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United℠ Explorer Card vs United MileagePlus® Club card

Earn reward flights with these two frequent flyer cards.

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Fact checked
The United℠ Explorer Card is a mid-tier card with a $0 intro annual fee the first year, then $95, a generous welcome offer and 2x miles at restaurants, hotels and United purchases. The United MileagePlus® Club card, on the other hand, is a high-end card with a $450 annual fee, a slightly better welcome offer and 2x miles on United and 1.5x miles on all other purchases. With the second card, you also get other premium perks such as United Club membership and first and second checked bags free.

This makes the two cards complementary. If you frequently fly United and you can afford it, consider applying for both cards to maximize their value.

United℠ Explorer Card

United℠ Explorer Card

Rates & Fees

United MileagePlus® Club card

United MileagePlus® Club card

Rates & Fees

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Best for
Best for
  • Earning miles in multiple ways for United Airlines
  • Premium United perks
Welcome offer
Welcome offer

60,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, plus an additional 10,000 points after spending $6,000 in the first 6 months

50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months

Rewards
Rewards

2x miles at restaurants, hotels and United and 1.5x miles on all other purchases

2x miles on United and 1.5x miles on all other purchases

Purchase APR
Purchase APR

16.49% to 23.49% variable

17.99% to 24.99% variable

Annual fee
Annual fee $0 intro annual fee the first year, then $95 $450
Balance transfer APR
Balance transfer APR 16.49% to 23.49% variable 17.99% to 24.99% variable
Cash advance
Cash advance

APR: 24.99% variable

Fee: $10 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater

APR: 26.49% variable

Fee: $10 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater

Foreign transaction fee
Foreign transaction fee None None
Late payment fee
Late payment fee Up to $39 Up to $38
Additional cardholder fee
Additional cardholder fee $0 $0
Interest-free period
Interest-free period 21 days 21 days
Minimum interest
Minimum interest $0
Minimum credit score
Minimum credit score 670 670
Card type
Card type Credit Credit
Learn more
Learn more

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Summary of card features

United℠ Explorer Card

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. Plus, you'll earn an additional 10,000 points when you spend $6,000 in the first 6 months.
  • Rewards. Earn 2x miles on United purchases, eligible hotel stays and restaurant spending. Earn 1.5x 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.

United MileagePlus® Club card

United MileagePlus® Club card

  • United Club membership
  • Valuable signup bonus
  • Earn miles on all purchases
  • Check your first two bags free on United flights

Compare credit cards

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Chase Freedom Flex℠
$200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus 5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year
5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter (then 1%), 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases
$0
Get up to 5% cashback in rotating and newly added everyday categories. The refreshed Freedom Flex card has lots of earning potential.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, a value of up to $750 through Chase Ultimate Rewards
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
$95
Earn a signup bonus worth $750 with this popular travel card. Combine with other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards for even greater value.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
$200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus 5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year
5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 5% on Lyft, 3% on dining and drugstores and 1.5% on all other purchases
$0
This solid 1.5% cashback card gets even better with the addition of up to 5% back in categories like travel, drug stores and dining.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
$550
Get a generous $300 in annual travel credits, 3x points on travel and dining, and a 50% bonus on point redemptions with Chase's premier card.
CardMatch™ from creditcards.com
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
American Express® Gold Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
3x points on directly-booked flights; 4x at restaurants; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points)
$250
Earn up to 4x points on select purchases, a bevy of travel perks, and a welcome offer worth up to $600 with this upper-mid tier travel card. Rates & fees
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, a value of up to $750 through Chase Ultimate Rewards
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
$95
Earn a signup bonus worth $750 with this popular travel card. Combine with other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards for even greater value.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
100,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 6 months, plus 10x points at US gas stations and US supermarkets on up to $15,000 in combined purchases in the same timeframe
10x points at US gas stations and US supermarkets on up to $15,000 combined in the first 6 months, 15x points on directly-booked flights or on flights and hotels on Amex Travel. 1x points on all other purchases. Starting January 1, 2021, your 15x points on flights will be capped on up to $500,000 annually (then 1x points).
$550
One of the most valuable premium travel cards, featuring two welcome offers worth up to $4,500, multiple travel credits and unrivaled lounge access. Rates & fees
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
$550
Get a generous $300 in annual travel credits, 3x points on travel and dining, and a 50% bonus on point redemptions with Chase's premier card.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
100,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months, plus earn 25,000 after the first anniversary of card membership (offer expires 1/13/2021)
6x points at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 3x at US restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2x for all other purchases
$450
Earn 100,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 or more within your first 3 months, plus earn 25,000 after the first anniversary of card membership (offer expires 1/13/2021). Rates & fees
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Compare up to 4 providers

Compare Chase credit cards

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