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United℠ Explorer Business Card review

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An airline card for businesses that spend big on gas, dining, office supplies and United flights.

  • Get this card if you fly with United and make frequent business purchases on gas, dining and office supplies.
  • Pick something else if your business needs more varied travel rewards.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.


Miles as welcome offer

Up to 2x



Annual fee

17.49% to 24.49%

Purchase APR (variable)


Product NameUnited℠ Explorer Business Card
Card typeVisa
Annual fee$95
Purchase APR17.49% to 24.49% variable
Balance transfer APR17.49% to 24.49% variable
Balance transfer fee$5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash advance rate26.49% variable
Cash advance fee$15 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Penalty APR29.99% variable
Foreign transaction feeNone
Interest free periodUp to 20 days
Late payment feeUp to $39
Returned payment fee$39
Additional cardholder fee$0
Rates & feesrates & fees

Expert review

Kevin Joey Chen

Review by

Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order and expertly navigate the cutting-edge financial tools available -- including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.

Expert review

The United℠ Explorer Business Card is a $95-annual-fee cobranded airline card for small-business owners. It offers 2x miles on United purchases, and at gas stations, restaurants and office supply stores, as well as x miles on all other purchases.

You can earn up to 100,000 bonus miles after spending a total of $25,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of account opening. According to our current valuations, these miles can be worth up to $1,400 — an extraordinary value.

Chase United business credit cards compared

United℠ Explorer Business CardUnited MileagePlus® Club Business Card
Annual fee$95$450
Signup bonus50,000 miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months plus 50,000 after spending $25,000 total in the first 6 months50,000 miles after your first purchase
  • 2x on gas stations, dining, office supply stores and United ticket purchases
  • 1x on everything else
  • 2x on United purchases
  • 1.5x on everything else
United perks
  • One free checked bag for you and one companion
  • Priority boarding
  • 2 United Club passes each year
  • Complimentary Premier Upgrades on United-operated flights, when available
  • Complimentary United Club membership
  • Two free checked bags for you and one companion
  • No close-in fees when booking reward flights
  • Premier Access: priority check-in, security screening, boarding and baggage handling
  • Complimentary Premier Upgrades on United-operated flights, when available
Hotel benefitsYes — room upgrades, complimentary breakfast, etc.Yes — room upgrades, complimentary breakfast, etc.
Hotel loyalty program upgradeNoDiscoverist status in World of Hyatt
United Club membershipNo — 2 United Club passes each yearYes
Miles boostYes — 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $25,000 on purchases in a calendar yearNo

The perks

  • Signup bonus: 50,000 bonus miles.

    After you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, you’ll earn 50,000 miles. You’ll earn another 50,000 if your business spends $25,000 total in the first 6 months from account opening.

    These 50,000 bonus miles can go a long way. For flights that are less than 700 miles each way in distance, you can find round-trip fares within the mainland US for as low as 20,000 miles. And for longer flights in the mainland US, you can find round-trip fares as low as 25,000 miles.

  • Rewards: Earn up to 2x miles.

    Earn 2x miles in business categories — restaurants, gas stations and office supply stores — and on tickets you purchase from United. This may be an attractive mix of rewards categories, especially as some airline cards only offer accelerated rewards on airline purchases.

    Earn 1x miles on everything else you buy.

    You can earn unlimited miles, and miles don’t expire as long as your card account is open.

  • United perks.

    On each United flight, you and one companion can each check one bag free. Normally, checking your first bag costs $30. You’ll also receive two complimentary United Club passes every year. A day pass to the United Club is worth $59.

    You and your travel companions will receive priority boarding, which lets you board in Group 2. This means you board behind the pre-boarding group and Group 1, but in front of Groups 3 to 5.

    If you’re a MileagePlus Premier® member and you’re traveling on an award ticket, you’re eligible for Complimentary Premier Upgrades on flights operated by United.

Our guide to the United MileagePlus program

You’ll also like …

  • Employee cards cost nothing.

    Add employees to your card account at no cost. This can be an excellent way to earn more rewards, as you’ll earn miles on your employees’ spending, too.

  • Miles boost.

    Each calendar year you spend $25,000 or more on your card, you’ll receive 10,000 bonus miles. This is enough for a One-Way Saver Award flight that’s under 700 miles in distance.

  • No foreign transaction fees.

    You won’t incur fees when you use your card abroad or on foreign websites. Typically, providers charge a 3% fee each time you use your card for an international transaction. It doesn’t sound like much, but it can add up over a trip spanning several days.

    Since the United℠ Explorer Business Card comes with no foreign transaction fees, it’s an excellent choice for vacations or business trips.

  • Benefits at The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection properties.

    When you stay at a property in The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection (LHRC), you’ll receive benefits like room upgrades, early check-in, late checkout and complementary daily breakfast for two. Just book your reservation through the LHRC website or an LHRC Travel Specialist.

    There are over 900 properties in the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, including properties under the Intercontinental Hotels, Waldorf Astoria, W Hotels, Mandarin Oriental and Park Hyatt brands.

  • Travel and purchase coverage.

    Enjoy benefits like baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip cancellation insurance, trip delay reimbursement and auto rental collision damage waivers. Also, get purchase price protection on eligible items you buy with your card.

  • Access to Visa Concierge.

    Use the 24/7 Visa Signature Concierge Service for help with dining and entertainment plans. You can also call for help finding gifts.

  • Exclusive events.

    Through Chase Inside Access, you can purchase tickets to private, exclusive events such as celebrity meet-and-greets, sporting events and culinary experiences. Also, you can use your miles to access United MileagePlus events such as winemaker dinners and golf outings, and to obtain VIP access to museum and theater events.

How to earn United miles

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee.

    You’ll pay a $95 annual fee o own the card.

