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Two of the most attractive cards for United Airlines flyers can be the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase United Quest℠ Card. Both cards are built to get more value out of travel purchases. But, one might be better for your wallet and travel style. Do you want more United benefits or would you rather have more flexibility? Let’s break down the perks, positives, and negatives in the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs United Quest Card review.
Both cards offer some of the best signup bonuses available today. New cardholders can use the bonus to enhance future travel. However, it’s important to note the Chase 5/24 rule, especially if you already have several new cards.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
New Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
However, this bonus isn’t available to those who have received a Sapphire bonus in the past 48 months and currently don’t own another Sapphire Card.
The annual fee is $95.
Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred Review
United Quest Card
The United Quest℠ Card has an exciting bonus offer.
New United Quest℠ Card cardholders can earn 80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months their account is open.
The only stipulation for not qualifying for this bonus is if you have received another United Quest card bonus in the last 24 months. So, you may qualify if you recently received another United card bonus, so long as you aren’t hitting the 5/24 rule (5 or more new cards in the past 24 months).
The annual fee is $250.
Related: United Quest Card Review
Earning Travel Rewards
Now for the fun stuff. In addition to the exciting bonuses, each card earns bonus points on travel purchases.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
There are several Chase Sapphire reward categories. The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns unlimited:
- 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® (excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 Anniversary Hotel Credit)
- 3x points on dining (including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out)
- 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target®, Walmart®, and wholesale clubs)
- Also 3x points on select streaming services
- 2x points on all other travel purchases
- 1x point per $1 spent on all non-bonus purchases
There is a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit. It comes in the form of a statement credit that will automatically be applied to your account when your card is used for hotel accommodation purchases made through the Ultimate Rewards program, up to an annual maximum accumulation of $50.
Plus, on each account anniversary, you’ll earn bonus points equal to 10% of your total purchases made the previous year. So, if you spend $25,000 on purchases, you’ll get 2,500 bonus points.
Ultimate Rewards can be used for travel and cash redemptions. The redemption flexibility alone can be worth it.
United Quest Card
The United Quest℠ Card earns up to 3x United miles:
- 3x miles on United® purchases
- 2x miles on dining
- 2x miles on select streaming services
- Plus 2x miles on all other travel
- 1x on all other purchases
Being able to earn double miles on non-United travel purchases is amazing. Most airline credit cards only award the base rate on travel purchases made outside of the airline travel booking portal.
Additionally, cardholders can also earn up to 3,000 PQPs (500 PQPs per $12,000 in card purchases) to earn Premier status sooner.
Redeeming Travel Points
The redemption options for both cards can be the deciding factor. You must decide if you want the flexibility of Ultimate Rewards or having to book United and Star Alliance award flights.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers travel and cash travel redemptions:
- Book award travel on Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 1:1 point transfers to airlines and hotels
- Cash statement credits or bank deposits
- Gift cards
- Online shopping credits (i.e. Amazon, Apple, etc.)
- Chase Pay Yourself Back categories categories
Each point is worth 25% more (1.25 cents each) for award travel and the Chase Pay Yourself Back purchase statement credits. Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories with the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature.
The 1:1 point transfers can have a potentially higher redemption value depending on which award flights and hotel nights you choose. You can transfer points in 1,000-point increments to approximately a dozen partners including United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, World of Hyatt, and Marriott Bonvoy.
Cash rewards and gift cards are worth 1 cent each. Also, most online shopping credit redemptions are only worth 0.8 cents each.
United Quest Card
The United Quest℠ Card earns United MileagePlus miles that will need to be redeemed through the MileagePlus account.
In most cases, each mile will be worth the most for award flights on United Airlines and Star Alliance partners. There are non-travel redemption options, too, but each mile will have a low value.
This card can be a good option if you’re comfortable with redeeming your credit card points for United Airlines award flights.
Additional Card Benefits
Additionally, these extra card benefits can add some extra value for cardholders. As the United Quest Card is a co-brand card, it offers more perks than the Sapphire Preferred.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
The best reason to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is for its flexibility to earn and redeem Ultimate Rewards. The 25% travel redemption bonus and 1:1 point transfers are two of the best features.
But this card also offers some of the best travel protection benefits and partner benefits.
Built-in trip protection benefits include:
- Up to $10,000 per person ($20,000 per group) in trip cancellation and trip insurance
- Trip delay reimbursement (up to $500 per ticket)
- Baggage delay insurance (up to $100 per day for 5 days per passenger)
- Primary rental car collision damage waiver
This card also has purchase protection and extended warranty extensions.
United Quest Card
Frequent flyers of United Airlines may like these featured benefits of the United Quest℠ Card.
$125 annual United purchase credit
Each card ownership year, United offers a $125 purchase credit that reimburses the first $125 in United purchases.
Anniversary Award Flight Credits
Each card anniversary, cardholders get two 5,000-mile award flight credits. These credits can be applied to United and United Express award flights.
Two Free Checked Bags
The primary cardholder and one travel companion can check two checked bags on United-operated flights.
Other United Perks
Additionally, this card provides other perks that are standard with other United credit cards:
- 25% back on United in-flight purchases
- Priority boarding
- No blackout dates on award flight bookings
- Reward seat upgrades (for MileagePlus Premier members only)
- Exclusive experiences
When the Chase Sapphire Preferred Is Better…
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card can be the better option for these reasons:
- Want to earn Ultimate Rewards
- Prefer the flexibility of redeeming points for non-United award travel
- Want stronger built-in travel protection benefits
- Prefer a lower annual fee ($95 vs. $250)
When the United Quest Card Is Better…
The United Quest℠ Card can be better in these instances:
- Prefer redeeming travel rewards for United Airlines award flights
- Want built-in United travel perks
- Can utilize the two 5,000-point award flight anniversary point bonuses
This card offers a lot of United Airlines benefits without the steep fee of a premium card. It’s the better option if you primarily redeem your credit card points for United flights.
In conclusion, the winner of the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs United Quest Card depends on your travel preferences. Both cards make it easy to earn points and enjoy travel perks. The Chase Sapphire Preferred may be the best card overall as you can redeem points for United flights but you can also use your points for other travel brands or cash redemptions if you find a better deal. However, frequent United flyers may enjoy the United Quest℠ Card more thanks to the specific perks and benefits.
60,000 Point Bonus Offer: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
80,000 Miles Bonus Offer: United Quest℠ Card
- Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Sapphire Reserve Review
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.