The Chase United Gateway offers great value to the United traveler looking for a starter travel card with no annual fees and the opportunity to earn reward miles on flights and everyday spending. With the United Gateway, you can earn two miles per dollar on United purchases, gas station and local commute expenses. In comparison, the Chase United Explorer rewards are geared towards travel expenses with rewards of two miles per dollar on United purchases, hotel stays and dining. The United Explorer also offers convenient travel perks like lounge access and free checked bags which are enough to make up for the modest $95 annual fee.

Comparison Overview: Chase United Gateway vs. Chase United Explorer

  • Chase United Gateway
    Chase United Explorer
  • Has Annual Fee
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  • Has Balance Transfer Offer
  • Has APR Offer
  • Cash Back Rewards
  • Travel Rewards
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Chase United Gateway At a Glance

The United Gateway lets you earn miles on everyday spending. You will earn two miles per dollar on United purchases, gas station purchases and local commuting expenses. You will also earn one mile per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases. This card has no annual fee making it a great card for those who do not fly frequently. This card also comes with perks like purchase protection, 25% back on United in-flight purchases and no foreign transaction fees.


  • Chase United Gateway

    A great no-annual-fee rewards card for people who fly United


    • Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 1 Mile per $1Rewards Rate
    • 2xRewards Rate on Air Travel
    • 2xRewards Rate on Gas

    Terms, rates and fees apply

    Compare this credit card with other top-rated travel rewards cards.

Chase United Explorer At a Glance

The Chase United Explorer has a modest $95 annual fee but offers plenty of travel perks including free checked first bag, priority boarding and 25% off on United inflight purchases. With this card, you can easily rack up miles on all your travel-related expenses since you get two miles per dollar spent on United purchases, as well as dining and hotel accommodation purchases. The United Explorer also offers trip delay and cancellation protection, as well as Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection benefits.


  • Chase United Explorer

    A good miles-earning rewards credit card with some perks and no foreign transaction fees


    • Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $95Annual Fee
    • 1–2 Miles per $1*Rewards Rate
    • 2xRewards Rate on Air Travel
    • 2xRewards Rate at Hotels

    Terms, rates and fees apply

    Compare this credit card with other top-rated cards from our partners.

Comparison Summary

You can compare Chase United Gateway and Chase United Explorer features and benefits to see which card is best for you.

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    Comparison Summary
  • Travel Coverage and Purchase Protection

    The Chase United Explorer and the Chase United Gateway will both reimburse you up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip if your trip is canceled due to covered situations like bad weather. Both cards also offer purchase protection for 120 days against damage or theft, but the United Gateway per claim limit is $500 per claim while the United Explorer cap is $10,000 per claim.

    Winner: Chase United Explorer

  • Welcome Bonus

    With the Chase United Gateway, you can earn 20,000 bonus miles if you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months while the Chase United Explorer offers 60,000 reward miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months.

    Winner: Chase United Explorer

  • Rewards

    The United Gateway offers a reward rate of two miles per dollar on United purchases, gas station purchases and local commute expenses including trains, tolls, cabs and rideshare services. You also get one mile per dollar on all eligible purchases.

    The United Explorer rewards you at a rate of two miles per dollar on all United purchases, dining and hotel accommodation purchases and one mile per dollar for all other eligible purchases.

    Winner: Draw

  • Annual Fee

    The United Gateway card has no annual fee while the United Explorer has a $95 annual fee which is waived for the first year of membership.

    Winner: Chase United Gateway

  • Loyalty Programs

    Both the Chase United Gateway and the Chase United Explorer earn you MileagePlus miles that can be redeemed for gateways, unique experiences and more.

    However, only the United Explorer allows you to earn Premier qualifying points (PQP) for every $12,000 in net purchases that can be applied to earning elite status with United.

    Winner: Chase United Explorer

Which Card Should You Get?

To get the most value from your travel card, it’s important to compare the Chase United Gateway card and the Chase United Explorer card based on your spending habits.

Who Should Consider the Chase United Gateway?

The Chase United Gateway is a solid card for those who travel infrequently, but still want to rack up reward miles on everyday spending. This card is better than the United Explorer if you spend more on everyday purchases, but do not have many travel-related expenses.

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    You’re looking for a starter travel card with no annual fees that still offers you opportunities to earn reward miles on your everyday purchases such as gas and local commute expenses like cab and rideshare expenses.

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    You want to earn miles for award flights but do not necessarily need a card with premium United perks like priority boarding or lounge access.

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Who Should Consider the Chase United Explorer?

The Chase United Explorer offers plenty of rewards and perks at a modest annual fee. This card is better than the United Gateway Explorer in terms of travel perks like priority boarding, club access and a free checked bag

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    You are a United traveler looking for rewards and access to perks without a large annual fee.

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    You have frequent travel expenses like hotel accommodation and dining. This card earns you two miles per dollar on these categories so it will suit you best if you spend a lot on travel expenses.

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EXPERT OPINION

In this comparison, the Chase United Explorer is hands down the better choice for several reasons. Mainly, the welcome offer is significantly better, and saving on checked bag fees makes the United Explorer card the clear winner. However, it’s important to select a card based on immediate future travel plans as United miles do expire.

Other Helpful Decision-Making FAQs

If you would like to find out more about the Chase United Explorer and the Chase United Gateway, here are some answers to commonly asked questions.

Still Not Sure About These Cards? Consider These Options

The Chase United Gateway is ideal for those who do not travel frequently but want to earn reward miles on both everyday spending and flights. However, with limited travel perks, the United Gateway may not offer much value to United travelers looking to enjoy perks like priority boarding. The United Explorer on the other hand offers premium perks at a modest annual fee and generous rewards on travel-related expenses like hotel stays. If you are not sure which of these cards suits you best you can also look up MoneyGeek’s recommendations for the best travel cards.

Learn more about credit cards in general

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*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
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