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The tiered welcome bonus is back! Earlier this year, United scrapped the two-tiered bonus structure on its Explorer Card in favor of 40k miles after spending $2,000 in three months. But they've decided to bring it back with an offer that ups the total potential bonus by 50%. Now the United℠ Explorer Card offers a welcome bonus of 40k miles after spending $2,000 in the first 2 months, and another 20k miles after spending $8,000 in the first 6 months for a total bonus of up to 60k points.

As expected from a United-branded card, it comes packed with valuable airline benefits and rewards. Most notably, it gives you and a guest (traveling on the same reservation) a free checked bag (up to $120 savings per roundtrip) and priority boarding privileges. Every cardmember anniversary you'l receive 2 United Club℠ one-time passes (more than $100 value) to help make traveling a bit more relaxing. On top of that, you'll enjoy 25% off inflight purchases and no foreign transaction fees.

Tiered rewards

United℠ Explorer Card

This card lets you earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants, hotel accommodations, and all United purchases. There's no annual fee your first year then it goes to $95. In addition to the previously mentioned travel benefits, you'll also receive a statement credit of up to $100 for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application, making it easy to justify the annual fee.

If you earn the full bonus, your 60k miles are estimated to be worth $840. Your best option for redemption will likely be award travel straight from United. Consider their popular Saver Awards which can help you cover short haul domestic flights for as little as 5k miles one way. These flights typically cover 800 miles in the continental US. Or consider splurging for a round trip economy fare from the US to Europe. Depending on your tastes, there are many good ways to redeem your new miles.

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