United Quest Card Review

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The new United Quest credit card could offer a "just right" fit for airline loyalists who want more than basic benefits, but don't fly enough to benefit from an elite card with a higher fee. Designed to appeal to semi-frequent travelers who want to earn miles and enjoy several perks, the United Quest Card sits in between United’s lower-level Gateway and Explorer cards, and its high-end Club Infinite card. A generous welcome bonus and yearly benefits make it wallet-worthy.

United Quest℠ Card

Overall Rating
2.8
United Quest℠ Card
Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 16.49% - 23.49% variable
Annual Fee $250
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3 miles per $1 spent on United purchases immediately after earning your $125 annual United purchase credit. Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel, including airfare, trains, local transit, cruise lines, hotels, car rentals, taxicabs, resorts, ride share services and tolls. Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining. Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on select streaming services. Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
2.3
for Fees
1.6
for Rewards
3.3
for Credit
2.2
Current Offer

Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Jet Setter Persona
    Flies regularly and likes finding ways to score even more travel—for free See more cards
    Jet Setter
  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
    Deal Seeker
  • Avatar for Adventure Seeker Persona
    Loves to explore places and experience new things See more cards
    Adventure Seeker
  • Avatar for Brand Loyalist Persona
    Frequently shops with a particular merchant and wants to be rewarded for their loyalty See more cards
    Brand Loyalist

If you’re a United Airlines loyalist who flies at least a couple of times per year and wants to earn free flights and other perks, then the United Quest card from Chase may be a great addition to your travel wallet. It’s got a nice selection of extra benefits that go beyond what United’s lower-level cards offer, but the annual fee is more palatable than the very pricey Club Infinite card.

Those who travel enough with United to take advantage of the card’s key benefits can easily justify the $250 annual fee. Just note that you’ll need a strong credit score to qualify. 

Pros
  • Up to two flight credits each card anniversary via United award flight bookings

  • Yearly statement credit makes up for half of annual fee

  • Free second checked bag for you and a companion

  • Earn status qualifying points

Cons
  • No lounge access

  • Companion certificates not offered

Pros Explained

  • Up to two flight credits each card anniversary: After you’ve had the card a year, you'll get 5,000 miles credited back to your MileagePlus account if you booked a United award flight with your miles—and if you booked two of them, you’ll get double the miles credit for a total of 10,000. You must use these award flight credits within 12 months of issue date, however. 
  • Yearly statement credit makes up for half of annual fee: The first $125 you spend on United purchases each year will be given back as a statement credit. You won’t earn any miles for this spend, but after the credit is earned, the 3-miles-per-$1 rate kicks in.
  • Free second checked bag for you and a companion: Many airline cards offer a free checked bag, but getting a second checked bag free is unusual—and a godsend for those who pack a lot. Granted, it’s only applicable to you and one travel companion, but if you’re traveling with a larger family, you can essentially get four bags checked free.
  • Earn qualifying points: Status-chasers will appreciate earning 500 Premier Qualifying Points (PQP) for every $12,000 they spend with the card; they can earn up to 3,000 PQP per calendar year. (For reference, you need eight Premier Qualifying Flights and 3,000 PQP or 3,500 PQP to get to Premier Silver status with United).

Cons Explained

  • No lounge access: It’s not too surprising that this was left out, given that a United Club membership costs $650, but a single-use pass (or two) might have been nice, considering that the lower-tier United Explorer card offers two United Club passes each year.
  • Companion certificates not offered: In what might be another missed opportunity for a card of this level, United Quest cardholders do not get a free flight for a traveling companion, something that at least one comparable airline card offers.

United Quest Bonus for New Cardholders

This card’s welcome offer for new cardholders is very tough to beat right now. It starts out with 80,000 bonus miles if you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Based on The Balance’s valuation of United’s MileagePlus program, the full 80,000-mile bonus is worth about $1,584, which is an amazing value. 

Earning Points & Rewards

United Quest cardholders earn the highest rate on United purchases (as to be expected), but there are bonus rates for other travel purchases, restaurants, and streaming services, too. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • 3 miles per $1 spent on United purchases (but remember, that doesn’t kick in until after you spend $125 to earn your annual United Airlines purchase credit)
  • 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel (including other transportation, cruise bookings, hotels, car rentals, resort costs, taxis and rideshare services, and tolls)
  • 2 miles per $1 at restaurants
  • 2 miles per $1 on streaming subscriptions
  • 1 mile per $1 spent on everything else

Overall, the bonus categories—especially the 2 miles per $1 on all other travel and dining—make the United Quest card a competitive option even among general travel and cash-back cards

Redeeming Rewards

Cardholders will get the best value by redeeming points toward flights, as you might expect with a co-branded airline card. The good news is that The Balance values United MileagePlus points at 1.98 cents each, which is higher than all other airline programs except American Airlines’ AAdvantage, which has a slight edge.

To maximize your value, expect to spend some time flight-shopping because United no longer publishes an award chart. You can also book flights with members of the Star Alliance network, which currently comprises 26 airlines, including United.

