Which United Card Should You Get? Here’s A Comparison Chart!

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United currently has limited time offers on 4 credit cards ending on 5/5 and an intro launch offer on another ending soon.

All of the cards have unique benefits, so which should you get?

That depends on which benefits you value and how much they would cost you otherwise.

It’s worth noting that you can get the signup bonus for each United card as long as you didn’t get the bonus for that exact card within the past 24 months and don’t currently have that exact card.

If you have a United consumer card you can change to any currently offered United consumer card and if you have a United business card you can change to any currently offered United business card.

It’s also worth noting that you can redeem United miles at a value of 1.5 cents per mile, though that can change at any time. That means you can use 6,333 United miles to offset a $95 annual fee, 16,667 miles to offset a $250 annual fee, etc. You can also partially offset a fee at the same rate. You have 90 days from when an annual is billed to offset it with miles.

It certainly makes sense to have a United card on top of a Chase Quadfecta strategy as just having the card makes your points more valuable. That consists of:

  1. Sapphire Reserve or Sapphire Preferred or Ink Preferred for mileage transfers and bonus value on points.
  2. A no-fee Freedom Unlimited or Ink Unlimited for 1.5 points per dollar everywhere.
  3. A no-fee Freedom Flex for 5 points per dollar in rotating categories.
  4. A no-fee Ink Cash for 5 points per dollar on wireless and office supply stores, including gift cards to stores like Amazon and hundreds more.
  5. Having a United card on top of the cards above creates a Chase Quinfecta as your United miles (and by extension your Chase points) become more valuable thanks to expanded award availability.

Here is a summary and a chart comparing what the currently available United cards have to offer:

  • If you just want expanded award availability, go for the no-fee United Gateway Card. However you should get a premium consumer card with a higher signup bonus and downgrade the card after your first year as the higher signup bonus will more than offset the first year’s annual fee. Plus you can redeem miles to directly cover the annual fee and still come out ahead.
  • If you also want to be able to get a free bag and bypass onerous basic economy restrictions, go for the United Explorer Card or United Business Card.
  • If you will be able to take advantage of the Quest card’s $125 and 10,000 mile rebates, then the United Quest Card will effectively be cheaper than the Explorer card, plus you’ll get 2 free bags to boot!
  • If you want United Club access, go for the United Business Club Card (Click on apply now to reach this card application) or if you want a consumer card, the Chase United Club Infinite Card Card
  • Grandfathered cards like the old United Presidential Plus card (good for earning more PQPs towards United elite status) and the old consumer United Club card (similar to the current United Business Club card) can’t be had anymore, so think twice before you close those.
 United Gateway United Explorer United Quest United Club Infinite United Business United Club Business
Signup BonusEarn up to 30,000 bonus miles. Earn 15,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months of card membership and another 15,000 bonus miles after spending another $2,000 in the first 6 months of card membershipEarn up to 70,000 bonus miles. Earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of card membership and earn another 10,000 bonus miles after spending another $3,000 in the first 6 months of card membership.Earn up to 100,000 bonus miles for opening a Chase United Quest Card. Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, plus an additional 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 months.Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of card membership.Earn up to 150,000 bonus miles. Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months of card membership and earn another 75,000 bonus miles after spending another $15,000 in the first 6 months of card membership.
Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months of card membership.
Annual FeeNone$0 Intro annual fee, then $95$250 (or use 16,667 miles)$525 (or use 35,000 miles)$99 (or use 6,600 miles)$450 (or use 30,000 miles)
Annual credit on United tickets and fees$0$0$125$0$0$0
Access to expanded saver and standard award spaceYesYesYesYesYesYes
United ClubNo2 annual one-time passesNoFull membership2 annual one-time passesFull membership
Annual anniversary creditNoneNoneUp to 2 rebates of 5K miles each when you redeem for a United awardNone5K miles if you also hold any United Consumer card.

