Miles Calculator - United MileagePlus Explorer Card

United Explorer Card

2X United Purchases
2X Restaurant
2X Hotel
1st Checked Bag Free
2 Annual United Club Passes

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The United Explorer Card is an entry level co-branded airline card offered by Chase Bank. It provides great benefits that mirror having status with United like priority boarding, a free checked bag, complimentary premier upgrades, and more. It also offers the ability to earn double United Miles for airfare along with several other categories. The Explorer Card is great for anyone that primary flies with United and wants to enjoy a few extra perks and benefits.

Bonus Categories

The United MileagePlus Explorer Card features three bonus categories that earn extra miles. Those categories are United Purchases, restaurants, and hotels. There is no limit to the amount of United Miles you can earn spending in these categories. Miles will not expire as long as a United Mile earning card is opened. Below are the details of the Explorer Card's bonus categories.

2x United Purchases

The United MileagePlus Explorer Card earns 2 United Miles per $1 spent on United Airline purchases. This includes United airline tickets (purchased directly with United), seat upgrades, in flight food, beverages, Wi-Fi, baggage service charges and other United fees. This does not include United Cruises, MileagePlus X, DIRECTV, and Merchandise Awards.

All of the United Airline co-branded credit cards earn double miles on United purchases. If you're looking to maximize your earnings on United Miles, you would be wise to look into Chase's Ultimate Rewards Program since those points transfer to United Airlines MileagePlus at a 1:1 ratio. This means you can pick up the Chase Sapphire Reserve, earn 3x points on travel and dining, and transfer those points to United to book award travel. Find the best combination of Chase credit cards based on your spend and you will be swimming in United Miles.

2x Restaurant

Using the United Explorer Card at restaurants will earn 2 United MileagePlus Miles per $1 spent. These purchases must be coded as restaurant. This usually applies to merchants whose primary business is sit-down or eat-in dining, including fast food restaurants as well as fine dining establishments.

As explained for the United Airline purchases, more United Miles can be earned using a mixture of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points earning cards and Chase's cash back cards such as the Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited.

2x Hotel

Hotel purchases with the United Explorer Card will earn 2 United MileagePlus Miles per $1 spent. These purchases must be coded as hotel. This will usually include hotels and motels, and many smaller establishments like bed & breakfasts, and inns. Hotel accommodations not booked directly with the hotel will not qualify (such as Orbitz, Expedia, etc).

Ultimate Rewards Points earning cards will still set you ahead in this category since Chase's travel category covers hotels as well. Another thing to consider is that if you're loyal to any hotel brand, you will want to make sure their reward card isn't worth picking up. Cards such as the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card and IHG Premier Card offer perks such as free nights, a higher return on hotel spending, and elite status which comes with perks like complimentary room upgrades, free breakfast, and late check-out.

1x Non-Category

Any spending done outside of the categories listed above will earn 1 United MileagePlus Mile per $1 spent. This is a solid return since United Miles have some value, but if you have an Ultimate Rewards Points earning card, you can use the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card to earn 1.5% cash back per $1 spent and convert that to 1.5 United Miles per $1 spent. It may not seem like a lot, but non-category purchases add up over the year.

Perks and Benefits

Free Checked Bag

When the United MileagePlus Explorer Card is used to pay for the airfare, the cardholder and up to one companion traveling on the same reservation will receive the first checked bag free (standard size bag). Authorized users are only eligible if they are on the same reservation as the primary Cardmember. Some cards such as Delta's co-branded cards do not require you to use the card to obtain free baggage which allows you to use a card that would earn a higher return.

Priority Boarding

Primary United Explorer Cardmembers and companions on the same reservation will have priority boarding. Cardmembers will be invited to board United-operated flights before general boarding. This can be helpful when it comes to securing overhead bin space before it runs out. Most co-branded cards offer priority boarding as a perk for their respective airline such as Citi's American Airlines Platinum Select Card and Chase's Aer Lingus Visa Signature Card.

United Club Passes

On the United Explorer cardmember anniversary, two United Club one-time passes will be deposited into the MileagePlus account. This is a nice perk for anyone that may have a long layover and want to relax in the comfort of a lounge. The United MileagePlus Club Card comes with United Club Membership along with Hyatt Discoverist Status and Hertz President Circle status.

Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Credit

The United MileagePlus Explorer Card comes with a $100 Global Entry or $75 TSA PreCheck Credit when the card is used to pay for the application fee of either service. This credit is available once every 4 years. The application does not have to be for the cardmember and the applicant does not have to be approved for the program. The only requirement is that the United Explorer Card is used to pay for the application fee. This statement credit is seen on the majority of premium luxury cards like the American Express Platinum Card and Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card. It's also feature on a few non-premium cards such as the Capital One Venture Card and U.S. Bank FlexPerks Gold Card.

25% Off In-Flight

United Explorer Cardmembers will receive 25% Off in-flight purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi on United operated flights. These purchases must be made on the United Explorer Card. This is also a common perk on most co-branded airline cards. Delta Cards offer 20% off, American Airline Cards offer 25% off and JetBlue Cards offer a whopping 50% off.

Complimentary Upgrades

The primary cardmember of the United Explorer Card that are MileagePlus Premier® members traveling on an award ticket can take advantage of complimentary premier upgrades on United-operated flights (when available). This is a nice gesture and can be useful for United loyalists who wants a change to be upgraded on award tickets.

