United Explorer Business Credit Card Review

The United Explorer Business Card is a travel reward card that includes bonus mile earning in specific categories along with travel perks, such as your first checked bag free and priority boarding on United-operated flights.

Designed for businesses, this card comes with a substantial mile bonus offer for new accounts paired with a hefty spending requirement, making it a good fit for owners or employees who frequently travel on United. The United Explorer Business Card also offers expanded access to flight rewards, meaning cardholders aren’t faced with blackouts or limited availability — this sets it apart from similar airline-offered cards which often restrict miles redemption.

Compared to other cards in its class, this United offering comes with a better-than-average bonus offer along with United-only travel perks.

The Essentials of the United Explorer Business Card

  • APR: 17.74%-24.74%
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Primary Feature: Travel miles, with 2x miles earned across select categories
  • Introductory Bonus Offer: 50,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months, and 50,000 more if you spend $25,000 in the first six months

What’s Interesting about the United Explorer Business Card

The United Explorer Business Credit Card stands out thanks to its recently increased initial bonus offer: 100,000 miles if you spend $25,000 over the first six months of account activation.

This card also includes 2x miles earned on all United purchases along with 2x miles spent for every dollar spent at gas stations, office supply stores, and restaurants. All other purchases earn one mile per dollar. In practical terms, 100,000 miles (typically) translates to four-round trip economy tickets within the continental United States or two-round trip tickets between the continental United States and Hawaii.

United’s business card offering also includes travel-specific perks such as your first checked bag free, no blackout dates, priority boarding, and two United Club one-time passes. These passes are provided after you first open your account, with two more earned on each membership anniversary.

With single-day United Club passes priced at approximately $59, this reward effectively negates the yearly fee for regular travelers. In addition, cardholders can access car rental collision insurance if they waive the rental company protection and pay with their card. Free hotel breakfasts and room upgrades are also offered by United’s credit partner, Chase Bank, through its Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection.

Things to Consider

While the United Explorer Business Credit Card offers a large potential bonus, it also comes with a large spending requirement. For most businesses, spending $5,000 in the first three months is no problem, but reaching the $25,000 mark over six months may be problematic if travel is occasional rather than essential to your business.

It’s also worth noting that this card includes a penalty APR of up to 29.99% that varies with the market prime rate. This penalty is applied if your balance is not paid in full by 20 days after the close of each billing cycle. Late payments also carry a fee of $39.

Although United offers its Business cardmembers access to flight rewards without blackout dates or limited seat availability, the company recently implemented dynamic award pricing, which means the cost of miles-based flights now varies based on demand. If flexible travel dates and flight connections are no problem for your business, this card offers substantial value. If traveling on specific dates is non-negotiable, however, the value of your miles could vary significantly based on the time of year and current traveler demand.

How to Get the Most from this Card

Getting the most of this card means using it as intended: for travel. With free employee cards that automatically add miles to your primary account, this card makes it easy to accumulate bonus miles on gas, restaurant, and office supply stores. Making the best use of this card also means traveling with United. Along with the 2x bonus miles, you also get priority boarding, one free checked bag, and once-a-year United Club access.

For businesses that occasionally send staff across country or overseas, this card may not generate enough rewards to justify the annual fee. If you’re already spending on travel and regularly fly United, however, the initial bonus offer and miles earning potential of this card can help reduce total travel costs.

Other Card Options that Might Interest You

If you’re looking for a travel rewards card but the United Explorer Business Credit Card doesn’t hit the mark, consider other options such as the United Club Business Card. This card comes with a 50,000-bonus-mile offer if you spend $3,000 in the first three months, 2x bonus miles on all United purchases, and 1.5x miles on all other spending. It also includes access to all United Club and participating Star Alliance lounges worldwide. With a higher annual fee — $450 — this card is a great fit for travel-focused businesses looking to earn miles as quickly as possible.

If you’re looking for a travel business rewards card with decent bonus structures but no fee, consider the Bank of America Advantage Travel Rewards MasterCard. With a 25,000-bonus-point offer after spending $1,000 in the first 60 days, 1.5x points on all spending, and three extra points per dollar when you book travel through the Bank of America Travel Center, this card can help strike a balance between spending requirements and earning potential.

The Final Word

The United Explorer Business Credit Card is designed for businesses that require their employees to travel regularly and can meet the six-month spending goal to earn the card’s substantial bonus of 100,000 miles. With no seat or availability blackouts along with multiple travel perks, this card is a great fit for companies that regularly travel with United and spend in bonus categories such as airfare, gas, and restaurants.

If you already spend on travel and enjoy traveling with United, this card offers substantial reward potential. If your business travel is occasional rather than essential, consider other card options.