13 Valuable Benefits of the United Explorer Card

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For those who fly with United Airlines regularly or even just several times per year, the United℠ Explorer Card has some benefits that can save you money and improve your travel experience.

These benefits extend beyond earning points and into different protections that can ensure you are reimbursed for some problems you might face during your travels.

This co-branded credit card is provided by Chase and falls under the Chase 5/24 rule, so keep that in mind when you are making your credit card decisions.

Let’s dive in and take a look at the many benefits of the United Explorer Card.

United Explorer Card Overview

United MileagePlus Benefits

United Airlines is one of the largest airlines in the world, so there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself flying with them at some point. You might as well make the experience enjoyable!

Hot Tip: See our in-depth review of United Airlines here

1. Earn More Miles With United Airlines

Unfortunately, United Airlines now awards MileagePlus miles for flights based on how much you spend on the flight in conjunction with your elite status. Here’s a breakdown of how miles are earned for flying with United:

United Elite Status LevelMileagePlus Miles Earned per Dollar Spent
Member5x miles per dollar
Premier Silver7x miles per dollar
Premier Gold8x miles per dollar
Premier Platinum9x miles per dollar
Premier 1K11x miles per dollar

However, with the United Explorer Card, you can earn an extra 2X miles per dollar whenever you book a flight with United Airlines.

This means that as just a general member of MileagePlus, you’ll earn 7X miles per dollar on all flights purchased with United Airlines. If you’re a Premier 1K member, you’ll earn 13X miles per dollar when you book your flights with United.

Hot Tip: Check out the best ways to earn tons of United miles, and you’ll be booking amazing trips before you know it!

With all the miles you earn, you can redeem your United miles for some amazing flights such as Lufthansa first class, one of the most luxurious in-flight experiences (complete with champagne and caviar!).

2. Earn More Miles at Hotels and Restaurants

Earns 2x miles per dollar at hotels and restaurants.

3. Extra Award Space

Once you earn enough United miles, you’ll be ready to hunt for some award space to book flights for your next vacation.

If you are looking for an economy class award, holding the United Explorer Card gives you a big advantage as you will have access to extra economy class award space.

Cardholders also have access to standard level awards whenever there is a seat available on a flight. Typically, this perk is only available to those who have earned elite status. While this is a very poor use of points (you should always look for saver level awards), the ability to book an award seat at any time can be very useful in a pinch.

4. Free Checked Bag With United Airlines (up to $100/Round-Trip Value)

United baggage fees
As a cardholder, you will receive 1 free checked bag for you and a companion if you book with your United Explorer Card.

As a cardholder, you can save tons of money on your flights with United Airlines with the free checked bag benefit. If you purchase your flight on United with the United Explorer Card, you and 1 companion on your itinerary will each receive a free checked bag.

Unlike other airline co-branded credit cards, you are required to use the United Explorer Card to pay for the flight if you want to be eligible to receive your free checked bag.

5. United Club Passes ($108/Year Value)

United Club Hong Kong
Enjoy access to United Clubs with your annual passes thanks to the United Explorer Card Image courtesy of United.

Airports can be hectic places, especially during busy travel seasons, but a reprieve in an airport lounge can turn a normally stressful experience into a relaxing one.

Once approved for the United Explorer Card, you will receive 2 single-use United Club passes. You’ll continue to receive 2 passes every year you keep the card.

6. Priority Boarding

Flights are often very full these days, and the situation on United Airlines is no different. With the United Explorer Card, you will receive priority boarding access to help ensure there is overhead space for your carry-on bag.

This benefit can be particularly useful if you have a tight connection or obligations shortly after arrival such as a meeting.

7. 25% Off In-Flight Purchases

Get 25% back on United inflight Wi-Fi, food and drinks.

8. Elite Status Spend Waiver

United credit cardholders can earn Premier qualifying points (PQP) through their annual credit card spend and for 2021 can apply this earned PQP toward Premier 1K status.

The United Explorer card earns 500 PQP for every $12,000 spent, up to 1,000 PQP in a calendar year.

Hot Tip: Other Chase United credit cards have varying PQP earning capabilities — visit United’s MileagePlus cardmember update page for more details and terms and conditions.

