United MileagePlus Explorer Card Review

Picture of Item Reviewed

Editor's Rating:
Intro Purchase APR Regular APR Annual Fee Credit Needed
N.A. None For 1st Year, Then $95 Excellent
Executive Summary - A card for Continental United flyers who want to earn more miles. It features are consistent with those found in modern frequent flier cards. Earning double miles, having the first bag checked in for free, lounge access and priority boarding are some of the benefits cardholders will get.

New United Explorer Card Replaced Four Old United Cards - On May 2009, Chase and United that they have replaced their old United cards (there were four of them) with the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card1. Whereas the old United cards had slightly different features and price points, Chase and United essentially consolidated into just one card. At that time, the benefits of this card also extended to the Continental OnePass Card (because of the Continental and United merger)

United Explorer Is Now The Card of Continental United - When this card was announced, Continental and United were still in the midst of their merger. The intention was to continue to issue the Continental OnePass for the rest of 2011. On 3rd March 2012, Chase and Continental stopped issuing the Continental card and this card is now the official frequent flier card of Continental United.

Features Are A Reflection of Today's Airline Cards - If you look at the features of frequent flier cards today, you'll realize that they are different from those years ago. Some things remain unchanged. For example, the Explorer card allows you to earn double miles on Continental United ticket purchases. But aside from this, the card offers other features that make life a little easier for travelers.

Your First Baggage Can Be Checked In Free (as well as your companions) - Like many cards today, you also get your first bag checked in for free if you have the card. That also applies to your companion. This perk has become valuable for non-elite members since almost every airline now charge baggage fees. If you fly within the US, the baggage fee for the first check-in baggage is $25. Therefore, if you travel with a companion, having the card (if you are not an elite member) can save you up to $50.

Priority Boarding And Premier Access - Cardholders can also get priority boarding access to the plane after the boarding of Premier® members and passengers with Premier AccessSM designations or passengers requiring special assistance And you also get two complimentary lounge access every year. We examine in greater detail their boarding system during the final part of the review.

How About Visiting the Lounge Twice A Year? - Another nifty perk of this card is that you get two passes to their lounge every year. Since it cost $50 for a one-time pass, this perk alone is worth $100.

Bonuses - Many of you will be signing up for airline cards just for their bonuses! For this card, you get 30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 within 90 days (ie the first three months)

Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection - This benefit is available to certain Chase cards and this one happens to be one of them. It is a collaboration between Chase and Signature Travel Network. If you book your hotels and resorts through Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection Travel Specialist or on LHRCollection.com, you may get special rates and other privileges.


Chase and United unveil United Explorer Card