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VS

Compare the Features and Benefits of IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card and
United℠ Explorer Card

Detailed Comparison Overview

Key Facts
Annual Fee
Avg. Min. Credit Score
Ongoing APR
Balance transfers fees
Best Multiplier
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
Bonus Offer
Rating
Review
Key features
Unique Card Benefits
Primary Car Rental CDW Waiver
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
Extended Warranty
Purchase Protection
Trip Protections
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Free Annual Hotel Night
Grants Hotel Status
Annual Statement Credits
Does Not Report Credit Line to Personal Credit Profile
No Fees for Authorized Users
Free Checked Bags
Airport Lounge Access
Priority Boarding
Concierge Services
Free Access to Credit Score
Annual Fee
$99
Avg. Min. Credit Score
670-850 *
Ongoing APR
21.49%-28.49% (Variable)
Balance transfers fees
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Best Multiplier
10x Hotels

10 points per dollar at eligible IHG hotels worldwide; 5X points per dollar on any other hotel purchases.

5x Airfare
5x Transit
5x Car Rentals
5x Gas Stations
5x Dining Out / Food Delivery
5x Office Supplies
5x Advertising on Search Engines and Social Media
3x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.004
Bonus Offer
Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(4.35) Our Review

Our ratings are determined by the authors and editors on our team. Each individual card feature is compared against all other cards we offer and the total score is an average of those 4 ratings.

Review

The IHG Rewards Premier Business Credit Card is IHG’s small business credit card. And, for small business owners who even occasionally travel, it’s easily worth its annual fee. That’s because the free night certificate earned each account anniversary year should easily save you more than the $99 annual fee.

Other card perks just add to the card’s value: bonus points on wide-ranging purchases, Platinum Elite status, and the fourth night free on rewards stays.

Purchases made using the IHG Rewards Premier Business Credit Card earn 10 IHG points per dollar at hotels participating in the IHG Rewards program, 5x IHG points per dollar on travel, dining, social media and search engine advertising, office supply stores, and gas stations. All other purchases charged to the IHG Rewards Premier Business Credit Card earn 3 points per dollar.

Earn bonus points on gas station purchases using the IHG Rewards Premier Business Credit Card.

IHG point earnings are further boosted by the IHG Platinum Elite status that comes as a perk of the IHG Rewards Premier Business Credit Card. Platinum Elite members earn 60% bonus points on top of the base earning rate of 10 points per dollar. That nets a total of 26 IHG points per dollar at IHG hotels.

Big spenders can rack up additional rewards on the IHG Rewards Premier Business Credit Card. Receive a $100 statement credit plus 10,000 bonus points after spending $20,000 in a calendar year. Then, upgrade to Diamond Elite status after spending $40,000 in purchase in a calendar year. Finally, earn another free night award by spending $60,000 in purchases (plus one additional purchase) in one calendar year using your IHG Rewards Premier Business Card.

Small business owners can also earn points on employee spending. There’s no additional annual fee to add employee cards.

IHG Rewards members can redeem points for a reward night at any hotels participating in the IHG portfolio. That spans everything from luxury InterContinental Hotels to practical Holiday Inn hotels.

Intercontinental hotel in Malta, part of IHG Rewards

Even better, when you redeem IHG Rewards points for a stay of at least four consecutive nights, you’ll get a free night through the IHG Rewards Premier Business Credit Card’s fourth reward night free benefit.

Screenshot showing options to redeem points for Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express near Universal Orlando with the IHG credit card free night discount.

IHG Rewards Premier Business Card cardholders get a free night award each year. This certificate can be redeemed for an IHG hotel night stay costing up to 40,000 IHG Rewards points. Sure, that’s not going to get you an overwater villa in Bora Bora, but that free night will cover a stay at many IHG hotels.

Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
Primary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Trip Protections
yes
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
Free Annual Hotel Night
yes
Grants Hotel Status
yes
Annual Statement Credits
yes
Does Not Report Credit Line to Personal Credit Profile
yes
No Fees for Authorized Users
yes
Free Checked Bags
no
Airport Lounge Access
no
Priority Boarding
no
Concierge Services
no
Free Access to Credit Score
no
Annual Fee
$0 Introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $95
Avg. Min. Credit Score
670-850 *
Ongoing APR
21.99%-28.99% (Variable)
Balance transfers fees
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Best Multiplier
2x Airfare

On United flights only; otherwise earn 1X

2x Dining Out / Food Delivery
2x Hotels
1x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.012
Bonus Offer

Earn 60,000 United MileagePlus Miles after spending $3,000 on qualifying purchases in the first three months of opening an account, plus Annual Fee waived for the first year. Offer ends January 24, 2024.  

Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(4.05) Our Review

Our ratings are determined by the authors and editors on our team. Each individual card feature is compared against all other cards we offer and the total score is an average of those 4 ratings.

Review

The United Explorer is one of the best credit cards out there for occasional United flyers. That’s because you’ll get useful perks, such as free first checked bags, priority boarding privileges, a 25% food and beverage discount on board United operated flights, and even get a taste of airport lounge access with two anniversary United Club passes. Plus. the annual fee is waived the first year, then just $95 thereafter.

Consider this scenario: Even if you only fly United a couple of times per year, the Explorer Card is worth it for the free checked bag benefit alone. Keep in mind, this applies to the primary card holder and one companion on the same reservation, as long as you use the card to pay for your ticket. At $35 for one checked bag, and $140 for a round-trip flight for two people, it’s easy to get value that exceeds the card’s annual fee.

In addition to the sign-up bonus earned after account opening, the United Explorer card earns a decent 2X miles on United Airlines purchases, 2X miles on dining, including eligible delivery services, 2X miles on hotel stays when booked with the hotel and 1x miles on all other purchases. Also, the card helps to fast track your United elite status goals with 500 Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) for every $12,000 you spend on purchases (up to 1,000 PQPs in a calendar year). These PQPs can be applied toward your Premier status qualification — up to the Premier 1K level.

And don’t forget the ability to earn PQPs towards elite status from spend. You’ll earn 25 Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) for every $500 you spend on purchases – up to 1,000 PQPs per year.

If you’re in need of extra miles besides flying on United flights, keep in mind that Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to the United Mileage Plus program at a 1:1 ratio to help you top up your miles balance.

While the United Explorer card is a fantastic option for the occasional United flyer, those that travel more often with the airline might want to consider other options, including United’s other, more premium, credit cards.

In more simple terms, the Explorer card fits the “occasional United flyer” once or twice per year mold, while the $250-per-year United Quest fits the “semi-frequent United flyer.” Then, there’s the United Club Infinite Card for the “frequent United flyer.” If you’re looking for a United Club membership and need more than just two one-time passes, you’ll probably be better off with the United Club Infinite Card, which comes with a full United Club membership but also charges the highest annual fee of the United cards at $525.

Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
Primary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Trip Protections
yes
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
Free Annual Hotel Night
no
Grants Hotel Status
no
Annual Statement Credits
no
Does Not Report Credit Line to Personal Credit Profile
no
No Fees for Authorized Users
no
Free Checked Bags
yes
Airport Lounge Access
yes
Priority Boarding
yes
Concierge Services
yes
Free Access to Credit Score
yes

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