With Premier 1K elite status, you’ll have access to Star Alliance business class lounges as a Star Alliance Gold member when you travel abroad, even when flying in economy class. This can be particularly nice before a long flight or when connecting abroad.

In fact, if you are departing from the U.S. on a trip to Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia, etc., you’ll even have access to United Clubs and you won’t have to use one of your 2 complimentary United Club passes.

9. Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Credit (Up to $100 Value)

Every 4 years receive a credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck enrollment/renewal.

Travel Protections

The United Explorer Card doesn’t just help you earn and redeem United miles. In fact, it can even help when your flights don’t go as planned. Let’s discuss a few of this card’s benefits that can protect you when things go wrong.

10. Trip Delay Insurance

As frustrating as it can be, flights get delayed sometimes. With the United Explorer Card, you are entitled to trip delay insurance if your flight is delayed by 12 hours or overnight.

When you book your flights with this card, you are entitled to reimbursement of up to $500 in reasonable expenses that can include hotel accommodations, ground transportation to and from the airport, and meals.

Make sure you request and receive documentation from the airline so you can submit your claim and get reimbursed.

11. Baggage Delay Insurance

Baggage Claim Area Lost Delayed Luggage
With the bag delay insurance that comes with the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card, you can rest easy.

Another frustration travelers occasionally face is a delay in the arrival of their checked bags. If you booked your flight with the United Explorer Card and your bags are delayed by at least 6 hours, you are entitled to reimbursement.

This benefit covers essential items such as toiletries, clothing, and even a charging cable for your cell phone. Chase will reimburse you up to $100 for each day that the bag doesn’t arrive (up to $500).

12. Lost Luggage Coverage

Taking things a step further, in the unfortunate event that your bags are not just delayed but lost, you are also covered by Chase. Whether it is a checked bag or a carry-on bag, each passenger is eligible for up to $3,000 in reimbursement.

13. Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance

If your trip is cut short or canceled because of severe weather or illness (plus some other situations), you could be eligible for up to $6,000 in trip interruption or cancellation insurance.

This coverage includes reimbursement for pre-paid, non-refundable common carrier travel expenses.

Final Thoughts

It’s clear from the start that the United Explorer Card can help you earn more United miles to book award travel. But with perks such as increased economy class award space and the elite status spending waiver, it brings a lot more to the table than just the ability to earn miles.

To top it off, holding the United Explorer Card ensures that you are protected during your travels, so you don’t have to stress about flight delays and problems with your checked and carry-on bags.

If you plan on flying with United Airlines even just a few times per year, the United Explorer Card can save you a ton of money on checked bag fees, make booking award flights easier, and protect you from some unforeseen events during your travels.

Frequently asked questions

Do miles earned with the co-branded United credit cards count toward elite status?

No, the points earned with the Chase United cards are redeemable for award flights but do not help you earn status.

Can you transfer United MileagePlus miles to other airlines or hotels?

No, MileagePlus miles must be used to book award flights with United Airlines.

Can you have more than one co-branded United credit card?


What points can be transferred to Rapid Rewards points?

Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer to United almost instantly at a 1:1 ratio. SPG Starpoints transfer to United at an awful 1:0.5 so it’s best to avoid doing so.

Spencer Howard

About Spencer Howard

Always a fan of flying, it was only natural that Spencer was drawn to finding a way to improve the travel experience. Like many, he started this journey searching for cheap flights to take him around the world. This was fun for a while, but Spencer was intrigued by the idea of flying in business and first class! Throwing himself into what became an extensive research project, Spencer spent 3-4 hours per night learning everything he could about frequent flyer miles over the course of several months (he thinks this is normal).

Travel prices are about to surge from pent-up demand.

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Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.


  1. I have the Explorer card but wondering if I still receive priority boarding if I used a different credit card to purchase the ticket. My Mileageplus number is in the reservation and my Explorer card is in my MP profile. TIA.


    • Hi Patrick, thanks for the question. You will receive priority boarding even though you used another card to pay for the ticket. Thanks also for mentioning that you have your MileagePlus number in the reservation because that is a key factor. You will not receive a free checked bag, however.


  2. Cynthia Purdy March 19, 2019

    I just received my United Explorer card. I made my reservation using my old United Mileage Plus Visa, but I paid for the travel insurance for that flight on United’s website today using the new Explorer card. Will this get me free checked bag?