  • Penalty APR.

    If you make a late or returned payment, Chase may raise your purchase, balance transfer and cash advance APR as high as 29.99% variable. This is known as a penalty APR. Chase may apply this rate to your account indefinitely.

  • Fees for late and returned payments.

    If you make a late payment, you’ll incur a fee of $15 if your balance is less than $100; $29 if your balance is between $100 and $250; and $39 if your balance is $250 or more. If you make a returned payment, you’ll incur a fee of $39.

  • Potentially high APR.

    Depending on your credit, you may receive a purchase and balance transfer APR as high as 24.49% variable. The average credit card APR is around 16%.

Compare business credit cards

Updated January 22nd, 2020
Name Product Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
3x points on the first $150,000 on travel and select business categories annually, then 1x after and on all other purchases
17.49% to 22.49% variable
80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
American Express® Blue Business Cash Card
2% cash back on all purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 14.74% to 20.74% variable)
Earn 2% cash back on all purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%. Rates & fees
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express
5x points on flights and prepaid hotels through Amex Travel, 1.5x points if you spend $5,000 on a single eligible purchase on up to 1 million additional points per year and 1x points on all other purchases
Earn 50,000 points after spending $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after spending an additional $10,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Rates & fees
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
2x points on everyday business purchases on up to $50,000 annually, then 1x points
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 14.74% to 20.74% variable)
Earn 2x Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases on up to $50,000 with no category restrictions. Rates & fees
American Express® Business Gold Card
4x points on two categories on up to $150,000 combined annually, then 1x points after that and on all other purchases
15.74% to 23.74% variable
Earn 35,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months from account opening. Rates & fees

Compare up to 4 providers

What size business is the United℠ Explorer Business Card good for?

The United℠ Explorer Business Card can be a good pick for businesses of all sizes, mainly because it offers accelerated rewards in more categories than just airfare. For example, you can still earn significant miles if you often spend at gas stations or office supply stores. That means you don’t have to take countless business flights just to earn strong rewards.

The United℠ Explorer Business Card has a $95 annual fee. United miles are worth around 1.5 cents apiece. Given that rate, you need to earn around 6,335 miles — or spend $3,168 in the card’s 2x-miles categories — to break even on the annual fee.

What should I know before I apply?


To apply for the United℠ Explorer Business Card, you must be:

  • At least 18 years old, or at least 19 years old if you’re a resident of Alabama or Nebraska.
  • A resident within the 50 United States or the District of Columbia.
  • Applying for a business that is headquartered within the 50 United States or the District of Columbia.

Information you’ll need

To complete the application, you’ll need to provide information about yourself and your business, including:

  • Your name, residential status and residential address.
  • Your Social Security number.
  • Your email address, phone number and date of birth.
  • Financial information like your annual income and source of income.
  • The name of your business, its mailing address and its employee count.
  • Your years in business and annual business revenue.
  • Your business’s tax identification number.

What credit score do I need?

You’ll have a better chance of being approved for the United℠ Explorer Business Card if you apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher. If you have a healthy business and excellent credit, your likelihood of approval is strong.

Here are a few other factors that might affect your odds of approval:

  • You’re a current Chase customer. Chase is reportedly more likely to approve its current banking and credit card customers. This makes sense, as it can more readily evaluate your financial stability with the data it already has. Furthermore, it has an incentive to keep you happy as a customer.
  • Hard pulls on your credit report. If you have several hard inquiries — or hard pulls — on your report, it could imply you’re having trouble managing your debt. Chase might think you’re desperate for credit and may be less likely to take you on as a customer.
  • Factors that tie into your credit score. Your credit utilization is a major factor Chase considers. The bank prefers a customer with low balances relative to their credit limit. Having many new card accounts may be a red flag too, as it could indicate you’re desperate for credit. It may also give the impression that you’re a flighty customer who’s just hunting for signup bonuses.

What do customers say about the United℠ Explorer Business Card?

Cardholders are generally very pleased with the card’s rewards, though some wish the card came with no annual fee.

The JPMorgan Chase Credit Card division is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, but it earns an overall A+ rating from the agency as of June 2018. Still, over 90% of its reviews are negative, with complaints of stonewalling customer support and, in some cases, of Chase not honoring signup bonuses.

Chase earns a Trustpilot score of 5.5 out of 10 at the time of this writing. Most negative reviews cite slow responses to fraud complaints and less-than-helpful customer service. Positive reviews cite the bank’s great mobile app and quick resolutions to their issues. Overall, your mileage may vary with Chase customer support.

How to apply for the United℠ Explorer Business Card

  1. Go to the Chase website and click Apply Now.
  2. Complete the application with details like your name, address, annual income, Social Security number and business information.
  3. Review your application and submit it.

How long will it take to be approved?

Because conditional approval is automated on the Chase website, you’ll often get a decision immediately. In some cases, you’ll need to wait a few days to a few weeks to receive a response.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Make timely payments. Pay your card bill online at the Chase website, where you can enroll in autopay.
  • Avoid interest. After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period of at least 20 days to pay your balance. If you do, you won’t pay interest on your purchases.
  • Avoid fees. Late and returned payments come with fees of up to $39. The balance transfer fee is $5 or 5%, whichever is greater, and the cash advance fee is 5% or $15, whichever is greater.
  • Contact customer service. If you have questions, contact Chase Credit Cards support at 1-800-432-3117.

Bottom line

The United℠ Explorer Business Card can be a good choice whether or not you fly United often. That’s because it offers accelerated rewards in more categories than just airline tickets. With a $95 annual fee, it can be an accessible pick regardless of the size of your business.

Think another card might work better for your business? Compare other Chase credit cards or visit our guide to business credit cards.

Frequently asked questions

Images: chase.com


Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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