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United℠ Explorer Card vs Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Choose between a mid-tier airline card and a premium travel card.
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Compare the perks and features of these cards in the table below.
Summary of card features
United℠ Explorer Card
- Signup bonus. Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you make $3,000 in purchases with your card within the first 3 months of account opening.
- Rewards. Earn 2x miles on United purchases, eligible hotel stays and restaurant spending. Earn 1x miles on all other purchases.
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit. Get up to $100 credit once every for years to cover for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Signup bonus. Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months of card membership. This is worth $750 if you redeem through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
- Earn rewards points. Earn 3x points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide and 1x points on all other purchases. The 3x points can be worth 4.5% back if redeemed on travel purchases through the Chase Ultimate Rewards. You also earn 10x points on Lyft purchases until March 2022. This can be worth up to 15% back in travel purchases via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
- Annual travel credit. Get $300 in statement credit as reimbursement for your travel purchases every year on your card account anniversary.
The winner: It depends
From a raw value standpoint, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® muscles out the United℠ Explorer Card on most fronts. But these cards are aimed at two different types of travelers and have vastly different annual fees. If you enjoy a number of luxury perks over a variety of airlines and hotels, paying the Reserve’s annual fee will be worthit. But if you only travel with United, the Explorer doesn’t lag far behind in rewards and has the United perks to make it worth your attention.
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