Continental & Amex Rewards: Where to put those points?

Tracy Stewart, October 05, 2010
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. Perhaps it was inevitable that after forging so close a relationship with Chase Bank, Continental would leave the American Express membership rewards program next year. But I’m worried:  I have about 450,000 miles in the Continental OnePass frequent flier program, and about 600,000 points with American Express. I was hoping to pool these and upon retirement do something fancy.  What’s your advice?  Where will my points do more in the end?

    A. A couple of things to consider: You can certainly transfer your Amex points into the Continental program (although this is non-reversible once done) and you’ll have over one million points in Continental, which will next year mean that you have that amount in United’s MileagePlus program. Plus, any miles you might have in United’s program will be added to the pot. You should be able to fly almost anywhere the combined United-Continental flies in first class. But there’s no need to decide this year since Continental won’t leave the Amex program until Sept. 30 next year.