It’s been A LONG time since I have applied for a travel airline card. My first airline card was a Delta AMEX that I have had for about 8 years. I remember the sign up bonus was to make one purchase and receive 25,000 miles. Easy! Since travelling more international I have realized a lot of places don’t accept AMEX. I receive tons of offers in the mail for hotel and airline. One caught my eye, the Southwest Airlines Chase credit card! The offer was to spend 2,000 in 3 months and receive 50,000 points.
Annual Fee of $99 but you receive 6,000 miles on Card member anniversary, compare this to actually purchasing $6,000 miles which is $165.00
Earn unlimited points that don’t expire as long as you maintain activity from flights or partners every 24 months.
2 points per $1 spent on Southwest Airlines® and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases.
1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
No foreign transaction fees on purchases made abroad.
Fine Print: “Purchases” do not include balance transfers, cash advances, cash-like charges such as travelers checks, foreign currency, and money orders, any checks that access your account, overdraft advances, interest, unauthorized or fraudulent charges, or fees of any kind, including an annual fee, if applicable.
The interest rate is very high (as most loyalty cards are). I wouldn’t advise getting this card unless you can pay off the balance in full.
I was able to meet the 2,000 in 3 months by using the card to pay most bills and I pay the balance as soon as due. I paid attention to the billing cycle dates as I was told it could take 6-8 weeks before points to post. Although I received the card in November of 2015, I did not use the card until Jan. I wanted all points to post in 2016 as I attempt to earn a companion pass with 110,000 points. Apparently this could be achieved with opening a consumer and business card to get two 50,000 offers but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have spent 4,000 in 3 months.
As I made the final purchase before the last day of the billing cycle, to my surprise the 50,000 miles hit the next day + the $1 per 2,000 spent. What I didn’t realize is the 50,000+ miles counts toward companion pass (pass for a full year for a designated person to travel with you) but does not count towards tier status. 🙁
All in all I’m glad I applied. Southwest flies out of my home airport. All though they don’t fly everywhere, I plan to use points fly within the U.S. to catch great international flight deals out of LAX or JFK. I’ve also eyed Costa Rica for 24,000 points. Fort Lauderdale is tempting at 10,000 points for a cruise, south beach weekend or a cheap flight to Turks and Caicos. I haven’t decided but I’m going to catch a sale and make the most of the points. If you’re reading this and think you should send me a “hey stranger” or “how’s it been” text in hopes that I’ll spend some points on you, don’t bother! 😀 Points are for family and maybe a couple of close friends. I’m especially glad of no foreign transaction fees. My AMEX doesn’t have foreign transaction fees but NO one accepts it. I shouldn’t have issues with the SW visa. I’ve kept the Delta card only for the points and also free bag for myself and people that fly with me. The delta fee of $99 pays for itself in bagage fees of $50 per person/trip. Total Result I earned 55,000 miles total in Jan from the Card, Dining Rewards and points from a rental car offer from November did not post until Jan. If you rent with Dollar they have a partnership with Southwest for points :D. 55,000 points would cost over $1,500, but why not earn the points spending money on monthly bills and when you eat out. Stuff you do anyway!
This card is not for everyone. I don’t advise unless you can pay off ASAP so you don’t incur interest. It would be advantageous if possible to meet the $2,000 as soon as possible and at the beginning of the year I don’t see this offer advertised on their website anymore but if you are interested apply. What are some great travel credit cards that you have got a lot of bang for buck? Comment below!