When you sign up for the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card, you start with 30,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in the first three months. Additionally, you have the chance to earn another 10,000 bonus miles if you spend $25,000 or more on your card in a calendar year.


One standout feature of the MileagePlus® Explorer Card is that you receive priority boarding privileges so you can be one of the first to board each flight. Even better, you and your companion can also check your first bag for free when you fly on United flights, which can add up to significant savings if you fly a lot.


Cardholders receive two one-time passes to the United Club each year that equals a $100 value. In the United Club, you can snack on free food and beverages while also having access to Wi-Fi.


Redeeming your air miles for flights isn't the only thing you can do with this card. You can also redeem miles for car rentals, hotel stays, merchandise, and other rewards.


With this United card, you can earn double miles on United ticket purchases, and one mile per dollar on all other purchases. While the rewards are nice, they aren't as high as other airline rewards cards, but the MileagePlus® Explorer card makes up for it with other benefits.



The annual fee for the United MileagePlus® Explorer card is $95, which is at the top of the list of the most expensive annual fees for airline credit cards. On a more positive note, the first year is free so that helps justify the cost of paying a higher annual fee in the following years.


While you do earn two points per dollar on United airline tickets, you don't earn additional miles for purchases made while you are on the airline. Several of the top airline credit cards offer statement credit or bonus points for spending while you are in the air, but that's not the case for this card.


Rates and Fees
Annual Fee $95 ($0 first year)
Cash Advance Fee $10 or 5% per cash advance
Cash Advance Rate (APR) 19.24%
Foreign Currency Transaction Fee 3% per transaction
Introductory Rate (APR) None
Standard Rate (APR) 15.99%* Variable
Penalty Fees
Default Penalty Rate (APR) 29.99%
Late Payment Fee Up to $15 - $35 (depending on balance)
Minimum Interest Charge None
Over-Limit Fee None
Returned Payment Fee Up to $35
Balance Transfers
Introductory Balance Transfer Rate (APR) None
Standard Balance Transfer Fee $5 or 3% per transfer
Standard Balance Transfer Rate (APR) 15.99%* Variable
Additional Rewards for Dining None
Additional Rewards for Gas None
Additional Rewards for Groceries None
Additional Rewards for Shopping None
Additional Rewards for Travel None
Bonus Points Offered (1) 5,000 miles after first purchase and additional user added within first 3 months; (2) 10,000 miles every calendar year you spend at least $25,000
Rewards Earnings for All Purchases 1 mile per $1
Sign-Up Bonus 30,000 miles after spending $1,000 within first 3 months
Type of Reward Miles


  • Additional 2:1 Rewards Categories The credit card offers 2:1 rewards or more for at least one additional purchase category - like dining, travel, gas, groceries, shopping, or other.

  • Bonus Points Offered The credit card offers bonus points you can earn throughout the year.

  • No Blackout Dates There are no blackout travel dates for your points, miles, or cash back rewards.

  • No Expiration Your rewards points, miles, or cash back rewards will never expire.

  • Sign-Up Bonus The credit card offers a sign-up bonus reward.

  • Unlimited Rewards You can accumulate an unlimited amount of points, miles, or cash back rewards with your credit card.

  • 2:1 Rewards or More The credit card offers 2 Points, 2% Cash Back, or 2 Miles or more for every dollar spent.

  • Offers Companion Reward The airline credit card offers a companion airfare reward.

  • 24/7 Live Service You can speak with a live representative at any time of day about your credit card.

  • Early Boarding You receive priority boarding benefits as an owner of the credit card.

  • Emergency Support The credit card offers emergency support.

  • Exclusive Events You have access to exclusive events with the credit card.

  • First Bag Free Your first checked bag is free.

  • Fraud Liability The credit card offers fraud liability protection.

  • Partner Point Transfer You can exchange your points for equal value with participating partners of the credit card, like hotels or airlines.

  • Price Protection You will be reimbursed the difference of any purchase made within a certain time period if you find a lower advertised price.

  • Purchase Security You will receive a refund for any item that a retailer doesn't accept as a return within a certain time period.

  • In-Flight Spending Bonus You receive a discount or additional bonus points on all in-flight expenditures.

  • Book in Someone Else's Name You can use your airline rewards to book a trip in someone else's name.

  • Redeem for Airline Travel Rewards can be redeemed for airline travel.

  • Redeem for Car Rental Rewards can be redeemed for car rental.

  • Redeem for Gift Cards Rewards can be redeemed for gift cards.

  • Redeem for Hotel Rewards can be redeemed for hotel stays.

  • Redeem for Merchandise Rewards can be redeemed for merchandise.

  • Redeem for Other Rewards can be redeemed for other categories, such as magazine subscriptions or charity donations.

  • Redeem Online You can redeem your points, miles, or cash back rewards online.

  • Redeem on Other Airlines Rewards can be redeemed for airline travel on other airlines.

  • Redeem for Cash Back Rewards can be redeemed as cash back or statement credit.

  • Apply In Person You can apply for the credit card live in person.

  • Apply Online You can complete the entire credit card application process online.

  • Instant Approval You can get instant approval for the credit card.

  • Apply By Phone You can complete the credit card application process via phone.

  • Transfer from Credit Cards You can transfer a balance from another credit card.

  • Introductory Balance Transfer Rate (APR) The credit card offers an introductory balance transfer rate (APR).

  • No Introductory Balance Transfer Fee The credit card doesn't charge a percentage fee on the new balance transferred to the card.

  • Transfer from Loans You can transfer a balance from a loan to the credit card.

  • Car Rental Insurance The credit card offers car rental insurance.

  • Extended Warranty The credit card offers an extended warranty on purchases.

  • Flight Insurance The credit card offers flight insurance.

  • Lost Luggage Insurance The credit card offers lost luggage insurance.

  • Roadside Assistance The credit card offers roadside assistance.

  • Travel Insurance The credit card offers travel insurance.

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