accordion-minus accordion-plus account-aside-cards-ico account-aside-consultations-ico account-aside-logout-ico account-aside-profile-ico account-aside-reading-ico account-aside-settings-ico account-aside-wishlist-ico account-categories-edit account-categories-save account-mobile-nav-arr account-sidebar-active bonus-ico btn-find-ico btn-gradient-fb-ico btn-ico-edit business-ico calc-ico cash-ico check-green close-ico compare-card-equal-ico compare-card-plus-ico compare-plus-ico compare-tooltip-arr compare-tooltip-close compare-tooltip-ico correct-ico correct-large-ico credit-card-bullet dashboard-btn-arr dashboard-email-ico dashboard-pass-ico err-info-ico facebook facetwp-selections-arr filter-arr filter-cross heart-ico-filled heart-ico hero-section-bg-animated-mask hero-section-bg-mask-2 hero-section-bg-mask home-slider-arr-icon incorrect-ico insta is-best-ico listing-mob-filter listing-mob-sort loader-ico lock-ico-filled-white lock-ico-filled lock-ico login-facebook login-google login-linkedin my-cards-toggle notification-close-ico notification-success-ico notify-like-clicked notify-like notify-me-ico-clicked notify-me-ico num-counter-item-ico personal-ico points-ico price-edit-blue profile-ico remove-card search-ico select-arr share-facebook-ico share-linkedin-ico share-mail-ico share-twitter-ico sign-in-google-ico slider-ico-1 slider-ico-2 slider-ico-3 slider-ico-4 slider-ico-5 slider-ico-6 stars-5-empty stars-5-filled-edit stars-5-filled tooltip-filter-ico-green tooltip-filter-ico-light tooltip-filter-ico-white tooltip-filter-ico tooltip-ico transfer-bonus-ico transfer-bonuses-close transfer-tooltip-ico twitter-widget-ico twitter ybcc-comparison-arr ybcc-comparison-card ybcc-socials-fb ybcc-socials-inst ybcc-socials-tw ybcc-socials-yt youtube
Explore Credit Cards Add Your Spending Profile
💳 Subscribe to Transfer Bonus Notifications!
< Compare other cards
Your Best Credit Cards has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Your Best Credit Cards and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on Your Best Credit Cards are from advertisers and may impact how and where card products appear on the site. Your Best Credit Cards does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Commissions do not affect or prioritize placement within our Card Explorer results and not all cards displayed earn us a commission. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone.

* Suggested credit score ranges are supplied by QuinStreet, not from the issuers, and are guidelines, not a guarantee of approval.
VS

Compare the Features and Benefits of United℠ Explorer Card and
United Club℠ Infinite 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
Free Checked Bags
Airport Lounge Access
Priority Boarding
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
Primary Car Rental CDW Waiver
Trip Protections
Purchase Protection
Extended Warranty
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Concierge Services
Free Access to Credit Score
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
Grants Hotel Status
Grants Car Rental Status
Annual Statement Credits
Return Protection
No Fees for Authorized Users
Metal Card
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
Free Checked Bags
yes
Airport Lounge Access
yes
Priority Boarding
yes
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
yes
Primary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
Trip Protections
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
Concierge Services
yes
Free Access to Credit Score
yes
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
yes
Grants Hotel Status
no
Grants Car Rental Status
no
Annual Statement Credits
no
Return Protection
no
No Fees for Authorized Users
no
Metal Card
no
Annual Fee
$525
Avg. Min. Credit Score
800-850 *
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
4x Airfare
2x Dining Out / Food Delivery
1x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.012
Bonus Offer

Earn 90,000 United MileagePlus® Miles after you spend $5,000 on qualifying purchases in the first three months of opening an account. Offer ends August 7, 2024.

Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(4.25) 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 Club Infinite Card is a surprisingly robust offering from United Airlines and Chase.

The primary reason to get this card is because you fly United enough that you would like to have United Club lounge access for all of your flights.

The average person will save $125 by gaining United Club access via this credit card than by buying it directly. Even United 1K members come out $25 ahead. Why would anyone buy United Club access directly when it’s cheaper to pay a lower annual fee on the credit card?

By the way, the exact same thing applies to the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite MasterCard® and as well as the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card and the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Credit Card. The Delta cards even offer American Express Centurion Lounge access when flying Delta, although they also have a limit on lounge visits per year.

You also have the ability to earn the most Premier Qualifying Points towards United elite status of any of the United credit cards. You’ll earn 25 Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) for every $500 you spend on purchases.

Now, sure, outside of 4X miles per dollar spent on United purchases, the earn rate on other categories aren’t particularly strong. But the card’s features and benefits that we’ve described above that come on top of the United Club lounge access are incredibly compelling.

To recap, those benefits include:

  • United Club lounge access

  • First and second free checked bags

  • Receive 25% Back on United inflight and Club Premium Drink Purchases

  • Earn up to 10,000 Premier Qualifying Points (PQP) (You’ll earn 25 Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) for every $500 you spend on purchases.)

  • 10% Saver Award Flight Discount

  • Expanded Award Availability

  • Premier Upgrades on Award Tickets

  • Premier Access including priority check in and priority boarding

  • Return Protection for Items a Store Won’t Take Back + Extended Warranty and Purchase Protection

  • Access to The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection

  • Primary Car Rental CDW Insurance

  • Global Entry / TSA PreCheck / NEXUS Reimbursement as a Statement Credit

  • IHG Platinum Status

  • Top Tier Avis President’s Club status

lounge-access-united-club-credit-card

That’s not all of the card features, but it sure is enough to see that the value you are getting for that annual fee is pretty amazing.

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

Learn more about these cards today

Your account has been successfully created!