Credit Cards » Compare Credit Cards » United Explorer vs Infinite Card: How They Compare?
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United Explorer vs Infinite Card: How They Compare?

In this comparison, we will delve into the key features, benefits, and considerations of both the United Explorer and Infinite Card
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

In this comparison, we will delve into the key features, benefits, and considerations of both the United Explorer Card and the United Infinite Card, helping you make an informed decision on which card suits your financial goals and travel aspirations best.

United Explorer vs Infinite: General Comparison

Naturally, the Infinite card offers a much better rewards ratio and unique travel benefits, but its annual fee is higher.

If you're a devoted United Airlines flyer and seek a United card with decent perks, the United Explorer Card may be the better fit.

However, if you value flexibility and want to explore a broader range of travel options and rewards partners, the Infinite Card might be the card of choice.

united explorer

united infinite card

United Explorer Card
United Club℠ Infinite
Annual Fee
$95 ($0 first year)
$525
Rewards
2x per $1 spent on United purchases, hotel accommodations, restaurants & eligible delivery services and 1x per $1 spent on all other purchases
4x miles on United Airlines purchases, 2x miles on all other travel purchases, dining and eligible delivery services and 1x miles on all other purchases
Welcome bonus
50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
0% Intro APR
N/A
N/A
Foreign Transaction Fee
$0
$0
Purchase APR
21.99% – 28.99% variable
21.99% – 28.99% variable
Read Review
Read Review
Top Offers

Amex gold

Rewards Plan:
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership

hilton honors card

Rewards Plan:
3X – 7X 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio, 5x points at U.S. restaurants (including takeout and delivery) U.S.supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and 3x points for each dollar on other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
70,000 points 70,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership

Marriot bonvoy bevy card art

Rewards Plan:
2x – 6x 6X points on purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy, 4X points at restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $15,000 in combined purchases per year, then 2X points), 2X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
85,000 points 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers From Our Partners

Amex gold

Rewards Plan:
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership

hilton honors card

Rewards Plan:
3X – 7X 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio, 5x points at U.S. restaurants (including takeout and delivery) U.S.supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and 3x points for each dollar on other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
70,000 points 70,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership

Marriot bonvoy bevy card art

Rewards Plan:
2x – 6x 6X points on purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy, 4X points at restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $15,000 in combined purchases per year, then 2X points), 2X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
85,000 points 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
50,000 miles 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

Comparing Rewards: United Explorer vs Infinite

When comparing credit card rewards, the significant advantage of the Infinite Card is the high ratio of United Airlines purchases. 

The more you fly United – the more significant the difference in point rewards between the cards.

united explorer

united infinite card

Spend Per Category
United℠ Explorer Card
United Club℠ Infinite
$15,000 – U.S Supermarkets
15,000 miles
15,000 miles
$5,000 – Restaurants
10,000 miles
10,000 miles
$4,000 – Airline
8,000 miles
16,000 miles
$3,000 – Hotels
6,000 miles
6,000 miles
$4,000 – Gas
4,000 miles
4,000 miles
Total Points
43,000 miles
51,000 miles
Estimated Redemption Value
1 point = ~1.2 cents
1 point = ~1.2 cents
Estimated Annual Value
$516
$612

United Airlines' MileagePlus program offers diverse redemption options, allowing members to use miles for flights, upgrades, hotel stays, car rentals, and merchandise.

With no blackout dates, miles can be flexibly utilized for travel worldwide, and elite members enjoy additional perks. United's partner network and extensive route map enhance the program's flexibility, providing various ways for members to maximize the value of their MileagePlus miles.

United Book a Flight with United infinite card
(screenshot taken by our team from United app)

Benefits You'll Get On Both Cards

Since both cards are United focused, they share many common benefits:

  • Global Entry/TSA Precheck® Reimbursement: Get a $100 statement credit every four years to cover Global Entry, TSA Precheck®, or NEXUS application fees, expediting your airport security experience.
  • 25% Back on In-Flight Purchases: Enjoy a 25% statement credit on food, beverages, and Wi-Fi purchases during United-operated flights when you pay with your Explorer Card, saving you money on in-flight expenses.
Get 25% back for United Inflight Purchases
Get 25% back for United Inflight Purchases (Photo by Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock)

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  • Priority Boarding: Board United-operated flights with priority, along with your travel companions on the same reservation, ensuring you secure overhead bin space and settle into your seats comfortably.
  • Free First Checked Bag: Receive a complimentary checked bag for you and a companion when flying with United, saving you up to $140 per roundtrip and reducing travel costs.
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Decline rental company collision insurance and charge the rental cost to your card for primary insurance coverage against theft and collision damage for most rental cars in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Baggage Delay Insurance: If your baggage is delayed by a passenger carrier for over 6 hours, get reimbursed for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing, up to $100 a day for 3 days.
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement: Receive coverage up to $3,000 per passenger or immediate family member for damaged or lost luggage by the carrier.
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance: Be reimbursed for pre-paid, non-refundable passenger fares (up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip) in case your trip is canceled or cut short due to covered situations like illness or severe weather.
  • Earn Premier Qualifying Points (PQP): Accumulate PQP to advance your MileagePlus Premier® status with United Airlines, enhancing your travel privileges such as earning United Plus Points, upgrades, and more.
Premium service when upgrading a United flight to business class
United Airlines serves its 'p.s. Premium Service' business class passengers coffee aboard flight UA1469, served by its Boeing 787 Dreamliner(Photo by First Class Photography/Shutterstock)
  • Trip Delay Reimbursement: Get coverage for unreimbursed expenses such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket, if your common carrier travel is delayed over 12 hours or requires an overnight stay.
  • Purchase Protection: Enjoy coverage for new purchases against damage or theft for 120 days, with limits up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year.
  • Visa Concierge: Access complimentary 24/7 Visa Signature® Concierge Service to assist with finding event tickets, making dinner reservations, and more.
  • Extended Warranty Protection: Extend eligible warranties of three years or less by an additional year.
  • DoorDash: Receive one year of complimentary DashPass membership for unlimited deliveries with $0 delivery fees and lower service fees on eligible orders.
Top Offers

