Heads Up: New Explorer Card Benefit - No Foreign Transaction Fees

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by UA Insider, May 22, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. UA Insider
    Original Member

    UA Insider Official Representative

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    Hi everyone,

    Just wanted to give you a heads up on a new benefit we're about to announce for the Chase MileagePlus Explorer Credit Card – no foreign transaction fees. This already exists for the MileagePlus Club card, and will soon be extended to all current and new Explorer accounts. Look for this to start up for all purchases made on or after June 1st.

    Aaron Goldberg
    Sr. Manager - Customer Experience Planning
    United Airlines
     
  2. mherdeg
    Original Member

    mherdeg Silver Member

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    Cool stuff! This puts UA on equal footing with the BA Chase Signature Visa, which also carries a $95 fee and has no foreign transaction fee.
     
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  3. snod08
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    snod08 Gold Member

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    A change we like!
     
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  4. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    Great adjustment. Seemed a little odd that it didn't have this feature.

    Thanks for sharing!
     
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  5. youpaiyou

    youpaiyou Silver Member

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    Good change. I'm happy it applies to existing card holders.
     
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  6. COFlyerCLE
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    COFlyerCLE Gold Member

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    Excellent benefit! Thanks, Aaron :)
     
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  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Any changes to the Club card planned? It has recently lost the Avis Presidents Circle benefit, award ticket upgrades have never worked for (didn't appear on the list), and soon it is losing the benefit of access to US Airways lounges.
     
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  8. skyvan

    skyvan Gold Member

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    Really glad to see this, I may actually use the card now.
     
  9. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I am not sure that US deciding to merge with AA can be legitimately considered a "loss" that UA has any control over. In fact, I see it as good riddance.

    On the other hand, the new benefit of no foreign transaction fee on the Explorer is huge for those of us for whom this is the primary card for all non-cash transactions that (a) are UA-related and (b) exceed $25K per year. As I had demonstrated, the Explorer is the better card for accruing bonus miles under those two conditions than the Club card, whose main benefit was no forex fee. Now that the Explorer enjoys this benefit, it is the card to use both domestically and internationally if most of one's transactions on the card (a) are UA-related and (b) exceed $25K per year.
     
  10. Olton Hall
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    Olton Hall Gold Member

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    Excellent.
     
  11. iterfacio12

    iterfacio12 Silver Member

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    Fantastic; I don't think I've used it much at all since meeting the spending requirement because of the FOREX fee. This is a huge improvement!
     
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  12. okrogius

    okrogius Silver Member

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    I really don't see a big deal - Sapphire Preferred is a better card in just about every way if you're a United elite and already get the travel benefits that way.
     
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  13. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I would say that this is a big deal because it makes the Explorer almost as good, if not as good as the Preferred Sapphire card, if one spends $25K or more on the Explorer and mostly on UA-related purchases, as I do.
     
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  14. okrogius

    okrogius Silver Member

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    If you're spending 25k on UA tickets per year on a personal card (be it reimbursed or not), you're alone in a very small minority. In that case, yes, keep on using it for that.

    If only a small portion of that 25k is on UA tickets, but you put all the rest of your spend on that card for the sake of the 10k RDM, I'd be surprised if most can't do better elsewhere. That may be a sapphire where the extra-bonus eligible spend on parking (or other travel expenses) and dining will equal that 10k, or other cards entirely.

    If you don't mind using an OTA, Sapphire Preferred will get you 4.28 UA miles/dollar spent on airfare.
     
  15. skyvan

    skyvan Gold Member

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    It's always nice to have a card that you don't care about (and don't have any auto billing or the like set up on) to run in seedier parts of some cities and towns where skimming is a real threat. This upgrade will allow me to use this card as my throwaway card in that kind of place.
     
  16. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Agreed that United/Chase don't have control over the merger and the consequence of card members presumably losing access to US lounges. But I don't see it as a case of "good riddance". No one's forcing you to use the lounges. And United/Chase do have control over the pricing and benefits offering. Which is what I asked about.
     
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  17. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Agreed. I have my Hyatt as that card. But now I have 2 :) (well 3 if you could my capital one, but I usually leave that in my carry on incase I get mugged and my luggage gets lost.)
     
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  18. SuperKirby

    SuperKirby Gold Member

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    Anyone still seeing EXTRA Saver Award availability with the MPE when signed into their MP account vs not signed in?
     
