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Chase launches new United travel card with bonus perks

Chase and United Airlines launched a new travel credit card, the United Quest Card, that has an annual $250 fee and offers customers a limited-time bonus mile offering.

Here what you need to know:

  • New cardholders can earn up to 100,000 bonus miles—80,000 bonus miles if they spend $5,000 in their first three months and an additional 20,000 bonus miles if they spend $10,000 within their first six months. The bonus mile offer ends on June 6.
  • Cardmembers receive annual $125 statement credits for United purchases.
  • Cardholders earn 3 miles for every $1 spent on United purchases and 2 miles for every $1 spent on all other travel—including airfare, trains, local transit, cruise lines, hotels, car rentals, taxicabs, resorts, ride-sharing services, and tolls—as well as dining and streaming services. Customers also earn 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Customers get two 5,000-mile flight credits every year after their first year as a reward for redeeming miles.

The new card offering comes as consumer travel demand begins to pick up. Seventy-eight percent of global consumers say they want to travel in 2021 to relieve stresses from 2020, according to Amex’s Global Travel Trends Report. This is in stark contrast with earlier in the pandemic, when only 19% of US consumers said they’d feel comfortable traveling by plane, per an Ipsos survey conducted in September. The change in consumer sentiment is likely thanks to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, which is helping lessen the risks of travel. As a result, Chase and other issuers have introduced travel perks to capitalize on pent-up travel demand.

Offering a card with attractive travel perks might help position Chase for growth in the coming months. Consumers are gearing up to spend more this spring as the economy gradually bounces back and might choose the United Quest Card to fund purchases in order to capture the card’s bonus rewards, which they can use toward summer travel plans. The card’s other perks, like its dining and ride-sharing rewards, may also appeal to consumers because many of them will likely spend more time outside their homes as the warmer months approach. Other card benefits, like miles earned for spending on streaming services, help expand the card’s value beyond travel. Ultimately, the new offering could boost Chase’s card volume—in Q4, the issuer’s credit card volume dipped 3.5% year over year.