3.8
30 reviews
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Airline Mileage Credit Cards
Chase - United MileagePlus Explorer

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Chase - United MileagePlus Explorer
 
3.8

(based on 30 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (13)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (4)

73%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

No Pros

Cons

No Cons

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Most Liked Positive Review

 

A journey to remember, and the price was right!

I just got back from another enjoyable "*Spring break*" in California which afforded me a lot of great bonding time with my cousin and her husband and...Read complete review

I just got back from another enjoyable "*Spring break*" in California which afforded me a lot of great bonding time with my cousin and her husband and also a chance to see a variety of interesting things including the old mission compound of San Gabriel's, the Huntington House and Gardens in San Marino, some great mountain trails, beautiful scenery, etc. 

Last year I flew First Class with United Airlines and I must admit that it was a First Class experience but this year I decided to give Economy Refundable a try, not without a certain amount of apprehension.  It wasn't bad at all though ... plenty of leg room and attention from United's wonderful flight attendants.  I found that I preferred the Snack Box selections ($5 each) offered to that of a big dinner which comes with First Class.  Best of all was the price I paid for my trip:  **$2.50 from Chicago to Los Angeles and $2.50 back**. 

Yes, you read that right -- two and a half dollars -- **or five dollars for the entire round trip.**  Checking my second bag ($25 each way) cost me ten times as much as it did to check myself in!  I was able to enjoy what would have been a trip costing more than $600 for less than it takes to ride an El here in Chicago.  The story behind this amazing deal began last year ...

**Bonus Miles**

On the occasion of my first round trip with United last Spring, I registered as a *United Mileage Plus* member which meant that I received credit for a free mile of travel with each dollar I paid for the flight.  It was a pretty good start, but then Chase Bank offered me 21,000 bonus miles for signing up for a *United Mileage Plus Visa Card*.  Not only that, but I would get more bonus miles for renewing the card when the time came and ANOTHER 1,000 miles for choosing electronic statements instead of paper. 

Every dollar I have charged with the *United Mileage Plus Visa Card* since then has earned me another mile, and then there were the special deals ... using the card to pay my estimated income tax installments earned me double miles for each dollar (a real value in spite of the small convenience fee involved).  Nor was I confined to using the card but could earn extra miles a myriad of other ways.  According to the *Mileage Plus* website, *United Mileage Plus members can earn extra miles not only by flying United, Ted, United Express or Star Alliance airlines but by purchasing products or services from more than 100 participating partners in over 10,000 locations worldwide*.  For instance, every dollar which I spend at *Dominick's Supermarkets* is worth a half a mile even if I don't use the *Mileage Plus Visa Card*, as long as I present my *Dominick's Fresh Savings* card at checkout.  Adding all these special deals and offers together meant that in no time I had accrued the 25,000 miles necessary to redeem for an Economy Refundable trip to Los Angeles and back.

**The Bottom Line**

At first blush, you would think that the last thing the harassed airlines need right now is a passenger who pays only $2.50 to fly from Chicago to California.  There is a method to this madness, however, and whoever thought up this *Mileage Plus* deal deserves credit for a real stroke of genius.  The only path for survival which I can see for the major airlines is to develop sources of income that don't require expensive outlays of prohibitively priced fuel.  Awarding me miles has not only almost guaranteed that I will choose United and its affiliates for those trips which I pay full price for in the future but has also meant that -- *even if I were to never fly again* -- United would continue to get a share out of every dollar I spend at Dominick's or charge with my *Chase Mileage Visa Card* ***without having to take off with me on board at all***.  (An added bonus is that offering "free" rides is another way to fill up planes which otherwise may be flying partly empty at odd times of day.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Most Liked Negative Review

 

Could be better

The standard $1 for 1 Mileage Plus mile used to be at the head of the credit card reward value leaders' pack.  With the advent of more rewards programs, I find different...Read complete review

The standard $1 for 1 Mileage Plus mile used to be at the head of the credit card reward value leaders' pack.  With the advent of more rewards programs, I find different economies in the credit card rewards world.  If we look at 25,000 miles for a single $500 ticket, we see rewards at 2%. For international economy travel to Asia $1500 = 60,000 miles or 2.5%.  The immediate comparison is the Chase Freedom card which offers a 3% cash back.  Hence, there are better cards on the purely economic basis.

 So, does that mean immediate rejection? Not entirely.  Using the reward miles earned to bump up one's premier status level one grade can make a world of difference for the more frequent flyer.

