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I just received word that Wednesday, February 29 will be the last day to apply for the Continental OnePass Plus credit card. Starting March 1 the standard card of the “new” United will be the United Explorer card.
The sign-up bonus on the OnePass Plus card is 25,000 miles after first use, plus 5,000 miles for adding an authorized user. In addition to that, if you spend $25,000 on the card in the first year you earn 10,000 bonus miles, for a total of up to 40,000 miles for signing up. The annual fee on the card is $95, though it’s waived for the first year.
There’s no doubt Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has more benefits than the OnePass Plus card, including a 40,000 point sign-up bonus, double points on dining and travel, and no foreign transaction fee.
That being said, we’re in a bit of a “use it or lose it” situation with the OnePass Plus card, given that this is the last opportunity to sign up for the card and still get the bonus. Starting on March 1 you’ll no longer be able to earn this bonus. If you sign up for the OnePass Plus card you shouldn’t have an issue still earning the bonus on the United Explorer card in the future. So if it’s between the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Continental OnePass Plus card right now I’d probably sign up for the Continental card now, since there’s a good chance the Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus will still be around in a couple of months.
So if you don’t have the card already, I’d seriously consider signing up for the Continental OnePass Plus card…
Update: It appears as if the terms and conditions say you can only earn one bonus between the Continental OnePass Plus and United Explorer card after July 19, 2011, so it may make sense to hold out for a better bonus. Whether or not it’s enforced in practice, though, I don’t know.