Chase and United Airlines have a co-brand credit card agreement for both personal and small business cards. Well, the New United Quest℠ Card has just been launched, and I’m extremely impressed by the value proposition of this card. In this post I wanted to take a detailed look at what you need to know about this lucrative card.
United Quest Card bonus of up to 100K miles
As part of a limited-time launch offer that’s valid for applications through June 2, 2021, the United Quest Card is offering up to 100,000 MileagePlus bonus miles:
- Earn 80,000 bonus MileagePlus miles after spending $5,000 within three months
- Earn an additional 20,000 bonus MileagePlus miles after spending an additional $5,000 within six months
In other words, if you spend $10,000 within six months, you can earn 100,000 MileagePlus bonus miles. This is an exceptional welcome bonus — personally I value MileagePlus miles at ~1.4 cents each, so to me those miles are worth ~$1,400.
Note that you’re eligible for this offer even if you have other United co-brand credit cards (you’re eligible if you apply outright, and not if you product change).
The only people who aren’t eligible are those who have had the United Quest Card (which shouldn’t be many people, since the card just launched). The typical Chase application rules apply, including the 5/24 rule.
Redeem your miles on Star Alliance airline partners
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 has four co-branded personal credit cards
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 in particular shines. First I want to highlight the two unique benefits of this card that will very quickly justify the annual fee for anyone who flies United with any frequency, and in particular for those who redeem MileagePlus miles.
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 (it seems to me like all award ticket fees should also qualify)
- The statement credit will post to your account the same day as your United purchase
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
Earn bonus MileagePlus miles when you redeem miles
In other words, if you spend at least $125 on United annually, and if you redeem miles for even just two one-ways on United annually, you’ll get $125 and 10,000 MileagePlus miles, which I value at more than the $250 annual fee.
Then there are all the other perks of the United Quest Card, including:
- A free first & second checked bag
- Priority boarding
- 25% back on United inflight purchases
- Complimentary upgrades on award tickets if you’re a Premier member
- Access to more MileagePlus award availability
- Up to a $100 Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit once every four years
- The ability to earn up to 3,000 Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) for spending on the card; earn 500 PQPs for every $12,000 spent on purchases
Save on United inflight purchases with the United Quest Card
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 card.
Earn 3x miles on flight purchases
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. Personally I think the United Quest Card is a no-brainer here, but let me provide a quick comparison.
The advantage of the United Explorer Card is that:
- The 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 a significantly better welcome bonus
- 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 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 first year the United Quest Card is much more compelling due to the bigger bonus, while 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.
Receive an annual statement credit for United purchases with the Quest Card
The United Quest Card is the fourth personal card in the Chase & United lineup, and I think it’s the most rewarding yet. 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 all of the other ongoing benefits.
Add in the welcome bonus of up to 100,000 MileagePlus miles, and this is a spectacular product.
What do you make of the new United Quest Card?