  For a long time I have preferred hotel rewards as my credit card incentive, since the hotel was often more expensive than airfare.  When airline fares stabilize -- after oil prices stabilize, then these calculations will need to be done again to determine are the economics worth it.

 For the point of disclosure, I do use my hotel rewards card first, but as an American Express card is not accepted everywhere, a Mileage Plus VISA substitutes wherever American Express is not accepted.

Reviewed by 30 customers

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5.0

Good card for travelers

By 

from https://www.viewpoints.com/reviews/new?p

Comments about Chase - United MileagePlus Explorer:

The United MileagePlus Explorer card is a very handy tool for travelers to have. Crucially, the card charges no foreign transaction fees, so you can use this card all over Europe and never be charged for anything but your actual purchases. In addition, the card allows you to get a free checked bag on United flights, and you can get priority boarding on United flights with this card.
But the real benefit of this card is all the United frequent flier miles you can get while using it. I signed up during a promotion, where if I spent $1,000 in the first three months, I got 30,000 free miles. I liked this deal, because I didn't have to inflate my spending at all to get the points. Also convenient is shopping through the Mileage Plus shopping portal. I can get points for shopping through the website, even if I don't use my United card, and if I do use the card, I get double points! Sometimes stores also have promotions that give you 2-5x the number of points for your purchases. My only complaint with this card is that I wish it was easier to acquire more points quickly. I was hoping to use my points on a flight to Paris this summer, but that might be out of reach. Still, overall I would definitely recommend this card to those who love to travel.

 
4.0

Okay rates, good for racking up miles.

By 

from Florida

Comments about Chase - United MileagePlus Explorer:

I'm wary of credit cards because I know my shopping would get way too out of hand if I Had too many of them in my wallet, but the Chase United Miles plus card is worth it.

It's especially worth it if you do a lot of big purchases using credit cards. And its even more worth it if you travel a lot. You can put travel expenses on your card and then Use the card and your miles you have earned for future trips.

Another thing that made me wary was interest rates. A lot of credit cards have higher interest rates, this one certainty isn't the lowest I've seen but it's not the highest either. Nice middle of the road card.

Customer service is also super friendly. I have used Chase in the past so I knew they would be good to work with again. And I haven't been dissatisfied thus far.

It is definitely worth checking out if you are looking for a card to pay off quickly. Or are a big purchaser or someone who travels a lot.

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4.0

Good card for frequent fliers

By 

from USA

Comments about Chase - United MileagePlus Explorer:

Overall I like the Chase MileagePlus Explorer card. The initial free ticket and the club passes are a great perk. The annual fee is on the higher side, however since we use this card for almost all of our purchases, the amount of miles we accumulate is worth the fee. The free bags are also a great perk and save a lot of money for traveling families.

Customer Service
Customer service has been great so far. They are quick to send new cards and easy to connect with over the phone. One thing to watch out for is if your card expires after you purchase your ticket and a new card is sent to you before traveling. This happened to us once, and the ticketing agent did not believe me when I told her that I purchased my tickets with the same account, but the card number was different because new cards had been sent to me. She almost made me pay for my bags, however after I pleaded with her, she reluctantly allowed me to check my bags for free. I realize this is more related to the airline customer service than the card customer service, but just something to be aware of.

Available Rates
The rates are average and similar to other airline cards.

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2.0

Chase: The only redeeming quality

By 

from united states

Comments about Chase - United MileagePlus Explorer:

Chase is the only redeeming quality of the United MilagePlus Explorer Visa credit card. Chase has countless locations that are convenient for my various baking needs. Unfortunately that means that all of the miles you are earning by using the United MilagePlus Explorer card would be for United Airlines. I have a couple of issues with them, from their on time performance rating to their customer service. One of the perks of flying with United Airlines, however, is that because they are a discount carrier, their rewards go a little farther than with some of the other airlines.

Customer Service
I very much appreciate the customer service that Chase offers as a holder of the Chase United MilagePlus Explorer Visa credit card. Customer service representatives have not only been helpful, but assisted me with a smile.

Available Rates
While the rates that are currently available with the Chase United MilagePlus Explorer Visa credit card are not horrible, they are nothing super spectacular either.

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5.0

Great experience with this credit card.

