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You should be able to downgrade your Explorer credit card to a no annual fee version. For that, you should contact Chase or United to know the details. Just remember that when you downgrade, you will lose all the perks that are offered with the Explorer card. Also, since you do not fly United often, the new credit card may not be the best option for you. A better option for you may be a regular travel rewards credit card that will reward you for all purchases with at least 1.5% cash back. And regular cards allow redeeming for travel statement credits and cash. That means, you won't be tied to one particular airline, but will be able to redeem with any airline or for non-travel purchases.