United Explorer Anniversary One-Time Club Passes Guide [2020]

The United Explorer anniversary Club passes can be pretty valuable perks for the casual traveler. But how can you get these passes and how exactly do they work?

In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about the United Explorer Anniversary United Club passes.

What are the United Explorer anniversary one-time Club passes?

The United Explorer anniversary Club passes are two annual one-time visit passes that come as a special perk with the United Explorer card issued by Chase.

Each pass will get you free entry into a United airport lounge subject to certain terms and conditions.

The United Explorer is one of the top travel credit cards and it comes with a host of valuable benefits including:

  • 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants and on hotel accommodations
  • 2 miles per $1 spent on United purchases
  • 1 mile per $1 spent
  • 2 one-time United Club passes each year
  • Free checked bag for yourself and one companion traveling on the same reservation
  • Priority boarding
  • 25% back on United Inflight Wi-Fi, food and drinks
  • 500 PQPs for every $12,000 in spend for a maximum of 1,000 PQPs earned per calendar year.

These one-time passes can also be purchased for $59, so you are getting close to $120 worth of lounge visits with the Explorer Card.

That is in addition to free checked bags and priority boarding among other perks. Therefore, I think the Explorer Card is one of the most valuable co-branded airline credit cards.

Related: Best Credit Cards for United Airlines Miles

United Club Lounge eating area.
United Club Lounge at IAH.

United Clubs overview

United Clubs are pretty decent airport lounges. I especially like the newer designed lounges which look much more modern.

At United Clubs, you can usually find snack foods and get free drinks including some alcoholic beverages. The menu list isn’t extensive but if you were looking for a light breakfast or something along those lines, it can often do the trick.

Some of the lounges will have showers but most others will have at least a comfortable place to sit along with free internet. You can check out a review of the United Club lounge here.

Plate with muffin, cantaloupe, and berries.
Typical breakfast at a United Club Lounge.

Lounge access policy

Each pass grants one person one time access to a United Club location subject to the terms and conditions of that lounge. These passes will not get you access to United Polaris or Star Alliance lounges.

Note that effective November 1, 2019: United Club customers, including members and their guests, and one-time pass holders will need to provide a same-day boarding pass for travel on United, Star Alliance or a contracted partner operated flight for entry into all United Club locations

Your one-time pass will not get you access to a different lounge location. So if you are connecting through a different airport, you will need to use an additional pass.

To get access into a United Club lounge, you will need to show your one-time pass which you can do by printing out your pass or by showing the pass via the United mobile app.

The agent at the lounge will then scan the barcodes or simply punch in the number for your pass.

You might even be able to just give the lounge attendant the number to your lounge day pass and as long as you have a boarding pass, you might be able to still get in.

However, to make things easy, I always try to have the printed out version that contains the barcode.

You can get details on how to retrieve your pass below.

Tip: If your pass expired in the last 30 days, you might be able to get a 50% discount off a one-time pass!

How to get the United Explorer anniversary Club passes

Once you are approved for the United Explorer Card, your club passes should be deposited into your mileage plus account within about four weeks.

They will automatically show up so you do not have to take any action.

In the past, you would receive hard-copy cards in the mail, but these are now delivered electronically as of the summer of 2017.

As long as you keep your United Explorer card open, you will receive these two passes every 12 months.

Some people have been able to use the passes shortly after they canceled their cards but this always comes with the risk that the pass is good be inactive.

If the one-time passes are still showing up in your United account, then you may give it a shot and the passes might still work (but just be prepared for them to potentially not work).

Tip: If you are interested in more frequent lounge access or want to get into better airport lounges then you may want to look into the American Express Platinum Card which offers access to quality lounges like Centurion Lounges.

How to find your anniversary Club passes

To locate your anniversary club passes, simply log-in to your United account. When you are viewing your details under “My Account,” you will see whether or not you have a United Club currently in your account.

Screenshot of my account page on United website
You can check the number of club passes you have under “My Account.”

If you click on “View details,” then you will be able to see the actual passes which you can choose to print off if you would like. Again, you can also pull up the passes in the app and show them that way.

When you pull up your passes, you will see the pass number and can view the validity dates including the expiration date.

You can choose to click on a printer friendly pass or email the pass to yourself so that you can pull it up via your inbox.

Screenshot of two united one-time passes
The blacked out sections contain the pass number and barcode.

To pull up the passes in the mobile app, follow these steps:

  1. Open the United app
  2. Sign in to your MileagePlus account.
  3. Select the “My Profile” symbol on the top right corner of the home screen.
  4. Locate your one-time club pass under “Membership and United Club passes”
  5. Select the pass you would like to use

United Explorer one-time Club passes (FAQ)

Do I get guaranteed United Club access with one-time passes?

Your access to United Clubs is subject to availability so in some limited circumstances, you could be denied access. If that happens, you can inquire with a lounge agent about alternative lounges in the airport that might be open to more capacity.

Do I have to show my pass to get access?

Yes, in order to get entrance into a United Club, you will have to show an agent your day pass or at the very least provide your pass number.

Can I bring in guests with me?

No, you are not permitted to bring in a guest with you when you are using a day pass. However, children under 2 years of age may accompany someone accessing a United Club location with a one-time pass.

Do authorized users get United Club one-time passes?

No, only the primary cardholder will get United Club passes.

How much do the day passes cost?

As an Explorer cardholder, you will receive the two one-time passes for free. However, if you purchase these from United they would cost $59 per person.

Do I receive the United club passes if I cancel my Explorer card?

No, you will no longer receive the United Club passes if you cancel your Explorer card.

Can I use the one-time pass at multiple lounges?

No, you will have to surrender your day pass when you enter the United Club. In some cases, you might be able to visit multiple lounges at the same airport.

Can I use the day passes at Star Alliance lounges?

No, these passes can only be used at United Club lounges.

Can I sell my pass?

The terms and conditions state:

“United Club passes have no cash value, cannot be sold and cannot be replaced if lost or stolen.”

Therefore, while in practice you could sell the pass to someone, that would be in violation of the terms and conditions and you would risk that backfiring.

Final word

I think these passes are great for someone who only needs lounge passes for a couple of times a year and is not looking for an expensive unlimited lounge visit membership.

The passes can be good even for people like me with Priority Pass and Centurion Lounge access. Sometimes, I find myself in an airport where only United Clubs are open and I can use my passes there.

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