    • Cynthia,

      You most likely will not get the free checked bag. As per the terms and conditions, you must purchase the actual ticket with your card.


  3. Can I use my United Explorer card miles to upgrade on a cruise that was paid for using my Explorer card?


  4. Julie Patrick April 10, 2019

    I purchased two RT tickets, one for my daughter and son-in-law, with my explorer credit card. Will the travel protection apply to them as well?
    We will be on the same return flight but not the outgoing flight.


    • Hi Julie. I accessed the Guide to Benefits for the Explorer Card and found that only immediate family is covered for travel protection benefits such as trip cancellation and trip interruption. The Guide to Benefits for the Explorer Card defines immediate family: “Immediate Family Member, means your Spouse or Domestic Partner and their children, including adopted children or step-children; legal guardians or wards; siblings or siblings in-law; parents or parents-in-law; grandparents or grandchildren; aunts or uncles; nieces or nephews.” You can read more about the United Explorer travel protections and the terms/conditions here: https://www.chasebenefits.com/unitedVW4


  5. How does the Explorer card compare to Amex cards in terms of travel protection? Is it comparable or better?


  6. If I use my miles for award travel and pay for the extra fees using my Explorer card, do I still get the travel benefits (priority boarding, free checked bag, etc)?


  7. I also just got the United Explorer Card but I used a different credit card to purchase 4 basic economy tickets for me and my 3 friends (2 on one reservation and 2 individual reservations). Will I still receive priority boarding? If yes, do I just show my Explorer Card at the gate? My Mileageplus number is on the reservation. Thank you!


    • Hi Casey. You should receive priority boarding as there is no requirement to purchase the ticket with your MileagePlus Explorer card for this benefit. Your frequent flyer number should trigger priority boarding as the card will be recorded in your profile. If your boarding pass does not reflect priority boarding, you can just show your card to the gate agent. You will not receive the free checked bag, however, as that benefit requires purchasing the ticket with your card. Have fun on your trip.


  8. I would like to know how much the trip interruption/cancel benefit is if you charge a trip on your MileagePlus Explorer card. I have a final payment due soon and would like to clarify this.
    Also, is any trip accident/medical insurance included while on the trip ?
    Site is a bit confusing as to exact amount of the coverage on this benefit.


    • Hello Kerry. Trip cancellation and interruption benefits are included complimentary on your card and do cover you during your trip. These benefits, however, are not a substitute for comprehensive travel insurance. There are plenty of terms and conditions that come with the benefits provided with your card. Here is the guide to benefits for the card which will give you additional information. https://www.chasebenefits.com/unitedVW4


      • Karen Didomenicis June 12, 2019

        I have the same question as Kerry, and the link at the bottom of your answer does not work for me. thanks.


        • Hi Karen. There is no charge for trip interruption/cancellation insurance on the United Explorer card. The link to the guide to benefits unfortunately keeps timing out. You can call the number on the back of your card, log into your card account online and access the benefit guide there, or access the Guide to Benefits that came with your card to read the details for this coverage.


  9. Danny Doan June 3, 2019


    I just used my miles for award travel, and my Untied Explore Business Card to pay for the fees. I booked a total of 4 tickets for my family. Below is my itinerary:

    1. Houston to London flight operated by United
    2. London to Rome, flight operated by Lufthansa airline
    3. Paris to Houston, flight operated by United
    I have a question about the free checked bag. Do I get 2 checked bags free, one for me and one for my companion even though I purchase 4 tickets for trip 1 and 3? For trip 2, will it be the same or I have to check with Lufthansa airline?

    About the priority boarding: How do I know if I have the priority boarding?

    Thanks so much for your help


    • Hello Danny. Regarding your question about checked bags. Yes, you get one free checked bag for yourself and for one companion traveling with you. Make sure that your MileagePlus number is on your reservations because your United Explorer card will be tied to your frequent flyer number for the free checked bag and priority boarding. You can add your record locator number to this baggage calculator to determine if there are any additional baggage charges. Some codeshare flights do not afford free checked bags. Priority boarding should show up on your boarding pass when you check in for your flight. If it does not, you can just show your United Explorer card at the airport. https://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/travel/baggage/changed-bag-rules-optional-services.aspx


  10. Karen Schickedanz June 12, 2019

    If I use my United Explorer card to book air travel for a river cruise and then have to cancel the trip due to illness, will the trip cancellation benefit also cover the cost of the cruise in addition to the airfare? (The cruise is being paid for by check.)


