Reader Email: Getting Annual Fee Waived On MileagePlus Explorer Card

FFU Reader Chris sent me this email about how he got his annual fee waived for his United Explorer Card, so I thought I would share it!

I just signed up for the United MileagePlus Explorer in May, so I won’t be trying this for a while but it is always great information to know!

“So I called up Chase because the annual fee was charged to my United Explorer card (formerly the Continental One Pass Card).  

The annual fee is $85, but I called up, and asked for the fee to be waived, and indicated that I have a lot of accounts with Chase, and enjoy banking with them (and by banking I mean earning boatloads of miles for free!).

The Front Line Rep transferred me to a Loyalty Advisor, who offered to give me a Statement Credit of $50 to keep the card open.  

It used to be with the One Pass card you could get a $100 credit or 10k miles, but since the card has been rebranded as United MileagePlus Explorer, all that the marketing department is offering now is $50.  

Still, paying $35 out of pocket is not bad for 2 free lounge passes and a years worth of free checked bags on United.  

They already sent me the lounge passes, so I could still cancel the card, and just use those, but considering bag fees are $25 for one bag, its definitely worth keeping it (not to mention it gets me priority boarding).”

Overall this is great news and I am glad that Chris shared it because it brings up 2 extremely valuable points:

1. Always Ask For A Fee Waiver

Before you ever cancel a Card, you should always call up Chase (or whatever Bank) a few months before and indicate that you are contemplating canceling a Card (even if you aren’t).

I suspect that Chase’s computer systems are extremely advanced and can show just exactly how much you have spent on the Card, so chances are they will offer you something (either Miles or Statement Credit) to remain a Cardholder because by using your Card, you are generating profit for them!

Remember that after you get your Miles or Statement Credit, it is always up to you to keep or close the Card!

So in Chris’s case, after his $50 Statement Credit posts, he can cancel the Card if he wanted.

2. Sometimes The Benefits Outweigh The Annual Fee

The other important thing Chris pointed out is that even though he only got a partial fee waiver of $50, instead of the full $85, when you do the math, he is still coming out ahead.

If you don’t have Elite Status with United, then checking a bag is $25 each way! On a Roundtrip Flight that is $50!

If you are traveling by yourself, you can usually swing only taking a carry-on, but if you are traveling with a family, good luck!

So by paying the $35 annual fee ($85 – $50) for the United Credit Card, at a minimum Chris knows that on his next trip it will save him at least $50 in baggage fees! Not to mention, it will get him some lounge passes!

Although it sucks paying Annual Fees, sometimes the benefits you get are definetly worth more than the cost!

If anyone else has any stories about getting annual fees waived, please feel free to comment!


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