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Update: This offer is no longer available. View the current offer for the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card here.
Chase just launched a new Southwest co-branded card which comes with 50,000 Rapid Rewards points after your first purchase, which is up to $833 in Wanna Get Away fares. This offer is similar to their previous 50,000 point Premier Visa Signature offer (update: the Premier still appears to be available when you look at the bottom of the page of the Plus card link – I was told it was no longer available so if you apply I’d take screenshots), but this annual fee is only $69 vs. $99. However the yearly retention bonus is 3,000 points ($50 in Wanna Get Away fares) vs. the Premier’s 6,000 ($100) so if you value elite points and will keep the card, then paying a little more for the Premier might make more sense. I’ve been told the end date for the Plus card’s limited time offer is November 17, 2011 – but that could change, so I’ll keep this post updated if I hear anything new.
Some key benefits of Southwest –
– 2 free checked bags
– Points don’t expire as long as you have any qualifying activity within 24 months
– No change fees. If you cancel a flight, you get your money back in the form of a voucher towards a future flight.
In a nutshell, I think this is a great offer if you have Southwest travel coming up, plus these points count towards the 110,000 needed for the companion pass, which is one of the best perks in the airline business. Once you get a companion pass, someone else can join you for free on any flight you take.
After you factor out the initial $69 fee, you are getting at least $764 towards Wanna Get Away fares, which can be enough for several roundtrip flights depending on the routes you fly. The Chase marketing team just uses “2 Free Roundtrips” to help simplify the message, but in reality this could be more or less depending on the value of the flights you taken because Southwest has a fixed value loyalty program. To read about their new program, check out this post.
If you’ve recently applied for a Chase card within the past 6 months you may initially get denied for this card, but Chase has a very generous reconsideration line staffed with rational human beings – for the most part. See this post on how people got reconsidered successfully for the Sapphire Preferred – the same general rules apply. You may be asked to shift around the credit lines of other cards, but usually they will work with you to get you approved. If you got the Southwest Premier 50k offer, I’m not 100% sure if you’d be eligible for this as well. Technically they are different products and I don’t see anything in the T&C prohibiting this sign-up bonus if you’ve had another Southwest card. If anyone has any experience getting both (or not) please feel free to comment below.