Update 2-01/12/11: Another week, another big loss as predicted in this post from just 2 weeks ago. Effective immediately Continental is no longer offering easy year-long status matches. Instead they are adopting United’s policy that you will only get matched for 90 days and in those 90 days you must complete a challenge to fly 10,000 miles to keep Silver, 17,500 miles to keep Gold, and 35,000 miles to keep Platinum.
Update-01/05/11: Going, going, gone. Chase is no longer offering a Continental debit card for their checking accounts. Existing cards are still valid but will likely be phased out in the future. Take advantage of other offers while you can!
Originally posted on 12/28/10:
Continental’s Onepass program will be gone by the end of 2011. Until then take advantage of everything you can, such as:
-Open a Continental OnePass Plus Mastercard free for the first year and get 30,000 miles after your first purchase, $50 cash-back, and free checked luggage.
Read all about the OnePass Plus card and the dozens of benefits and ultra-premium protections (primary CDW, baggage and trip delay coverage, roadside assistance, price, purchase, and return protection, and much more.) that come with it in this post.
-Open other Chase cards that give Continental miles.
-Chase Sapphire Preferred: 28,000 miles after spending $3,000.
-Chase Sapphire (You need to have a Sapphire Preferred or Ink Bold for points to be transferable to Continental): 10,500 miles after spending $500.
-Chase Ink Bold Business: 10,000 miles after your first purchase.
–Open A Chase consumer checking account and get 25,000 miles, or 50,000 miles if you also open a business account.
Chase is phasing out reward debit cards so this may be the last chance to get miles just for opening a bank account!
-Transfer AMEX Points to Continental. Points need to be transferred by 09/30/11.
Continental is a great option for AMEX point transfers. They have very lenient routing options, have dozens of Star Alliance and non-alliance partners, allow free date and route changes, don’t block award flights, and don’t charge a fuel surcharge. They also have great round-the-world award rates.
-AMEX Plat Charge Card: 51,000 miles after spending $1,000.
-AMEX Premier Rewards Charge Card: 16,000 miles after spending $1,000.
-AMEX Gold Charge Card: 10,500 miles after spending $500.
-AMEX Zync (You need to have another AMEX charge card to transfer points to miles): 10,000 miles after your first purchase.
If any of the card links don’t show the signup bonus you need to clear out your browser’s cache and cookies or try using a different browser!
-Get an elite status match. Continental will match your elite status that you have in other programs. If you’re bottom-tier in another program they’ll give you Silver, mid-tier in another program will get you Gold, and top-tier will be matched to Continental Platinum. Continental won’t match the status of partner airlines.
You can only status match once in your lifetime, so with Continental going away now is the time to use that match!
Matched status will last through 01/31/12.
To get a status match just call the Continental OnePass Service Center at 713-952-1630, prompt #4, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you just get elite status on Delta thanks to just transferring over some AMEX points? Match now!
With Silver you’ll get:
-2 free bags for you and all your travel companions
-25% bonus miles on flights and 500 mile minimum flight earnings
-Priority phone line, check-in, security, and boarding
-Space-available upgrades 1 day before your Continental or United flight
-You will also get upgrades on award tickets starting in 2011 if you also have the Continental OnePass Plus card.
-Elite section seating on Continental and economy plus seating on United
-Expanded availability on saverpass mileage awards in coach
-Last-seat availability on easypass mileage awards
-Instant upgrades on B/Y fares
-Reduced $50 reward expedite and cancellation fees.
Gold will get you the above and
-3 free 70 pound bags for you and all your travel companions on all Star Alliance carriers.
-Star Alliance Gold, which gets you free lounge access at hundreds of lounges when traveling internationally
-100% bonus miles on flights
-Space-available upgrades for you and your companions 3 days before your Continental or United flight
-Reduced $25 reward expedite and cancellation fees.
Platinum will get you the above and
-Space-available upgrades for you and your companions 5 days before your Continental or United flight
-Free reward expedite and cancellation fees.
-Free same day flight changes
-Expanded availability on saverpass mileage awards in First and BusinessFirst.
-Instant upgrades on M fares
-Last chance to buy a lifetime lounge membership?
United doesn’t sell a lifetime lounge membership (they do give one after you have 2,000,000 hard-earned BIS miles) and the combined company may very well stop selling this.
Continental has raised the price on the lifetime membership just about every year for the past 20 years. While it took just a few hundred dollars to buy one originally, about $1,400 to buy one 10 years ago, and about $2,700 to buy one 5 years ago, it now sells for $4,600-$5,900 depending on your elite status.
You get lounge access at hundreds of partner lounges across the globe where you are pampered with free drinks, food, wi-fi, and a comfortable place to relax.
A lounge membership also allows to you and your guests to access the secure part of the airport even when you don’t have a ticket whenever you feel like it.
Having a lifetime membership gets you a $295 annual discount off the $395/year presidential plus mastercard which gets you stuff like 25% more bonus miles for elites, 2 free bags for non-elites, and bonus elite miles for spending.
So are there any other Continental offers that are worth doing before it’s too late? Hit the comments!