|by Mr Credit Card|
As most of you will already know, United and Continental Airlines are merging. They will be called United Continental. However, at this moment, they are still operating as a separate entity until the receipt of a single operating certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration, which they expect to receive by the end of 2011.
When that happens, the company will officially merge and more importantly, their frequent flyer program will merge. When that happens, they will only have one United Continental credit card versus having separate ones like they do now. Which leaves a window of opportunity for frequent flyers of both airlines (or for savvy folks who are looking to take advantage of bonus miles).
So here’s what a savvy miles acquirer will do. If you are a continental frequent flyer member and already have a Continental Airlines credit card, then you could take advantage of the sign up bonuses of United’s credit card. And vice versa, if you are a United card holder, you can get a Continental card to get bonus miles. At present, both cards waive their annual fee for the first year.
But aside from their respective affinity cards, you can get even bonus miles by signing up for any of American Express’s charge cards or business charge cards. Continental Airlines is part of Membership Rewards (though they will no longer be part of it from September 2011). But there is a window of opportunity between now and September. For example, you can get bonus miles by signing up for the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card.
Aside from Amex, Chase also has cards that let’s you convert points into Continental OnePass Miles. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one card that allows you to do just that.
Business Credit Cards – But you do not actually have to stop there. Since Continental is presently part of American Express Membership Rewards (for the moment) and Chase Ultimate Reward programs, you can also earn extra bonus miles by signing up for their business cards. For example, you can sign up for the Gold Card from American Express OPEN. You can also sign up for the Ink Bold with Ultimate Rewards from Chase to earn bonus points that can be converted to Continental OnePass miles.
Some Tips – When you apply for a credit card, it is not uncommon to see a slightly drop in your credit score (a few points) temporarily because of a hard pull on your credit report. So if you plan to apply for a few cards this year to rack some serious miles, apply for one of these cards every few months. Better yet, get your spouse to apply for cards as well.
While lots of corporate mergers take place, airline mergers present consumers with this unique opportunity to rack up air miles. Take advantage of this and you be on your way to a couple of free airline tickets on Continental or United later this year.