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For a basic rewards card geared towards flying United, the United Quest℠ Card has a more robust rewards and redemption structure.
In addition to the yearly credit for United and redemption credits awarded on the account anniversary, the United Quest℠ Card is a great entry-level annual fee card.
Cardholders will earn 3x miles on all eligible purchases with United once the annual $125 credit has been used.
This includes United Airlines tickets purchased through the United portal, seat upgrades for United flights, Economy Plus services, food, and beverage bought in-flight, WiFi, baggage expenses, and any other fees or events active with United.
There is a rate of 2x miles for all travel expenses. This includes other airlines, hotel accommodations, related costs, motels, timeshares, rental agencies, travel agencies, discount travel brokers, campgrounds, and cruise lines.
The 2x also applies to transportation expenses, like trains, buses, taxis, rideshares, limos, ferries, toll roads, and parking fees.
The 2x rewards continue for all dining and eligible delivery expenses. 2x miles are also earned on most major streaming services, including Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, ESPN+, Sling, Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify, and even YouTube TV.
All other purchases by cardholders accrue 1x miles per $1.
Redeeming the miles from your United Quest℠ Card is relatively simple at United Airlines and partner airlines like Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, and Lufthansa.
The basic one-way domestic tickets start at about 5,000 miles for an economy-level flight but can still exceed 20,000 miles.
If you shop wisely and keep a sharp eye out, you may find a first-class or business seat on a domestic price for as little as 25,000-30,000 miles, but they can also climb over 70,000-80,000 miles in some cases.
International flights usually bottom out at about 30,000 for economy, double that for business, and then go up from there.
The one major downside to the current redemption structure is that United no longer works from a uniform rewards chart.
This means the exact number of miles or the potential remaining cost after redeeming your miles will depend on the season, the demand, and the ticket price for the flight.
The United Quest℠ Card’s welcome offer is a potent attractant for those looking to spend a significant amount in the first 3 months.
When cardholders spend $5,000 in the first 90 days, they will earn an incredible 80,000 bonus miles.
That’s a powerful discount on family travel and a potentially free international trip for the solo traveler.
When you activate the United Quest℠ Card, you get an annual credit with United of $125 in statement credit.
This can be leveraged against nearly any expense or fee with United, not just the incidental expenses.
It can be used for seat upgrades, WiFi, in-flight food, drink, and even baggage fees exceeding the free checked bags perk.
Each year on the account anniversary, the cardholder will have 5,000 miles added into their account if they’ve flown with United during the year.
This acts as a mileage credit to your account and can be used twice during each year.
The primary cardholder and one companion will each be able to check up to two bags for free. That works out to up to $80 in free baggage checking, per person, each way.
This can save up to $320 for just a single round trip vacation. This one benefit more than takes care of the entire annual fee in just one trip.
If you are going to be using the United Quest℠ Card on in-flight purchases, not only will you get your mileage bonus, but you will also get a 25% statement credit for them.
This can be a great way to leverage both benefits in conjunction with the annual United credit to significantly reduce your travel expenses and get the most benefit from them.
The United Quest℠ Card will offer similar benefits and reward structure to the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, though some in-flight benefits are wildly unbalanced.
With the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, you can get free checked bags for up to 9 people, including the cardholder. The United Quest℠ Card only provides two baggage check perks for two people.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a vastly simplified 2x rewards rate on all purchases in all categories.
They also offer a welcome bonus that gives 60,000 miles, or nearly $600 in travel costs once the cardholder spends $3,000 in the first three months.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card also offers a very nice TSA PreCheck & GlobalEntry credit of up to $100.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠offers a unique benefit and reward accumulation model that features rotating categories with 5% rewards and categories like dining and eligible travel expenses that will always earn rewards at fixed rates.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ also features no annual fee and a 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months, making it an incredible option for a rewards card for those who want a card with no yearly cost.
American Express Platinum Card® has several benefits, including automatic elite status and lounge membership.
If you are looking for a premium card, this one may be a great choice for you. It does have a steep annual fee of $695, but with that fee comes a long list of rewards that cardholders get to enjoy.
From entertainment and shopping to travel and dining, there are a ton of benefits. The more you spend, the more you earn.
Rewards include 5 points per dollar spent on flights that are booked directly through Amex Travel, 5 points per dollar when you prepay for rooms booked through Amex Travel, 2 points per dollar on other travel purchases booked with Amex Travel, and 1 point per dollar on any other purchase.
To qualify for the United Quest℠ Card, you will need a minimum credit score of 690 or the bottom of the “good” credit category, and even then, the approvals are relatively rare.
Better approval rates become commonplace as the credit score increases into the 700s and 800s.
This credit card has several great perks, but it is not the best travel credit card for everyone. It is ideal for anyone that regularly travels through United Airlines, as most of the perks they offer are travel-related. If you don’t travel much and don’t see yourself traveling more in the future, it would be smart to continue shopping around.
The United Quest℠ Card has an annual fee of $250, and there is no introductory rate for the first year.
Unfortunately, since it is a relatively basic rewards credit card, airport lounge access is not one of the perks that are offered to United Quest℠ cardholders. However, if the lounge allows day passes to be purchased, you may still use the United Quest℠ Card for the purchase, earning bonus miles on the travel expense.
With the United Quest℠ Card from Chase, anyone who travels often will love all the great travel-related perks available to cardholders.
It can be easy to earn travel miles, points, and other extra perks, particularly if you use the card frequently for travel expenses where you earn the most miles.
Those that qualify for the United Quest℠ Card will have to pay an annual fee of $250, but with all the savings, it won’t seem like much at all.
If you frequently travel with a companion, the baggage check benefit alone can make the yearly fee worth it.