Best For Occasional United Flyers

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%
25.74% Variable
17.24% - 24.24% Variable
17.24% - 24.24% 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%
25.74% Variable
17.24% - 24.24% Variable
17.24% - 24.24% 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