MoneyGeek's Take

Chase United Explorer Review

The Chase United Explorer is an ideal card for United Airlines fliers looking to earn miles on their purchases while enjoying some exclusive travel perks.

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If you are looking for a basic miles-earning card with a few significant travel perks, consider the Chase United Explorer card. Cardholders enjoy priority boarding and a free first checked bag. This card also offers an appealing intro offer with a $0 annual fee for the first year.

After the first year, Chase United Explorer features a $95 annual fee, which is more affordable than other Chase United credit cards. Cardholders can earn miles on their purchases and redeem rewards. The card also has no foreign transaction fee, allowing you to make purchases abroad without incurring additional costs.

Card Details to Know Up Front
  • Bonus, Fee or Feature
    Has or Not
  • Has Annual Fee
  • Has Balance Transfer Offer
  • Has APR Offer
  • Cash Back Rewards
  • Travel Rewards
Click to see this card’s rates, fees and how they compare to other cards in our dataset.

Chase United Explorer at a Glance

The Chase United Explorer card can benefit individuals looking to earn miles on their expenses. That said, not all credit card users may find the card a good option. To find out if it is the best credit card for you, evaluate its features and consider your specific needs and financial situation.

For instance, you can earn rewards by using this credit card to pay for United Airlines purchases, delivery services, dining out and direct hotel purchases. It also has a 0% foreign transaction fee. However, there is a $95 annual fee.

  • 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

Pros & Cons Explained

Knowing the Chase United Explorer card's benefits can help you make comparisons with other options to identify your ideal card. However, potential cardholders should also consider its limitations.


  • Benefits
  • No Transaction Fees
    There are no transaction fees for international purchases, which may be helpful when you travel outside of the United States.
  • Earn Miles
    Cardholders earn miles on eligible purchases — 2x per $1 for United Airlines purchases, restaurant payments, delivery services, directly purchased hotel accommodations and 1x for other eligible purchases.
  • Travel Perks
    Cardholders receive a free first checked bag, priority boarding and up to $100 statement credit every four years for the reimbursement of Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees. Individuals also get two one-time United Club passes every anniversary and up to 25% back as statement credit for in-flight purchases. United MileagePlus cardholders receive additional exclusive benefits, as well.
  • Welcome Bonuses
    You can earn 60,000 bonus miles if you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months, along with another 10,000 bonus miles if you spend a total of $6,000 on purchases within the first six months.
  • Intro Annual Fee
    For the first year, a new cardholder pays a $0 annual fee.


  • Drawbacks
  • $95 Annual Fee
    After the first year, each cardholder pays a $95 annual fee.
  • High APR
    The APR for purchases, loans and balance transfers using this credit card is between 16.49%-23.49%. For cash advances, the card applies a 24.99% APR. Meanwhile, the penalty APR for returned payments and those who fail to make on-time minimum payments reaches up to 29.99%. These high rates can lead to large expenses if you do not manage your spending properly.
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Chase United Explorer has many benefits. However, its features may not be suitable for the needs of other credit card users. MoneyGeek has listed its selection of best travel credit cards of 2021. Check this page out and compare other credit cards with Chase United Explorer to see which best fits your needs.

Bonuses & Rewards Explained

Aside from miles-earning opportunities, travel perks and no foreign transaction fees, the Chase United Explorer card also offers bonuses and reward programs.


Welcome Bonuses

You can earn 60,000 bonus miles if you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months and another 10,000 bonus miles if you spend a total of $6,000 on purchases within the first six months.


United Club Membership

Every year on your anniversary as a cardholder, you can receive two one-time United Club passes. These passes allow you and an eligible companion to enjoy complimentary beverages, snacks, free Wi-Fi and amenities like workspaces.


Visa Concierge

Cardholders can access complimentary Visa Signature Concierge Service 24 hours a day. This service offers help finding tickets to events, making dinner reservations or sending gifts.


MileagePlus Program

Chase United Explorer cardholders who are also MileagePlus cardmembers can earn additional MileagePlus miles that do not expire and have no blackout dates.

Other Features Explained

Finding the best credit card requires you to consider various factors. Check all features to make sure that you are getting the best deal possible. Chase United Explorer, for instance, also features security protection and accessible customer service.

  • Card Feature
  • Security Features
    Chase United Explorer can benefit cardholders with its comprehensive security protection. Individuals can receive rental car coverage, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip cancellation/interruption insurance and purchase protection.
  • Contactless Payment
    Cardholders can make fast and easy payments by simply tapping the card with contactless vendors.
  • Customer Satisfaction
    Chase United Explorer cardholders can receive customer support over the phone, online or through its mobile app. You can also schedule a meeting. Additionally, Chase ranked second in J.D. Power’s 2020 National Banking Satisfaction Study.
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Cardholders can access primary collision insurance coverage for car rentals in certain areas. This insurance gives the cardholder reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the rental vehicle in the event of theft or collision damage. If you want to apply this insurance, decline the car rental company’s collision insurance. Cardholders should also charge the entire rental payment to the Chase United Explorer credit card.

