United Quest Card Review 2021: New Card, Great Perks, but Is It Worth the Annual Fee?

The latest United Airlines branded credit card offers tons of airline perks and a massive welcome bonus with a mid-level annual fee.
Last updated Jul 16, 2021 | By Kevin Payne | Edited By Jess Ullrich

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The new United Quest Card is one of the most notable credit card releases of 2021. The addition brings the total number of United co-branded credit cards to four, with the Quest Card being a mid-level option. The card comes with a $250 annual fee, so it’s not necessarily for everyone, but it also has several perks to lessen the blow of that yearly cost.

This United Quest Card review walks through the card’s benefits and drawbacks to help you decide whether this is the best airline credit card for you.

Free Checked Bags for United Fans

Benefits

  • Up to 100,000 bonus miles sign-up offer
  • Up to 3X miles on purchases
  • $125 annual United credit
  • First and second bag checked free

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee

In this article

Who should get the United Quest Card?

The United Quest Card could be ideal for frequent travelers who plan to fly on United Airlines or its partner airlines a few times per year. Most of the card's benefits are tied to United Airlines, such as free checked bags, airline credit fees, in-flight purchase discounts, priority boarding, and more.

There are several United Airlines co-branded cards, and the Quest Card falls in the middle. It’s probably not the best option for the casual United traveler, but it’s also probably not the best card if you fly United exclusively and want access to United Club airport lounges.

Card basics

Card type Travel
Credit card issuer Chase
Credit card network Visa
Annual fee $250
Intro bonus Earn 80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months (plus, earn an additional 20,000 miles after spending $10,000 in the first 6 months) of account opening
Reward rate 3X miles on United purchases (after $125 annual United credit); 2X miles on all other travel, dining, and select streaming services; and 1X miles on all other purchases
Recommended credit score Excellent, Good
Foreign transaction fee None

United Quest Card benefits and perks

  • Generous welcome offer: Cardholders can earn 80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months (plus, earn an additional 20,000 miles after spending $10,000 in the first 6 months).
  • Decent rewards: In addition to offering 3X miles for United purchases (after $125 annual United credit), cardmembers also get 2X miles on all other travel, dining, and select streaming services purchases and 1X miles on all other purchases.
  • Annual United purchase credit: Receive up to $125 in statement credits for United purchases each card member anniversary year for charges to your Quest card.
  • Discount on inflight purchases: Cardmembers receive 25% back as a statement credit for eligible inflight purchases on United and United Express, including Wi-Fi, food, and beverages.
  • Anniversary award flight credits: After your first year, you will receive a 5,000-mile credit after taking a United award flight, up to two times each anniversary year.
  • Free checked bags: When you use your Quest card for United airfare, you and one traveling companion will receive your first and second checked bags free.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit: Your Quest card comes with a statement credit of up to $100 every four years toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees.

Drawbacks to the United Quest Card

  • No lounge access: Unlike the United Club Infinite Card, the Quest card doesn’t include United Club airport lounge membership.
  • Annual fee: The card carries a sizable $250 annual fee, which may not be worth the cost if you don’t take advantage of all of the card's benefits.

Earning and redeeming United miles

Potential earnings in years one and two

Here's a look at how your miles can add up with the United Quest Card. To calculate these values, we used a point valuation of 1 cent.

Remember, this is an estimation. The actual value will be determined by how much you spend and in which categories you spend.

Year one earnings: $1,171

Year two earnings: $171

These values are based on the FinanceBuzz Credit Card Rewards Valuation Model, which looks at points earned via spending, the sign-up bonus, and the annual fee.

The earnings figures above don’t account for the annual $125 statement credit cardholders can receive for United purchases, anniversary credits for award flights, or the higher rewards rate for United spending. If you’re able to take advantage of those credits each year and you’re a frequent flyer on United, you’ll likely get much more value from this card.

Best ways to earn

To build up your United bonus miles quickly, be sure to hit the Quest card’s spending requirements to qualify for the welcome bonus. Cardmembers can earn 80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months (plus, earn an additional 20,000 miles after spending $10,000 in the first 6 months).

Besides the welcome bonus, you’ll earn the most points by booking United flights on your Quest card. You’ll earn 3X miles per dollar spent on United purchases (after $125 annual United credit). Cardholders also earn bonus miles for other travel spending. You earn 2X miles per dollar spent on all other travel, dining, and select streaming services and 1X miles on all other purchases.

