Why I Downgraded Our United Quest Card Instead Of Closing It

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United Quest Card Downgrade Options

The United Quest card is a newer player in the credit card realm. It launched a year ago with a juicy 100,000 United MilagePlus miles offer and I had my wife jump on it. At the time it was the most valuable Chase personal card offer.  The card offer has dropped some but there is still a great 90K offer available if you know where to look. The Quest card is a great long term option for frequent United flyers (full review here), which we are not. Because of that we needed to make a decision on what to do with the card once the second annual fee hit.

Retention Offer Was A Bust

We first attempted to get a retention offer on the United Quest card. Chase is usually pretty difficult to squeeze an offer out of, especially compared to other issuers which you can see by our massive data points database, and they toed the company line once again. Since we were unable to get an offer we were left with two choices, close or downgrade.

Why I Opted To Downgrade Our United Quest Card

Normally I would have had my wife just close the card. Since we only had it a year, keeping it open to increase our average age of accounts didn’t make sense. I also kind of want to clean up our credit card balance sheet and make things a bit easier on myself. Closing the account would do just that. Throw in the fact that we don’t fly United a ton and downgrading normally wouldn’t make sense.

But, United offers one of the better credit card perks of any airline. The really cool thing is they even include it on their no fee card. United credit card holders get access to black out dates and extra award space for United flights. I have already seen this pay off during the year we had the Quest card. The fact that it is available even on their no fee card seems overly generous to me, but I am not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Because of that I had my wife ask Chase to downgrade her Quest card to the no fee United Gateway card. This is something Benjy talked about in his 9 things you may not know about Chase article.

Unfortunately, Chase would not allow us to perform the downgrade via secure message so my wife had to call in. Good thing I piled up a bunch of wife points recently!

United Quest Card Downgrade Options: Final Thoughts

While I would never encourage someone to sign up for the United Gateway card, the offer is just too low, it is a great option to downgrade into if you grab the more valuable United Quest or United Explorer offers. That, of course, assumes the Explorer and Quest cards don’t offer you long term value.

After a quick phone call we were able to take advantage of our United Quest card downgrade options and move to the United Gateway card. This allows my wife to keep a credit line open for account longevity and utilization rate. It also got the $250 annual fee credited and still allows us access to the increased United award space for cardholders. That is a win in my book!

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. With the no-fee United card you also get the 25% point bonus when buying gift cards through the MileagePlusX App.


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