Chase Manhattan Corp. and Continental Airlines have signed an eight-year contract for a cobranded credit card, the companies announced Thursday.

The deal, signed in January, shows Chase's intention to claim a larger share of the lucrative airline card market. Chase issues a British Airways card, but the most popular airline cobranding programs are run by Citicorp with American Airlines, and American Express Co. with Delta Airlines.

The Continental Airlines card, available in both Visa and MasterCard, will be offered to consumers this month. Each dollar spent on the card will translate into a mile earned in Continental's OnePass frequent-flier program. New customers will earn 4,000 bonus miles upon sign-up.

The classic version of the card will have a $45 annual fee and an interest rate of prime plus 9.4%. The platinum card will cost $65 a year and have an interest rate of prime plus 8.4%.

Chase's credit card portfolio has more than 20 million accounts and $30 billion in outstandings. Chase's other cobrand partners include Shell Oil and Bell Atlantic.

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