Continental OnePass Plus Card: Free 25,000 Miles, Free Checked Bag, Primary Rental Car Insurance

Continental Airlines OnePass Plus CardNow that I’m flying a lot more again, I’m back in the hunt for some frequent flier perks. I just came across the new Continental Airlines OnePass Plus Card from Chase, which has a pretty nice mix of perks for travelers.

Sign-Up Bonus: Free Flight

  • 25,000 Bonus Miles after first purchase (no minimum amount) for first-time Continental Airlines personal Cardmembers. That’s enough already for one free round-trip airfare within the continental US.
  • No annual fee the first year. The regular annual fee is $85, but is waived the first year.
  • 5,000 Bonus Miles for adding an authorized user to your account. This is another easy one to get. Remember, just because you add someone doesn’t mean you have to give them the card. ;)
  • If you spend $25,000 on the card annually, you’ll get another 10,000 bonus miles. Since you earn 1 miles per $1 spent as well, this works out to 1.4 miles/dollar when you reach that mark.

Travel Perks

  • Free checked bag. If you fly on Continental, you and up to 9 travel companions will all each get your first checked bag for free. That’s a savings of $50 round-trip, per person.
  • Primary rental car insurance. Almost all personal credit cards only offer secondary rental car insurance, which means you have to file a claim with your own auto insurance first, which means you have to pay the deductible and possibly face higher future premiums. With primary collision damage waiver (CDW) even for personal use, you get coverage for damage or theft without having to make a claim.
  • More travel insurance that isn’t on all cards, like trip cancellation insurance up to $1500 for a illness with doctor’s note , delayed baggage coverage up to $300 if you have baggage delayed more than 18 hours and need to buy items to get by.
  • If you decide to keep this card past the first year, you’ll get two free passes to their First-Class airport lounge.

As you may have heard, Continental and United are merging, and the resulting airline is supposed to have the name United. Here’s a chance to rack up some miles that will eventually merge together – this card and bonus may not be available in the future. Until when they actually do merge, I should also note that Continental’s OnePass is known as one of the better programs when it comes to redeeming miles for trips.

Besides the Continental Airlines OnePass Plus Card, you can get a more flexible $500 travel bonus from the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, as well as other cards worth $500 in airfare.

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Comments

  1. I have always been intrigued by this and similar offers from the other airlines, but the thing that I am wondering is your thoughts on the annual fee in years two and on. $85 per year is a pretty hefty price tag if you don’t collect enough to qualify for tickets…

  2. I have both this card and the Chase United Mileage Plus Visa. I am curious as to what will happen to the cards when these two airlines merge. Both are Chase cards, one is Visa, one is MasterCard; both offer mileage for what will ostensibly be the same program.

  3. @MikeS:
    Just cancel the card after you have the miles.

    I signed up for this card 2 months ago and got the 30,000 miles. i will probably cancel just before the year is up to avoid the annual fee. great deal especially for someone in NJ (or Houston or Cleveland) which is a Continental hub (or as alluded to before, United hubs when the merger is complete).

  4. Does United have a similar card?

  5. @Jenna: United has a VISA through Chase (http://www.chasecreditcards.co.....s-visa.asp) with several of the same benefits.

  6. @MikeS – It all depends on your usage of the card, and often your flying patterns. For some people the ongoing perks make it worth it to keep. I think the primary rental car insurance is definitely worth considering, and if you fly Continental the free bags add up.

    For others they sign up for the incentive, try it out, and decide it isn’t for them. Sometimes I sign up, then my spouse signs up.

    @MattG – I am assuming they will merge in some way since Chase owns both. Or it might go generic. US Bank used to have the Northwest airlines card, and mine just turned into a more generic FlexPerks travel rewards card, but that was because Delta had their own agreement with American Express.

    @Jenna – Yes, as MattG mentioned United also has a card through Chase. Most airlines have some sort of initial sign-up. However, I don’t see a free checked bag or primary rental car insurance, which are differentiators in my opinion.

  7. I signed for this card last year before a big trip. Even though the offer didn’t include the first year fee waiver, it more than paid for itself just because your first checked bag is free. My wife and I both travelled with one checked bag and this saved us $100 total ($25/bag one way x 2 people x 2 for round trip). Netted us $15 plus I got 25,000 miles.

    I don’t use this card for charging much, since I calculate that it only returns about 1% (25,000 miles = $250 plane ticket). Also, if you have ever tried to cash in those 25,000 miles for a free flight, you know how limited reward tickets are.

    Better to get a 2% cash back card like the Fidelity AMEX Investment Rewards card and use that.

  8. Anyone know if any inactivity fees are imposed for this card. It sounds good …

  9. I think they also give you $2 off booze if you pay with your OnePass card. Hey, for some people that alone is worth the $85 fee!

  10. The application says that I need a “one pass number”? I need to have a membership already with one pass?

  11. @lynn – No, you don’t need one, but if you already have one they’ll just deposit into your existing OnePass account. Otherwise they’ll assign you a new number.

  12. The Continental One Pass program advertisement clearly stated that one can upgrade (one way) from economy (T) class with 500 dollars and 20,000 miles. I had 25,000 miles and needed to purchase 15,000 miles at $ 525 dollars, to reach 40,000 enough for two one way upgrades. This included the partner airline LOT, which flies to Poland.

    After I purchased the added miles, I went to redeem my miles. I found out that it only applies to B or Y class tickets. But, that was NOT what the advertisement stated. It clearly stated you could upgrade from a (T) class ticket. Now they will not refund my purchase of the $ 525 dollars. They said you could use the miles on other flights, or upgrade to a B or Y class ticket first.

    This is called Bait and Switch and it is illegal. My Chase credit card ruled in their favor. What in-competence, and ignorance of the law. A (T) class ticket with $500, was offered as an enticement to buy or accumulate more miles. However the Bait and Switch tactic after the mileage was purchased is you have to upgrade to a B or Y class ticket costing approximately $ 1000 more. I want my money back, and will pursue this with the Better Business Bureau and every other consumer advocacy group that will listen. Including the Small Claims Court.

  13. To all considering this card for the first bag checked in free be warned…
    When you book through the Continental website you are offered flights operated by United, too. If you choose to fly United, thinking the two companies merged, and you get your first checked bag free, you would be wrong. Do not make the same mistake I did. The deal works only when you fly continental operated flights only.

    Since they are merging some flights are only operated by United so you may not have a choice, and not have the benefit honored.

    I will be getting rid of this card soon as they posted my last travel miles.

    Peace.
    Bill

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