MileagePlus miles never expire, and there are no blackout dates for booking.

United MileagePlus points may also be redeemed for several other options, but these will provide lower value than airline bookings. Redemption options include:

  • Hotel, car, and cruise reservations
  • Apple products
  • Merchandise such as household items and jewelry
  • Gift cards
  • Event tickets
  • Charitable donations
  • Statement credit toward your card’s annual fee

You always should crunch the numbers if you plan to redeem for something other than flights so that you fully understand how much value you may be leaving on the table. 

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

First, you’ll want to spend enough to earn the full new-cardholder bonus, worth almost $1,600—that’s a no-brainer. But the key to maximizing the United Quest card in the long run is to spend at least $125 with United each year to earn your anniversary statement credit, and to redeem at least two award flights annually so you can earn back 10,000 miles. 

When you add the statement credit to the estimated $198 in value from the maximum anniversary miles you can get back, those benefits alone more than offset the $250 annual fee.

Squeeze even more value from the card by taking advantage of the two free checked bags for you and your travel companion, as well as the priority boarding. Being a cardholder also qualifies you for free upgrades if available, too, but only if you have MileagePlus Premier status. Finally, don’t forget to use the card to pay for Global Entry or TSA Precheck because those amounts will be credited back.

If you like ordering in, sign up for the 12 free months of DashPass, which is normally $9.99 per month (for you and any authorized card users). This subscription covers the delivery fees for both the DoorDash and Caviar apps. You have until Dec. 31, 2021, to activate this promotion.

It’s always a good idea to pair a co-branded card like this with a general rewards or cash-back card that focuses on different bonus categories. That way, if you spend a lot on groceries or gas, for instance, you can earn more than the 1 point per $1 you’d get here.

Another strategy to consider: If you earn Chase Ultimate Rewards on another card, United is a 1:1 travel partner on that platform, so you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to give your MileagePlus account a boost.

United Quest Card’s Excellent Perks 

The United Quest has six benefits that The Balance’s editors deem worthy of special mention. These are:

  • Global Entry/TSA Precheck application fee reimbursement: Get a statement credit every four years to cover either the Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck program ($85) application fee. 
  • Insurance coverage for trip cancellation, interruption, or delay: If your trip is canceled or cut short for a covered reason, you may be eligible for up to $1,500 per person, or a total of $6,000 per trip. For trip delays of more than 12 hours, you may be entitled to up to $500 per ticket to cover meals and lodging.
  • Insurance coverage for lost or delayed luggage: Get reimbursed for essential items you must buy if your baggage is delayed more than six hours, up to $100 a day for three days. Coverage for lost or damaged luggage is up to $3,000 per passenger.
  • Primary rental car collision insurance: While many cards offer secondary rental car coverage, this coverage is primary, meaning you’ll get reimbursed up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft or collision without having to tap into your personal insurance. 
  • Free checked bag: The cardholder and one travel companion on the same reservation have no fees for two checked bags each. United calculates the value of this perk to be up to $320 roundtrip. (Note that authorized users do not get this benefit.)  
  • Priority boarding: Everyone on the cardholder’s reservation gets to board early. Just be sure that your MileagePlus number appears on the reservation. 

United Quest Card’s Other Features 

  • Discounts on in-flight purchases
  • Concierge for booking event tickets, travel, and other services
  • Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
  • Extended warranties

Customer Experience

Chase came in fourth among 11 credit card issuers in J.D. Power’s 2020 Credit Card Satisfaction Study. Its score of 809 is 1 point below the industry average. Customer service is available 24/7, as it is with cards from major issuers, and there’s a mobile app to manage the account. There doesn't seem to be an option to open a live chat with customer service, however.

Security Features 

The United Quest card offers the typical security features provided by most credit cards, including zero liability, fraud alerts, and the ability to put a freeze on the card.

United Quest Card’s Fees

The United Quest card has no foreign transaction fees, which is always nice in a travel card. Other fees are standard, but it’s worth noting that there is a high 29.99% penalty APR, so you’ll want to avoid missing payments.

Next Steps
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CURRENT CARD
United Quest℠ Card
overall rating
2.8
Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 16.49% - 23.49% variable
Annual Fee $250
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3 miles per $1 spent on United purchases immediately after earning your $125 annual United purchase credit. Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel, including airfare, trains, local transit, cruise lines, hotels, car rentals, taxicabs, resorts, ride share services and tolls. Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining. Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on select streaming services. Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Our Methodology
At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Chase. "United Quest Card." Accessed June 30, 2021.

  2. United. "How to Qualify for MileagePlus Premier Status." Accessed June 30, 2021.

  3. United. "Subscriptions." Accessed June 30, 2021.

  4. United. "Proud Member of Star Alliance." Accessed June 30, 2021.

  5. DoorDash. "What Fees Do I Pay?" Accessed June 30, 2021.

  6. J.D. Power. "Customers Losing Faith in Credit Card Issuers as COVID-19 Pandemic Lingers, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed June 30, 2021.