American Express Co. and Continental Airlines said they have begun a pilot corporate smart card program.

The program, slated to run at least through April, is one of a series of chip card tests American Express has been conducting with various corporate partners. Another test is under way with American Airlines and Hilton Hotels Corp.

Up to 5,000 frequent-traveling American Express corporate cardholders will have the option of combining the Continental Airlines smart card with the Hilton Hotels program, which began in June.

The Continental smart card lets customers do automatic airport check- ins, obtain seat assignments, change flights, and confirm mileage points, among other features.

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