When you sign up for the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Credit Card from Chase, you get 16 Rapid Rewards credits (enough for a free round trip flight) after your first purchase or use of the card (use includes purchases, balance transfers, or checks but excludes cash advances). You can also get an extra credit for every $1,200 of balance transfers you make within 90 days of opening the account, maximum of 8 credits. Finally, you get 2 bonus credits every year on your anniversary.
Finally, the rewards structure offers 2 Reward Dollars per dollar spent on Southwest flights, Rapid Rewards Hotel and Rental Card partner purchases, and a few other places. For everywhere else, you earn 1 Reward Dollar per $1 spent on purchases. 1,200 Reward dollars = 1 Rapid Rewards credit, which means you get a free flight after 19,200 Reward Dollars (probably cheaper than any other airline loyalty card).
The Southwest Rapid Rewards program is my favorite airline reward program. It helps that I live near Baltimore Washington International Airport, one of their major hubs, and that I can get to anywhere on the east coast for less than $170 round-trip (if I book early enough). For years I’ve been accumulating Rapid Reward points flying between BWI and ISP and then using the reward vouchers, and drink tickets, for flights out to California and Las Vegas. It’s honestly one of the most rewarding programs out there and a testament to how well they treat their customers.