Amex: Clock Is Ticking on Continental Frequent-Flyer Miles

September 15, 2010
Terri Cullen

American Express customers will no longer be able to redeem rewards points for frequent-flyer miles on Continental Airlines through its "OnePass" program, starting Sept. 30, 2011. Amex also introduced new financial incentives for Platinum and Centurion card holders.

American Express credit-card customers have just been give notice: Card holders will no longer be able to redeem rewards points for frequent-flyer miles on Continental Airlines through its “OnePass” program, starting Sept. 30, 2011.

Currently, card holders enrolled in American Express’ “Membership Rewards” program can redeem points for frequent-flyer miles through Continental’s “OnePass” program. Platinum Card and Centurion card holders also receive complimentary access to the airline’s President’s Club lounges.

“While these changes will not take effect for quite some time, we are telling cardmembers now so that they have a year to convert any of their points to the OnePass program and can also learn more about other benefits and options available,” said Lynne Biggar, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Membership Rewards, in a statement.

The company noted that card holders can continue to redeem points for travel on Continental through the Membership Rewards “Pay with Points” program.

American Express also said that it plans to introduce two new financial incentives for card holders with the Platinum Card and Centurion Card, starting Dec. 1, 2010:

  • A $200 Airline Fee Credit. Card holders can check their bags or buy in-flight meals on American Express, with credit for up to $200 a year for an airline still to be named. The credit will apply to such things as baggage fees, flight-change charges, in-flight flood and airport-lounge passes, the company said.
  • A 20 Percent Travel Bonus. Card holders who use the “Pay with Points” program to pay for part or all of their travel, including airlines, hotels, cruises and vacation packages, will get 20 percent of those points credited back to their account. For example, the company said, if a card holder redeems 30,000 points to pay for an airline ticket, American Express will credit 6,000 points in rewards back to the account.