United Quest Card vs. The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
Both the United Quest Card and The Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express card offer a similar value to cardholders who use each the respective card on airline purchases and bonus categories for the same annual fee. The key differences are the number of companions that get free checked bags, earning elite qualifying miles and lounge access.
While the United Quest Card offers two free checked bags for the cardholder and one companion, the Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express card offers one free checked bag for the cardholder and up to eight additional companions. While the checked bag benefits are nearly equal for a family of four, a large party traveling together could benefit more from the Delta card.
In addition, the Delta card is better for those who value elite-level benefits without flying thousands of miles annually. The Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express card offers discounted Delta Sky Club lounge access to cardholders for $50 per person (effective 1/1/24, this benefit will no longer be available), while the United Quest card doesn’t offer a discount or annual lounge passes. Moreover, Delta SkyMiles cardholders can spend their way to earn an additional 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. Effective 1/1/24, this benefit will no longer be available, and there will be a new way to earn toward Medallion Status with the Card. Learn more at delta.com/skymilesprogramchanges.
To get the most value from this card, you would have to be a regular Delta Air Lines flyer with a plan to spend at least $50,000 each year to earn both reward miles and elite qualifying miles. If Delta isn’t your favorite airline, or if your goal is to gain reward miles only, the United Quest card could be a better option.
United Quest Card vs. the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
Unless you live in or near a city primarily served by American Airlines, the United Quest card may offer you more value over time. While the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard* only offers bonus miles in two categories (restaurants and gas stations), the United Quest card offers bonus miles in wider spending categories and more miles for purchases with the airline.
However, the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard has a $95 annual fee waived in the first year, which is substantially lower than the United Quest Card’s annual fee. Cardholders will also have their first checked bag free and for up to four travel companions on the same reservation. Although the annual fee is lower, rewards on the card are in fact lower and it includes fewer benefits for cardholders.
Best cards to pair with this card
While many different rewards cards would work well with the United Quest card, the optimal pairings depend on how you want to earn rewards with travel credit cards and your overall goals.
If your goal is to earn as many United MileagePlus miles for your spending as possible, your best bet is to pair this card with either the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred. Both cards earn transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which convert to United MileagePlus miles at a 1:1 ratio. With quick delivery, either of the Sapphire cards offer points in different bonus categories than those offered on the United Quest card, letting you maximize your discounted air travel.
If you already have a Chase Sapphire card or would rather pair your air travel with free hotel nights, it could be smart to consider the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card. In addition to earning up to 17X total points for every $1 spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, you will earn 2X points on other travel purchases, and receive 15 elite night credits per calendar year each account anniversary. Plus, if you earn Titanium or Ambassador status with Marriott Bonvoy, you can sign up for the RewardsPlus program for a status match to United MileagePlus Premier Silver.
For those who would rather keep their travel plans flexible, pairing with a cash back credit card gives you more flexibility than earning points. The top cash back credit cards let you earn between 2 and 5 percent on your spending in a variety of categories and locations, giving you plenty of choices on where you want to earn cash back once you arrive at your destination.