Updated: Nov 16, 2021
If you had to select one airline credit card, what would it be? The United Quest℠ Card from Chase is a credit card that packs a punch—with its welcome bonus and annual benefits.
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The Welcome Bonus
The United Quest℠ Card currently has a 80,000 miles welcome bonus! You can earn 80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. You can apply for this card here!
Of course, not everyone is going to be able to meet the minimum spend requirement to earn the welcome bonus. That is a factor to take into consideration before applying for the United Quest℠ Card.
If you meet the aforementioned minimum spend requirements, what value does that translate into in the award travel world? Theoretically, you could earn close to 90,000 miles (welcome bonus + spend). What could 90,000 miles get you? If you play your cards right, it may be possible to redeem those miles for at least one economy round trip ticket to Europe from the United States with over 20,000 miles to spare! A value that could easily surpass $1,500!
Meeting the Minimum Spend
In any event, there are creative ways to meet the minimum spend requirement for individuals who do not organically spend the stipulated amounts. One way is to prepay your regular expenses. For example, most of us shop at the same grocery store regularly. Hence, purchasing a gift card at that grocery store for the amount needed to hit the minimum spend requirement accomplishes the intended purpose—earning the welcome bonus and spending money on a normal expense. However, it is IMPORTANT that, if you utilize this method, make sure you can pay your bill in full when your credit card statement arrives. Otherwise, the interest you incur will eat away at your credit card rewards—defeating the purpose of acquiring the United Quest℠ Card in the first place!
A second creative way to meet the minimum spend requirement is to use your United Quest℠ Card to purchase items for others. This could include family members, friends, etc. For example, the next time you invite your family to go out to eat at a restaurant, you could offer to pay the entire bill—and everyone else could pay you back individually. This is a quick way to increase your credit card spend amount. Of course, if you employ this method, make sure the individual you pay for is trusted to pay you back.
The annual benefits that come with the United Quest℠ Card are awesome! They help to offset the $250 annual fee. Yikes—$250! Yes, but doing simple math calculations indicate that this amount pales in comparison to the value of the benefits received. Of course, this value is derived from individuals who fly regularly with United Airlines—at least once per year.
There is a $125 annual United purchase credit. This comes in the form of a statement credit each anniversary year as reimbursement for United purchases charged to your United Quest℠ Card. By taking advantage of this credit, the annual fee is essentially reduced to $125.
There are two 5,000-mile anniversary award flight credits. Starting with your first anniversary, you'll get 5,000 miles back in your MileagePlus account after you take a United or United Express-operated award flight booked with your miles—up to 2 times every anniversary year. Although it is difficult to calculate an exact value of what those miles would be worth—United's award redemptions are dynamic—10,000 miles could potentially be worth $100 to $200.
Another benefit that comes when flying with United Airlines is free first and second checked bags for the primary cardmember and one companion traveling on the same reservation. This is a savings of up to $320 per roundtrip! The value of this benefit easily offsets the $250 annual fee.
There is also a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit of up to $100. You will receive a Statement credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee. This is a useful travel tool that will save you time at the airport. You can apply for this card here!
Credit Card Rewards
Although the credit card rewards are not spectacular, you will earn 3X miles per $1 spent on United purchases immediately after earning your $125 annual United purchase credit. You will earn 2X miles per $1 spent on dining and select streaming services. Everything else earns 1X miles per $1 spent.
Travel Benefits and Purchase Protection
The United Quest℠ Card comes with travel benefits and purchase protection. This provides peace of mind when unexpected events take place that impacts your trip.
The travel benefits include Trip Cancellation/ Trip Interruption Insurance—up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip. It also includes primary Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver coverage. There is also Trip Delay Reimbursement—up to $500 per ticket. It includes Baggage Delay Insurance—up to $100 a day for 3 days. And, there is Lost Luggage Reimbursement—up to $3,000 per passenger.
The Purchase Protection covers new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim. The Extended Warranty Protection extends the U.S. manufacturer's warranty period by an additional year on eligible warranties of three years or less.
A Sock-Drawer Credit Card
The United Quest℠ Card easily qualifies as a "sock-drawer" credit card. What is a "sock-drawer" credit card? Put simply, a credit card that you rarely use but is more valuable to keep than to close. Of course, you will want to use the credit card initially—at least until you receive the welcome bonus. After that, you may decide to use other credit cards for your everyday spend—whether to meet the spend requirement for another welcome bonus, use a credit card that earns higher multipliers in various spending categories, etc.
"The benefits of the United Quest credit card easily outweigh its $250 annual fee."
The benefits from the United Quest℠ Card easily offset its hefty $250 annual fee. The $125 annual United purchase credit, free first and second checked bags for the primary cardmember and one companion, two 5,000-mile anniversary award flights credits, and $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit, make this a valuable card to keep. The value from the aforementioned benefits alone could potentially be $650! That demonstrates the value of a sock-drawer credit card! You can apply for this card here!
Chase's 5/24 Rule
In addition, there is what is known as "Chase's 5/24 rule." The United Quest℠ Card is co-branded with Chase and falls into this category. This "rule" indicates you will not be approved a Chase credit card if you have opened five or more credit cards—across all banks—within the last 24 months. (I.e. American Express, Capital One, etc.)
However, Chase does not have a published policy to validate the 5/24 rule. Interestingly, there are data points where an individual has been over "Chase's 5/24 rule" and has been approved a Chase credit card. Nonetheless, most data points support the conclusion that an individual will need to be under "Chase's 5/24 rule" to be approved for a Chase credit card.
Is the Minimum Spend Requirement Too Much?
Although you may be enamored with the United Quest℠ Card, it may not be the right fit. Perhaps the minimum spend requirement is too much for you. What then? Other options may be a better fit. Chase has other United co-branded credit cards.
The United℠ Explorer Card has a welcome bonus of 40,000 miles—with only an annual fee of $95. Additionally, the $95 annual fee is waived the first year! You can earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. You can compare and apply for this card here!
The United Gateway℠ Card has a welcome bonus of up to 15,000 miles—with no annual fee! You can earn 15,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. You can compare and apply for this card here!
Are you still unsure what United credit card would be the right fit for you? Try our Credit Card Selector Calculator for FREE! It uses our proprietary algorithm which determines the best credit card in our database based on your spending habits. You will be able to determine the value of each United credit card in your first year of use and make your selection accordingly.
Is It Safe to Visit?
It is always a good idea to perform a "background check" before you visit another country to determine if it is safe to do so. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted travel around the world, and it has left a large footprint that is visible for all to see.
Feel free to visit our COVID-19 Resources page which contains a useful tool that will allow you to do a "background check" on the country you desire to visit. Simply enter the name of the country within the search bar and useful links will automatically populate providing you access to COVID-19 warnings and other travel guidance.
Credit Card Miles & Points Consultant
Do you feel overwhelmed with all the options available when it comes to credit card rewards and redeeming your miles & points? Would you like some assistance to get you started in the right direction? You will benefit from the services of a Credit Card Miles & Points Consultant. They may be able to assist you with regards to earning miles & points through credit card use and redeeming those miles & points for award travel. Get started today!