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United MileagePlus® Explorer Card Review

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PROS / This card gives you most of the benefits that frequent travelers crave, like priority boarding privileges, free bag check and VIP lounge access.

CONS / This air miles credit card doesn't entitle you to a discount when you use it to make in-flight purchases.

 VERDICT / The United MileagePlus® Explorer Card is among the best airline credit cards if you frequently fly United Airlines because it provides you with enviable travel benefits and the key features that savvy travelers look for in frequent flyer credit cards.

The United MileagePlus® Explorer Card from Chase Bank offers a considerable sign-up bonus and gives you plenty of travel benefits. This air miles credit card has a reasonable annual percentage rate and gives you access to key features that can make your frequent travels more convenient. For these reasons, it earns the Top Ten Reviews Silver Award.

Travel Benefits

You earn one frequent flyer mile for every dollar that you spend using this air miles credit card. It gives you a generous sign-up bonus of 30,000 miles when you use the card to spend $1,000 within the first three months of receiving it. You can also earn double points when you use your card to purchase United Airlines flights.

This card gives you many attractive travel benefits when you use it to purchase your United flights, including twice-yearly access to United’s airport VIP lounge, the United Club℠, priority boarding and free bag check. If you use your card to purchase your United flights, there are no blackout dates that you have to plan around and you can apply your miles to international flights.

Key Features

The frequent flyer miles you earn with this card aren't capped, so you’re free to earn as many as you want, and they don’t expire as long as your account meets certain requirements.

You're eligible for many useful features when you use your air miles card. For instance, if you purchase your flight with your card, you automatically qualify for travel accident insurance, rental car insurance and lost luggage reimbursement, courtesy of the card’s Visa Signature benefits. The card also gives you extended product warranty coverage, purchase protection and return protection.

APR*

The United MileagePlus® Explorer Card has a reasonable standard annual percentage rate. For purchases and balance transfers, you can expect a 15.24% Variable APR. If you make any cash advance transactions with the card, a 19.24% APR applies. This Chase card has a high 29.99% Variable penalty APR. This air miles credit card doesn’t offer an introductory APR promotion.

Fees & Penalties

This card's annual fee is waived for the first year that you have the card. After that, it costs $95 per year. The United MileagePlus® Explorer Card's other fees are industry standard and are associated with nearly every other credit card. If you use this card to take cash advances, you can expect to pay a $10 or 3% fee. If you transfer a balance to this card, a $5 minimum or 3% fee applies. One of the best things about this airline credit card is that you won’t pay any fees for international purchases, which is commonly an additional 3% fee that is tacked on to every transaction you make when traveling abroad.

Member Support

Chase provides member support for this air miles credit card and you can contact the company by phone or email. If you choose to contact the card provider by phone, assistance is available 24/7, which is important if you have a credit card emergency. Chase doesn't offer live chat, but you can reference the frequently asked questions on its website, which may answer your general questions about the card or your account.

Summary

The United MileagePlus® Explorer Card is one of the best airline miles credit cards you can have if you frequently fly United. It includes most of the travel benefits you need to make your travels feel luxurious, and it includes key benefits that come in handy should you require roadside assistance, travel insurance or purchase protection. It has a reasonable APR, the first year's annual fee is waived and there's no international purchase fee.

*Disclaimer: The Annual Percentage Rate or APR is reflective of the date this review was last updated.