Bigger isn’t always better: United Quest vs. United Club Infinite

May 25, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.

With travel on the rebound, many people are probably starting to plan trips and reassess which cobranded cards they want to keep in their wallet. Throughout the past year or so, new cards have launched and others have rebranded with updated benefits — including these two cards from United and Chase.

The United Club Infinite Card was launched in March 2020 to replace the United Club Card, and the New United Quest Card was launched in April 2021 as a brand-new offering that sits in between United’s entry-level and ultra-premium card options.

Want more credit card news and advice from TPG? Sign up for our daily newsletter. 

If you’re a loyal United flyer and wondering whether to apply for one or the other, this guide should help you figure out which is best for you.

In This Post

United Quest and United Club Infinite comparison overview

Card  United Quest United Club Infinite 
Annual fee  $250 $525
Sign-up bonus  Earn 80,000 miles after you spend $5,000 in the first three months of account opening — plus, earn an additional 20,000 after you spend $10,000 in the first six months. Earn 75,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months of account opening.
Earning rate 3x on United purchases

2x on dining, streaming services and all other travel

1x on everything else

4x on United purchases

2x on dining and all other travel

1x on everything else

Benefits  Annual $125 United purchase credit

Earn 500 Premier qualifying points for every $12,000 spent — up to a maximum of 3,000 PQPs in a calendar year

Earn 5,000 miles back when you take a United award flight — up to two times per year starting after your first anniversary

First and second checked bags free

Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit

25% back on United inflight purchases

Complimentary Premier upgrades on United award flights when available

Priority boarding

United Club membership

Earn 500 Premier qualifying points for every $12,000 spent — up to a maximum of 3,000 PQPs in a calendar year.

Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President’s Circle membership

First and second checked bags free

Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit

25% back on United inflight purchases

Complimentary Premier upgrades on United award flights when available

Premier Access — including priority check-in, security screening (where available), boarding and baggage handling privileges

Travel protections  Trip cancellation/interruption insurance

Baggage delay insurance

Lost luggage reimbursement

Trip delay reimbursement

Primary auto rental collision damage waiver

Purchase protection

Extended warranty protection

Trip cancellation/interruption insurance

Baggage delay insurance

Lost luggage reimbursement

Trip delay reimbursement

Primary auto rental collision damage waiver

Purchase protection

Extended warranty protection

Return protection

 

As you can see from the chart, the two cards are very similar. Each has its advantages, and which one is the best for you will depend on your goals and travel habits.

When it makes sense to get the United Quest

The United Quest Card is a great card that fits in between the United Explorer Card and the United Club Infinite Card. Here’s when it makes sense to get this card over its more premium counterpart.

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

You want to pair it with other cards

The United Quest Card offers solid perks but without the same price tag. If you have other cards in your wallet that come with annual fees (the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, for example), you may not be keen on adding another $525 annual fee to the mix. But the $250 annual fee of the United Quest is a bit easier to justify.

You don’t care about United Club lounge access

The primary draw of the United Club Infinite over the United Quest Card is the lounge access. If you aren’t someone who cares about lounge access — or if you already have a card that gives you extensive lounge access such as The Platinum Card® from American Express — then the Quest is going to be a better fit.

You can hit the higher sign-up bonus

The United Quest Card has the better sign-up bonus, worth $1,300 according to TPG valuations. But it does require you to spend more on the card. If you can hit the larger bonus, you could get an extra $325 in sign-up bonus value by choosing the Quest.

Official application link: Apply for the United Quest Card with a sign-up bonus of up to 100,000 miles 

When it makes sense to get the United Club Infinite

Of course, there are also scenarios where it makes more sense to get the United Club Infinite instead.

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

You want United Club lounge access

The primary draw to the United Club Infinite Card is its United Club membership. That perk alone is worth $650 each year according to Chase — more than enough to offset the cost of the annual fee. And if you frequent (or want to frequent) United Club lounges, then having this card is the easiest way to ensure access.

Keep in mind that United Club membership also gives you access to participating Star Alliance-affiliated lounges worldwide, too.

You wouldn’t be able to hit the Quest sign-up bonus

Yes, the United Quest sign-up bonus is technically more valuable. But if you don’t think you can hit either tier of the sign-up bonus requirements, you might want to consider the United Club Infinite instead.

Of course, you can always request a downgrade after a year to the United Quest if you don’t use the United Club membership.

You want more travel protection coverage

While both cards have a similar lineup of travel protections, the United Club Infinite has better coverage for trip cancellation and interruption insurance. The Quest comes with up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip in coverage, but the Club Infinite comes with $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip in coverage.

Additionally, the United Club Infinite comes with return protection while the Quest does not.

Official application link: Apply for the United Club Infinite Card with a 75,000-mile sign-up bonus

Bottom line

In most situations, I’d recommend going with the United Quest Card over the United Club Infinite. You get some great perks that don’t come with the United Club Infinite, a better sign-up bonus and a similar earning structure.

The only real advantage to the United Club Infinite is the United Club membership. So if that isn’t incredibly important to you, you may be better off with the less expensive Quest card.

Keep in mind that both of these cards adhere to the infamous Chase 5/24 rule, so if you’ve opened five or more card accounts (including authorized user accounts) in the past 24 months, you’ll almost certainly be denied for either card.

Featured photo by Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images. 

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.