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By Jason Steele
May 24, 2021
United Quest Credit Card by Chase on a colored background
Courtesy of Chase

Do you remember the good old days of flying? 20 years ago, you could check two bags for free, quickly pass through security and you rarely had to worry about trying to board early to ensure you had a place for your carry-on. Well, those days are back, at least for United flyers who have the new United Quest credit card. Plus, this new offer allows you to earn enough bonus points for up to four, round-trip domestic award flights in economy class.

Key Terms

  • Welcome Bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 within three months of account opening. Earn an additional 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $10,000 total on purchases within six months of account opening, for a total of up to 100,000 bonus miles.
  • Miles for Spending: Earn 3x miles on United purchases (after earning your $125 annual United purchase credit), 2x on all other travel. dining and on select streaming services, plus one miles per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Annual fee: $250
  • APR: 16.49% to 23.49% variable APR.
  • Promotional Financing Offer: None.
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How This Card Works

The newly released United Quest card sits in the upper range of the four Mileage Plus cards offered by Chase; above the $95 Explorer card, but not quite at the $525 United ClubSM Infinite Card. Yet it punches above its weight by offering new applicants up to 100,000 bonus miles. You earn 80,000 after spending $5,000 within three months of account opening, and another 20,000 after spending a total of $10,000 within six months of account opening.

It also offers some very competitive bonus miles for spending including 3x miles on United purchases (after earning your $125 annual United purchase credit) and 2x on all other travel, including airfare, trains, local transit, cruise lines, hotels, car rentals, taxicabs, resorts, ride share services and tolls. You'll also earn 2x on dining, including eligible delivery services, and on select streaming services, and one mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.

But it's the perks that really set this card apart. You receive a $125 annual United purchase credit and two, 5,000-mile anniversary award flight credits each year on the anniversary of your account opening. Cardholders also enjoy two free checked bags for themselves and another companion traveling on the same reservation, so long as you use your United card to pay for your ticket (or the taxes and fees on an award ticket). Other benefits include priority boarding, 25% back on inflight purchases and up to $100 in credits towards a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application, to help you speed through security and immigration checks. Cardholders even receive access to Premier upgrades on award tickets and expanded access to award seats at the lowest mileage levels.

Advantages

This card's new account bonus is spectacular and enough bonus miles for potentially four round-trip, economy class tickets within the U.S. It's also a card that's full of perks that makes flying less of a hassle. You just don't know how great it is to use TSA PreCheck until you've tried it (or can remember going through airport security before 9/11). Free checked bags, priority boarding and discounts on inflight food and beverages are a nice perk, too.

Disadvantages

This card has a $250 annual fee, which is quite high. However, when you factor in the $125 annual United purchase credits, you're down to a net fee of just $30 more than the MileagePlus Explorer card, which lacks most of the best features of the Quest card.

Alternatives

United Explorer Card. The older sibling of the Quest card offers 40,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases within three months of account opening, plus an additional 25,000 bonus miles after you spend $10,000 total on purchases within six months of account opening. Benefits include a free checked bag, priority boarding and a $100 credit towards a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application. There's a $95 annual fee for this card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred®. This card is a great alternative, as it currently offers new applicants 80,000 bonus points and a $50 grocery store credit after you spend $4,000 within three months of account opening. These points can be transferred to United miles, as well as rewards with other airline and hotel programs. There's a $95 annual fee for this card.

United Club Infinite Card. This top-of-the-line United card has all of the features of the Quest card, but also includes a United Club airport lounge membership. That, and the new account bonus is 75,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within three months of account opening. There's a $525 annual fee for this card.

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Bottom Line

If you're ready to get back to traveling, you can jump start your effort with 100,000 bonus miles. And while a lot has changed in the last 20 years of airline travel, United Quest cardholders can still hang on to some of the conveniences that everyone enjoyed decades ago.

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