Trust, But Verify: Fact Checking the Newsletter

I make mistakes, too. Read what I have to say, but make sure I really mean what I said. I don’t proofread very well, so I imagine it’s possible that I could make a similar mistake some day. If I do, I apologize in advance.

I was reading the emal newsletter and came across what seemed like an interesting offer. Continental will sell you 50% bonus miles — up to 17,500 for $175 (or a 30% bonus up to 12,500 for $125). You have to max out your flying under the offer in order to be paying only a penny a point for the miles. For someone who is going to hit the flying targets anyway it’s probably worth it. It wouldn’t have been when Continental was a member of Skyteam, but their miles really are now worth clearly more than the penny apiece price of the offer.

But was really interesting was this statement in the newsletter:

The miles do count toward elite status.

Wowsers. $175 for 50% bonus elite qualifying miles, that sounds great. But wait. I went over to the offer and read the terms and conditions:

Mileage bonuses and enrollment bonus does not qualify toward OnePass Elite status.

(Emphasis mine.)

Always read the fine print for yourself.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Be careful – I’ve been CO Silver for the past 2 years and signed up for this at the beginning of the year, fully expecting to easily earn the miles. But then AC had some great deals and I credited about 28K miles to my Mileage Plus account. Then double EQM came out so it made sense to fly my 2 planned west coast trips on UA, where I’m now Premier Executive. So I haven’t flown a single mile on CO in 2009, despite having paid for this promotion!

  2. CO runs this pretty much every year, though this year it appears to be targeted to different people. I (CO Plat) got an offer for 12,500 miles for $125 or 17,500 for $175 — both at the 50% bonus rate, no discount on the lower rung. (FWIW, I’ve taken advantage of this deal for the last two years at the highest level available.) My wife (CO nada) didn’t get anything this year, and it didn’t show up on the CO site when I logged in as her.

    So I’d encourage everyone thinking about this to read the TOCs as they apply to you individually.

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