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If you fly on United Airlines often, you’ll want to check out the Chase United℠ Explorer Card. You can earn up to 40,000 bonus miles other benefits that will save you money and time each time you fly United. Let’s take a deeper dive into what Chase is offering.
United Explorer Card Travel Benefits
Cardholders can earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. The United℠ Explorer Card has a $95 annual fee that is waived the first year.
Earn 2 Miles Per $1 On Hotels and Restaurants
You will begin earning unlimited 2 miles per $1 on the following purchases:
- United Airlines purchases
All remaining bonus categories will earn 1 mile per $1 spent. With these bonus category editions, you now have more incentive to make the United℠ Explorer Card your primary travel rewards credit card.
However, if you’re not married to flying United, the Chase Sapphire Preferred already earns 2x points per $1 on restaurants and Ultimate Rewards points are transferable. Plus, if you have to rent a car or book any other travel purchases, you can still earn double points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred and transfer your points on a 1:1 to your United MileagePlus account.
$100 Global Entry Application Fee Reimbursement or TSA Precheck Fee Credit
A credit for Global Entry is probably the most popular new benefit for travel rewards credit cards of every stripe. This benefit reimburses your application fee every four years and saves you $100. You won’t have to wait through the long lines to re-enter the United States for international travel and the TSA security lines for domestic flights.
If you don’t have a valid passport or don’t have time to visit a Global Entry enrollment center, this new benefit also reimburses the $85 application fee for TSA Precheck. You’ll still have to go through the regular Customs security line when you travel abroad, but you can breeze through airport security for domestic travel.
25% Back on United In-Flight Purchases
Start getting 25% back on the following in-flight purchases when you pay with your United℠ Explorer Card:
- Onboard Wi-Fi
You’ll also earn 2 miles per $1 on these in-flight purchases too. For other purchases, you can earn 1 mile per $1 spent.
Additional United Explorer Card Benefits
In addition to the benefits listed above, you’ll also enjoy these benefits:
- Your first bag flies for free (up to $120 per roundtrip)
- Priority boarding
- No blackout dates
- Upgrades on award tickets
- Two United ClubSM one-time passes
- No foreign transaction fees
If you crave experiences as much as the United travel benefits, you will also continue enjoying access to Inside Access once-in-a-lifetime events including celebrity meet and greets, redeeming MileagePlus miles for MileagePlus events, and on-site benefits with the Visa Signature Luxury Hotels and Resorts Collection when you book a stay with your United℠ Explorer Card.
Redeeming Your MileagePlus Miles
Domestic United award flights start at 12,500 miles for most flights within the mainland U.S., Alaska, and Canada. Although, you can book a flight that is 700 miles or less for 10,000 miles each way.
Make sure you log into your account before browsing award seat availability, otherwise you might end up paying for the more expensive Everyday Award seat instead of the discount Saver Award seat.
Upgrade to the United Club Credit Card to Avoid Close-In Booking Fees
The United Explorer Card is a great option if you fly United on a regular basis, but you will still need to pay close-in booking fees on award flights you book within 21 days of departure. If this a regular occurrence for you, consider upgrading to the United MileagePlus Club Card to avoid this pesky fee and to enjoy a few additional benefits including unlimited United Club lounge membership and two free checked bags for you and your travel companion.
Transfer Ultimate Rewards Points as Necessary
United is a 1:1 transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards. You can transfer points in 1,000 point increments to your United MileagePlus account for free when you need to book an award flight but don’t have quite enough miles at the moment.
Even if you just own the United℠ Explorer Card to book your United flights and enjoy the free Global Entry and checked baggage benefits, owning the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve lets you earn bonus points on all travel and dining purchases. By using these cards, you’re always earning the most points possible on every purchase!
Summary of the United℠ Explorer Card
With the United℠ Explorer Card, you can earn two miles per $1 spent on hotels and restaurants in addition to every United purchase. Additionally, you can earn 40,000 bonus miles if you meet the signup bonus requirements. United also reimburses your Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee and gives you a 25% credit on in-flight purchases.
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