Visa to Become Exclusive Brand for Consolidated United Airlines and Continental Airlines U.S. Co-brand Card Portfolio

July 27, 2011 at 8:05 AM EDT

SAN FRANCISCO & CHICAGO, Jul 27, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), a global leader in payments, and United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: UAL) today announced a multi-year agreement extending Visa's decades-long partnership with United as the airline transitions to a single loyalty program, MileagePlus. Through the agreement, Visa will become the exclusive payment network partner for newly issued cards of the consolidated United and Continental co-branded portfolio. The cards will be issued by Chase Card Services, a division of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM). United and Visa will also collaborate on broader initiatives including innovation and sponsorship opportunities.

"United and Visa share a commitment to leadership and innovation, and our partnership enables us to deliver industry-leading products, capabilities, experiences and rewards to our customers," said Tom O'Toole, United senior vice president and chief operating officer of Mileage Plus Holdings, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of United Continental Holdings, Inc.

United has offered a portfolio of Visa card products since 1987, presenting United customers opportunities to earn MileagePlus miles while enjoying the convenience, global acceptance and security of Visa. The agreement maintains Visa's current exclusive United MileagePlus Visa relationship, and extends the Visa exclusivity to all new United MileagePlus co-branded cardholders beginning in January 2012.

"Visa and United share a long and successful history of working together to bring meaningful benefits to consumers," said Joseph Saunders, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Visa Inc. "Together, Visa and United with Chase have created one of the most popular rewards products in the world and we are pleased to extend our partnership with United, creating more opportunities to innovate and bring Visa to world travelers."

As part of the expanded agreement, Visa and United have agreed to jointly develop new benefits for MileagePlus Visa cardholders, such as enhanced access and services on mobile devices and to explore opportunities to maximize their shared support of global sponsorships.

About Visa

Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world's most advanced processing networks--VisaNet--that is capable of handling more than 20,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit

About United Continental Holdings, Inc.

United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: UAL) is the holding company for both United Airlines and Continental Airlines. Together with United Express, Continental Express and Continental Connection, these airlines operate an average of 5,765 flights a day to 377 airports on six continents from their hubs in Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Guam, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark Liberty, San Francisco, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. United and Continental are members of Star Alliance, which offers 21,000 daily flights to 1,160 airports in 181 countries. United and Continental's more than 80,000 employees reside in every U.S. state and in many countries around the world. For more information about United Continental Holdings, Inc., go to For more information about the airlines, see and or follow on Twitter and Facebook.

SOURCE: Visa Inc.

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