Rapid Rewards Visa Card Review (Southwest & Chase)

February 7, 2011 No Comments »

Southwest Airlines and Chase Bank teamed up to form a monster frequent flier credit card a few years ago and it’s rewards structure still tops the list. The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Credit Card from Chase remains one of the most popular flyer cards on the market because of a phenomenal rewards structure and instant free-bee flights. But first let’s take a look at why this card (and partnership) has been so successful…

The strategic partnership that Southwest Airlines and Chase Bank entered into was win-win for these two companies. The demand for frequent flyer rewards points keeps putting pressure on banks and airlines to team-up and continually one-up each other in miles offerings. And the Southwest and Chase partnership has kept their frequent flyer credit card on top of this beat undoubtedly in-part to the devotion of Southwest’s customer base.

If you’ve never flown with Southwest, then you probably live outside of their route map, otherwise you likely would have already been turned onto the airlines. They have a somewhat fanatical following and have been profitable every year since their inception in 1973 – which is a lot to say for a heavily unionized airline company. Their simple “low-cost” business model of flying the exact same air craft to only high-density cities and regions in the US has made them the first choice of many flyers especially in a tight economy.

Rewards offered with the “Rapid Rewards Visa Card”:

First, not only does the card feature a nice free-bee flight right after your approval, but also features the fastest (er…rapid-est) rewards structure for accumulating points. Capitalize on your travels by earning 2 reward points for every buck you spend on pretty much anything related to your trip. Accumulate the points on not only the flight, but a rental car, hotel, vacation spot, etc. Plus, you’ll get even payouts on the rest of your expenditures at 1 point for every $1 spent on ANY other purchase with the card.

If you’re a heavy packer, you’ll probably like to hear that you are allowed 2 check-in bags per flight without incurring the fee you generally would on your second bag. This can be a savings of $50 to $100 on every flight.

Southwest also features limited time promotions with the card that you can apply for throughout the year which come up as a regular pleasant surprise.

Potential Set-Backs? Something you’ll need to consider before applying is that this card is only available to those with excellent credit scores (any score above, say 720, should be approved but no guarantees).

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