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Emily’s grandmothers are 86 and 82, and the Chase Southwest Airline Credit Card will let us see them – virtually free – many times this year.
And cheap travel is the best kind of travel!
As much as we like traveling to new places, we also like seeing family, because we know that the happy memories with family will last for a very long time.
For example, when we visited Emily’s grandmother Vena in Florida this year, we convinced Vena and her friend Betty to go to their first Thai restaurant.
Betty and Vena had a great time trying this new “exotic” cuisine, flirting with the British owner who was also our server, and chatting with the owner’s Thai wife about the colorful designs on the silk table cloth!
We managed to visit our grandmothers for free because of the Chase Southwest Credit Card which offered 1 free flight and $500 in gift cards after $5,000 in spending. Emily applied for both the personal and business versions and we got lots of free travel on Southwest Airlines.
50,000 Points Chase Southwest Airlines Credit Card
There is a currently a much better offer for the Chase Southwest Airlines Credit Card which offers 50,000 Southwest Airline Rapid Reward Points after your first purchase, with a $99 fee which is NOT waived in the first year.
However, you get a 6,000 extra points on your cardmember anniversary (worth $100) which effectively makes the card fee-free AFTER the first year.
In my opinion, this is the best credit card sign-up bonus for domestic US travel.
There is also no minimum spending requirements, since you get the 50,000 bonus points after your first purchase (which could just be a pack of gum!)
I applied for this card as part of my recent 6 card app-o-rama (where I apply for multiple cards at the same time) which should net me 340,000 miles and points. Stay tuned for more details on that!
What can you do with 50,000 points from the Chase Southwest Card?
1. Domestic US Travel
Southwest has 3 tiers of fares, the cheap fares, the medium priced fares, and the expensive fares.
50,000 Rapid Reward points will get you:
- $833 in flights within the US on the cheapest “Wanna Get Away” fares (~3+ free flights)
- $500 in flights within the US on the medium “Anytime” fares (~2+ free flights)
- $417 in flights within the US on the most expensive “Business Select” fares (~1.5 -to 2+ free flights)
You could get up to a $734 value ($833 in flights less the $99 annual fee) if you redeem your points for travel on Southwest Airlines.
I’ve never had a problem finding the cheapest “Wanna Get Away” fares, unless I try to book flights less than a week in advance.
In my experience, Southwest has the best domestic award availability – at the lowest level – than any other US airline.
2. Gift Cards
You can redeem your 50,000 Southwest Airlines Rapid Reward points for $500 in gift cards, but you get a much better value by redeeming for air travel on Southwest.
This could provide you with a value of $401 ($500 in gift cards less the $99 annual fee)
3. To travel to the departure city for another flight
That’s because the amount of British Airways miles required for travel on more than 1 partner airline is much more than the amount of miles needed for travel on only British Airways or only on 1 of their partner airlines.
For example, you stay in Omaha, but have redeemed a flight on British Airways or Cathay Pacific departing from Los Angeles.
You can use some of your 50,000 Southwest points to travel from Omaha to Los Angeles, and then catch your British Airways or Cathay Pacific flight.
Southwest Airline Benefits
Here are some of the main benefits of Southwest Airlines:
2 Free Checked Bags – This could save you up to $80 per person, per trip
No Change Fee – You can change or cancel your flight and you get credits which are valid for up to 1 year. Southwest doesn’t charge you a change fee, which is about a $150 saving per changed or cancelled flight.
This means that you can book a flight today and cancel it when you find a cheaper fare, and use the credit from your cancelled flight towards your new flight!
I really like how Southwest airlines, unlike other airlines, doesn’t feel the need to charge you a change fee.
Rapid Rewards Point Earning
- 1 Rapid Reward point for each $1 in regular spending on the credit card.
- 2 Rapid Reward points for each $1 in spending on Southwest Airlines, including flights, gift cards, and through certain Southwest Airlines partner hotels and rental car partners
Elite Point Earning
- 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points (TPQs) for every $10,000 in net purchases up to a maximum of 15,000 TPQs.
That means you will have to spend $100,000 to earn 15,000 TPQs.
So what does 15,000 TPQs get you?
That’s because you need 35,000 TPQs or 25 1-way flights to get Southwest’s “A-list” elite status which gets you priority seating and a 25% bonus on points earned.
So spending $100,000 for 15,000 TPQs will get you only 43% (15,000/35,000) of the way to A-list status, which, by itself, is a lousy return for spending $100,000 on a credit card!
Southwest’s Companion Pass is one of the best travel perks in my opinion, because you can take a companion along for FREE on ANY flight (including award flights) for an entire year. You only have to pay a very small amount (~$10) for taxes.
However, you need to fly 100 1 -way flights on Southwest to qualify for the companion pass.
You need to earn 110,000 points to qualify for the Companion Pass.
Points earned via the credit card count towards Companion Pass status, so you could spend $100,000 on the credit card to get companion status.
There are also suggestions that the 50,000 bonus points on the Chase Southwest credit card counts toward the 110,000 points needed to qualify for the Companion Pass!
I’ve been approved for this card, so I’ll let you know if the bonus points counts towards companion pass status.
If the Chase Southwest Credit Card offer is extended, and the bonus points count towards Companion Pass status, you could apply for the personal card now, and the business card later on and get 100,000 points towards the 110,000 points needed for the companion pass!
Why you shouldn’t apply for the Chase Southwest Credit Card
This card may not be for you if you:
- Have applied for another Chase credit card in the last 30 days, since Chase is very sensitive to the number of recent credit card applications
- Don’t want to fly domestically
- Can’t bear the thought of flying on Southwest Airlines
- Don’t want to pay the $99 annual fee
- Would rather save the credit inquiry for something else
Bottom Line: The Chase Southwest Airlines Credit Card is a great choice if you are looking for some free travel within the US.
That’s because you can get up to $833 worth of airfare with the 50,000 bonus points which lets you have lots of Big Travel with Small Money!
If you do apply for the card and are rejected, don’t give up. Instead call the Chase reconsideration line and ask them to either move credit lines or cancel a card to get you approved for the card.
If you apply for the Southwest Airline credit card, but don’t have a Southwest Rapid Reward account, you can get 250 point bonus points for signing up for a new Rapid Rewards account.
Have you applied for this card? Tell us in the comments!