Southwest Airlines joins the list of partners that allow Chase customers with certain credit cards to transfer their points to loyalty programs.
While the new partnership opens more options to some Chase cardholders, it makes the Southwest Airlines Rapids Rewards Plus card appear less attractive.
Chase customers with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, and Ink Bold cards can begin moving their Ultimate Rewards points to their Rapid Rewards membership accounts. The points will be transferred at a 1:1 ratio – one Ultimate Rewards point is equivalent to one Rapid Rewards point – with no limit to how many points can be transferred.
The news continues to make a great case for the popular Chase Sapphire Preferred card, which is the go-to choice for frequent travelers who don’t want their credit cards to limited them to a single airline.
However, the new partnership may reduce the appeal of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card, which also happens to be issued by Chase.
The Sapphire Preferred card offers 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining (1 point/dollar on everything else) while the Rapid Rewards Plus card offers 2 points per dollar spent on Southwest purchases (1 point/dollar on everything else).
The Rapid Rewards Plus card gives away 3,000 points per year as an anniversary gift while the Sapphire Preferred card hands out a 7% annual points bonus on points earned for the year (requires 42,858 earned points to get 3,000 points bonus).
Consumers have to consider the interest rates and annual fees of both cards. The Sapphire Preferred card has a regular APR as low as 15.24% and a $95 annual fee (waived for the first year of membership). The Southwest Rapid Reward Plus card has a regular APR of 14.24% and a $69 annual fee.
Anyone who has been deciding between the two travel cards would have to pit airline flexibility and points-earning potential versus a lower APR and annual fee.