Categories Rewards rate
United purchases (after $125 annual United credit) 3X
All other travel, dining, and select streaming services purchases     2X
All other purchases 1X

Maximizing your redemptions

MileagePlus is United’s loyalty rewards program. Quest cardholders can redeem their miles through their MileagePlus account for a variety of redemption options. One of the best ways to use your United miles is to book award tickets through United. You can also use your miles for seat upgrades on United flights.

United flights aren’t the only travel redemptions available. You can use your miles toward hotel stays, car rentals, and cruises. You can also use them to shop online, buy Apple products, purchase gift cards, toward special event tickets like sporting events and Broadway shows, and more. Another option is to donate your miles to charity or another MileagePlus member, such as a spouse or other family member.

United MileagePlus Program transfer partners

United Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance, which allows you to earn and use your United miles to book flights on partner airlines. The airlines that make up the Star Alliance include:

  • Aegean Airlines
  • Air Canada
  • Air China
  • Air India
  • Air New Zealand
  • All Nippon Airways (ANA)
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Austrian Airlines
  • Avianca Airlines
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Copa Airlines
  • Croatia Airlines
  • EgyptAir
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • EVA Air
  • LOT Polish Airlines
  • Lufthansa Airlines
  • Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)
  • Shenzhen Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • South African Airways
  • Swiss International Air Lines
  • TAP Air Portugal
  • Thai Airways
  • Turkish Airlines
  • United Airlines

Besides Star Alliance airlines, United has partnerships with other airlines. You can also earn and spend miles with the following partner airlines:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Aeromar
  • Air Dolomiti
  • Azul Airlines
  • Boutique Air
  • Cape Air
  • Edelweiss Air
  • Eurowings
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Olympic Airlines
  • Silver Airways
  • Vistara

United also partners with hotels and car rental companies. Hotel and transportation partner loyalty rewards programs include:

  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • ALL (Accor Live Limitless)
  • Hilton Honors
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Radisson Rewards
  • World of Hyatt
  • Choice Privileges
  • Wyndham Rewards
  • Golden Circle
  • Hertz Gold Plus Rewards

United Quest Card FAQs

Is the United Quest Card worth it?

The United Quest card is likely worth it for frequent travelers who prefer to travel by United Airlines. This travel rewards card offers tons of value for United fans, including various credits, free checked bags, priority boarding, and more. If you don’t like the idea of being tied to one airline, though, a more versatile travel rewards card might be a better choice.

What credit score do you need for the United Quest Card?

As with most card issuers, Chase doesn’t publish specific credit score requirements for its cards. You will likely need a good to excellent FICO credit score to qualify for the Quest card, which is a score of 670 or higher.

What credit cards does United offer?

There are currently six United co-branded personal and business credit cards available:

  • United Gateway
  • United Explorer
  • United Quest
  • United Club Infinite
  • The United Business Card
  • The United Club Business Card

How much are 100,000 United miles worth?

United MileagePlus miles are typically worth 1-1.5 cents each, so 100,000 miles would be worth approximately $1,000 to $1,500 depending on how they are redeemed.

Does the United Quest Card give you airport lounge access?

No, the United Quest Card doesn’t come with United Club lounge membership or access to other airport lounges.


Other cards to consider

While the United Quest Card is good for United flyers, if you don’t plan to fly that often or make United Airlines your preferred airline, the United Gateway Card could be a better option. This $0-annual-fee card still earns a decent welcome bonus worth approximately $200 you can use toward United award travel or another redemption. The card doesn’t offer the generous airline perks found with the other United credit cards, but you still get credits for in-flight purchases, some travel insurance protections, and DoorDash partner benefits.

For access to more versatile travel rewards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is among the best credit cards to have. Not only does this card offer a huge welcome bonus, but you also get access to Chase Ultimate Rewards, one of the best loyalty programs available. You can redeem your points for flights, hotels, car rentals, vacation packages, and more directly through Chase or transfer them to its many airline and hotel transfer partners. The card also comes with a host of travel benefits and partner benefits with DoorDash, Peloton, and Lyft.

Free Checked Bags for United Fans

Special Offer

Earn 80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months (plus, earn an additional 20,000 miles after spending $10,000 in the first 6 months)

See how these cards compare:

United Gateway Card
United Gateway Card
  • Up to 30,000 bonus miles
  • 2X miles on United purchases, gas stations, and transit
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • Best offer ever! 100,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 2X points on eligible dining and travel purchases
  • 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Premium travel protection benefits

Author Details

Kevin Payne Kevin Payne is a freelance writer specializing in student loans, credit cards, personal finance, and travel. He is a regular contributor to Club Thrifty, Millennial Money, and Student Loan Planner. As the budget and family travel expert behind FamilyMoneyAdventure.com, Kevin recently turned his writing side hustle into his full-time career. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife and four kids.