  19. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    No need to speculate as I already did the math. The $25K are not all on tickets. However, the tickets are the biggest items. In order for my spend on this card to bring in more miles than, e.g., the United Club card (2miles/$ at UA and 1.5miles/$ elsewhere; the Sapphire is just a bit better), just over $5K of the $25K need to be on UA-related purchases like tickets. For the Sapphire to earn significantly more points than the Explorer the spend on restaurants (2miles/$) would have to be quite high ($10K-$15K). I have VIP status in United MP Dining program which earns 5miles/$ at restaurants on any of my registered card...I just do not see the purported advantage of the Sapphire Preferred despite the gushing about it by points&miles gurus.
     
  20. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    :confused: Are you referring to the Hyatt card with the smart chip that experts just gush over about how secure it is?
     
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  21. Rob
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    Rob Gold Member

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    Why don't you register your Sapphire card with UA MP Dining? Then you get the 2.14 sapphire points + the 5miles/$?
     
  22. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I would register it if I had the Sapphire, but I do not and do not intend to get it. It was just to show that since it is impossible to have every card out there, advantages that one does not have from one card can be obtained from another so that claims of "superiority" need to be made with caution. On the other hand, a card that charges a foreign transaction fee in the present age of globalization is an inferior product. That is why this news is a Big Fat Deal.
     
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  23. okrogius

    okrogius Silver Member

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    From the other link you mention 15k on UA and 10k on everything else.
    If you don't mind using Travelocity (as 1k, I still get UA CSRs to help me with my tickets irrespective of how they're booked - but that's not the case for lower status levels) with Sapphire Pref., you'd be looking at 4.28*15k+1.07*10k=74.9k miles.

    If you insist on booking directly with UA, you're looking at 2.14*15k+1.07*10k=42.8k. Your Explorer sum is 50k. But this is again assuming no other dining/travel spend. If we want to break even, 2.14*x+1.07*(25k-x)=50k, x=21729. Thus you'd need to spend an extra 6.7k on travel/dining (558/month). I can see how that's not for everyone, but that can be quite appealing for many of us. (Presumably you can put your hotel spend on separate cards, but eventually the extra annual fees don't make the incremental points worth it in my own calculations.) It's also important to note that Saph travel/dining definition tends to be quite broad (e.g. subway tickets count).

    Other nice/contributing factors:
    -You can add a Freedom without an annual fee to likely easily give yourself another 4x on a few thousand per year.
    -Chase actually managed to make a very nice UR shopping portal (unlike just about every other one in existence). Extra points post consistently within hours of the initial purchase rather than after shipment, after your return period expires, etc unlike other shopping malls (assuming those other shopping malls even do so reliably, which isn't the case far too often).

    There are certainly good reasons to go with the explorer card, and you may be one of the many examples (largely based on how much you spend on that other travel/dining, or how much you mind clicking through a shopping portal). It's just in my view most of those reasons seem to correlate with not having status on United (value of free-checked-bag, priority boarding, two club passes are zero for me).
     
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  24. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    yes ;)
     
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  25. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    As was clear from a recent thread on the value of 'churning', I consider any points/miles that I get through CC spend as simply supplemental to my steadier and larger sources of points/miles, which are extended hotel stays as top elite frequent-guest and long-haul intl trips as a top elite frequent-fyer, for which I am usually reimbursed. Therefore, individual circumstances, which can vary widely, ultimately dictate what works best for each person. I simply do not have the desire nor the time to micro-manage CC point/mile earnings. I just have several pipelines set up that keep miles/points flowing in steadily. I am now attending a conference in San Diego, staying at Hilton Gaslamp Quarter for 7 nghts, which will earn me lots of HHonors points after I pay with a CC that gets me 12HH/$, and this being a TCON trip, I will get more than 10K RDMs/5K PQMs from the flights. In addition, I have been to a couple of restaurants, and as one who has achieved VIP status in UA MP Dining, I just checked my email and found the following:

    MP-DINING.png

    Effortlessly and without even thinking about it, miles have rolled in, and this is in addition to the points or miles that I will get for the spend on which ever card I used (quite likely the Explorer). And, because every one of my cards is registered and more and more restaurants are participating in this program, I will soon qualify for yet more miles, effortlessly:

    MP-DINING OFFER.png

    The point here is that there are so many ways to earn miles/points these days through various CC schemes that claims of "superiority" of any one CC are superfluous -- in fact, with so many points flowing in from everywhere, it is no wonder most frequent-guest loyalty programs have "devalued" their points!

    In short, my approach is to just make the CC spend part of my lifestyle and forget about it, and just watch points and miles flow in from every which source. I also usually take the long-term view, as opposed to obsessively going after every point/mile in order to be able to afford a dream vacation in the short-term. By the time I am ready to redeem for personal travel at the end of every year, my points/miles banks are usually overflowing...Other people have their approach; mine works for me.;)
     

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