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
50,000 miles 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers From Our Partners

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
Up to 3x miles 3 miles per $1 spent on United purchases immediately after earning your $125 annual United purchase credit, 2 miles on all other travel and select streaming services, 1 mile on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 miles 60,000 bonus miles + 500 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
50,000 miles 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

Exclusive Benefits Of The Infinite Card

It's not a secret – the Infinite card is more luxurious than the Explorer card and, therefore, offers premium airline and travel benefits. Here's what you can get exclusively on the Infinite card: 

  • Free First and Second Checked Bags: Save up to $320 per roundtrip on checked baggage fees for you and a companion when flying with United.
  • Earn up to 8,000 Premier Qualifying Points (PQP): Get 500 PQP for every $12,000 spent on purchases with your United Club Card (up to 8,000 PQP in a calendar year) to advance your Premier status qualification, up to Premier 1K® level.
  • Premier Access® Travel Services: Enjoy priority check-in, security screening, boarding, and baggage handling privileges, making your airport experience smoother and more convenient.
  • United Club Membership: Access United Club locations and affiliated Star Alliance™ lounges worldwide, offering a comfortable space with complimentary snacks, beverages, and work areas, worth up to $650 annually. 
United lounge SF Airport
United lounge SF Airport (Photo by JJava Designs/Shutterstock)
  • Avis President's Club: Avis President's Club, available to the primary Cardmember of the United ClubSM Card, offers complimentary two-car class upgrades, guaranteed car availability, expedited rental service, and more.
  • IHG One Rewards Platinum Elite status: IHG One Rewards Platinum Elite status, granted to the primary Cardmember, includes perks like complimentary room upgrades, extended check-out when available, and the ability to earn points for free nights and elite points with no expiration.

When You Might Prefer The United Infinite Card?

You might prefer the United Infinite Card over the Explorer Card in the following situations:

  • Frequent Traveler Across Multiple Airlines: If you often travel with various airlines, not just United, the Infinite Card's versatility in earning and redeeming rewards across different carriers can be more appealing. It provides more flexibility in terms of travel options.
  • Wider Range of Travel Benefits: The Infinite Card typically offers a broader array of premium travel benefits such as airport lounge access which can enhance your overall travel experience beyond what the Explorer Card provides.
  • Frequent United Airlines flyer: The United Infinite Card's ability to earn up to 8,000 Premier Qualifying Points (PQP) sets it apart from the Explorer Card, which offers a maximum of 1,000 PQP. This significant difference in PQP potential can be a game-changer for travelers aiming to attain or maintain a higher Premier status within United Airlines' MileagePlus program.
Use United Club Infinite when traveling
United Club Infinite, the most luxurious United Airlines co-branded card (Photo by NaMong Productions/Shutterstock)

When You Might Prefer the United Explorer Card?

You might prefer the United Explorer Card over the United Infinite Card in the following situations:

  • Cost-Conscious Traveler: The Explorer Card typically comes with a lower annual fee compared to the United Infinite Card. If you want the benefits of a United co-branded card but are looking to minimize your annual card costs, the Explorer Card could be the better choice.  
  • Occasional Traveler: If you travel infrequently and don't require the premium perks and benefits offered by the United Infinite Card, the Explorer Card can still provide valuable benefits like free checked bags, priority boarding, and United Club access on a limited scale.

Compare The Alternatives

There are other travel cards worth mentioning, here are some of our best premium travel credit cards:

amex platinum

Venture X Rewards

The Platinum Card® from American Express
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Capital One Venture X Rewards
Annual Fee
$550
$395
Rewards
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
1X – 10X

5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels, car rentals and dining when you purchase through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, immediately after earning your $300 annual travel credit. Also, earn 3x points on dining at restaurants and travel (after meeting the $300 travel credit), then 1x points per dollar spent on all other purchases.

1X – 10X 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars when booking via Capital One Travel, 5 miles per dollar on flights and 2 miles per dollar on all eligible purchases
Welcome bonus
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership
60,000 points 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
75,000 miles 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
Foreign Transaction Fee
$0
$0
Purchase APR
21.24% – 29.24% APR Variable
22.49%–29.49% variable
19.99% – 29.99% (Variable)

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Compare United Club Infinite Card

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Picture of Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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Best Cards Per Category
Top Offers

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
50,000 miles 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers From Our Partners

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
Up to 3x miles 3 miles per $1 spent on United purchases immediately after earning your $125 annual United purchase credit, 2 miles on all other travel and select streaming services, 1 mile on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 miles 60,000 bonus miles + 500 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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In order to determine the best possible credit cards, we look at things like fees, interest rates and rewards. We do this with companies that are associated with us as partners as well as other offerings. From there, we make a decision about what the best card is related to different categories and needs. We focus on interest rate cost & fees, especially the cost of carrying a balance, rewards – cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely usability – cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting. We also consider customer reviews.

We look at cards related to good or excellent credit ratings that will then provide a range of different benefits and improvements for someone who has these scores. We also look at low fees when it comes to those who have lower credit scores.