Top 10 Benefits of the Chase United Explorer Card

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Until September 2, 2014, the sign-up bonus on the Chase United Explorer card is increased to 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 in the 1st 3 months.  And you’ll get an additional 5,000 points for adding an authorized user. And you may be able to get a version with an extra $50 statement credit!

Normally, the sign-up bonus on this card is 30,000 miles, so the increased bonus is a good deal.  But do you know all the benefits you get with this card?

Top 10 Benefits Of The Chase United Explorer Card

Do You Know All the Benefits of the Chase United Explorer Card?

The Top 10 Benefits!

Link:   Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Card

Link:   My Review of the Chase United Explorer Card Increased Sign-Up Bonus

1.   50,000 Miles After Completing Minimum Spending

You’ll get 50,000 United Airlines miles after spending $2,000 in the 1st 3 months.  That’s more than enough miles for:

  • 2 domestic round-trip coach class tickets
  • 1 round-trip coach class ticket from the US Mainland to Hawaii
  • 1 round-trip coach class ticket to Northern South America
  • A 1-way coach class ticket to Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, or the South Pacific
Top 10 Benefits Of The Chase United Explorer Card

You Could Use 50,000 United Airlines Miles for a Relaxing Vacation on Waikiki Beach

And remember, you don’t have to use your miles on United Airlines.  They can be used for award tickets on any Star Alliance airline, including Air Canada, Lufthansa, and Singapore Airlines.

2.   Free Checked Bag

You’ll get a free checked bag for yourself and 1 traveling companion on the same reservation when you use the Chase United Explorer card to pay for your ticket.

Normally, United Airlines charges $25 to check a bag on domestic flights, so you could save up to $100 if you and a friend take a round-trip flight.  That’s a great perk!

Top 10 Benefits Of The Chase United Explorer Card

You Won’t Pay to Check a Bag If You Pay for Your United Airlines Ticket With the Card

If you’re traveling on an award ticket, you’ll also get a free checked bag as long as you pay for the taxes and fees on the ticket with the card.

Note:   You only get a free checked bag on United Airlines and United Express flights, not partner airlines.

3.   5,000 Extra Miles for Adding an Authorized User

If you add an authorized user to your Chase United Explorer card and they make a purchase within 3 months, you’ll get an extra 5,000 miles.

Top 10 Benefits Of The Chase United Explorer Card

Add Your Partner, Friend, or Family Member as an Authorized User and Get Another 5,000 Miles

Then earn an extra 3,000 miles, and you have enough for a round-trip coach class award ticket to Europe!

4.   Primary Car Insurance

The Chase United Explorer is 1 of the only cards that provides primary CDW (collision damage waiver) rental car coverage.  Most other cards only offer secondary CDW coverage, which means you’ll have to file a claim through your personal auto insurance policy 1st.  Then the credit card insurance pays for what’s not covered by your personal policy.

So if you damage your rental car, the Chase United Explorer card will cover the repairs without you going through your personal auto insurance policy.

This also applies to authorized users!

Top 10 Benefits Of The Chase United Explorer Card

Glad I’m an Authorized User on Emily’s Chase United Explorer Card, Because This Might Not Go Well!

5.   Access Extra Award Seats Other Folks Can’t Get!

When you have the Chase United Explorer card, you get access to award seats NOT available to the general public!

Sometimes (especially during very popular travel times) when you try to book a seat with United Airlines miles, the flight appears to have no seats available.  But when you’re a United Explorer cardholder, United Airlines WILL allow you to book seats on that same flight!

Top 10 Benefits Of The Chase United Explorer Card

Cardholders Can Always Book an Award Seat, Even If It’s the Last Seat on the Plane

That’s because United Airlines will always allow United Explorer cardholders to book an award seat on any United Airlines flight that isn’t yet sold out.

6.   Two Free United Club Passes Each Year

You’ll get 2 free passes to United Club lounges when you open your account, and again every 12 months.  Each pass is good for 1 visit.

