Chase announces two new Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Visa cards

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Chase is set to launch two new Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Visa cards on March 1. The new cards are designed to help cardholders more quickly earn points that can be redeemed for airline credits with no blackout dates or seat restrictions, according to the airline's website.

And for a limited time, Southwest is offering not one, but two roundtrip flights after meeting spend requirements with the offers with Chase

New credit card reflects Southwest's revamped fare structure

According to company officials, updates to Southwest Airlines' fare structure will result in some major changes to one of Chase's most popular airline credit cards. In January, Southwest announced three streamlined airfare categories featuring a new line of "Business Select" fares that offer maximum flexibility and boarding privileges. The discount airline retained its lowest-cost "Wanna Get Away" fares and began calling all of its other rates "Anytime" fares.

Along with the airfare updates, Southwest rolled out plans to refresh its Rapid Rewards frequent flier program. Instead of earning flight credits, members will begin accruing reward points. Combinations of airfare category and purchasing frequency can help regular customers multiply their earnings on each flight. While the new program adds some complexity to Rapid Rewards, frequent business travelers can earn tickets faster than ever.

Credit card earns points for flights without flying

With the help of the new Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Chase Visa card, cardholders can earn points without even flying. Under the new Rapid Rewards program, cardholders earn two reward points for every dollar spent with Southwest. Swiping the Visa at any of Southwest's hotel or rental card partners also earns two points per dollar. Purchases made anywhere else earn one point per dollar.

Chase and Southwest announced plans to launch two versions of their airline credit card, each with different benefits:

  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Card: For a $69 annual fee, cardholders enjoy a bonus award of 3,000 reward points on the anniversary of their new account approval.
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card: For a $99 annual fee, cardholders get a 6,000 annual reward point bonus.

Chase's new Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa easier to understand

By replacing "reward dollars" and flight credits with "reward points," Chase and Southwest align the Rapid Rewards Visa with other popular rewards credit card programs, making the program much easier for new customers to understand. With an expanded redemption network, cardholders need not feel tied down to Southwest's travel network, either. The new cards go live on March 1.

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