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Review of Continental Airlines OnePass Plus Card

Picture of Item Reviewed
Editor's Rating: 4.3/5.0
Continental has merged with United and is now called Continental United. This card was no longer issued since 3rd March 2012. It's features are identical to the United Mileage Plus Explorer Card and we are keeping a record of this review for archive purposes (much like we still have a copy of the old WordPerks Visa!). If you fly the new Continental United, then you should be looking at the United Mileage Plus Explorer Card.
Intro Purchase APR Regular APR Annual Fee Issuer Credit Needed
N.A. 15.24% $95 Chase Good
Feature Summary
  • Earn Double Miles
  • First Bag Is Free
  • Priority Boarding

Update: This card is no longer offered by Chase. We are keeping this review for archives and research sake

Continental Airlines OnePass® Plus Card Short History - Since this card is no longer being issued, let's take a look at it's history. The Continental Airlines OnePass® Plus Card (as it is called) was introduced in 20101 in place of the existing Continental OnePass World MasterCard. And it came with a few improvements as well.

Same Miles Formula - The Continental Airlines OnePass® Plus Card has the same miles formula as the earlier World MasterCard version. It allowed you to earn double miles on Continental Airlines purchases. For regular purchases, you earn one mile for every dollar you spend. You can earn unlimited miles. Continental OnePass Miles do not expire.

New Features - But aside from this, this card also came with several new features. The first one was the cardholders who flew with Continental or United could get their first checked in bag for free (this applied to their companion as well). This feature did not come as surprise because every airline (with the exception of SouthWest) started charging baggage fees after the 2008 financial crisis!

Another new feature was the addition of hotel perks through Chase's partnership with various hotels called "Luxury Hotel and Resort". This program is quite similar to Amex Platinum Fine Hotel and Resorts in that if you book a partner hotel, you could get perks like complimentary breakfast, late checkouts, room upgrades on availability etc.

Another new benefit that they added in was that in 2011, cardholders who were elite OnePass members can get upgrades to first class seats even on reward tickets.

Cardholders will also receive two complimentary lounge passes a year that entitles them to two visits. They would also get an anniversary bonus of 10,000 miles if they spend $25,000.

Bonus Miles - When the card was first introduced, Chase offered a 10,000 bonus miles incentives for new sign ups. Since then, sign up bonus have changed and have gone as high as 40,000 with some strings attached.

How This Card Became Interesting For Sign Up Bonuses - When airlines merge, one of the most interesting opportunities is for people to apply for both cards before the merger and get sign up bonuses. Done at the right time (when the sign up offers are good), this could result in lots of easy miles in your account. And for a while, this appeared to work until Chase begin to include in their terms and conditions a clause saying that if you have had either Continental or United card that was applied after 19th July 2011, you could only earn a maximum of 25,000 sign up bonus if you applied for the other card that you did not have. So they effectively killed off this strategy!

We Thought It Was A Competitive Card - At the time this card was launched (the latest version), we though it was a good card because of the new features that was added (free first baggage, two annual lounge passes and the 10,000 anniversary bonus). We thought these features alone easily covered the $95 annual fee that came with the card.

Special 50,000 Bonus Miles Opportunity - At this moment, the Chase Sapphire(SM) Preferred Card is offering 50,000 bonus points to new cardholders as long as they spend $3,000 within the first three months. With this card, you can transfer points into Continental United miles.

References
1. Chase launches Continental OnePass Plus Card Press Release