The United Explorer card is the best choice for folks looking to rack up United miles quickly even if they don’t fly the airline much. (Partner offer)

At a glance

  • 2X Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, hotel stays, and United® purchases
  • 2X Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining including eligible delivery services
  • 1X 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
Up to 70,000 Bonus Miles
Earn up to 70,000 bonus miles. Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn an additional 10,000 miles after you spend $6,000 total on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open.
Up to 29.99%
25.24% Variable
16.74% - 23.74% Variable
16.74% - 23.74% Variable
$0 Intro for First Year, then $95.

At a glance

  • 2X Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, hotel stays, and United® purchases
  • 2X Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining including eligible delivery services
  • 1X 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
Up to 70,000 Bonus Miles
Earn up to 70,000 bonus miles. Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn an additional 10,000 miles after you spend $6,000 total on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open.
Up to 29.99%
25.24% Variable
16.74% - 23.74% Variable
16.74% - 23.74% Variable
$0 Intro for First Year, then $95.
  • Earn up to 70,000 bonus miles. Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn an additional 10,000 miles after you spend $6,000 total on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, hotel stays, and United® purchases
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® fee Credit
  • 25% back on United® inflight purchases
  • Check your first bag for free (a savings of up to $140 per roundtrip) when you use your card to purchase your ticket
  • Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United Club℠ with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining including eligible delivery services

Our Take

TPG Editor's Rating

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4/5

Overview

This card is geared toward both frequent and occasional United flyers alike, and offers plenty of elite-like benefits like free checked bags, priority boarding and a discount on in-flight purchases. It also racks up miles at a steady pace on a variety of purchases including dining and hotels, putting that next award ticket within reach sooner.

Pros

  • Earns 2 miles per $1 spent on United, dining and hotels
  • First checked bag free for the cardholder and a companion
  • Priority boarding
  • 25% off eligible inflight purchases
  • Up to $100 credit every four years for Global Entry/TSA PreCheck
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95

Cons

  • Day-of-travel perks limited to United and some partner flights
  • Other United cards have higher earning rates on some purchases
  • You might get more use from transferable points instead of United miles

Who is this card good for?

You don’t have to be a frequent United flyer to make the most of this card, especially since the first year’s intro annual fee is $0 before it goes up to $95. Carrying it means you can enjoy money-saving perks when flying United, including a free checked bag, priority boarding and in-flight purchase rebates. All that adds up to a lot of potential value.

Earning Rewards

You don’t have to be a frequent United flyer to make the most of this card, especially since the first year’s intro annual fee is $0 before it goes up to $95. Carrying it means you can enjoy money-saving perks when flying United, including a free checked bag, priority boarding and in-flight purchase rebates. All that adds up to a lot of potential value.

Frequently asked questions