    • Hello Karen. If the air travel was purchased separately from the cruise, the benefit would not be extended to include the cruise. You would need to have paid for some portion of your cruise with your United Explorer card to have coverage. However, you may have coverage with the cruise line. I would check with them.


    • We are planning to travel internationally and purchase the tickets using our new Explorer card . We get 1 bag free but we are confused as to whether we will get a 2nd bag free. We are confused by the below statement on Chase site.

      “Explorer Cardmembers and Cardmembers with certain other United Chase Credit Cards will not get an additional free checked bag if there is no first checked bag service charge applicable to their international travel itinerary”


  11. I have a United Plus Explorer card. I don’t see that ypy listed. It’s with chase bank. What benefits does that equate to?


  12. I just applied and got approved for the Explorer Card but won’t get my physical card until my upcoming United Flight. Can I show my credit card app to get priority boarding?


    • Hello Wonju. I would just call United and see if it is tied to your MileagePlus number yet. Hopefully you gave your United MileagePlus frequent flyer number when you submitted the credit card application. I went into my MileagePlus frequent flyer account to see if my United Explorer Card was listed there as this may have been a way for you to find out, however I did not see it listed. So call and see if the two are connected yet then take a copy of your credit card approval with you as the back up plan. Not sure if it will work but no harm in trying. Good luck, Wonju.


  13. Do you offer one Free Companion ticket per year with the United Explorer Card?


    • Hi Kristin, please be advised we are not United, nor are we Chase Bank. However, you can find a list of basic perks for various United cards here – at this time it does not appear United/Chase offer a companion ticket on this card.


  14. If I use my United Explorer card to purchase a United ticket from a discount ticket travel agent do I still have same benefits as if booked through United website?


    • Hi Jimmy,

      Great question! United’s website notes that “unpublished fares, such as those purchased on priceline.com and Hotwire, are not eligible” for free checked bags. However, all fares booked direct with United are eligible for checked bags, priority boarding, and other credit card benefits.


  15. If I purchase a flight using the United Explorer Card (one free checked bag) and already have United Silver status (which grants me one free checked bag), do the checked bag allowances add up and I will be allowed 2 free checked bags?


    • Catherine Luther July 26, 2019

      Hi Quinton,

      United’s terms and conditions state “Explorer Cardmembers and Cardmembers with certain other United Chase Credit Cards will not receive a free checked bag in addition to the free checked bag(s) awarded through their Premier status”. So you would only receive 1 free checked bag.


  16. I used MileagePlus card to purchase 3 United Airline tickets for my family (wife and 2 children), but I myself will be flying to that destination on a different United flight (also purchased via this card).
    I know that I will get the free checked bag, but what about her and one of the children? Again, they will be on a different flight from me.
    Thank you for the help.


    • Catherine Luther August 13, 2019

      Hi Alex,

      For a companion to receive the free checked bag benefit, they must be flying on the same reservation as the primary cardholder. So they would not get a free checked bag unfortunately.


  17. I had to make 2 different reservations for a trip this month bringing my son to college. My husband and I are one 1 RT reservation and my son on a separate reservation all paid with our new United Explorer card. I do understand that my husband and I will get our first check in bag free. Since my son’s reservation is separate from ours, would he also get his first check in bag free as well or would we have to pay at the gate? If we do need to pay for his 1st bag, can this be pre-paid before we get to the airport? Lastly, would the 3 of us get priority boarding?


    • Catherine Luther August 13, 2019

      Hi Anne,

      For a companion to receive the free checked bag benefit, they must be flying on the same reservation as the primary cardholder. So your son would not get a free checked bag unfortunately. This also applies to the priority boarding benefit – the cardholder must be on the same reservation.

      You can pre-pay for luggage online when you check-in from 24 hours before the flight.


  18. TERESA BUHLER August 18, 2019

    I’m booking a multicity flight for myself and my spouse:

    1. Denver to Barcelona
    2. Stuttgart to Denver

    I’m booking on Lufthansa using United Explorer card. I’ve also added my MileagePlus number to the reservation. Do I still have free baggage allowance or do I have to pay extra for baggage?