Understanding the Fine Print

Before you apply for a Chase United Explorer card or any other credit card, make sure you understand the associated fees and rates. Take note of the APR, transaction fees, late fees and reward rates.

  • Card Feature
    Amount or Rate
  • APR
  • Annual Fee
  • Cash Back Rewards
  • Rewards Rate
    1–2 Miles per $1*
  • Airline Benefits
  • This is an icon

    Regular APR

    The Chase United Explorer card does not have an introductory APR. Its regular APR for purchases, loans and balance transfers is between 16.49%-23.49%, while the cash advance APR is 24.99%. Cardholders who fail to make a minimum payment by the due date or whose payments were returned have to pay up to a 29.99% penalty APR. These high interest rates can lead to huge expenses for individuals who struggle to properly manage their spending.

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    Annual Fee

    There is an introductory $0 annual fee. New cardholders do not need to pay for the annual fee in their first year. After that, the card applies a $95 annual fee.

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    Miles Rewards Rate

    You can earn double the miles from United Airlines purchases, payments at restaurants and on delivery services and directly purchased hotel accommodations. Other eligible purchases allow you to earn one mile per dollar.

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    Penalty Fees

    Late and returned payments come with a penalty fee of up to $40.

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    Transaction Fees

    There are no foreign transaction fees. The fee for every balance transfer is either $5 or 5% — whichever is higher. For cash advances, cardholders have to pay $10 or 5% of the amount per transaction.

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To receive a full picture of a credit card's pros and cons, you should research its offers and features. Check your online account, mobile app or latest billing statement for this information. The credit card issuers also update the rates, terms and conditions posted on their websites. You can also check the credit card agreement database maintained by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Who Should & Shouldn’t Consider Chase United Explorer?


Other Considerations for Chase United Explorer

When considering whether to proceed with a Chase United Explorer application, think about how you plan to use the card.

Things to Consider if This is Will Be Your First or Only Credit Card

If you intend to use the Chase United Explorer credit card as your first or only card, make sure you take note of its high APR. While using it to pay for purchases will help you earn miles faster, accumulating huge expenses that could prevent you from paying your monthly bills in full will leave you with high expenses.

Things to Consider if This is Will Be an Additional Card in Your Wallet

Opting to use Chase United Explorer as an additional credit card can be beneficial to you if you know how to maximize its benefits over other cards. Check the rates, fees and offers of all your cards.

Then, determine which card is best for each expense. For instance, if you have to make international purchases, the Chase United Explorer may help you avoid high foreign transaction fees. However, if you want to build credit through balance transfers, this credit card is not the best option.

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MoneyGeek used information from the credit card companies and the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s database. For fair evaluation, we use standardized data points based on fees, bonuses, rewards and estimated average spending profiles. MoneyGeek conducts this review process regularly as credit card details and offers change.

How Chase United Explorer Compares to Other Cards

As an airline miles credit card, Chase United Explorer can compete with its counterparts. It offers many opportunities to collect miles. At the same time, its lack of foreign transaction fees may make it an ideal option for international purchases. However, the Chase United Explorer card's high APR and $95 annual fee may dissuade potential applicants. Other credit cards may also offer more travel perks.

Quick Comparison of Chase United Explorer


Chase United Explorer

  • Annual Fee: $0 in the first year, then $95 thereafter
  • APR for Purchases: 16.49%-23.49%
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 0%
  • Best for: Frequent United fliers looking for a miles-earning credit card with some travel perks and no foreign transaction fees

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • APR for Purchases: $0 intro APR for 12 months, then 15.49%-25.49% thereafter
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: $0
  • Best for: Frequent travelers looking for a rewards card with intro APR and no foreign transaction fee

Other Helpful Decision-Making Q&As

MoneyGeek answers some of the frequently asked questions about Chase United Explorer to help you better understand this credit card.

Still not sure about this card? Consider these options.

There are many factors to consider when choosing a credit card. Generally, the best choice offers the most benefits for your personal needs. If you think that Chase United Explorer is not for you, consider other types of credit cards.

MoneyGeek listed its selection of best rewards cards. If you do not have excellent credit points but are looking for a card to help build your credit, check out MoneyGeek’s selection of best credit cards for fair credit.

Learn more about credit cards in general