Top 10 Benefits Of The Chase United Explorer Card

You Get 2 United Club Lounge Passes Each Year With the Chase United Explorer Card

It’s so much nicer to wait in airports when you can hang out in a lounge!  And if you were to buy a United Club lounge pass, it would cost $50 per visit.  So you’re getting $100 worth of lounge passes each year.  Not bad!

7.   10,000 Mile Bonus After You Spend $25,000 Each Year

The Chase United Explorer card is good for big spenders, because you’ll get an extra 10,000 miles when you spend more than $25,000 in a calendar year.

Top 10 Benefits Of The Chase United Explorer Card

Are You a Big Spender? Get 10,000 Miles After You Spend More Than $25,000 in a Year

10,000 United Airlines miles is enough for a domestic 1-way, short haul, coach class ticket.  So it’s definitely worth it if you can spend that kind of money!

8.  Waived PQD Requirement

If you spend $25,000 or more in a calendar year on the card, United Airlines will waive the Premier Qualifying Dollars requirement to earn elite status.

Top 10 Benefits Of The Chase United Explorer Card

Spend More Than $25,000 In a Year and the Spending Requirement for Elite Status With United Airlines Will Be Waived

This means you only have to earn the miles required for a status level (with the exception of their top-tier Premier 1K status), and not meet a minimum spending requirement.

9.   Priority Boarding

Chase United Explorer cardholders get priority boarding, which usually means getting to board after pre-boards and elite status holders.

Top 10 Benefits Of The Chase United Explorer Card

Emily and I Enjoy Priority Boarding With Her Chase United Explorer Card

This also means access to more available overhead bin space, and more time to get settled and comfortable in your seat.

10.   Premier Elites Get Upgrades on Award Tickets

Normally, United Airlines elite flyers can only get upgrades on paid tickets.  But if you have the Chase United Explorer card, you can get upgrades on award tickets, too!

Top 10 Benefits Of The Chase United Explorer Card

Elite Flyers Get Upgrades on Award Tickets With the Chase United Explorer Card

Getting upgraded on an award ticket is an incredible perk.  But it’s always subject to availability, not guaranteed.

11.   Bonus Benefit:  No Foreign Currency Fees

The Chase United Explorer card does NOT charge foreign currency fees.  Many other cards charge fees up to ~3% for foreign transactions.

Top 10 Benefits Of The Chase United Explorer Card

Other Cards Take Money Out of Your Pocket by Charging Foreign Transaction Fees

If you travel overseas a lot, this is a great benefit.  You’ll save a lot of money!

Bottom Line

The Chase United Explorer card has an increased sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles until September 2, 2014.  That’s enough for 2 round-trip coach class domestic award tickets!

But the card comes with lots of other benefits, including a free checked bag, priority boarding, lounge passes, access to extra award seats, and perks for elite status members.

Emily has this card and we’ve enjoyed its benefits very much.  What do you like best about the Chase United Explorer card?

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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33 responses to “Top 10 Benefits of the Chase United Explorer Card

  1. If I had this card over 2 years ago, will I be able to take advantage of this promotion?

  2. @John, I’m in the same situation as you. I canceled two years ago and reapplied last week. I was approved instantaneously.

  3. I already had one last year and I cancelled before the annual fee was applied. Do you think I can apply for this one now and get the intro bonus ?

  4. @John and @Dave S. I was accepted and received my bonus miles on this card over 2 years ago. It has been less than 2 years since I cancelled it. Do you think I can successfully reapply?

  5. @John, @DaveS @Chuck,

    You can get instantly approved, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you will get the welcome bonus!

    The T&C state that the bonus does not apply to anyone who currently has this product or has had it in the past two years, so you all should be fine.

    My question is: Has anyone had any luck receiving the bonus after having cancelled the card only 1 year ago?


  6. Applied for both me and wife, was neither approved/declined. Called reconsideration line and got approved !!!

  7. To all, I would suggest reading this Flyertalk thread about the card – all answers are posted there. Generally, Flyertalk is a good place for up-to-date info on all credit cards and often, very good bonus offers that don’t appear on blogs. It also includes the best available offers (for example, on this one the $50 statement credit as well), which sometimes blogs don’t have due to relationships with credit card companies that pay them. This also restricts their ability to talk about churning, which seems to be a common question regarding this and many other cards. Blogs cannot mention churning or frequency anymore as banks have prohibited it.