    • Hey Teresa, your credit card benefits will not carry over if you’re booking a flight on Lufthansa. However, you should still get one free checked bag so long as you’re not traveling on a basic economy ticket. Lufthansa will tell you how many pieces of complimentary baggage is included with your ticket at checkout. Thanks for reading!


  19. Thanks for the nice article. I have a couple of questions:

    1. Many flights to Asia are offered as codeshare flights with Lufthansa and United. Do benefits apply when booking is made in United’s website, though the flights may be operated by Lufthansa or vice versa.

    2. For Asian destinations 1 check in baggage is allowed for free in economy class. If we book with this card, does that mean an additional baggage will be allowed for free check in? Usually this additional baggage costs $100 if we don’t the card.


    • Hey Sam, good questions. You must be traveling on United-operated flights in order to take advantage of the flight benefits. Further, you will receive one extra checked bag if your ticket to Asia already includes one checked bag—thanks!


      • Really – I saw elsewhere – on United baggage info site – stating only applicable to First Bag (within USA) – and doesn’t apply to 2nd bag
        And in addition – doesn’t apply to international flights.


        International travel:
        Club and Presidential Plus Cardmembers will not get additional free checked bags if there are no first and second checked bag service charges applicable to their international travel itinerary.

        >>>Explorer Cardmembers and Cardmembers with certain other United Chase Credit Cards will not get an additional free checked bag if there is no first checked bag service charge applicable to their international travel itinerary.


  20. Himayun Mirza September 11, 2019

    I bought my round-trip, basic economy domestic short flight using my United Explorer card. Will I be allowed a carry-on or just a tiny bag?

    Thanks and regards,


    • Hey Himayun,

      The in-cabin allowance is the same. You can bring 1 personal item (the “tiny bag”) but you can check in a bag for free. You won’t be able to bring it onto the airplane cabin with you, but it’ll be checked to your final destination and you can pick it up at baggage claim.


  21. So I generally get 2 checked bags free. When you say you get a free checked bag with the Explorer card, does that mean a third bag, since I already get 2 free? And is that just for the main card holder? Or authorized account user as well?


    • Hi Kaye,

      How are you getting your first 2 checked bags free? I would need to know that to answer your question.
      The free checked bag from this credit card is for the main card holder only. Here’s United’s policy:

      “The primary Cardmember and one traveling companion on the same reservation are each eligible to receive their first standard checked bag free; authorized users are only eligible if they are on the same reservation as the primary Cardmember.”

      Hope that helps!


  22. Can’t you get gift cards for family and friends at places like Sephora, Chili’s or Panara Bread anymore? Why not?


  23. If you use the United Explorer Credit card To purchase your ticket on United and you have to change the flights to a later date, will they waive change fees?


  24. Hello, I booked a flight to NYC from Chicago on Basic Economy. I purchased it with my explorer card through Expedia. Credit Card was charged through United. Basic Economy restrictions apply where no full-sized carry-on bag on board is permitted. Since I made the purchase with the untied card will I still be able to bring on a carry-on? I also bought a ticket for my partner under the same reservation, with the card, will she be allowed to do a carry-on? Also I am assuming I get a free checked bag.


    • Hi Edgar,

      As long as your included your MileagePlus number then yes, you and your companion will each be able to bring a checked bag. The United card only included checked bags though, not a carry-on.

      Thanks for reading!


  25. Joan F Kiddie October 6, 2019

    Hello. I’m traveling from San Francisco to S. Korea on United which includes 2 free checked bags. I purchased the flight with my Explorer card. Does that mean I get a third checked bag?


    • Hi Joan,

      Unfortunately not, that perk only applies to the first checked bag for you and a traveling companion. Since your two bags are already free, it does not extend to a third.

      Thanks for reading!


  26. priscilla costa October 8, 2019

    Can I use my United credit card to purchase a flight with another airline?


    • Hi Priscilla,

      Yes, you can use your United credit card to purchase a flight with another airline.

      Thanks for reading!


      • But do you get the benefits – like Trip Cancellation/ Trip Interruption, Baggage Delay, etc. when using United Credit Card – while flying on another airline
        the benefits are only when flying with UNITED?


  27. Do I receive priority boarding if I am just an additional user not the primary card holder?


  28. I have the united explorer card. If I book reward travel through my Citi premier card with points on basic economy will I get a carry on bag and priority board with united?


