The best mileage bonus offers are generally reserved for members signing up for credit cards, but Continental is offering 25,000 bonus miles for OnePass members who open a Chase checking account and Continental Airlines debit card through Dec. 31, 2009. There is an annual fee for the debit card, but cardholders and their traveling companions will be able to check a first bag for free and save the $30-40 per person required to check a bag roundtrip on Continental flights, a feature that makes this card valuable if you fly on Continental just once or twice a year and check a bag.
There are two debit cards from which to choose. The Continental Airlines debit card has an annual fee of $25 and earns one mile for every two dollars spent. The Preferred debit card has an annual fee of $65 and earns one mile for every dollar spent. Both cards offer the fee waiver for a first checked bag, double miles on Continental Airlines tickets and double miles when shopping at the ShopOnePass mileage mall.
To receive the 25,000-mile bonus offer, visit http://www.insideflyer.com/link/?1761 and print out the coupon on the page to take with you to a Chase branch when opening an account. You will need to deposit a minimum of $100 to open a Chase checking account and make five debit card purchases with a linked Chase debit card or set up a repeating direct deposit to earn 10,000 bonus miles. Make a purchase with your Continental Airlines debit card or Preferred debit card to receive the 15,000 miles for a total 25,000 bonus miles.
You can earn an additional 25,000 bonus miles for opening a Chase Business Classic Checking account and depositing $500 within the first 30 days and opening a Chase Continental Airlines Business debit card, which has a $65 annual fee. Go to http://www.insideflyer.com/link/?1762 for more information.
Bottom line: The $25 or $65 annual fee is cheaper than the fees charged by most airline co-branded credit cards and you can cancel the card after the miles are credited to your account to avoid the yearly fee. You will need to physically visit a Chase branch to take advantage of this offer, but 50,000 miles (enough miles for a roundtrip coach ticket to Europe) for opening up two checking accounts (regular and business) and two debit cards is an offer you may want to consider.