Standard Chase Benefits

This card comes with usual Chase credit card travel benefits such as Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption Insurance, Baggage Delay Insurance, Purchase Protection, Extended Warranty Protection, and much more.

Sign Up Bonus

The standard United MileagePlus Explorer Card sign up bonus for this card sits around 40,000 United Miles. This card also usually comes with a $100 statement credit after the first purchase and 5,000 bonus miles after you add the first authorized user to your account and that user makes a purchase. United has an Interactive Travel Destination Award Chart to help find out how far United Miles can take you. You can also check out our United MileagePlan Mile Calculators to calculate the cash value of any amount of miles. The page also features several other calculators such as a United Miles Value Calculator, a transfer/conversion calculator, and a calculator for miles earned spending on United airfare as a Premier Elite.

Credit Card Fees

Annual Fee
Authorized User Fee
Foreign Transaction Fee

Annual Fee

The Annual Fee for the United Explorer Card is . This is the standard pricing point for entry co-branded airline cards. Similar cards such as the AMEX Delta Gold and Citi Platinum Select have the same annual fee structure.

Authorized User Fee

The United Explorer Card's authorized user fee is . This means you can add friends and family to your card account to assist in building miles faster.

Foreign Transaction Fee

The foreign transaction fee is for the United Explorer Card. This lets you earn United MileagePlan Miles worldwide without being penalized a fee for transactions made outside of the United States.

and Card Value Calculator

You can use this rewards calculator to calculate how many points, miles, or cash back you can earn based on your spend per category. This calculator will also give you the dollar value of the card based on rewards earned and how much each benefit is worth to you minus the fees. You can click the Compare A Card button to compare this card against another card in the same calculator.

All category spend entered in the primary card's column will carry over to all credit card pages on the site so you don't have to re-enter the same information over again.

Credit Card
This calculator will calculate the cash value of the selected credit card(s) based on spend, benefits, and fees. You can compare this card against any another rewards card side-by-side by clicking on the Compare A Card button.
Compare A Card
Compare A Card
Select a card from the list below to compare it side by side against this card. You can search by card name (e.g. chase sapphire reserve, uber visa) or by rewards program (e.g. thankyou points, membership rewards points).
Currency Worth
This is the cash value of points and miles used in these calculations. You can click on the amount to change the value or you can select View Rewards As to calculate your rewards when transferred to partners.
View Rewards As...
0 Cent(s)
View Rewards As...
This section allows you to view your rewards as if you transferred them to a partner. Select a transfer partner below and the calculator will alter the calculator to reflect the transfer ratio and the reward currency of the receiving program. This only applies to the currency of the selected card. Not all programs have transfer partners. I also do not have the cash value of points and miles for all transfer partners.
Edit Value
Enter the cash value of these rewards in cents per point/mile. You can enter the value as X.XX cents or 0.0XXX cents. The maximum value allowed is 15 cents ($0.15) and the minimal value is 0.1 cents ($0.001).
Loyalty/Rewards Programs
Covers hotel loyalty status, status with bank rewards programs, and few others. These are added automatically based on card selection, but can be manually added as well.
/ Loyalty Programs
Add/Remove Loyalty Programs
Select which loyalty programs you want to include in the calculations. You will be able to select your status with the program and it will calculate additional points/bonuses based on what you enter in the calculator.
Loyalty Programs
Other Bonuses
All card card specific bonuses will be listed here. These are added automatically based on the selected card(s).
Categories Spending
Enter how much you spend in each category listed. You can click on the amount to edit the value. You can use +/- Categories to add and remove categories from the list and Options to copy spend between columns and clear all spend.
/ Categories
Add/Remove Categories
Select which categories you want to appear in this calculator. You can search categories by typing in a keyword below. De-selecting categories will remove them from this calculator. Categories are changed once you hit 'Update'.
Currently Selected:
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Clear Spend
This will clear the spend in all of the categories in both columns. This will also clear all saved values.
Copy Spend
Copy Right will take the spend from the left column and copy it to the right column. Copy Left will take the spend from the right column and copy it to the left column. The spend amount ($) and unit of time (month, day, quarter) will be copied over.
Reward Bonuses
This section holds sign up bonuses, loyalty bonuses, and bonus bonuses. Most bonuses here will be listed automatically based on certain criteria. You can click 'Extra Bonus' if you wish to enter your own bonus amount.
Extra Bonus
Any additional bonuses you wish to add such as a sign up bonus or point bonus for adding authorized users
Total Earnings
Sum of all rewards above this line.
Cash Value of Earnings
Based off of currency worth.
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Monetary Bonuses/Perks
This is a list of cash perks and bonuses associated with the selected card(s). Some perks will be listed here automatically. You can click on 'Perk Bonus' if you want to add additional value for the card.
Perk Bonus
Enter how much you value any unmentioned perks this card offers.
Annual Fees
This section contains the annual fee and authorized user fee (if applicable) to hold on to the listed card(s).
Edit Fees
Edit the annual fee and authorized user fee of the Card (if applicable).
Annual Fee: -
Auth Fee: -
Grand Total
The total estimated value you can get out of this card and the amount of return for your spend.
Total Card Value
The value of the card when everything is taken into account.
Total Return
The percent you are earning per dollar spent on this card.

Recent News/Articles

Page Last Updated: 2019-06-25

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