Thanks to a joint venture between Southwest Airlines and Chase Bank, Southwest Airlines will become the latest of a number of airlines that permit Chase customers who hold the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, and Ink Plus cards to roll over any points they have accrued with Chase into loyalty programs with the airline.
Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold and Ink Plus cardusers can send Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards accounts at an even trade. This means that a single Ultimate Rewards point is completely equivalent to a single Rapid Rewards Point, and vice versa. An unlimited number of points can be sent from an Ultimate Rewards account to a Rapid Rewards.
This represents a much better deal for Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold and Ink Plus cardmembers, as the Chase Sapphire Preferred card does not have any annual fees in the first year of membership. In comparison, the Southwest Airlines Visa card does include annual fees that start from the first year.
While there are a number of options opened up to current cardholders with Chase bank, it weakens the case for signing up for and using a Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus card. The change means that any Chase customers who hold the aforementioned Ink Bold, Ink Plus, and Sapphire Preferred cards can now start moving over the points they have gained through loyalty with Chase’s Ultimate Rewards into the membership accounts they hold with Southwest Airline’s Rapid Rewards program.
Because there is a 1 to 1 ratio of point roll overs, Chase customers will not lose any value in their points when they move them from Ultimate Rewards points to Rapid Rewards points. This 1 to 1 ratio remains stable no matter how many points a customer chooses to roll over.
This announcement makes the Chase Sapphire Preferred card an even stronger and more popular card than just about any other loyalty card available. It is already a card preferred by frequent fliers who want to keep their credit card options open in terms of airlines they can obtain loyalty points and bonuses from. That said, the joint venture that has just been formed is also likely to make the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card seem like less of a deal to potential card shoppers. Interestingly, Chase is also responsible for distributing the Southwest card.
When both cards are compared side to side, the numerous advantages of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card become even more apparent. For example, frequent fliers can obtain 2 points for every dollar they spend on eating out and on traveling, and 1 point per dollar spent on other activities when they choose the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. In comparison, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card only provides 2 points for every dollar spent on purchases involving Southwest Airlines. Every other kind of purchase provides merely 1 point per dollar.
Similarly, one can obtain a full 3,000 points every single year through the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card as a gift on one’s anniversary. However, every single year, members of the Chase Sapphire Preferred(SM) card receive a 7 percent bonus on the total number of points they earned for the year, which means Sapphire cardholders can potentially receive more points per year through their card than Rapids Rewards cardmembers would.
Frequent fliers deciding between the two cards should also look toward the fees and costs of membership associated with each card. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card does not have an annual fee in the first year for members, while the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card has an annual fee of $69 that is applied from the first year onward.