United Explorer Business Card Review: Worth the United Perks?

Business travelers who travel with United won’t want to miss this.
4 minute read | 6/11/19June 11, 2019

If you’re interested in a business travel card but don’t fly enough to make United’s elite — and expensive — United MileagePlus Club Card worth it, the United Explorer Business Card could be an ideal choice. This card has a reasonable annual fee, which is waived the first year, and comes with a generous sign-up bonus as well as double miles on key purchase categories.

But before you sign up, it’s important to make sure you can spend enough to earn the bonus and take advantage of the other cardholder perks that make this card worthwhile.

This United Explorer Business Card review can help you make an informed choice on if this card might be right for you.

Valuable Business Rewards

United Explorer Business Card

United Explorer Business Card

United Explorer Business Card


  • 50,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 2X miles per $1 spent at restaurants, gas stations, office supply stores, and United purchases
  • Free first checked bag
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No blackout dates


  • Doesn’t offer an introductory 0% APR promotion
  • $95 annual fee

Who should get this card?

If you fly United regularly and are in need of a business credit card, the United Explorer Business Card is a great mid-tier card. It comes with no annual fee for the first year, then charges $95 each year after that, making it significantly less expensive than the $450 United MileagePlus Club Business Card. But it doesn’t come with some of the perks the more expensive card does, such as United Club membership or a second free checked bag for the primary cardholder and one companion.

Still, it offers plenty of advantages to businesses, including free employee credit cards, two United Club passes annually, and one free checked bag for the cardholder and a traveling companion on each United Flight. If you fly United and can benefit from these perks, this card is a strong one to consider.

Card basics

Annual Fee $95
Intro Bonus Earn 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months
Recommended Credit Score Excellent, Good
Foreign Transaction Fee None

Top card benefits

  • Generous welcome offer: Earn 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Double miles for certain spending: 2X miles per $1 spent at restaurants, gas stations, office supply stores and on United purchases, plus 1X mile per $1 spent on everything else.
  • Priority boarding: Both the primary cardmember as well as traveling companions booked on the same reservation will be able to board United-operated flights early before general boarding.
  • Free checked bags: The primary cardholder and one additional companion traveling on the same reservation can receive one free standard checked bag on United-operated flights — a savings of up to $60 per flight if both you and a guest check a bag.
  • Two free United Club one-time passes: These passes are available each year you’re a cardmember and provide access to United Club lounges. These lounges usually provide free beverages and snacks, free WiFi, comfortable seating areas, and other amenities.
  • Travel insurance protections: Cardholders benefit from primary coverage auto rental insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip cancellation or delay coverage, and Visa Concierge services. These services provide significant value. For example, you could recover up to $3,000 per passenger in losses if your luggage is damaged or lost by the carrier, or you could receive up to $100 per day for three days to pay for essential purchases if your bags are delayed by six or more hours.
  • Purchase protections: New purchases on your United Explorer Business Card are covered for up to 120 days against theft or damage. You could recover up to $10,000 per loss, with a maximum total recovery of $50,000 per account. You can also extend the manufacturer’s warranty on eligible items with warranties of three years or less.

Earning and redeeming

Best ways to earn

The United Explorer Business Card provides the chance to earn unlimited bonus miles for certain categories of spending. The chart below shows how many miles you can earn per dollar spent when you charge purchases to your card.

You can also maximize the rewards you earn by taking advantage of the opportunity to get free employee cards. The more employees you have who use the United Explorer Business Card to make charges, the more quickly you could accrue miles that can be used for travel.

Restaurants 2X miles
Gas stations 2X miles
Office supply stores 2X miles
United purchases 2X miles
All other purchases 1X mile

Maximizing your redemptions

Miles earned are transferred to United at the end of each billing cycle and can be redeemed for United flights as well as for flights on any airline that’s part of the Star Alliance network.

When booking with United, one-way flights start at just 12,500 miles within the continental U.S. and Canada.

The miles you earn don’t expire as long as your card is open, so you don’t have to worry about using them up quickly once you’ve earned them.

Common questions

Is the United credit card worth it?

The United Explorer Business Card has a $95 annual fee that’s waived the first year. But the card is worth it if you fly on United frequently, as it provides a free standard checked bag for you and a companion. If you and a companion on the same reservation take advantage of this perk (valued at $60), it would only take two one-way flights to more than offset the cost of the annual fee. The card also comes with two one-time United Club passes, which are valued at $59 each, making it one of our favorite Chase business credit cards

Does the 5/24 rule apply to business cards?

5/24 rule is an unofficial Chase rule. Under the rule, you will be denied a Chase card if you’ve applied for five or more credit cards with any card issuer in the past 24 months. The 5/24 rule does apply to the United Explorer Business Card, so it’s highly unlikely you’d be approved if you’ve applied for too many cards recently.

What credit score do I need for the United Explorer Business Card?

You’ll need good to excellent credit to qualify for the United Explorer Business Card.

Other Cards to Consider

The United Explorer Business Card has a lot to offer for business travelers who fly with United, but if you’re looking to stretch your rewards beyond the limits of a single airline, you may want to compare it to another Chase business card such as the Ink Business Preferred or the Ink Business Unlimited.

Valuable Business Rewards

United Explorer Business Card

United Explorer Business Card

United Explorer Business Card

Special Offer

Earn 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months

See how these cards compare:

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
  • 80,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 3X points on travel and common business spending categories
  • Flexible redemption options
  • Additional employee cards at no extra cost
Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all spending
  • 0% APR for 12 months on purchases
  • No annual fee

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