Chase Sapphire Reserve℠

New Southwest Rapid Rewards 2.0 Chase Credit Cards

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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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named a 'Best Credit Card' for Travel Rewards by MONEY Magazine
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
N/A 16.24%-23.24% Variable Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95 0% Excellent Credit