In the spirit of spreading the miles wealth, last year I had told many of my friends and family to sign up for the Continental 50k credit card offer from Chase. It was one of the best deals of last year because it gave 50k miles instantly after your first purchase with no minimum spend requirements and the first year annual fee was waived. Also depending on how poorly Chase managed your account, you most likely received 2 free Continental club passes prior to your anniversary date. (I still received my 2 club passes even though I had closed the card!)
Well now that the United and Continental merger is almost complete and the annual fee is coming due, therefore a lot of people are asking me what to do with their Continental card?
I called Chase the other day to close my Mom’s Continental card and was given the hard sell for keeping the card. They were really insistent that my Mom keep the card open and it is easy to see how people not accustomed to the credit card churning game could easily be pressured to keep the card. Luckily, I was closing the card and not my Mom, so the representative’s persuasiveness got nowhere.
I am not 100% sure but I suspect that once the United / Continental merger is complete, Chase will switch over the Continental card to the new United MileagePlus Explorer card. Typically when these types of forced conversions happen, you don’t receive any miles for switching to the new card.
Therefore, if you currently have the Continental card, I suggest you do either close the card or downgrade it to the Chase Freedom card. In previous posts, I have talked about the many benefits of having the Chase Freedom card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. Since the Chase Freedom has no annual fee and some really useful 5% quarterly rotating categories, I personally think it is better to downgrade the Continental card rather than flat-out close it. Also by downgrading, it won’t cause an inquiry on your credit report. (Note: I receive no commissions or revenue from recommending the Chase Freedom card or any cards mentioned in this post.)
If you currently don’t have the Continental card or didn’t recently sign up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, I would suggest signing up for the new United MileagePlus Explorer card. It will net you 50k miles after your first purchase and an additional 10k if you spend $25k in a year (not to mention the additional 25k miles for the $25k spend). Also this is a great offer because there is no minimum spend requirement!
What did you do with your Continental credit card? Keep it, close it, or downgrade it?