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?
Chase Sapphire Preferred
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 Lingus||British Airways||Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)|
|Southwest||United Airlines||Virgin Atlantic|
|Chase Ultimate Rewards Hotel Transfer Partners|
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
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
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.
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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