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Chase’s United MileagePlus Explorer Card was phased out on June 1, 2018, but Chase credit card followers didn’t have to wait long to find a comparable card. It’s replacement – the United Explorer Credit Card – is now available. Customers who held a United MileagePlus Explorer Card were automatically moved to the new card beginning on that date.
The two cards are similar, but there are some added benefits, and some have been removed as well.
Still, fans of the United MileagePlus Explorer will find not too much has changed with this new Explorer credit card.
What’s New About the United Explorer Card?
The United Explorer credit card will offer two times the miles when the card is used at restaurants, hotels (when the cardholder books directly through the hotel), as well as when it’s used for United charges. You’ll get one mile per dollar on your other purchases. Travelers will enjoy the $100 global entry or the TSA PreCheck credit of $85 the card now has.
Travelers who are loyal to United Airlines will like the 25 percent discount they’ll get when using their card for in-flight purchases. That includes food, drinks, and Wi-Fi. That can help take the sting out of some traveling costs.
While many of the beloved perks of the card are still the same, some of the benefits have been dropped. And it’s important cardholders realize what the changes are so they aren’t unpleasantly surprised when they go to use them.
One of the biggest changes – but one that will only affect the highest spenders – is the removal of the 10,000-mile bonus for cardholders who have spent $25,000. For some, that benefit was a mixed blessing. For those who would have spent that money anyway through their regular purchases such as gas, groceries, dining, traveling, and shopping, it was a nice perk, provided they paid off their monthly balance in full every month.
But for others who spent more than they typically would just to reach the 10,000-mile bonus and perhaps carried a recurring balance because of it, it might be for the best that benefit was removed.
What Stayed the Same on Chase’s United Explorer Card?
Many of the other benefits on the United MileagePlus Explorer Card have remained the same on the new card.
Those who spend $25,000 on their credit card in any calendar year will still earn a premier qualifying dollars (PQD) waiver that will help them reach United Platinum status.
One perk that is nice on this card, which some other travel cards don’t have, is that the points won’t expire, provided a consumer’s account is kept open. That means cardholders can save up their points and use them all at once to take a big chunk out of their traveling or vacation costs. Unlike some other programs, there is not a cap as to how many miles a cardholder can rack up. So as long as they keep spending, they’ll keep accruing points to use for all their travel needs.
When cardholders try to book a United flight, they’ll find they don’t have any restrictions or blackout dates. This takes away a lot of the frustration cardholders can sometimes experience when they are denied certain dates or destinations they want to book.
In addition, cardholders will still get a free first bag checked if they book their United flights using their Explorer card. That benefit can be used for two travelers, so cardholders may be able to help out one of their traveling companions as well.
Another benefit is priority boarding on the plane, which is good news for travelers who hate to wait in lines. Cardholders can also score United Club passes good for one use each, but they can get two of the passes per year. The card also negates any foreign transaction fees.
The United Explorer card does have an annual fee, but it’s waived for the first year of card membership. After the first year and for every year after, the annual fee is $95. Cards that carry annual fees run the risk of not being worth the money unless they are used frequently to rack up points, and some of the benefits are used as well.
As a one-time sign-up bonus, the United Explorer Card offers 40,000 bonus miles if a cardholder spends $2,000 on the card in the first three months. In addition, cardholders are rewarded after they make their first purchase by receiving a $100 statement credit.
Author: Shannon Serpette
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