$100 United credit for making 7 United flight purchases of $100.
None
Foreign transaction fees0%0%0%0%0%0%
25% back on in-flight purchases.YesYesYesYesYesYes
First checked bag fee waiver for cardholder and companion, even on basic economyNoYesYesYesYesYes
Second checked bag fee waiver for cardholder and companion, even on basic economyNoNoYesYesNoYes
Free full size carry-on bag on basic economy for cardholder and companionsNoYesYesYesYesYes
Priority boarding for cardholder and companions, even on basic economyNoYesYesYesYesYes
Premier Access Checkin, baggage handling, security, and boardingNoNoNoYesNoYes
Allows the use of online checkin on basic economy for cardholder and companionsNoYesYesYesYesYes
Miles per dollar on everyday purchases111111.5
Miles per dollar on United purchases223422
Miles per dollar on restaurant purchases122221.5
Miles per dollar on gas211121.5
Miles per dollar on transit, commuting, and rise sharing212221.5
Miles per dollar on hotels122211.5
Miles per dollar on office supply stores111121.5
Miles per dollar on streaming112111.5
Miles per dollar on car rentals112211.5
Roadside AssistanceNoNo4 free incidents per year4 free incidents per year4 free incidents per year4 free incidents per year
Return protectionNoNoNo$500/item, up to $1,000/year.No$500/item, up to $1,000/year.
Purchase protection120 days theft or damage coverage, up to $500120 days theft or damage coverage, up to $10K. 120 days theft or damage coverage, up to $10K. 120 days theft or damage coverage, up to $10K. 120 days theft or damage coverage, up to $10K. 120 days theft or damage coverage, up to $10K.
Extended warranty1 year1 year1 year1 year1 year1 year
Car Rental CDW InsuranceSecondaryPrimaryPrimaryPrimaryPrimary for business purposes onlyPrimary for business purposes only
Global Entry/Pre-Check creditNoYesYesYesNoNo
Baggage Delay insuranceNo$100/day up to 3 days$100/day up to 3 days$100/day up to 3 days$100/day up to 3 days$100/day up to 3 days
Lost Baggage insuranceNo$3,000/passenger$3,000/passenger$3,000/passenger$3,000/passenger$3,000/passenger
Trip Delay InsuranceNo$500 trip delay insurance coverage/ticket on 12+ hour delays$500 trip delay insurance coverage/ticket on 12+ hour delays$500 trip delay insurance coverage/ticket on 12+ hour delays$500 trip delay insurance coverage/ticket on 12+ hour delays$500 trip delay insurance coverage/ticket on 12+ hour delays
Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance$1.5K/person and $6K/trip.$1.5K/person and $6K/trip.$1.5K/person and $6K/trip.$10K/person and $20K/trip.$1.5K/person and $6K/trip.$10K/person and $20K/trip.
Hertz Elite StatusNoNoNoHertz President's CircleNoHertz President's Circle
PQPs from spendingNo500 PQPs for $12K spending, capped at 1K PQPs/calendar year for this card and 5K PQPs/calendar year per United account500 PQPs for $12K spending, capped at 3K PQPs/calendar year for this card and 5K PQPs/calendar year per United account500 PQPs for $12K spending, capped at 3K PQPs/calendar year for this card and 5K PQPs/calendar year per United account500 PQPs for $12K spending, capped at 1K PQPs/calendar year for this card and 5K PQPs/calendar year per United account500 PQPs for $12K spending, capped at 1K PQPs/calendar year for this card and 5K PQPs/calendar year per United account
Premier upgrades on award ticketsNoYesYesYesYesYes

Which United card do you have?

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50 Comments On "Which United Card Should You Get? Here’s A Comparison Chart!"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

How bout somemore Delta mistake fares

The Explorer card having Primary car rental coverage is excellent for a $95 fee card.

moshe26

bh got approved for united business using your link! thanks for all the help

Ad

Can i upgrade my United explorer card to the Quest without a credit check or it’s the same as just applying for a new credit card?

