New Southwest Rapid Rewards 2.0 Chase Credit Cards

by on March 2, 2011 · 3 comments

in Credit Cards, Southwest

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Update: This offer is no longer available. View the current offer for the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card here.

March 1st marked the start of Southwest’s new frequent flyer program, Rapid Rewards 2.0. The most significant change is that Southwest is now issuing points instead of credits. No longer can you fly 8 roundtrips and get a free roundtrip – you now earn different points for different fare types and your points have a sliding value depending on the fare you choose for your award.

With this new point system, Chase is launching two new credit cards, each with sign-on bonuses after the first purchase:
20,000, $69 annual fee. 3,000 points ($50 in flights) awarded each anniversary.
30,000, $99 annual fee. 6,000 points ($100 in flights) awarded each anniversary. 1,500 Tier Points for every 10,000 in spend.

Southwest is allowing those who have old credits (as few as .25) to convert “new” points to credits at 1,200 points = 1 credit. So 20,000 points = 16.67 credits.

Whereas 8 credits (which would have equaled a one way award ticket with the old guard) in the new program equals 20,000 points and are worth different amounts depending on the fare you are redeeming for:
Wanna Get Away: $333
Anytime: $200
Business Select: $167

30,000 points are worth:
Wanna Get Away: $500
Anytime: $300
Business Select: $250

I would have liked to see the annual fees waived for the first year and no foreign transaction fees since Chase is doing that on the United and Continental cards, but I’m thinking they will sweeten the deal as time goes on. If so, I’ll definitely cover it here.

I’m not a Southwest frequent flyer, but I can’t imagine many people are happy with the new changes. I suppose if you are a frequent business traveler who purchases expense fares and redeems for cheap tickets, you could come out ahead, but I think Southwest is going against their mantra of simplicity by implementing this new complex system of earning/redeeming ratios. That being said, I do like their elite program enhancements and the ability to redeem for international flights.

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  • Daniel

    I got a 2 free flight card in december… I was planning on holding off usage till feb so that I could use the free flights next february. Then I heard about the new RR, so I waited it out till Tuesday to use the card… I just hope I get the 38,400 points now! I certainly expect it to be that way. Also, I think my card only had a $59 annual fee! I think I made out pretty good (so long as I get all my points).

  • Andrew

    The link for the 30,000 mile one isn’t working. (You can get to the page describing it, but it always gives an error if you try to click on the ‘Apply’ link.)

    Do you have an updated link for that offer?

  • Kaladeb

    If the anniversary points have already been deposited, will they be pulled if I cancel the card and don’t pay the 2nd year’s fee?

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