Frequent flyer tie-ups are not permanent and are quite often dependent on many variables. Credit card reward programs offers rewards such as air miles, cash rewards or merchandise etc. In the U.S. alone there are approximately 1.7 billion loyalty program memberships. The best option for each individual bearing in mind the overall cost requires a bit of research. Being a member of Continental`s One Pass Program and having an American Express card linkage with the membership rewards program has many advantages.
Membership Rewards points being converted into OnePass miles has added value. But to get value for money, one should first determine the time frame to redeem the reward points and has to be aware of the expiry date as well. A reward offered by American Express Card that is of the Centurion or the Platinum variety also includes access to airport lounges. Both cardholders and Continental customers are at an advantage in this situation. But as per the latest news release by American Express, the Continental-American Express relationship seems to have come to an end with the two withdrawing its tie-ups and resulting in a host of inconveniences to both cardholders as well as Continental customers. The breakup is imminent by September 30, 2011.
Continental seems to have decided to partner with United, an airline which has absolutely no connection whatsoever with American Express. Mileage Plus Credit Cards, Chase, has a tie up with United and they are competitors with American Express.
American Express on its part seems to have sensed that this breakup was imminent and has made a preemptive move by adding US Airways to its list of airlines that would be offering lounge access at airports to Centurion and Platinum cardholders. This could be an act to save face and regain the lost value after its partnership with Continental crumbled. Some of the other value-added additions to Centurion and Platinum Card holders are a 200-dollar airline fee reimbursement annually which includes in-flight food, baggage fees, airport lounge passes, flight change fees etc. In addition, Cardholders will benefit by getting 20% of the points credited into their accounts if they use Pay with Points when they travel. In other words, it would mean a 20% travel bonus.
By the end of the day, the frequent flyer program would not suffer any drastic changes with respect to the severed ties between American Express and Continental as these are minimal changes that are sometimes beyond anyone`s control. But it is worth remembering that nothing is here to stay so it pays to always be prepared.