Hype is only hype when the praise isn’t real or justified. United’s newest credit card from Chase is hardly hype at all, with benefits on every trip and a very easy path to justifying the annual fee, practically from day one. Well, if you fly United. If you don’t, it probably makes no sense at all.
If you do, the 100,000 bonus points as a welcome bonus never hurts either, but it may not be around for long.
For United fans and people who end up on the airline more often than others, the new United ‘Quest’ Card has a lot to love, so here’s why it might be worth considering, while the welcome bonus is outstanding.
United’s New Quest Card: Overview
United Airlines latest card launch is the Quest Card with Chase.
The rewards credit card bridges the gap between the $95 annual fee United Explorer Card offering, which is most useful for its singular checked bag, and the $525 annual fee United Club Card, which is mostly aptly useful for access to the United Club network of airport lounges.
The new United Quest Card carries a $250 annual fee, but before the alarm bells go off, the ways to offset the annual fee are plentiful.
Namely, there’s a $125 United credit right off the bat when you book flights, and 100,000 miles, easily worth $1000 if used with any effectiveness. So $250 minus $125 right away, before diving into the cards actual travel perks.
So who shouldn’t get the United Quest Card?
Someone who doesn’t fly United or earn United MileagePlus Miles. The United Quest Card isn’t going to do all that much for you if neither of those things ever apply. But for everyone else, back to the good stuff…
If you purchase a $200 United ticket with your new card via United Airlines, you’d receive $125 off the purchase when it hits your card account each year you hold the card, with only $125 of the $250 annual fee left to justify. With the Quest Card, you are basically pre-paying some of your United spend.
There’s also up to 5,000 miles back when you book United Airlines award flights twice a year, for a total of up to 10,000 miles back per year. By GSTP calculations, these 10,000 miles are also worth at least $100 toward justifying the annual fee.
By that basic calculation, you offset all but $50 of the annual fee just by booking a singular United Airlines ticket over $125 with cash, and by using some miles to save on future flights.
If you come with a lot of baggage, speaking in travel terms of course, the perks are even better.
Unlike the United Explorer card which gives ‘first bag free’, the United Quest Card offers first and second bag free for everyone on your reservation. For a family, or anyone who regularly checks a bag (or two) for any reason, this is an epic perk.
United charges $30 each way for a checked bag on domestic flights, so getting $60 per person of value each way (2 free bags valued at $30 each) could bring literal thousands in savings on baggage fees. The perk is uncapped!
Priority boarding on United Flights, a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit and other handy travel benefits are also a part of the new offering. If Global Entry or TSA Pre have eluded you, this makes that super easy, since the fee credit effectively makes the membership “free”.
100,000 Points Is A Huge Welcome
If any of the things above apply to you, it’s incredibly easy to justify the $250 annual fee.
One round trip for two people round trip with two checked bags would cost $240, so putting aside the $125 credit when you book a United flight from day one, and up to 10,000 miles back per year when you use miles (worth about $100), there’s just a lot of ways for the card to net you out in the plus.
100,000 United MileagePlus miles can’t be ignored.
A one way ticket to or from Asia in first class costs 110,000 United Miles, and would most typically retail for at least $5,000. That’s a pretty “grand” way of spending a new card welcome bonus.
For more practical trips, it’s nearly enough for a round trip in business class from the USA to Europe when ‘saver’ availability is open, which costs 120,000 miles. You could also take quite a few domestic economy trips before going through your stash too!
To earn the 100,000 point bonus you need to spend $5,000 within the first 3 months of holding the card to earn 80,000 bonus points, and you receive 20,000 additional points after spending $10,000 total within the first six months total.
The United Quest Card earns 3x on United purchases and 2x on dining, and has no foreign transaction fees.
Should You Get The United Quest Card?
No card is for everyone. If you don’t fly United at all, and won’t ever, it’s probably not a great choice. In fact, it’s a bad choice. If you do fly United, and you’d benefit from the generous perks involved with the card, it’s potentially something not to miss.
Factor in the limited time 100,000 point bonus to help launch the card, and what that could bring to your points game, and it’s even harder not to consider. Again, if you fly United Airlines, or will.
Check out the new United Quest Card.