    • Hi Tom,

      With the United Explorer card, you must pay for the flight with the card in order to get the baggage benefit. So, in the example you’ve provided, you would not receive a carry-on bag or priority boarding.


  29. I am the cardholder of a United Explorer credit card. If I book and pay the following with my credit card:
    A flight for my 2 sisters in San Antonio to flight to Houston where I would board the same flight that takes us all 3 to Las Vegas.
    Would they receive priority boarding in San Antonio & also be allowed 1 carry on? Or would that only apply when I’m boarding the flight in Houston?


    • Hi Grace. The terms and conditions state that 1 travel companion receives a free checked bag and must be on the same reservation as the cardholder. It appears that your sisters are on a separate reservation and different itinerary so they won’t get the free checked bag. It does sounds like a very fun trip, however.


  30. john milan sebik January 26, 2020

    If I book a flight using my United card for me and 3 family members will I get all bags checked for free or only for me and my wife?


    • Hi John. If you used your United Explorer card to pay for your flight, you will receive a free checked back. One additional passenger on the same itinerary will also receive a free checked bag.


  31. Dennis Douville February 21, 2020

    If I pay for the TSA pre-check fee with my United Explorer Mileage Plus credit card will I get reimbursed for the cost automatically.


  32. We have a trip to Italy booked thru the Explorer card in two weeks. My husband had a run-in with a table saw and may need follow up surgery in this time frame. Should I try to just cancel? Or change the dates? Which option would cost less, if they are both possible?


    • Hi Carol. Sorry to hear of your husband’s accident. Just give United a call and they can explain the options based on the type of ticket you purchased. Also tell them about
      your husband’s situation. It is possible they may be generous. You might just ask for a credit for a future purchase and then you can re-book when everything is settled and he
      is well enough to travel.


  33. I have the old United MileagePlus card and the Explorer card. Since the old MileagePlus card has been downgraded and no longer gives me access to economy plus seats, but now gives me access to the United Club when flying with United, is it still worth keeping the old MileagePlus card.? I can’t seem to find a comparison chart to help me decide if I should keep or not.


    • Hi June,

      It really just depends on how much value you receive from the card. If you travel frequently and really value being able to access the United Club each time you do, then it might be worth holding onto the card.


  34. kamila nat March 18, 2020


    Thank you for this helpful article. I was wondering if I still get a free checked bag on Lufthansa flight , as it is a part of Miles and More same as United?


  35. vincent hendy April 19, 2020

    Does anybody have any idea what date The Explorer Card benefit for Trip Interruption changed from $10,000 to $6,000


    • Hi Vincent,

      This change was from the previous version, known as the United MileagePlus Explorer card. Now, the maximum benefit is $6,000 per trip and $1,500 per person. Thanks for reading.


  36. Emma Dedyukhina April 30, 2020

    Hello, in your overview of the United Explorer trip cancellation benefits you mention that hotel expenses are also subject to reimbursement under a covered event (in my case medical emergency). However, recently I was told by Chase that hotel coverage was dropped and they no longer reimburse hotel expenses. Are you aware of this change? When did it occur?


  37. Emma Dedyukhina May 4, 2020

    Hello – do you know when did United Explorer card stopped covering hotel expenses as part of trip cancellation benefit on the card?


  38. Is the up to 7x miles earned benefit a recent addition. I purchased 2 tickets on the United Explorer Card on June 20, 2019, and only received 2x times the cost of the tickets. If I had flown, from past experience, I would have gotten 1x for the flight for a total of 3x.

    Please clarify.


    • Hi Guy,

      If you are a general United member, and purchase a standard economy ticket with your United Explorer card then you should receive 7x miles per $1 spent. 5x for your membership and 2x for your United card.


  39. Does the Business version of this card offer the same benefits, specifically extra Award Space?


  40. Does an Authorized User on a United Explorer card get the same benefits as the card holder? If the Authorized User logs in to their separate United account, will they get access to the additional award availability? Thanks


  41. Joanne Clawson November 1, 2020

    If we use Celebrity Cruise Choice Air and book their United flight using our United credit card, do we still get a free checked bag?


