Continental Joins The Star Alliance!

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Starwood AMEX Linky (Free for first year, Earn 10,000 Starpoints With First Purchase, and 30,000 more Starpoints with your first $15,000 in purchases)

AMEX Platinum Charge Card-”The Grandaddy of credit cards” (Earn 25,000 AMEX MR Bonus Points after you spend $1,000.)

Just minutes ago Continental became the largest airline ever to change airline alliances.  In doing so it’s changing a number of its policies.

A Saturday night stay is no longer required for domestic rewards, but domestic rewards are rarely a worthwhile redemption so that’s not a huge deal.

There is a new award chart and it charges the same rate no matter what airline you fly on.  The chart has rates that are very similar to United’s chart.  However Continental has promised not to block partner availability like United has been doing of late which will make Onepass miles that much more valuable.

Continental Star Alliance Mileage Chart Linky

Interactive Travel Rewards Finder Linky

Continental Star Alliance Partners Page Linky

Continental Star Alliance Reward Rules Linky

Continental has a hidden bargain with their Round-The-World rewards which are valid on all 25 Star Alliance carriers as well as Continental’s other partners.  Coach costs 160K miles,  Business/BusinessFirst is 220K, and First Class on 3 class airplanes is 280K.

As Continental’s twice daily nonstop service from Newark to Tel Aviv has always been a popular award choice for Dansdeals.com readers I’m sure everyone will be happy to know that the cost of redemption on that route has gone down.  It used to cost 90K miles in Economy and 120K miles in BusinessFirst.  Now it will cost 75K in Economy and 115K in BusinessFirst.  In addition you can now redeem at the same rates for travel on Star Alliance partners Air Canada and USAirways which fly nonstop to Tel Aviv from Toronto and Philadelphia respectively.  Even more intriguing for some may be the new true first class service possibilities to Tel Aviv like Lufthansa offers for 145K miles on a ticket that normally sells for north of $10,000.

You can transfer AMEX MR points to Continental at a 1:1 ratio but unfortunately the Starwood transfer ratio is a lousy 20,000:12,500.  If you are desperate for Continental miles from Starwood you could always sign up to have all your Starpoints automatically go directly into Continental miles at a 1:1 ratio.

The other aspect of the alliance swap means learning about redeeming alliance partner miles for travel on Continental.  Below is a short listing of what some other Star airlines would charge to fly from Newark to Tel Aviv on Continental.  The only issue is that most international airlines charge a fuel surcharge on award tickets…

Continental EWR-TLV Round trip award prices on Star partners:

ANA (Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:25,000, AMEX MR @ 1:1): Coach-60K, BusinessFirst-90K

Asiana (Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:25,000): Coach-78K, BusinessFirst-115K

Lufthansa (Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:25,000): From US: Coach-80K, BusinessFirst-120K

Lufthansa: From Israel with Israeli address: Coach-60K, BusinessFirst-90K

Singapore (AMEX MR transfer partner @ 1:1): Coach-60K, BusinessFirst-100K

USAirways (Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:25,000): Coach-80K, BusinessFirst-120K

Virgin Atlantic (Non-Star partner, Starwood transfer partner @ 20,000:25,000, AMEX MR transfer partner @1:1.15 or 1:1 after 10/31): Coach-80K, BusinessFirst-120K

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18 Comments On "Continental Joins The Star Alliance!"

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md

I recently tried setting Starwood to auto transfer into Continental, but was told by 2 different reps that 1:1 ratio only works for Starwood “Hotel” earned points & not Starwood Amex points. Is that the case?

loyal reader

so, for someone who was accumulating continental mileage due to their alliance with KLM/Northwest/Air France, this is a great disappointment:-(

loyal reader

Dan, what is your educated opinion about Priority Pass?

steve2

FYI the Easy Pass amount still stays the same even thou the Saver amount has decreased on CO to TLV. EP is still 140k in Coach and 300k in Biz

Reason for BF being so high as I was told by an Exec at CO, is too many people were purchasing MR pts and then converting them into CO miles which resulted in it costing them alot less then if they purchased the tkt from CO.So CO simply uped it so that they will end up getting x amount from Amex or Whomever that is very close to the price they want anyway. even more so for SPG pts with the Bonus pts.

yitz

Can someone please give me a hand here? I called continental 2 days ago 2 find out how much a business/first award would be to isreal(around lag b’omer time), they told me 300k. How do I get the 115k rate?

Dan/Ctownbochur

@md:
As far as I understand it will be for all earned Starpoints. But you’ve got nothing to lose by setting it up and seeing what happens. You could always switch back to Starpoints earning. If you do be sure to let us know!

@yitz:
Search for award travel on Continental.com, click on the Blue or Green travel dates on the calendar for dates with Saverpass availability in BusinessFirst.

yitz

I searched the continental site already. Supersaver reward tickets are very scarce if available at all. My question is if I can call continental and ask to be put on an alternate airline such as delta or air france for the lesser rate.

Dan/Ctownbochur

@loyal reader:
They announced this well over a year ago…shouldn’t come as too much of a shock.

@yitz:
You can call and get the same rate, but Delta and Air France are Skyteam airlines and you need to find Star Airlines.

On the site it should show availability for some partners like USAirways and Air Canada.

Anyway, what dates are you looking for?

mark the great

please tell me what can I do with 80,000 northwest miles.. they can be transfered to delta.. but whats its worth.. please dan,,, tell me

MOSHE

@Dan/Ctownbochur:

@md, After looking at Dan’s link it seems that you are right, that it’s only for hotel stays.
When you look at the t&c you will see for example, that in order to get Elal points, they make an exception, and say that you will eard a FLAT 12 Matmid points for every HOTEL stay, but there is no mention at all of how many Matmid points you earn for transferring Amex SPG points to Elal for example.

Dan/Ctownbochur

@MOSHE:
I’ve never done it, but I’ve seen reports from people online who have linked up their SPG to direct deposit to United and got 1:1.

Obviously no guarantees, just what I’ve read.

yitz

I called continental and asked them to quote me a reward trip with a connection to isreal, they qouted me 115k on lufthansa.

Dan/Ctownbochur

@yitz:
That’s for business class.

yitz

Sorry I wasn’t clear. That’s what I meant

Dan/Ctownbochur

@yitz:
OK, well that’s exactly what it should be.

Rochel

So I how can I travel on Continental for a better point to mile ratio can I transfer my points to a different star partner and then use those miles to fly on continental

yitz

Dan, any idea which of the star alliance members have the best business class 2 isreal?

xoxo

Do you have any other ways to earn Continental miles without these credit cards? I still didn’t build up my credit and I can’t get any credit cards..

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