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VS

Compare the Features and Benefits of United℠ Explorer Card and
Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit 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
Trip Protections
Extended Warranty
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Free Access to Credit Score
Free Checked Bags
Airport Lounge Access
Priority Boarding
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
Primary Car Rental CDW Waiver
Purchase Protection
Concierge Services
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
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 the Annual Fee waived for the first year. Offer ends August 7, 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
Extended Warranty
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
Free Access to Credit Score
yes
Free Checked Bags
yes
Airport Lounge Access
yes
Priority Boarding
yes
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
yes
Primary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Concierge Services
yes
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
yes
Annual Fee
$0
Avg. Min. Credit Score
580-850 *
Ongoing APR
19.99%-29.99% (Variable)
Balance transfers fees
Balance Transfer Fee applies to balances transferred at a promotional rate
Best Multiplier
5x Car Rentals
5x Hotels
1.5x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.01
Bonus Offer
You’ll earn $50 after you spend $100 in your first three months.
Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(4) 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 far as student credit cards go, the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is an easy choice since no student card offers a flat cash back rate that is higher.

With 1.5% cash back on everything, you’re both building your credit (so you can step up to credit cards with richer rewards after you graduate, and earning a nice return on your credit card spend.

Plus, you’ll get a small cash bonus when you meet the terms of the Early Spend Bonus with your new Quicksilver Student card.

Importantly, there’s no annual fee and this is not a secured credit card.

And you do have the opportunity to earn 5% cash back on travel booked via Capital One Travel and 8% back on entertainment booked through Capital One Entertainment.

entertainment-capital-one-quicksilver-student-cash-rewards-credit-card

Finally, you get that Uber benefit, which can be worth quite a lot if you use Uber and / or Uber Eats regularly.

All around, it’s a pretty solid student credit card!

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

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