July 19th, 2011
Chase is now synergizing the benefits of the Continental and United cards and has added some great new benefits. If you have an older United card you can call the number on the back of the card to convert it to a MileagePlus Explorer Card. Continental OnePass Plus cardholders will be automatically converted over the the MileagePlus Explorer card next year, but you can also call to convert your card earlier if you so desire, but the benefits are now the same.
This is the last chance you will have to earn the signup bonus on both the Continental and United cards!
Miles can be transferred freely between the Continental and United programs.
With miles from either program you can book travel on any of the dozens of Star Alliance partners. They are both extremely valuable miles and they both can be used for one-way tickets now. However there are still many advantages to Continental miles, so you’ll probably want to transfer your United miles there. See below for a comparison.
Best of all neither program charges any fuel surcharges, something that most other programs can’t say.
For each card you can get 25,000 miles for signing up and making a purchase and 5,000 miles for adding an additional cardholder, so you’ll get a total of 30,000 miles for signing up!
You can add the 2nd user onto the account when applying online.
There is no fee for the first year, the fee is $95 for subsequent years.
Always have room for your carry-ons because you will be able to board in the elite line. On Continental you will board together with elites for now and on United you will board right after elite members and before everyone else.
-First checked bag free.
When flying on United or Continental you will get a free checked bag for yourself and everyone else on your reservation.
You can also add other family members as free secondary users on your account so that they can get free baggage as well when they’re not traveling with you. The fee waiver for secondary users isn’t automatic as it is for the primary cardholder, but you just have to show your card to the ticketing agent and they’ll be able to waive your checked bag fee!
-Miles that never expire.
Currently Continental miles don’t expire but United miles expire after 18 months. It appears in the new program that miles will expire, but if you are a cardholder your miles will not expire!
-Primary Car Rental CDW Insurance.
Most cards have secondary DCW insurance when you rent a car. This means that if you damage your rental vehicle you must file the claim with your own personal insurance policy first, and only if they won’t cover the damage will the credit card cover the damage.
With primary rental car CDW insurance you will not have to file anything with your own insurance company. Chase will cover the entire bill for any damage to your rental car. Just be sure to decline the rental agency’s CDW coverage and Chase will have your back! This primary CDW coverage applies everywhere in the world except in Israel, Jamaica, and Ireland (blame the bad drivers there!)
-United Club passes.
You will get 2 club passes (a $100 value) on every anniversary date of your card.
-Upgrades on Reward tickets for Elite members.
When flying on Continental, elite members can now be upgraded even on a mileage ticket for upgrade eligible flights. This benefit will also be introduced to United flights for 2012.
-Last seat EasyPass availability.
Currently on Continental only elite members can redeem extra miles (typically double) for last-seat availability. This is being introduced on United as well. During peak periods (like for flight to Tel Aviv during the holiday seasons) there may not be availability for non-elites. With this benefit credit card holders will also get last seat easypass availability when they need it.
-Double miles on Continental and United tickets.
-Annual spending threshold bonus.
Get 10,000 additional bonus miles with $25,000 or more in eligible spend each calendar year.
By having the card you will get a $2 discount off in-flight alcoholic beverages and $2 off in-flight DirecTV service!
-Luxury Hotels & Resorts Program
-Cardholders will also be able to use Chase’s new concierge service to book from the “Luxury Hotels and Resorts Collection” When you book through the concierge you will get exclusive benefits, upgrades, and amenities.
The cards also some with ultra-premium benefits and insurances that normally only come with much more expensive cards, including:
-Price protection: If you find an ad, online or in-store, that the price of an item you bought within the past 90 days is lower than what you paid, you can get a refund of up to $500 per item and $1,500 per year!
-Return protection: Return an item up to $300 and up to $1,000 a year within 90 days if the store won’t take it back.
-Free roadside assistance: Up to $50 per event
-Delayed baggage insurance: Up to $300 of essential items covered per ticket.
-Trip delay Insurance: Up to $300 per ticket if your flight is delayed to spend on hotels, cars, etc.
-Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance: Up to $1,500 coverage per event.
-Lost or damaged luggage insurance: Up to $3,000 coverage per event
-Travel Accident Insurance: Up to $500,000 per event
-Emergency evacuation, transportation, and medical coverage.
-Extended Warranty Protection: Extra year warranty.
-Purchase protection: If an item you bought within the past 90 days is stolen or damaged or if you have an “involuntary and accidental parting with the item” you can get a refund of up to $10,000 and up to $50,000 per year.
-Ticket Event Protection: If you can’t attend an event ticket for a covered reason you will get a refund of up to $500 per ticket, $2,000 per event, $4,000 annually.
-Identity Theft Protection: $1,000 coverage per stolen identity event.
Current advantages of Continental miles over United miles:
-Continental has more lenient routing rules (you can go to Australia via Asia for example) on award tickets.
-Continental has no “maximum permitted mileage” policy. If you can find award seats be designing your own roundabout routing it can usually be booked. On United there is a “maximum permitted mileage” policy, although they have just recently been moving towards a more generous policy by allowing people to exceed the maximum permitted mileage by 15%.
-Continental allows free routing changes on award tickets.
-Continental is partners with many non-Star Alliance carriers, like Virgin Atlantic.
-Continental allows for a free stopover and open-jaw on award tickets.
-Continental “Plan B” allows you to book a BusinessFirst award even if there is only coach availability and go on a waitlist and standby for a BusinessFirst seat. If you do not get the BusinessFirst seat (even if you do get a First class seat on the domestic flight) then you will get a refund of the additional miles that you paid for it!
-Continental allows you to book travel on non-Star Alliance partner carriers on the same itinerary and at the same rate as Star Alliance carriers. United has separate award charts for non-Star Alliance partner carriers that make them much more expensive than Star Alliance partners and won’t let you book travel on alliance and non-alliance partners on the same itinerary.
-Continental gives all Elite members significantly expanded coach saver award availability (XN) and coach (YN), first (FN), and businessfirst (FN) last seat standard award availability. Continental also gives Platinum Elite members expanded first and businessfirst (O) saver award availability.
-Continental’s agents are all located in the US. If you aren’t elite on United you will be routed to their offshore agents who can be very hard to understand at times.
-Continental allows you to book many more partner airline flights online than United does, thus avoiding phone booking fees. Although a manager from either airline should be able to waive the fee if you push hard enough due to the fact that it can’t be booked online.
-Continental miles don’t expire. United miles expire after 18 months of not having account activity.
-Continental counts all elite miles towards lifetime million miler status, even if it was flown on a partner airline, purchased on Continental.com, or earned via the Presidential Plus credit card. United only counts miles that were actually earned by flying on a United flight.
Current advantages of United miles over Continental miles:
-United doesn’t charge a fee for changing a booked award flight to a flight within 21 days.
-United offers miles and money options for some flights to stretch your mileage balance with a cash supplement.