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EMV chip for United Explorer and Club Cards now available

by on Fri February 13, 2015 • 10 Comments

emv-smart-card-300x199It’s been a long time coming, but you can now request an EMV chip version of the United MileagePlus Explorer and United MileagePlus Club credit cards.

Just call the number on the back of your card, and you can get a replacement with a chip within 7-10 business days.

It’s a basic Chip and Signature card, so you won’t get full PIN functionality, but that’s the case with all Chase cards so far.

Both the United Explorer and Club cards waive all foreign transaction fees, so having the EMV chip option makes them a touch more useful when you travel abroad.

Just beware that unmanned kiosks like those at train stations often require a PIN and your cards still won’t work in those situations.

If you’re looking for a card with full PIN functionality, check out our list here, or use our CardFinder tool and select ‘Chip + PIN’ on the right hand side.

What about other cards?

We checked with Chase on the status of other United branded cards.

Unfortunately legacy cards that are no longer actively issued for new accounts like the Presidential Plus and Select cards don’t yet have an EMV chip available. But they will get the feature later on in 2015.

As for other airlines, Citi’s American AAdvantage cards have an EMV Chip + Signature available, as do American Express’ Delta SkyMiles cards.

Our hope is that the Barclaycard versions of American AAdvantage cards that get rolled out later this year get full Chip + Signature treatment, like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, which would be a nice differentiating factor. And it’s another reason to consider applying for a US Airways MasterCard from Barclaycard.

Only people with existing US Airways cards will be able to convert to a Barclaycard issued American AAdvantage card, as Barclays won’t be allowed to issue American AAdvantage credit cards to new customers.

Thanks to avenezia on FlyerTalk for pointing out the Club Card’s EMV availability.

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10 thoughts on EMV chip for United Explorer and Club Cards now available

  1. edward nelson


  2. Arielle Schwartz

    Doesn’t the united mileage explorer card with the chip have an annual fee of $395?

  3. Troy

    I have asked Chase to upgrade my card on several occasions over the last couple months. Each time they say to check back in a couple weeks. The last time I checked with them, they said check back April 30th and they might be able to send me one with a chip then. So I don’t know if they are actually available yet as mentioned. I have the Explorer card and have mentioned to them that I am traveling overseas soon and would love to use their card, but with the Chip.


      @Troy – That’s unfortunate. They definitely do exist – but sounds like the special requests may have been cut off really early and now they may only be doing them based on some predefined order we’re not aware of.

    2. Randy Ohara

      I just received my United MileagePlus Club visa w/ chip. I called last week, the agent kept saying that the card is “in very limited supplies”, and I told her that I still wanted the card. It arrived today! You will need to keep calling and asking for it.


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