Continental One Pass Credit Card To Be Discontinued | Pitfalls and Opportunities

Shortly, the Continental One Pass credit card will be discontinued.

The only official material I have available to me is that the card will not be available for new sign-ups after Feb. 29th, 2012.

  • Should you rush out and apply for a Continental One Pass credit card?
  • Should you cancel your One Pass credit card if you have one?

The changes, of course, are because of the merger between United and Continental. Many changes are slowly being implemented. Currently, you can transfer miles between each program (Continental One Pass and United MileagePlus), but eventually they will be rolled into one program and one account.

Should you apply for the Continental card if you don’t have one?

On the surface, this might seem like a great opportunity to get the Continental One Pass card.

The theory goes something like this: If you get the Continental card, you’ll get the sign up bonus (a mere 25,000). Then if you cancel the card before it becomes a United credit card, you’ll be able to get a sign up bonus later for the United card too.

Sounds good in theory, but I don’t suggest you try it.


1. The United Explorer terms and conditions seem to indicate Chase will not allow you to get a sign up bonus for the United Explorer and the Continental One Pass card if you apply after July 19th, 2011.

“United MileagePlus Explorer cardmembers will only receive one 25,000 bonus miles award if they apply for both the United Explorer Card and the Continental OnePass Plus Card after 7/19/2011.”

That’s why I did suggest earlier in the year that readers get the Continental card.

2. It’s not worth the risk when most people are eligible to get a 50,000 United credit card. I’ve already talked about how to check to see if you’re eligible for the 50,000 bonus points. Why risk a 50,000 mile sign up bonus for a 25,000 mile one?

3. The cards have very similar benefits. In fact, in the future (date unknown) the Continental One Pass cards will be converted into United cards.

Note: I had a helpful email this weekend from one of my readers named Gary. He said he had a conversation with a customer service agent who indicated that if you had a Continental card it will be changed to a new (as in, not currently existing) United credit card product in the spring. If this is the case (and I have my doubts), then I doubt there would be an issue with getting both bonuses. But, don’t bet on it.

It seems like the only possible opportunity here is for folks who have a United Explorer card (that they’ve had before July 19th, 2011) and don’t have the Continental One Pass card. For people in this situation, you have one last opportunity to get a 25,000 mile sign up bonus for Continental. You should be eligible if you’ve never had the Continental One Pass card. Since you already have the United card, there is no risk of jeopardizing your ability to get a bonus for the United card.

Should you cancel the Continental card if you have it?

If you have a credit application to spare with Chase, I would cancel the card before it was replaced with the United card. Once the card is replaced with the United card (new or existing product), you will no longer be able to get the bonus on the United card. Instead, I’d rather cancel the Continental card and apply for the United card with a 50,000 mile sign up bonus (instead of allowing Chase to just give you the card without a bonus).

If what Gary said above is true, this might not be an issue, but better to be safe than sorry.

One last caveat: Chase typically doesn’t allow personal applications close together. I suggest you allow at least a month between your first and second application. Then allow 3-6 months between your second and third Chase application. By getting the Continental One Pass card for 25,000 miles, you may miss out on any other possible Chase mileage promotions.


  1. Anthony says

    Here’s a possible hint on the Continental / United cards. After applying for and receiving the Continental card with 50k miles I also applied for the United card with 50k miles too. Unfortunately, I was rejected. I called the Chase customer service line and ask why I was rejected with a high credit score. Long story short, I was able to basically move an existing account over to the United offer and did receive the 50k miles x 2. I had to close the former points account and that was fine by me.

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