Chase and United Airlines have a co-brand credit card agreement for both personal and small business cards. The United Quest℠ Card is the newest credit card that’s part of this arrangement, as the card was launched in early 2021. Not only is it United’s newest credit card, but I’d argue it’s also the all-around most lucrative. In this post I wanted to take a closer look at the card and explain why.
United Quest Card Basics For May 2022
The United Quest Card is extremely well rounded — the card offers an excellent welcome bonus, and while the card has an annual fee, it should be easy to justify based on the incredible perks.
United Quest Card Bonus Of 70,000 Miles
The United Quest Card is offering new cardmembers a bonus of 70,000 MileagePlus bonus miles after spending $4,000 within the first three months of card membership. This is a great welcome bonus — I value MileagePlus miles at ~1.4 cents each, so to me those miles are worth ~$980.
Note that you’re eligible for this offer even if you have other United co-brand credit cards. The only people who aren’t eligible for the United Quest Card are those who currently have the card, or those who have received a new cardmember bonus on the card in the past 24 months. The typical Chase application rules apply, including the 5/24 rule.
United Quest Card $250 Annual Fee
The United Quest Card has a $250 annual fee, and there’s no cost to add additional authorized users. For some context as to how that fits into United’s co-brand personal card portfolio:
- The United GatewaySM Card (review) has no annual fee
- The United℠ Explorer Card (review) has a $95 annual fee, waived the first year
- The United Club℠ Infinite Card (review) has a $525 annual fee
As you can see, the United Quest Card has the second-highest annual fee, though I’d argue it also has the annual fee that’s easiest to consistently recuperate, thanks to the easy-to-use perks, which I’ll cover below.
United Quest Card Rewards Structure
The United Quest Card has no foreign transaction fees, and offers the following return on spending:
- Earn 3x miles on United purchases
- Earn 2x miles on all travel and dining purchases
- Earn 1x miles on all other purchases
While there are other cards that are compelling in the travel and dining categories, those are some of the broadest bonus categories I’ve seen on a co-branded airline credit card.
One reason people may wish to spend money on the card is because spending can help you earn MileagePlus elite status. You can earn up to 3,000 Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) with the card per year, in the form of 500 PQPs for every $12,000 spent on purchases.
Valuable Purchase & Travel Protection
One of the perks that many people look for in credit cards is good protection for purchases. The United Quest Card has some great coverage in that regard. While you’ll want to consult the card benefits guide, the United Quest Card offers perks like:
- Trip cancelation & interruption insurance
- Trip delay reimbursement
- Baggage delay insurance
- Lost luggage reimbursement
- Auto rental collision damage waiver
- Purchase protection
- Extended warranty protection
United Quest Card Benefits & Perks
Airline co-branded credit cards are primarily about the perks, and this is an area where the United Quest Card most definitely doesn’t disappoint. Let’s go over the perks of the card, starting with the two unique benefits that I find to be most compelling, and which will most quickly justify the $250 annual fee.
$125 Annual United Airlines Credit
The United Quest Card offers a $125 annual United credit, which should be worth close to face value to anyone who considers this card:
- Receive a statement credit when you use your card for United purchases, up to a maximum of $125 per anniversary year
- Qualifying purchases include airline tickets purchased from United and purchases through United of seat upgrades, Economy Plus, inflight food and beverages, Wi-Fi, baggage service charges, and other United fees
- The statement credit will post to your account the same day as your United purchase
Anniversary Award Flight Credits (Up To 10,000 Miles)
The United Quest Card offers an anniversary award flight credit of up to 10,000 MileagePlus miles:
- Automatically receive 5,000 miles back in your MileagePlus account after taking an award flight booked with your miles, up to twice annually
- The award itinerary must include at least one United-operated flight, and must include the primary cardmember on the reservation
- These miles will be deposited in your account within four weeks of each cardmember anniversary
If you redeem miles on United with any frequency, that should get you 10,000 miles per year. Between that and the $125 annual United credit, I’d argue the annual fee is already more than offset.