By 

from USA

Comments about Chase - United MileagePlus Explorer:

I had a terrible experience with Chase this first go around with them. However, I have had a great experience with this card. I am not a credit card user but opened this card due to international traveling. I saw two great benefits in this card. First, it gave me great points towards United flights. I got a huge point boost for signing up and then book a flight to London on it. With both of those, I have already earned two free flights. Second, there is no international fees on this card. Therefore, I wanted to have it in London since there are no fees. I have had a great experience with this card. I always pay things right off and have never paid interest. It has built up to some great miles for me. There is an annual fee but if you travel internationally it is worth it. I would recommend this card but I also recommend always paying it off each month. Don't pay interest on things. Then it won't be worth it.

Customer Service
Customer Service has been great. They signed me up and even rushed delivered my card for no extra fee.

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5.0

Must have for United Flyers

By 

from USA

Comments about Chase - United MileagePlus Explorer:

As a frequent United Flyer I love this card. I get to earn additional miles for shopping online, the grocery store, getting gas and so many more places. It makes it much easier when I need to book a vacation for the family because I have so many miles. Even for non frequent fliers, it gets you free bags and group 2 boarding. I've not paid for an airline ticket in years, even first, BusinessFirst and Business class tickets. Flying frequently with United/Star Alliance and using this card allowed me to rack up hundreds of thousand of miles.
However, there a two things I dislike about the card. The biggest is the cost, I would find $50-$75 more reasonable. The second thing is that the perks aren't really that beneficial. Yes, free bags are good. But priority boarding in group 2 isn't very beneficial especially when you live near a United hub like Chicago or San Francisco. Group 2 is often the longest line there is.

Customer Service
The service is pretty good.

Available Rates
My local credit union offers much better rates, but those cards don't come with these perks.

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4.0

A good rewards card, but hard to justify the annual fee

By 

from USA

Comments about Chase - United MileagePlus Explorer:

This card definitely helped me earn mileage towards reward flights, but in the end it is hard to justify the annual fee when you can get other rewards cards with more flexible rewards that don't have an annual fee.

Available Rates
It is a rewards card, so it does have higher rates.

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5.0

If you are a United Rewards Member this is the way to go!

By 

from USA

Comments about Chase - United MileagePlus Explorer:

I have been a card holder of the Chase-United MileagePlus Explorer card for almost 10 years now. I love this card because it has a nice interest rate and I earn United Air miles for every dollar that I spend. You do have to pay an annual fee of $60.00 but that is not bad considering you could earn far more than that in air miles. It is a great card to have if you plan on making regular monthly purchases like gas, house utilities, insurance and then just paying it off at the end of the month as if you were paying the bill regularly. I like to do this because then I am earning miles on money that I would already be spending and not getting any rewards for if I just paid it with cash or online bill payment. The Chase.com website is very easy to use as well. You can make all your payments online and track your card activity in current time. The only down side of making a payment online is that you have to schedule your payments at least 3 days apart. I use to get frustrated with this because when I would make a purchase I wanted to go right on after and make a payment for the exact amount so that I would not incur any interest on that purchase and because I already had the money at the time to pay for it. It gets a little hectic doing this though when you are making frequent purchases and can only schedule payments every 3 days. I now just make one large payment at the end of the month and am still able to avoid the interest since the card is being paid in full. I usually make all of my payments though Chase app on my phone and it is nice and simple. The app really just has the basics of making payments, checking balances, viewing transactions but that is really all I need. I am definitely a fan of Chase!

Available Rates
I haven't checked recently but I have a nice rate.

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4.0

Chase United Mileage Plus Visa - worth it for a while

By 

from Denver, CO

Comments about Chase - United MileagePlus Explorer:

I had the Chase United Mileage Plus Visa Card for over twenty years. I first signed up because I was traveling constantly for business, so I figured it would help add "free" miles to my United account to supplement the air miles I was also earning. Paying for all those fancy hotels, rental cars and client dinners really added up, but since my company allowed me to keep the miles, I had no problems charging everything to my card and getting reimbursed later.

The one thing is that I've always had to pay an annual fee, which was worth it when miles were valued at about two cents each. However, nowadays miles are worth less than a penny apiece, and since I'm not racking up huge business expenses like I used to, I figured out that it wasn't worth it to keep the card unless they waived the annual fee, which they wouldn't do.

Therefore, I switched to a no fee Chase card that offers cash back instead, so I no longer feel like I'm losing money to annual fees.

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4.0

The Chase Mileage Plus Visa is great except for $60 annual fee

By 

from Skokie, IL

Comments about Chase - United MileagePlus Explorer:

The United Plus Visa Card from Chase has nice features and is administered well. However, the $60 annual fee is a big con.

Customer Service
Chase customer service is always excellent for me.

Available Rates
The rate doesn't matter because I pay the balance off in full every month.

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