    • Hi Joanne,

      If the flight is booked directly with United, then yes you should get your baggage benefit. If the booking is made through a third party then you will not receive the baggage benefit.


  42. I just booked a basic economy international flight from Washington DC to Asia using the Explorer card. Now as a part of the standard ticket I get the 1st checked bag free and it says $100 for the second bag. As I am traveling on a United flight with this card, will my second bag be free under this benefit?


    • Hi Irma,

      Unfortunately, the benefit does not stack if you’re already receiving a checked bag for free. So you would still need to pay for the second checked bag.


  43. #9 is not applicable.
    United miles no longer expire.


  44. As all international tickets for United Airlines include one checked bag free, how will I get the benefit of a 2nd checked bag for free? Since the Explorer card is supposed to receive one free checked bag.

    I am the primary cardholder and I am booking a return ticket from the US to Asia for myself, but for my family I am booking a one-way ticket. So I just wanted to understand, how can I combine 2 itineraries so that my family will also get the explorer card benefits such as a free checked bag, priority boarding, travel insurance, and all related benefits?


    • Hi Vidy,

      Unfortunately, United does not allow for “baggage stacking”, so if your flight already offers one checked bag for free, then you do not receive another free checked bag for being an Explorer cardholder.

      Other passengers on your itinerary will only receive the benefits of your United Explorer card when they are traveling with you. So your family will automatically receive those benefits on the first leg of the flight that you are on together.


  45. Jen Schimbeno February 12, 2021

    Does anyone know the best way to get both spouses to achieve status? We run our finances joint within our household and have just one United credit card. Any time I fly without him I don’t get the perks. Even though we both operate off one card, because it’s in his name I don’t get the flight perks. It seems that this is something that I either am misunderstanding and can be added or they should change it to make the perks applicable to a joint holder credit card?


    • Hi Jen. You are correct in that the primary cardholder and traveling companion receive the flight perks. Unfortunately, there is no provision for authorized users to have those perks. You would need your own United Explorer card or have elite status with United to receive a free checked bag and priority boarding when traveling on your own.


  46. Michael Finley March 12, 2021

    Great article, still going strong! I used miles to buy tickets from the US to Mexico roundtrip. I used my Chase Sapphire Reserve card to pay the taxes, as they are then paid by my “travel credit” on that card. I also have an Explorer Card, (which I probably should have used instead) but as I rarely check bags (using the carry-on and personal item only), I didn’t worry about the free bag. I’m now worried about having to check a bag, as my “personal item” is a little bigger than what is strictly allowed. If I did have to check a bag, do you think it might make a difference if I used the Explorer Card to first pay for an upgrade of a seat to Premium Economy on one of the legs of the trip? Might this put my Explorer card “into the system” to show some payments from the card? As I purchased the original tickets with a mileage reward, might this be a way to get my Explorer Card included in the reservation and perhaps trigger the free checked bag?


    • Hi Michael. Thanks for reading and for your kind words. According to United’s terms/conditions, it is stated that you would have to pay for the taxes and services charges (on an award ticket) with the Explorer Card in order to receive the free checked bag. While the chances of success using your card for a seat upgrade and triggering the same free checked bag are doubtful, I applaud your creative thinking and wish you luck if you do try it. More info here: https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/travel/baggage/chasebag.html


  47. According to the portal, it says that I am eligible for a free bag on each leg of my flight. However, when I go to purchase, they are charging $40 per bag. Are the free checked bags credited on the Chase statement?


    • Hi Matt. It must be a United flight that you paid for with your United-branded card. You should receive the free checked bag upfront, not as a statement credit. Give United a call if you purchased the flight with your card and are not getting the free checked bag, 800-864-8331. Have your record locator number handy.


  48. If I purchase a basic economy UA round trip flight from IAD-NAS (Nassau, Bahamas) using 100% future travel credit, and I have a Chase United Explorer MileagePlus credit card that gives me MileagePlus status but the system wont allow me to pay a portion of my ticket with the credit card, can I still bring a personal item and full size carry-on (with no checked bags) and be eligible for priority boarding just by having my MileagePlus account number tied to the reservation?


    • Hi Jayden. You will receive priority boarding. However, please note that the United credit card does not give MileagePlus status, only United perks such as priority boarding and a free checked bag when you pay for a portion, or all, of your ticket with the card. Thanks for reading.


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