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Earn Airline Bonus Twice With Chase Cards

Continental Airlines and United Airlines offer seperate rewards cardsWhen the merger of two of the nation’s largest airlines is completed in mid-2012, the separate credit card rewards programs offered by Continental Airlines and United Airlines will be folded into one.

With the two still offering separate credit cards, however, frequent flyers can take advantage.

Chase, which issues both credit cards, confirmed that consumers can earn a double bonus when they acquire both a United MileagePlus Explorer Card and a Continental OnePass Plus Card.

Alone, each of these cards carries a possible 40,000-mile bonus in the first year. If you qualify and meet the minimum spending requirements, you can earn up to 80,000 miles, enough for a couple of free round-trip flights.

Both the United Explorer and Continental OnePass Cards offer pretty much the same thing:

  • 25,000 bonus miles after making just one purchase.
  • 5,000 bonus miles after adding an authorized cardholder within two months of opening the account.
  • 10,000 bonus miles when spending $25,000 annually.

In addition to these bonus miles, these two credit cards also offer:

  • Double miles when you purchase tickets for Continental and United flights, and one mile for every $1 spent on everything else.
  • Free bag check-in on the first bag for the cardholder and a traveling companion.
  • Two courtesy lounge passes annually.
  • Priority boarding. Card members can board immediately after those with elite status.

Both cards carry a $95 annual fee, which is waived during the first year, and a variable annual percentage rate of 14.24% (that’s the prime rate of 3.25% plus 10.99%) on purchases.

The question becomes what will happen to cardholders of the Continental OnePass Plus Card once the brand no longer exists.

According to two different Chase representatives I contacted, those cards will simply be moved over to the United MileagePlus Explorer platform.

In past mergers that have affected credit card accounts, any duplicate accounts are closed leaving only one active account.

So if you signed up for both the Continental and United airline cards today, one of these accounts will be closed when United and Continental complete the merger.

You will ding your credit score (which is negatively affected when you close a credit card account) to receive the additional bonus miles.

Compare these and other airline miles credit card offers in our extensive database.

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