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Compare the Features and Benefits of United℠ Explorer Card and
Amazon Prime Visa

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
Trip Protections
Purchase Protection
Extended Warranty
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Free Checked Bags
Airport Lounge Access
Priority Boarding
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
Primary Car Rental CDW Waiver
Concierge Services
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
Free Access to Credit Score
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
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 March 13, 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
Trip Protections
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
Free Checked Bags
yes
Airport Lounge Access
yes
Priority Boarding
yes
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
yes
Primary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
Concierge Services
yes
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
yes
Free Access to Credit Score
yes
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
no
Annual Fee
$0
Avg. Min. Credit Score
670-850 *
Ongoing APR
19.49%-27.49% (Variable)
Balance transfers fees
-
Best Multiplier
5x Amazon / Whole Foods

Earn unlimited 5% back at Amazon.com, Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, and on Chase Travel purchases with an eligible Prime membership

5x Airfare

Earn 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Travel only; otherwise earn 1% cash back

5x Hotels

Earn 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Travel only; otherwise earn 1% cash back

5x Car Rentals

Earn 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Travel only; otherwise earn 1% cash back

2x Gas Stations
2x Dining Out / Food Delivery
2x Transit

Local transit and commuting (including rideshare)

1x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.01
Bonus Offer
Get a $200 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval exclusively for Prime members
Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(4.13) 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

As much as we love rewards credit cards with transferable bank points, for heavy Amazon or Whole Foods shoppers, it’s hard to deny that 5% cash back on all of these purchases with the Prime Visa (as long as you have an eligible Amazon Prime membership!) is pretty awesome.

I know some people that do absolutely all of their grocery shopping at Whole Foods and as much shopping as possible at Amazon. If this is you, the Prime Visa credit card is probably a no brainer, especially with no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and a wide range of consumer protections like extended warranty, purchase protection (which covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account) and trip protections, although note that the trip protections aren’t nearly as rich as on many travel specific credit cards.

As a reminder, you’ll earn an unlimited 5% back at Amazon.com, Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, and on Chase Travel purchases with an eligible Prime membership and an unlimited 2% back at gas stations, restaurants, and on local transit and commuting (including rideshare).

You’ll earn ah unlimited 1% back on all other purchases, so you may want to combo this card with a card that earns 2% back on categories not bonused on this card.

Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
Trip Protections
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
Free Checked Bags
no
Airport Lounge Access
no
Priority Boarding
no
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
no
Primary Car Rental CDW Waiver
no
Concierge Services
no
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
no
Free Access to Credit Score
no
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes

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