Should I Get the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the United Airlines Card?

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Million Mile Secrets reader Chris commented:

I’m new to this travel hacking stuff.  I’m debating on getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the United Airlines credit card.  Which should I get?  Or can I apply for both cards at the same time?

Should I Get The Chase Sapphire Preferred Or The United Airlines Card

Which Credit Card Should Chris Get First?

Chris should get the Chase Sapphire Preferred card 1st and then apply for the United Airlines card in 3 to 4 months.  I’ll explain why!

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred card

Link:   My review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card

For most folks, it’s best to start with flexible bank points that can be transferred to airlines and hotel partners.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is 1 of the best credit cards for earning miles and points.  That’s because Chris earns flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards points which he can transfer to airline and hotel partners such as United Airlines.

 Chase Ultimate Rewards Airline Transfer Partners 
British AirwaysFlying Blue (Air France/KLM)Korean Air
Singapore AirlinesSouthwestUnited Airlines
Virgin Atlantic
 Chase Ultimate Rewards Hotel Transfer Partners 
HyattIHGMarriott
Ritz-Carlton

That’s why Chris should get the Chase Sapphire Preferred card first.  Then he can apply for the United Airlines card later and transfer his Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines miles.

Because both of these cards are personal cards and issued by Chase, Chris can NOT get approved for both cards at the same time.

Chris can get 40,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points when he spends $4,000 in the first 3 months on the Chase Sappphire Preferred card.

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred Chris gets:

  • 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on travel and dining
  • 1X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on everything else
  • No foreign transaction fees

Another I thing I really like about the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is that a real person answers the phone when you call.

So if you ever want assistance, you save time by not having to navigate a slow maze of robotic menus!

United MileagePlus Explorer

Link:   United MileagePlus Explorer card 

Link:   My review of the United MileagePlus Explorer card

Link:   How to use United Airline miles 

Chris can get 30,000 United Airlines miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.  But you may be able to get an offer for 50,000 miles if you apply in a Chase branch or if you check your email for a targeted offer.

The United MileagePlus Explorer card gets Chris:

  • 2 United Airlines miles per $1 you spend on United Airlines
  • 1 United Airlines mile per $1 you spend on everything else
  • Free 1st checked bag ($100 savings per round-trip)
  • Priority boarding
  • 2 United Club lounge passes per year
  • Access to more award seats on United Airlines
  • $95 annual fee (waived for the 1st year)
  • No foreign transaction fees
Should I Get The Chase Sapphire Preferred Or The United Airlines Card

Chris Can Fly 1-Way to Hawaii for 22,500 United Airlines Miles

2 Personal Chase Cards on the Same Day

Chris should NOT apply for both cards on the same day.  That’s because Chase does NOT usually approve folks for 2 personal cards at the same time.

So Chris should wait 3 to 4 months before he applies for another personal card from Chase.

Although, some folks have been successful in getting 2 personal cards on the same day.  But I haven’t seen many similar reports in the 2 years since.

Should I Get The Chase Sapphire Preferred Or The United Airlines Card

Chris May Get Denied If He Applies for 2 Personal Cards From Chase at the Same Time

Bottom Line

Because you can’t usually get approved for 2 personal cards from Chase at the same time, Chris should 1st get the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

That’s because he can transfer the Chase Ultimate Rewards points he earns with the Sapphire Preferred card to airlines and hotels.  And that includes United Airlines!

Then after 3 to 4 months Chris can apply for the United Airlines card.

Thanks for the question, Chris.  And because you’re new to our hobby, you might find some helpful tips in my Beginner’s Guide!

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11 responses to “Should I Get the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the United Airlines Card?

  1. I was approved for both of those cards at same time.

  2. I disagree, Chris should apply for whichever has a higher bonus than normal when applying. You would have them applying for the sapphire right now when there is, reasonably often, an offer for 10,000 more points. Chris should find the 50,000 miles offer for United to apply for now and wait until there is a 50,000/55,000 offer for Sapphire to apply for that one.

  3. my wife was approved for the Hyatt and Freedom cards on the same day.

  4. Both me and wifey were approved for 2 chase personal cards each on 08/27/2014.

  5. I went for the CSP first, then was approved for the United card about two months later because the 50k miles promo and $50 statement credit were ending. Not waiting for the 90 days between apps worked out fine for me since my FICO actually improved after getting the CSP.

  6. With the recent Southwest cards going up to 50k promotion. In December I was able to apply for both the personal cards and we’re approved. One was approved automatically the second got sent to pending but a simple phone call to recon line and they simply needed to verify I was the one who initiated the application and viola two southwest personal cards.

  7. I assume to cancel the UA card before the first year is up to avoid paying 2 annual membership fees?

  8. Chase has about a $50k total credit limit. If you are new to chase you may be able to get 2 cards and each could have $25k limits. If you want another card, then you need to free up credit or move credit to the new card. This was my experience. ymmv

  9. Daraius,
    Shame for not posting the best Sapphire offer out there! Same bonus, but spend in only 3K.
    https://applynow.chase.com/FlexAppWeb/renderApp.do?SPID=F7F8&CELL=6H8X

  10. I applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card either on December 22-24 and for the british airways card from american express 1-2 days after, I was accepted for both. In my opinion, being only 19 and in college, my chances would significantly low, however I was accepted for both without any pending reviews.

  11. I am curious, of those of you who got approved two cards same day, how many are relatively new to this credit card/points earning game? When I first started three years ago I was getting approved left and right and would open up 4-6 cards every 3-4 months.
    Now after having applied for and cancelled over 30 cards during that time, it is definitely more challenging getting approved. I have to limit myself to about 2-3 cards every 3-4 months. Also, I can’t seem to get much in the way of NEW credit. I have to re-allocate credit lines to get approved for most new cards. Also, Barclays has rejected me a few times and US Bank has never approved me. Oddly, during these three years I have seen my credit score gradually move upwards.