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…………..a no fee Continental Presidential Plus Credit Card!! Seriously, it’s fantastic. Heck, even with its hefty fee it’s still pretty scrumptious. Here’s the scoop – it gets you the normal one Onepass mile per dollar spent on the card for most purchases and two miles per dollar on Continental, hotel, and car rental purchases. That is better than the Onepass Plus that only give you one mile per dollar on hotel and car rentals. However, the real reason this card makes me want to eat it up is the President’s Club access that it gives you and your family. As I have mentioned before, President’s Clubs are happy, peaceful, snack-filled havens from the airport craziness. Many even have a room just for families! President’s Clubs are great to relax in on a regular basis, but even better when you need help due to delays or cancellations. The agents in there are generally fantastic and are who you want to go to if you need help.
If you don’t have access through a membership or credit card then it is typically $50 per person to get in. As you can see, for a family this would add up very quickly if you had to pay per person. For that reason, if you travel at least a few times a year, it is worth it to consider. Typically the Presidential Plus card comes with a $395 annual fee, but I received an offer for the first year free at my house a few weeks ago and it made me salivate.
This card comes with other great benefits too, such as: Elite Access in the airport so you can go through a shorter security line, board early, and have your bags come out first; Primary Rental Car Insurance (so you can deny the insurance the rental car companies try to scare you into); and you can earn miles towards elite status with the airline. Elite status gets you space-available first class upgrades!!
Aside from the high annual fee, the only downside to signing up for this card right now is that it doesn’t come with any bonus sign-up miles. I hesitate to create an inquiry on my credit score without getting a mileage bonus for us. I typically value my bonus sign-ups at more than $395, so I’m not sure if I am going to actually bite on this offer, but I really want to. Since my Platinum AMEX grants me President’s Club access until Sept 30th of this year, I will probably hold off until then to get this card. Who knows if I will be given another chance for a free first year at that time, but I will keep my fingers crossed. With this credit card points game you really have to weigh carefully if getting any certain card is worth it. Since every inquiry for a new card drops your score a little you do have to be somewhat careful. It’s really a nice problem to have though – deciding which of the many fantastic offers out there to take advantage of!
If you weren’t targeted for this offer, you can still get the card here with a $95 statement credit which bring its price down to $300 for the first year. While it is a chunk of change, it is a good deal compared to the regular President’s Club membership that costs $450 a year if you don’t have the credit card (plus you don’t get any of the other awesome benefits). Another option would be to get the similar United Mileage Plus Club Visa. It comes with a $375 annual fee and 30,000 United miles after $250 spent on the card. That makes it a better bet than the Presidential Plus card if you weren’t targeted for the same offer I was. This card has slightly different benefits than the Presidential Plus card, but it does offer lounge access to the United Red Carpet Club. The President’s Club and Red Carpet club are both very similar, and you have access to both with either card as United and Continental are merging. Soon all clubs will be under one name.
My parents are on a low-cost, points sponsored trip right now. I gave them a couple passes to the President’s Club that I receive each year with my Onepass Plus card and they were nice enough to take some pictures and send me some thoughts that I will share here very soon to further emphasize why access to airport lounges is a huge benefit for traveling families! This was their first time in an airport lounge, so their thoughts were pretty interesting. Stay tuned!