Earn 80,000 bonus miles and exclusive travel perks with the United Quest card

Feb 3, 2022

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.

Like Goldilocks’ dilemma when looking for the perfect bed to borrow for a short nap, sometimes the cobranded travel credit cards out there are a little too basic or far too pricey. It can be hard to find that one that fits … just right.

Luckily, there has been an emergence of more middle-of-the-road options for those who want more perks and rewards than you’ll get with an entry-level airline credit card but without the $500-plus annual fees you encounter with the high-end options.

United Airlines and Chase have a card that strikes that just-right balance between entry-level and premium for some semi-frequent United travelers: The United Quest Card.

Plus, there’s a big sign-up bonus of 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open.

With a $250 annual fee, the Quest Card positions it squarely between the United Explorer Card ($95 annual fee; waived for the first year) and the United Club Infinite Card ($525 annual fee) with some unique perks all its own.

Here’s what you need to know about the United Quest Card to decide if it is the perfect fit for you.

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In This Post

Sign-up bonus

United Airlines Boeing 737-800 takeoff from SFO sunset
United Airlines Boeing 737-800 takeoff from SFO sunset (Photo by Kyle Olsen/The Points Guy)

The United Quest Card awards 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open.

The terms of this offer indicate that the welcome bonus is not available to current cardmembers or previous cardmembers who received a new cardmember bonus in the last 24 months. This seems to indicate that those with a different United credit card should still be eligible for this card and bonus. The terms also indicate that the miles may be deducted if your account is not kept open for at least six months.

Earning structure

This card doesn’t just come with a big sign-up bonus; it also offers ways to earn up to 3 United miles per dollar spent on purchases. Here’s the breakdown of the earning rates:

  • 3 miles per dollar on United purchases
  • 2 miles per dollar on all other travel — including other airlines, hotels, car rentals and more
  • 2 miles per dollar on dining, including takeout and delivery
  • 2 miles per dollar on select streaming services
  • 1 mile per dollar on other purchases

This isn’t a bad list of bonus categories, but it isn’t necessarily completely groundbreaking either.

Those who have the Chase Sapphire Reserve would still be better off earning 3 fully transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on all travel and dining charges. You could choose to transfer those points from Ultimate Rewards to United MileagePlus, or you could use them in a variety of other ways, which would grant more flexibility.

But, the Sapphire Reserve comes with a $550 annual fee, so in some ways that is an apples-to-oranges comparison.

Elite members may be upgraded to United’s international business Polaris class. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

What may ultimately convince you to shift spending to this card is if you’re also chasing United elite status. Quest cardholders can earn up to 3,000 United Premier qualifying points every calendar year with spending on the card — you’ll earn 500 PQPs for every $12,000 you spend on purchases with your card.

This is nearly enough to get to United Silver status just with your card spending, whereas some other United-issued credit cards offer a maximum of 1,000 PQPs each year via spending. However, that would require spending a hefty $72,000 to earn the full 3,000 PQPs.

Built-in perks

The United Quest Card has some pretty cool perks for regular United flyers who don’t necessarily want or need the United Club access that comes with the top-tier United Club Infinite Card.

First, you’ll get a $125 annual purchase credit that you can use toward United flights. This credit is automatically applied as a statement credit when United purchases are charged on your card.

Assuming you put that to use, that effectively drops the annual fee’s true hit to your wallet from $250 to $125 — which makes the Quest Card cost just $30 more per year than the United Explorer Card.

Additionally, the card comes with two 5,000-mile flight credits per year as a reward for redeeming miles, starting with your first cardmember anniversary. These 5,000-mile credits will be put into your MileagePlus account after you take a United or United Express-operated award flight booked with your miles, up to twice per anniversary year.

TPG values United miles at 1.21 cents each, which means that each of these 5,000-mile reward flight credits is worth roughly $57 in miles.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

On top of those unique perks, the card offers:

  • Two free checked bags for the cardholder and a companion on the reservation (the United Explorer Card just offers one checked bag)
  • $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application
  • 25% back on United inflight purchases (includes Wi-Fi, food and beverages)
  • Priority boarding
  • Travel and purchase protection
  • The cardholder is eligible for complimentary space-available upgrades when flying on award tickets if they have United elite status

Just note that you must use the Quest card to pay for your ticket in order to check your bags for free — though this includes the award tickets booked with miles when you pay for the taxes and fees with your card.

Related: How to avoid checked baggage fees on major domestic airlines

Bottom line

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

The United Quest offers two notable perks — the annual $125 United credit and the two annual 5,000-mile awards.

Together, those perks alone more than offset the card’s $250 annual fee on an ongoing basis. And in the first year, those 80,000 bonus United miles are clearly a headlining feature of the offer.

For those who will use those perks, want the increased earning bonuses above what the entry-level Explorer Card offers and who may benefit from the additional included checked bags and/or PQP earning opportunities over the Explorer Card, the United Quest Card may fill the gap that had been left between the entry-level United Explorer Card and the high-end United Club Infinite Card.

Official application link: United Quest Card available with 80,000 bonus United miles.

Additional reporting by Stella Shon.

Featured photo by Kyle Olsen/The Points Guy.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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