For the third time in the past year, the United℠ Explorer Card is dangling a bigger, two-part sign-up bonus in front of potential applicants. Depending on how much you spend, and how quickly, you can earn up to 65,000 bonus MileagePlus miles:
- You’ll earn a 25,000-mile bonus if you spend $10,000 in the first six months. (The usual bonus on the United℠ Explorer Card does not include this additional earning opportunity.)
You can earn the 40,000-miles bonus, the 25,000-mile bonus or both bonuses for a total of 65,000 miles.
This limited-time offer follows similar two-tier bonuses offered in November 2018 (65,000 miles total) and April 2019 (60,000 miles). The first of those offers was available for about two months; the second, about six weeks. According to United Airlines, this offer is good until Jan. 9.
The United℠ Explorer Card has an annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $95 and gives you 2 MileagePlus miles per dollar spent on purchases from United Airlines, on hotel stays purchases directly from the hotel, and at restaurants. All other purchases earn 1 mile per dollar. It offers some solid perks for a basic airline credit card, too:
- First checked bag free for you and a companion traveling on your reservation. That alone can save you $120 on a round trip, more than making up for the annual fee.
- Priority boarding.
- Two free one-time passes each year to United Club airport lounges. Passes usually cost $59 each.
- Credit of up to $100 every four years for the application fee for TSA Precheck or Global Entry.
- Statement credit giving you 25% back on in-flight purchases of food, beverages or Wi-Fi.