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

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

Million Mile SecretsShould I Get the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the United Airlines Card?Million Mile Secrets Team

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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 
Aer LingusBritish AirwaysFlying Blue (Air France/KLM)
IberiaKorean AirSingapore Airlines
SouthwestUnited AirlinesVirgin Atlantic
 Chase Ultimate Rewards Hotel Transfer Partners 

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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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

More Info

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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.

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.


Shame for not posting the best Sapphire offer out there! Same bonus, but spend in only 3K.

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

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

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