The United Explorer card 50k bonus no longer exists. The United Explorer card now offers 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $2,000 in your first three months. You’ll also get a $100 statement credit after you make your first purchase. That’s actually worth the same amount as 50k bonus miles, just structured a bit differently. The card’s new benefits went into effect on June 1, 2018.
The 40,000 initial bonus miles are available to new cardholders who apply by July 16, 2018. Applicants must not have earned an initial bonus with the Explorer card in the past 24 months. Current cardholders are automatically upgraded to the new card on June 1.
The United Explorer card’s $95 annual fee is waived the first year, and there’s no foreign transaction fee. You’ll also earn 2 miles for every $1 spent on restaurants and hotels. And there’s a 25% discount on in-flight purchases. The card no longer offers a yearly 10,000 mile bonus for spending $25,000. That feature was phased out.
Here’s what replaced the United Explorer 50k offer:
- 40k bonus miles for spending $2,000 in the first three months.
- $100 statement credit after your first purchase.
- 5k bonus miles when you add an authorized user make a purchase in the first three months.
- Miles worth 1 cent each when redeemed for flights on United or one of its 28 Star Alliance partners. So the United Explorer Card’s initial bonuses are equal to as many as 55k miles.
- Other benefits include a free checked bag for the cardholder and one traveling companion on the same reservation, priority boarding on United flights, and two United Club lounge passes each anniversary.
If you’re a United frequent flyer, the United Explorer Card is easy to justify. Its free checked bags and lounge access passes alone will offset the $95 annual fee. But if your flights are spread out over several airlines, a general travel credit card like the Capital One Venture Rewards card might serve you better. The Venture card gets you 50,000 initial bonus points worth $500 when redeemed for travel purchases.
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