The Best Perks of the United Explorer Credit Card

Jul 1, 2021

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The United℠ Explorer Card is a great card for travelers who want to get the most out of their United excursions. The card is simple, yet packs a punch. If your preferred airline is United, it could be well worth applying for the United℠ Explorer Card.

Here are the best perks the card has to offer.

Lounge access

As any frequent flyer knows, airport lounges can be a more pleasant option than waiting for your flight in the terminal. Even if you just use the space to sit quietly, there's just something great about being separated from much of the hustle and bustle of daily airport chaos. The United℠ Explorer Card comes with two complimentary United Club day passes annually.

A day pass to a United Club will run you $59, which means this perk already wipes out the United℠ Explorer Card's annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $95. The two passes are reissued on your cardmember anniversary every year.

Note that you must be flying United or one of its partners in order to use these passes.

In-flight discounts

If you're a fan of United's food or use its Wi-Fi, take note: Carriers of the United℠ Explorer Card get a 25% discount — in the form of a credit issued to your account within 24 hours — on all in-flight food, beverage and Wi-Fi purchases.

Global Entry or TSA PreCheck is covered

Global Entry and TSA PreCheck are vital for any frequent flyer. They save massive amounts of time at the airport, which is something you really can't put a price tag on. The United℠ Explorer Card covers the application fee for one or the other. All you need to do is use the card when paying the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee and your account will be issued a credit for up to $100. This benefit is available once every four years.

Free checked bag

If you often check a bag when you fly, the United℠ Explorer Card has you covered. Cardholders and one travel companion get one free checked bag per trip when flying United.

On a domestic flight with a basic economy ticket, you'd normally be paying $30 per bag each way. If you're often paying for checked bags, the savings you'll get from using this card benefit could be big enough to offset the annual fee.

Primary rental car insurance

A nice perk of the United℠ Explorer Card is that it provides primary collision insurance should you damage a rental car. No need to purchase the rental company's insurance. Just use the United℠ Explorer Card to pay for the vehicle rental and — in the event you're involved in a wreck — the United℠ Explorer Card’s collision coverage kicks in before your personal auto insurance. That can save you plenty of cash and stress. (Note that you or your insurance will still be on the hook for damage you cause to others' vehicles.)

The bottom line

The United℠ Explorer Card has plenty of travel perks that make it worth checking out. If you fly United often and want to improve your travel experience, this card is a good option.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:

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