One question I get a lot when it comes to travel is what travel credit card I recommend. Without any hesitation, I recommend my United MileagePlus Explorer Card. I’ve had the card for 9 years now, and living next to a United Airlines hub, San Francisco International Airport, it was an obvious choice based on how many United flights I fly year after year. United offers the most flights to Newark, Los Angeles, and Kansas City, which are some of the major airports and cities I frequent.
Here are all the reasons I love the United MileagePlus Explorer Card by Chase, and why it’s the primary credit card I use for everyday purchases.
Perks of the United MileagePlus Explorer Card
- Zero international transaction fees: unnecessary credit card fees are my pet peeve! If a travel credit card charges you to use it internationally, that is just ridiculous. The constant 1%-2% fees truly add up, and it’s totally avoidable with this card.
- Two free checked bags: every United flight, every time. The credit card has a $95 annual fee, so the annual fee pays for itself in bag fees in one round trip flights for two people, checking one bag each.
- Two free United Club passes: two freebies every year, something that makes those extra long layovers and flight delays a lot more interesting. Enjoy free food, drinks, clean restrooms, and much faster wifi in the United airport lounge. There are two at SFO.
- Free TSA PreCheck & Global Entry: this is a newer perk so I’m totally taking advantage of this when it’s time to renew. Get a statement credit reimbursement for the application fee once every 4 years.
- Priority boarding on flights: get group 2 boarding perks, even if you don’t have MileagePlus Premier status. This includes international flights where you really may need to get on the plane to secure overhead bin space.
- Rewards: rack up those MileagePlus miles faster than ever before. Currently the card earns 2 miles per $1 spent on United purchases, restaurants, and hotels. Earn 1 mile per dollar spent elsewhere. United flies the most destinations and with the Star Alliance network you can truly use your reward miles to get practically anywhere on the planet. Star Alliance members include EVA Air, SAS, ANA, Air New Zealand, and more.
Why I book all my trips with the United MileagePlus Explorer Card
With this travel credit card, I’ve jumped up a status level with United, never paid for checked bags, earned numerous first class upgrades, and redeemed miles to fly to New Zealand and Finland for free. I racked up most of these miles flying to Taiwan, Japan, Chicago, Nashville, Las Vegas, and Washington DC. Travel was sometimes for fun, however mostly for work. Most importantly, I earned on everything by booking travel with my MileagePlus Explorer card.
That’s why this is the best credit card for travel and the top one I recommend. If you sign up through my link, you can get no annual fee on the first year. I earn bonus miles in affiliate commission, therefore if you use my link I’m super grateful. You’ll earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months of opening the card.