for more details and a full list of card benefits.
Click Here to get more details on the United℠ Explorer Card.
Benefits of the United Explorer Credit Card
Sign-Up Bonus: bonus_miles_full
Priority Boarding: The card will give you priority boarding privileges and two, one-time passes to the United Club lounge each year on your cardmember anniversary. These passes normally cost $50, so that's worth $100 if you can use them both.
Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Credit: Receive up to a $100 credit for free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck once every four years. Membership in both programs is good for five years.
Free Checked Baggage: The card will allow you to check your first bag for free every time you fly United when you use your card to purchase your ticket. You can also bring a carry-on bag onboard when flying United basic economy fares.
25% Back on United In-Flight Purchases: Receive 25% in the form of a statement credit for in-flight purchases. This can be used for drinks, movies, and purchasing Wi-Fi and messaging.
Earn 2x United MileagePlus Miles: Per dollar spent on purchases at United, hotels, and at restaurants
Chase 5/24 Rule: The card will be subject to the Chase 5/24 rule, so you may not be approved depending on how many credit cards you've opened in the last 24 months.
Annual Fee: The card has an annual fee of $95 which is waived for the first year of card membership.
Click Here to get more details on the United Explorer Card.
United has the most restrictive Basic Economy fares of any carrier. While most airlines allow you to bring a free carry-on bag on board with you on a Basic Economy ticket, United does not. The airline doesn't allow a carry-on bag, advanced seat assignment, and elite upgrades are not available. Additionally, flight changes and refunds are not allowed if you book a Basic Economy fare.
That makes holding the United Explorer card a solid option if you fly United regularly. The card will help you beat basic economy by allowing you to check your bag for free and provide you with priority boarding – two things not offered on a United Basic Economy fare. The free checked baggage and priority boarding benefits will also apply to any travel companion booked on the same itinerary. You can also bring a carry-on bag on board if you carry this card.
If you are a loyal United flyer, this would be a great card to pair with either the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card. United MileagePlus is a 1:1 transfer partner of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.
Expanded United Award Availability
One of the best benefits of holding the United Airlines Explorer co-branded credit card is the increased access it provides to award seats on United Airlines flights.
This means that just for holding the card, you will see more saver level award seats available when you search for ways to redeem your miles. Oftentimes, there is additional award availability during peak travel times and/or more popular routes. This ultimately means you have to use fewer miles when it comes time to use them.
Finally, the United Explorer card will get access to all Everyday awards. This means you can use your miles to book seats on any United Airlines flight, even if it’s the last seat on the plane.
I still think United flyers are better off spending on either the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card due to the transferability of Ultimate Rewards points into United MileagePlus.
However, if you haven't yet had the United Explorer credit card and are underneath the Chase 5/24 restriction, now is a great time to grab the card for all of the reasons laid out above. It is one of the only co-branded airline cards offering a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck.
We specifically got the card to use points for upgrades. However, when booking packages they take you to “powered by” Priceline. Apparently that makes it third party and no longer eligible to do any upgrades or anything with the points. That pretty much makes it pointless and defeats the entire purpose of the card. We’ll just stick with Amex and be treated honestly/right.