Chase/United Enhance Credit Card Benefits

by on September 8, 2011 · 6 comments

in Chase, Continental, United

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United and Chase recently rolled out a new co-branded credit card, The Explorer Card and it was met with mixed reviews. The 40,000 point sign-up bonus was okay (it was actually a 25,000 point sign-up, 5,000 for adding an authorized user and then 10,000 every year you spend $25,000). However, the card comes with a bunch of benefits that could save you time and money if you are a United/Continental flyer. The key benefits I highlighted in my original review were: 2x points on United/Continental purchases, free first checked bag for you and a companion on United/Continental flights, Priority boarding, 2 lounge passes every year, primary auto rental insurance with coverage up to $500,000, purchase protection up to $10,000, concierge service and luxury hotel benefits.

However, since the launch of the card, United has added three key benefits that may make it worth your while:

1) EasyPass (Anytime) awards will now only be available to cardholders. Currently, anyone can book one of those awards (and pay roughly twice the miles), however starting March 15, 2012 the only option will be saver awards – unless you have the Explorer or OnePass Plus. A definite loss for those who need the flexibility of Anytime awards (even though I generally don’t encourage spending that many miles for an award!).

2) Award Ticket Upgrades for elites. Elite members who are traveling on a reward ticket will be eligible for unlimited complimentary First Class upgrades when available on flights operated by Continental and Continental Micronesia. Details at eliteupgrades. Available on March 15, 2012 as well.

3) Miles don’t expire for cardholders, but they still will for everyone else. Beginning January 1, 2012. Technically miles would have never expired if you used the credit card at least once every 18 months, which I’ll assume most people who pay $95 a year in annual card fees do!

The Chase Continental OnePass Plus card also carries the same three benefits, so if you’re interested in applying for that instead, you can find the link below as well.

Note: There are targeted offers of up to 60,000 miles, so be on the lookout for mailings/emails.

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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  • Latimer

    I was told that the One Pass plus would be converted to the explorer card next year and that existing cardholders would maintain the 85 dollar annual fee, which is a 10 dollar discount. i’m hoping this is true.

  • Spencer Wheelwright

    Does the Chase Mileage Plus Select Visa still exist (for new applicants)?

  • Anonymous

    My current United Mileage Plus Select card earns 3x miles on United purchases, so I’d like to keep that at long as possible.
    Based on what you’ve said above, are they eliminating Standard award tickets except for Explorer Card holders? Even for Elites? I find it difficult to believe that only Saver awards will be offered.

  • Ndesq

    Same comment as everyone else: I’m happy with my United Mileage Plus Select card and I get 3x miles on United purchases and 2x on dining, grocery, gas and home improvement purchases. TPG:

    1. is Chase basically trying to strong-arm its existing MP cardholders to gravitate over to Explorer?
    2. do we have a better deal with the Mileage Plus Select card? and
    3. is Explorer worth considering at all?

    Explorer didn’t excite me at all, so I’m a bit hesitant to even consider this.

  • Spencer Wheelwright

    For those interested, I made a few calls yesterday to Chase to try to check the availability of the Mileage Plus Select card, and as far as they could tell me, that card is no longer available for new applicants. I also noticed that pages on or that used to mention the Select Visa are now gone. I’m guessing this card is just for those who got it before the launch of the Explorer card. Bummer.

  • Infiniteguest

    Do you anticipate the Presidential Plus experiencing a rebranding soon? I just got mine in the mail. As a semi-frequent traveling Houstonian it seemed like a pretty decent deal.

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