Effective April 1, 2011, Continental Airlines debit cardholders will no longer receive a fee waiver for checked bags as an ongoing card benefit. This change effects the Chase Continental Airlines Debit Card, Chase Continental Airlines Preferred Debit Card and Chase Continental Airlines Business Debit Card. Continental Chase OnePass co-branded credit cardholders will continue to be able to check their first bag for free on Continental Airlines when paying with their credit card.
Bottom line: The free first checked bag was an attractive benefit of the Chase OnePass debit cards and if you are non-elite and value this benefit, you will need to acquire a credit card. The change is likely a result of recent legislation that will place a limit on the debit card swipe fees merchants are required to pay. Now that debit cards will generate less revenue for the banks, perks such as a fee-free piece of checked luggage will be going away.