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
Aer LingusBritish AirwaysFlying Blue (Air France/KLM)
IberiaJetBlueSingapore 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!

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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