Chase Launches New United Explorer and Continental Onepass Plus Card Offers

by on July 19, 2011 · 23 comments

in Chase, Continental, Credit Cards, United

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Update: The current offer for the United Explorer card is 30,000 miles with $1,000 spend within 3 months or 50,000 miles with $2,000 spend in 3 months when you sign up in a Chase branch.

Chase announced identical offers for new United and Continental credit cards today. These are decent offers, but nothing that has me really excited. If you fly United/Continental and want some perks, these cards might make sense. However, as I wrote earlier today, I think there are better Chase offerings right now, including the Sapphire Preferred card, which has a 50,000 point bonus (expired) after only $3,000 in spend in 3 months (and those points transfer to United/Continental, British Airways, Hyatt, Marriott, Priority Club and Amtrak) instantly. That being said, the Sapphire Preferred card won’t get you free bags or priority boarding so if those benefits interest you, you should look into either one of the new cards.

United Explorer

The details:
Sign-up bonus: 25,000 miles after first purchase, 5,000 miles for adding an authorized user and 10,000 miles every calendar year when you spend $25,000. This is a little bit annoying that they have this relatively large spend threshold and you only have less than half the year to meet it.

Mileage earning: 2 miles per dollar spent on United/Continental purchases, 1 mile per dollar for everything else

Annual Fee: $95, waived the first year.

Airline benefits: Free first checked bag for you and a companion on United/Continental flights, Priority boarding, 2 lounge passes every year.

Other benefits: Primary auto rental insurance with coverage up to $500,000, purchase protection up to $10,000, concierge service and luxury hotel benefits

So overall, if you fly United/Continental and you are happy with those miles (which can be used for award travel on all 27 Star Alliance members), then using this card as your primary mileage earning card may make sense. I found their marketing chart comparing the card offerings to American Express to be pretty interesting. I love competition, so it’s nice to see Chase nipping at the Amex’ feet because I hope Amex responds with even bigger bonuses! Right now their 10/15/25 bonuses for the Gold/Premier Rewards Gold and Platinum cards are pretty boring (even though they can be bumped to eye-popping 75/75/100 bonuses with a simple phone call as I highlighted in this post).

To be fair to Amex, they could easily respond with two key counterpoints: Ability to transfer (and at times with up to a 50% bonus) to Oneworld, Skyteam and other airline partners?: Amex Premier Rewards, Yes/ Continental No. 3x points for all airfare Amex Premier Rewards: Yes/  Continental No (only 2x and only on United/Continental purchases).

OnePass Plus (Registered Trademark) Credit Card - APPLY NOWOpens in same window
American Express (Registered Trademark) Platinum Card - APPLY NOW Opens in same window
Benefit Continental Airlines OnePass® Plus Card** American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card
Earn OnePass® miles blue check
Redeem points through OnePass® program blue check Ending September 30, 2011
Redeem for hotel and car rentals blue check black check
Annual spending bonus after $25,000 after $30,000
First Checked Bag Free on Continental blue check
Two Continental Presidents Club® passes annually blue check
Premium customer service blue check black check
Luxury hotels & resorts programs blue check
Concierge service blue check
Rental car coverage Primary Secondary
Travel accident insurance $500,000 $250,000
Purchase protection Up to $10,000 per occurrence Up to $1,000 per occurrence
Extended protection blue check black check
Return protection blue check black check
Trip cancellation and trip delay blue check
Price protection blue check
Worldwide merchant acceptance 30 million 15 million
Annual fee $95 $175

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Rick

    If you have an existing Chase Continental card from the 50K promo earlier this year? Will that card have priority boarding?

  • Rick73s

    I got a 50K mile offer via email for the One pass plus so keep an eye out!

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  • Anonymous

    Definitely a better offer!

  • Anonymous

    Not right away. At some point they may try to merge all Continental cards into United cards and the Explorer will probably be the default, though TBD at this point unless someone else knows

  • Mike L

    Note that if you hold elite status with United, you’ll probably have a targeted offer if you log into the UA site. I got 50k miles after first purchase, along with the standard 10k miles after $25k yearly spend.

  • Rick

    The 50K offer has nothing to do with being elite or not elite, numerous non elite people were targeted

  • Mike L

    Ah I wasn’t aware of that. Thanks for the info!

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  • aaron

    do you think we could still apply for both the continental and united cards and receive both bonuses?

  • Mchughgjjl

    Help, Applied for CO card but turned down because of British Airways card and Amtrack cards obtained this year. Will same thing happen if I go for Chase Sapphire or AA Citibank business?

  • Anonymous

    The decline is normal- just call the reconsideration line at 1-888-245-0625 and they should work with you to get your approved (you may need to shift around your BA/Amtrak card credit limits). You should be fine for the Citi cards as long as your credit is good. I’d recommend waiting at least 1 month before applying for Sapphire

  • Beadedgoblets

    i just applied for the United CHASE Explorer card. am i still eligible to receive the CHASE Sapphire Preferred or while i be refused because i already have a Chase card?

  • Anonymous

    You are still eligible to get the sapphire preferred (as well as any other chase card). Chase views each card as a separate product, so you can get the bonus as long as you’ve never had that specific card in the past

  • Beadedgoblets

    i’ve had a chase sapphire but not the preferred. however, that card has been cancelled. hopefully that will not prevent my eligibility for getting the sapphire preferred. thanks for your help

  • PW

    I noticed the site for United says the points promo for first time card holders only. I’ve had a Untied CC in the past but closed it once the free first year annual fee offer was over. Will I still qualify for the promo or is it a better idea to apply for the Continental card and hope they merge the points once the merger of the airlines is complete?

  • Anonymous

    PW- you can link your United and Continental accounts now and transfer miles instantly in between

    So, yes, I think the Continental card is a safer bet!

  • Anonymous

    If you are first time cardholder for both, yes. Chase may not approve both right away, but if you have a reason why you’d need both (maybe one for a particular kind of spend vs another) you should be able to get both

  • JTG

    On the T&C it says in order to get the free checked bags, the ticket must be purchased with the United Explorer credit card. What isn’t clear to me from this language is if award flights qualify for the free checked bags. Sure, I can easily charge the $5 fee or whatever it is for the award flight to the Explorer card but will this qualify in United’s eyes?

  • Mchughgjjl

    Hey it worked- once I suggested lower credit (or even cancel) the previous Chase BA card they said they would lower credti limit there and I then get the new card! I would think they would worry about how much you spend v how much you could borrow but I can now start buil

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  • Rick

    Do you think it’s worth it for a current UA Premier Exec (thanks to a status match with CO prior to the merger) who has the Chase UA Mileage Plus Visa (free for a few more months during the first year) to upgrade to UA Explorer?

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