Early in 2011 Chase made some dramatic changes to the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card. This, of course, was in response to some dramatic changes with the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Program.
Southwest Airline Rapid Rewards Quick Intro
Southwest now uses a points based award system. The number of points you earn is based on the Fare Type.
- Business select flights earn 12 points per dollar spent.
- Anytime fare holders earn 10 dollars per dollar spent.
- The Wanna Get Away fares earn 6 points per dollar spent.
Of course, one of the fastest ways to maximize your free flight frequency with Southwest is by getting the Southwest Chase Visa credit card.
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card Introduction and Review
Sign up for the Southwest Visa Plus card, and you’ll earn 25,000 points after your first purchase. The card has a $69 annual fee.
Earn points with every purchase:
- 1 point per dollar spent. This means for a $100 flight you would need to spend $6,000. The value of every point is about 1.6 cents return per dollar.
- 2 points for every dollar spent at Southwest and specific Southwest partner purchases. Spending at these locations would earn about 3.2 cents per dollar.
So what can you get with 25,000 points?
That all depends on your fare type. You’ll get the most miles out of every dollar you spend on Wanna Get Away fares. Beyond the Wanna Get Away fares, your flights will get progressively more expensive (in terms of the number of points required).
Below is the sample chart for the Wanna Get Away Fares:
As you can see, the formula is relatively simple.
Purchase price (Wanna Get Away Fare) x 60 = number of points required.
Now let’s look at the number of points required for flights in other fare classes:
- With a Wanna Get Away fare, your 25,000 points from your sign up bonus can get you $415 worth of Southwest flights.
- With the Anytime fare class, your 25,000 bonus points are worth $250.
- The Business Select class will only net you $208 worth of flights.
Obviously, this points system favors those who know how to find the best prices on Southwest airlines and those who are willing to fly with a Wanna Get Away fare.
Who is the Chase Southwest Plus for?
I can only think of two types of people I’d recommend this new Chase Southwest Visa card to:
- Those who fly Southwest a lot who are willing to buy Wanna Get Away fare type flights. The 3.2% return you’ll get on Southwest flights will be hard to beat.
- Those who want to sign up for the card to take advantage of the 25,000 point sign up bonus.
Alternative Recommended Credit Cards to the Chase Southwest Visa Plus
If I were on the market for a new card to get a good travel bonus and I was genuinely interested in earning points for flights, I would opt for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. With that card, you’ll get $625 worth of travel rewards after $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days. That’s nearly double the Chase Southwest promotional value of $333.33.
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