Should You Keep the Southwest Card AND This Flexible Travel Card?

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Million Mile Secrets reader, Susan, commented:

Is there a benefit to having both the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve?  Our travel plans do not include any Southwest flights for the next 18 months.

Great question, Susan!

The only major perk you’ll give up by getting rid of the Chase Southwest card is the annual Southwest points bonus you receive on your card anniversary.

The 6,000 bonus Southwest points offset the card’s annual fee, which for some folks is a reason to keep the card open.

But you’ll earn more flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards points and get better bonus spending categories with the Sapphire Reserve.  And you’ll still have the option to transfer points to Southwest to book an award flight.

Should You Keep The Southwest Card AND This Flexible Travel Card
Everyone Gets 2 Free Checked Bags With Southwest.  So the Only Major Perk of Having the Southwest Card Is the Anniversary Points Bonus

I’ll explain what else you should consider if you’re thinking of cancelling the Chase Southwest card.

Get Better Benefits With the Sapphire Reserve

Link:   Chase Sapphire Reserve

Link:   My Review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve

Link:   How to Get Big Travel on Southwest With the Chase Sapphire Reserve

Folks like reader Susan get some of the best ongoing perks with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, like:

Should You Keep The Southwest Card AND This Flexible Travel Card
Folks With the Chase Sapphire Reserve Get Amazing Perks Like a 3X Bonus on Travel & Dining Purchases

And you can transfer the flexible points you earn directly to fantastic travel partners like Hyatt, Southwest, and United Airlines.

The card has a $450 annual fee, that’s NOT waived the first year.  But the fee is effectively $150 when you consider the $300 travel credit you get each year.

The Sapphire Reserve perks are much better than those on the Chase Southwest card, which include:

  • 2X Southwest points on Southwest purchases
  • 6,000 bonus Southwest points on your card anniversary
  • No foreign transaction fees

The card has a $99 annual fee, which is NOT waived the first year.  But the 6,000 Southwest anniversary points are worth ~$86 (6,000 Southwest points X ~1.43 cents each), which helps offset the annual fee.

That said, folks who have Sapphire Reserve can save on the $99 out of pocket expense by cancelling the card.  It’s NOT possible to downgrade the Southwest card to a no annual fee card.

Before Cancelling, Consider the Impact to Your Credit Score

Link:  Does Cancelling a Credit Card Hurt Your Credit Score?

Link:   How to Keep an Excellent Credit Score While Applying for Lots of Credit Cards

One of the factors that determines your credit score is the average length of credit history.

Should You Keep The Southwest Card AND This Flexible Travel Card
Length of Credit History Makes Up 15% Of Your Score

So if the Chase Southwest card is one of the first cards you got, you might want to hang onto it.

I usually recommend you don’t cancel your oldest cards.  But if your oldest cards have annual fees and benefits you don’t use, I can understand getting rid of them.

And keep in mind, the way you use your cards and your payment history are more impact factors in determining your credit score.

Bottom Line

The ongoing perks with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card are much better than the Chase Southwest card.  For example, you get a 3X bonus on travel & dining purchases and a $300 annual travel credit.

And the flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn can transfer to terrific travel partners like Hyatt and Southwest.

The only major ongoing perk you get with the Chase Southwest card is the annual points bonus on your card anniversary.  But if you don’t have upcoming Southwest travel plans, these points might not be useful.

Before you get rid of the Chase Southwest card, consider if cancelling will have an impact on your credit score.

Thanks for the question, Susan!

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