Free First & Second Checked Bags
If you ever check bags, having the United Quest Card can get you a free first and second checked bag for you and one companion on the same reservation. The primary cardmember just needs to pay for the ticket with their card and be one of the travelers. This is a value of up to $320 per roundtrip ticket (assuming two people are checking two bags roundtrip).
As the primary cardmember on the United Quest Card you can receive priority boarding for you and companions on the same reservation for United Airlines operated flights. Many people want to board early in order to be able to secure overhead bin space, so this is a perk that I know many cardmembers value.
25% Savings On Inflight Purchases
You can save 25% on inflight purchases on United Airlines if you have the United Quest Card. This will come in the form of an account statement credit, and applies for purchases of beverages, food, and Wi-Fi.
Complimentary Upgrades On Award Tickets
If you have elite status with United Airlines you’re eligible to receive space-available upgrades in most short haul markets when booking a revenue ticket. However, if you have the United Quest Card, you’re also eligible to receive elite upgrades when you’re traveling on award tickets, which is a nice additional perk.
TSA PreCheck Or Global Entry Fee Credit
The United Quest Card offers a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit every four years. Simply charge the $85-100 enrollment fee to your card, and it will automatically be reimbursed.
Nowadays quite a few credit cards offer these fee credits, so you can always use this benefit for a friend or family member. They just have to use your credit card to pay, and you’ll automatically receive the statement credit.
Complimentary DoorDash DashPass
The United Quest Card offers a year of complimentary DoorDash DashPass. This gets you unlimited delivery from all kinds of restaurants with $0 delivery fees and lower service fees on orders of $12 or more. You have to activate your subscription by March 31, 2022, and it’s then valid for 12 months. After that period, you’ll be automatically enrolled in DashPass at the current monthly rate, though you can always cancel.
Is The United Quest Card Worth It?
Personally I think the United Quest Card is United’s best value credit card for someone who flies United at least a few times per year, and redeems miles sometimes as well.
While the card has a $250 annual fee, the $125 annual United credit should lower the “real” annual cost of this card to $125. Then if you redeem miles for United-operated flights at least twice per year, you’re getting 10,000 additional miles. Based on my valuation of United miles, I consider that to be a $140 value.
At that point you’ve already gotten more value from the card than the annual fee, and that doesn’t account for perks like free checked bags, upgrades on award tickets, savings on inflight purchases, and much more. Then there’s also the bonus of 70,000 miles for new cardmembers.
So yeah, I think this card is totally worth it, but how does the value proposition compare to United’s most popular credit card?
United Quest Card Vs. United Explorer Card
I know many people may be trying to decide between the United Quest Card and the United Explorer Card. I think the United Quest Card is the better choice, but let me provide a quick comparison.
The advantages of the United Explorer Card are the following:
- The United Explorer Card has a $95 annual fee (waived the first year), compared to a $250 annual fee on the United Quest Card
- The United Explorer Card offers two United Club passes annually
However, virtually everything else about the United Quest Card is either equal or significantly better:
- The United Quest Card offers an annual $125 United credit, which the United Explorer Card doesn’t offer, and that should be worth face value to most
- The United Quest Card offers up to 10,000 MileagePlus miles back each year on award redemptions, which the United Explorer Card doesn’t offer
- The United Quest Card offers two checked bags free, while the United Explorer Card offers only one checked bag free
In the long run, the United Quest Card is more compelling because of the additional perks that should help offset the annual fee for a vast majority of savvy consumers.
I’d say the only type of consumer who should consider the United Explorer Card is someone who really values the United Club passes but doesn’t redeem miles at least twice per year for United-operated flights.
The United Quest Card is the fourth personal card in the Chase & United lineup, and I think it’s the most rewarding. While the $250 annual fee sounds high on the surface, the $125 annual United credit should get you half of that value back right there. Then there’s the up to 10,000 miles you can earn per year when redeeming miles, along with other ongoing benefits.
What do you make of the United Quest Card?