Jjg

Very timely, got the Quest flyer today in the mail. 2 questions: 1) as long as all the cards are tied to one UA account, the system knows what benefits you have when you book and check-in, right? 2) what reason might there be to switch from mileageplus club to united club infinite?

joel

got the 5k bonus on consumer card for having business card also even though i already closed it

Netlevy

How do I see if I still under the 5/23 or I am over 2 years?
Any free credit report you recommend?

David

Hi Dan
If one is United Silver status and flies Business, one gets 3 bags. If one gets the Quest card, are extra bags free( an additional two)?

Similar question, if flying basic economy domestic with silver status, one gets 1 free bag. Does that increase to 2 or 3 free bags with the Quest card?

Thanks!

Eli

Hi, I have the United Explorer card that I just renewed a month ago for $95. I booked a trip to Israel, one way with cash and United Credits, the other way with miles. Would anything change on that trip if I were to get this new card?

Nenad

What about no longer available Chase United Mileage Plus Select Visa? Can’t beat its 3 miles per $1 on United purchases, and always welcomed 2 miles per $1 on restaurants, groceries, and gas stations! 🙂

Moh

If I have an explorer card, can I downgrade to a Gateway and then get the Quest Card to get the bonus. Any advantage to have an Explorer and Quest card?

JohnB

Actually the old consumer card is not as good as the United Gateway card. The old consumer card earns .5 mile per dollar on all spend. The Mileage Plus Select card earns the 3 miles/$ for United spend, 2 miles/$ for Star Alliance spend, etc. The Gateway card is far superior to the old consumer card, but not as good as the M+ Select card.

Free Status

Is it possible to spend your way to status by having multiple United cards?

Daled

INk fee card product change – when is it correct time ?
When fee billed ?
Wait x weeks ?
Will fee be refunded or pro rated ?

ym

“It’s also worth noting that you can redeem United miles at a value of 1.5 cents per mile, though that can change at any time”
does that mean it can be redeemed for cash back or similar, or it can only be used towards annual fee?

JR

Can you please post an update on Israel? Thank you ! Just want to know what entry is like for all visitors.

JS

For someone who’s not flying a lot, nor just want to stack up miles so when will fly will be able to get the tickets free through the miles earned and also the benefits of the card having,
For such a person Which card is better the explorer since it has the first year free then just $95 for a year and I could also earn 10,000 miles for being referred from my wife (since if referring to the quest I’m only receiving 80,000 bonus miles) or the quest since you’ll still get more by receiving 100,000 miles and also if will fly within the first year will receive the $125 credit and rebate with other benefits as well and then downgrade it after a year?

soursticks

On a ticket to Israel purchased with the Quest card, how many bags do you get for free?
2 or 3?
The first is already free.

N

If I got the United club card about 8 months ago and I paid my first annual fee. Now I want to downgrade that to the no annual fee card do I still need to finish a full year since I paid already one annual fee?
And I so I need to wait it’s a year since the day I was approved?
Thanks

Mendy

I have United mileage plus card. I think it’s an older version. Does this card has expanded award availability?

Moshe

I am looking to sign up for a United CC, either the Explorer or Quest. I don’t fly that often but like having the benefits for when I do. Seems to me that the best approach is to get the Quest now. The reason being that it comes with an additional 35k miles in sign up bonus so I can just pay the first time annual fee with 16,667 miles and still come out ahead by 18,333 miles. Plus I will still get the additional benefits that come with the card for the year and can downgrade to explorer at the end of the year. Am I thinking about this correctly? Is there any benefit to signing up for the Explorer card?

@yungermanchik

@dan Is this true?
How do you pay with the bonus miles if the fee is billed at the 1st billing cycle and the bonus doesn’t post until the cycle after you finish the spend requirement?

shlomo

if i booked a flight not on quest cc. do i get 2 bags and benefits by presenting the quest card?

wpDiscuz