United Explorer Business Card Review

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The United Explorer Business Card, issued by Chase, gives cardholders the opportunity to earn airline miles with United as well as helpful travel benefits like priority boarding and free checked bags. This card is a good fit for small business owners who fly with United Airlines and hope to score free flights and frequent flyer perks.

United Explorer Business Card

overall rating
4.1
United Explorer Business Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 17.74% - 24.74% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants, hotel stays, and eligible United purchases. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
Cash Advance APR (%) 26.74%
Cash Advance Fee Either $15 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
1.7
for Fees
3.0
for Rewards
4.7
for Credit
4.0

50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, an additional 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $25,000 total in purchases in the first 6 months your account is open

Top Rated For

  • Best Credit Cards for Small Business Owners
  • Best Business Credit Cards for Travel

Who is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Entrepreneur Persona
    Is turning their passion into a money-making venture
    Entrepreneur
  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
    Deal Seeker
  • Avatar for Savvy Saver Persona
    Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need
    Savvy Saver
  • Avatar for Road Warrior Persona
    Hits the road often, whether for work or play
    Road Warrior

The United Explorer Business Card is best for business owners who fly United Airlines often and want to earn more miles and access frequent flyer perks. You’ll need good or excellent credit to qualify, but this card’s miles earning structure and perks are worth pursuing. 

Pros

  • Generous sign-up bonus and earning structure

  • Access to frequent flyer perks

  • Lots of travel and other benefits

Cons

  • High spending threshold to earn full sign-up bonus

Pros Explained

  • Generous sign-up bonus and earning structure: Unlike some airline credit cards that only offer 2 miles per $1 spent on airline purchases, this card offers double miles on restaurant, gas station, and office supply stores as well. You can also score up to 100,000 bonus airline miles within six months, which is rare among airline credit cards. 
  • Access to frequent flyer perks: This card gives you and a companion on your itinerary a free checked bag on United-operated flights. You also get to board the airplane before general boarding takes place. 
  • Lots of travel and other benefits: Having this card means having access to perks like primary rental car insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, trip delay reimbursement, purchase protection, and extended warranties. 

Cons Explained

  • High spending threshold to earn full sign-up bonus: While you can earn 100,000 bonus miles with this credit card, you’ll need to spend $25,000 on your card within six months to do so. That’s a hefty requirement to meet, and it may not be possible for many business owners. 

United Explorer Business Card Sign-Up Bonus

This business credit card offers a two-tiered sign-up bonus that can be lucrative if you’re able to meet the full spending threshold.

First, you’ll earn 50,000 miles when you spend $5,000 on your card within three months of account opening. If you can spend a total of $25,000 on your card within the first six months, you’ll rack up 50,000 more airline miles. 

According to The Balance’s analysis of the value of United MileagePlus miles, each is worth 1.1 cents for domestic economy flights and 1.7 cents each for international economy flights. That means the full 100,000 mile bonus is worth $1,100 to $1,700 worth of economy airfare, in the U.S. and abroad. Most airline credit cards offer fewer miles upfront, which makes this bonus one of the most valuable ones on offer. 

Earning Points & Rewards

You’ll earn 2 miles per $1 spent on restaurant, gas station, and office supply store purchases in addition to purchases made with the airline. You’ll also get 1 mile per $1 spent on everything else you buy. 

Tip

Wi-Fi, in-flight meals and beverages, airfare, and other United purchases all earn at the 2 mile per $1 spent rate. 

And remember, having free employee cards means you can earn miles when your employees make work-related charges, too. 

Redeeming Rewards

Miles transfer to your United MileagePlus account, and that’s where you’ll monitor, manage, and redeem them.

You can cash in miles for flights with United Airlines or its partners to more than 350 destinations around the globe. You can also redeem rewards for flight upgrades, hotel stays, cruises, merchandise, gift cards, and experiences like concerts or Broadway shows.

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

Considering United miles are most valuable when redeemed for airfare, you’ll get the most bang for your buck with this card if you redeem your miles for free flights instead of gift cards or hotel stays. The value of those rewards can vary considerably.

Note

The Balance’s analysis of the value of United’s miles found that they are worth most—1.57 cents each—when used to book travel with one of United’s Star Alliance airline partners.

On the earning side, you may want to consider pairing this card with a personal or business credit card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Chase lets you transfer Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines at a 1:1 ratio, and several of Chase’s cards offer better points earning rates in some spending categories. When you’re ready to redeem, transfer your Ultimate Rewards to your United account.

United Explorer Business Card’s Excellent Perks

The United Explorer Business Card offers a slew of important perks many credit cards leave out. These are the ones the editors of The Balance consider “excellent.” 

  • Priority boarding and a free checked bag: You and a companion traveling on the same reservation can board prior to general boarding—and you’ll each enjoy a free checked bag. 
  • United Club passes: You’ll receive two airport lounge passes once you become a cardholder and two more every year thereafter on your cardholder anniversary. 
  • Primary auto rental coverage: Qualify for primary auto rental coverage when renting a car for business purposes. Coverage is good for up to the cash value of the car for theft and collision damage, although coverage is not valid for certain types of vehicles and in certain destinations. 
  • Insurance coverage for lost or delayed luggage: Coverage for lost luggage is good for up to $3,000 per passenger when luggage is lost by a common carrier. If luggage is delayed by six hours or more, you’ll be reimbursed up to $100 per day (for up to three days) to cover the cost of incidentals.
  • Insurance coverage for trip cancellation, interruption, or delay: Get reimbursed for up to $10,000 per trip in prepaid travel expenses when your trip is cancelled or interrupted for a covered reason. For trip delays, you’re covered for up to $500 of expenses.

United Explorer Business Card’s Other Features

  • Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
  • Extended warranties
  • Concierge for booking event tickets, travel, and other services

Customer Experience

J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study ranked Chase fourth among 11 credit card issuers. Chase scored 807 out of 1,000 possible points in the study, whereas the national issuer average was 806. 

As a major credit card issuer Chase offers major credit card issuer customer service. You can access your account online or via an app, and there are multiple ways to reach a customer service rep. If you sign up for Chase’s Credit Journey service, you’ll have access to a free VantageScore credit score and other credit monitoring tools. 

Security Features

Chase offers industry standard security features like fraud alerts, zero liability for fraudulent purchases, plus credit monitoring if you sign up for Credit Journey. 

United Explorer Business Card Fees

Fees for the United Explorer Business Card are industry standard. However, the lack of foreign transaction fees makes this card an option if you use a credit card for business purchases outside the United States. 

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CURRENT CARD
United Explorer Business Card
overall rating
4.1
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 17.74% - 24.74% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants, hotel stays, and eligible United purchases. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases

Our Methodology

  • At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.