  8. #5?

    i am an explorer cardholder and found this to be curious as i’ve never experienced any extra booking availability due to my card. so i called united. they told me this was NOT a benefit for explorer cardholders.

    any clarification?

  9. If I book an award flight, will I still get a free bag and priority boarding?

  10. @Daraius & All others
    Just curious of having any first hand account using the Rental Car CDW benefits. I had seen very negetive reviews for VISA credits cards CDW benefit.

  11. Probably Chase Saffire Preferred Offer the same benefit.

  12. I believe that United Explorer cardholders have better access to both Saver award inventory (XN class seats instead of X) and Standard award inventory (YN class seats instead of HN) on United metal (but not on partner flights). Holders of some older United cards don’t receive these benefits (and also don’t get the free checked bag).

  13. Both me and my wife have gotten approved for this card. To get the add-on card bonus, can the add-on cards be in our names again?

  14. Also would spending on the add-on card count towards the minimum spending of the primary card?

  15. Hello,

    When can I expect my lounge passes associated with this card? When I activated my card the agent said on my first anniversary, but here you state upon approval. When did you receive yours?


  16. I just received a targeted offer in the mail for this card thats good until October 31, 2014. Same as above except it didnt include the $50 statement credit. Maybe they are extending the deadline.

  17. Agent with chase informed me today that they are linking your business and personal accts to determine eligibility for this new acct bonus. To be considered a new acct holder — cannot have any acct open, business or personal (if apply for personal, but have business acct open — considered still to be a current card holder). Agent also said that the award of a bonus within last 24 months language applied to award on either personal or business accts with UAL (if apply for personal acct and have had no bonuses in last 24 months, but did obtain bonus on a business acct within the last 24 months — then considered to have been awarded a bonus in the 24 month period).

    I hope the agent is wrong, but she was pretty insistent. Should be noted the agent was pretty forthcoming that bonuses with this product can be churned, but only at 24 months from receipt of a new acct bonus (and again, that bonus can come from either a new personal or new business acct).

  18. Do you have to be flying on a United flight in order to get access to the club? Just received the card and am wondering if I can get access now.

  19. [email protected]

    Hi Daraius! if I booked with Alaska Miles and fly Delta, will I still get priority boarding and free checked bag by showing them my Delta Gold AMEX Card?

  20. Is there any way to find out when I last had the Chase United card? I have only recently started to keep track of such things. I think that I have had one in the past, but not sure if it was more than 24 months ago. I have the same question for the Delta AMEX card. I really don’t want to sign up for these if I am not going to get the bonus.

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  24. I just added my girlfriend as an authorized user to my credit card. Which of these perks can she take advantage of? Can she get a free checked bag? Can she link the card to her mileageplus account and get the perks associated with that?

  25. i cancelled the card. but still have the two one-time passes. can i still use them?

  26. If I use my United Explorer to buy a United air ticket for my friend or family, will they get priority boarding? I thought I read the benefit somewhere but in the recent experience, it is not true. Anyone has similar experience?

  27. Will I get the 10,000 bonus for every $25,000 spent in a calendar year or only 10,000 bonus one time for any amount spent over $25,000? Thanks.

  28. Kacper Lastowiecki

    I’ve had this card for a while now, and the benefits are quite useful. The free bag is worth it given the low annual fee (and free the first year!), and the lounge access is fantastic as well!

    If you’re planning on signing up for this card (and it really is worth it) I would really appreciate it I could refer you. They’re running a limited-time promotion giving mileage plus points for referrals, and I’m really trying to save up enough points to visit my grandmother in Europe this summer. There’s no cost to you, and you still get all the benefits of the card. Please send me an email if interested, kacperl[at]yahoo[dotcom]

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  30. how do I obtain hotel reservation benefits?

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