March 27th, 2013
It’s Back! Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Chase Visa Signature Card: Get 2 Roundtrip Flights!
Update, 03/28: DEAD!
Update, 03/27: In case you are on the fence about these cards or are considering going for a free companion pass good through 12/31/14, the limited time 50K Southwest card offers have just been updated to being “Last Chance.” Going, going…
Update, 03/16: Multiple readers and DDF members have been able to get both the points for both the Plus and Premier cards and have secured nearly 2 years of free companion pass flights!
Find more great credit card deals in the Credit Cards tab.
For a limited time you can get 50,000 points when you spend $2,000 within 3 months of getting the card. They’re marketing this as 2 roundtrip flights but in fact it is enough for about $950 of free flying on Southwest, so you can stretch out those points for as many as 15 free flights with Southwest’s low prices.
You can also use your points for Airtran flights as well! For now this is only available in select markets, but by April you’ll be able to use your points for all Airtran flights. Plus because you will be booking the flights via Southwest.com you will get 2 free bags and free changes and flight cancellations as well!
You can use the points for yourself or book award tickets for anyone else you want to give a ticket to. Plus Southwest allows you to cancel an award flight and redeposit the points in your account for future use without any penalties!
There are in fact 4 unique Southwest credit cards that are all offering 50,000 points for spending $2,000. There is the consumer Plus and Premier cards and the business plus and premier cards. The difference is that the plus cards have a $69 annual fee and offer 3,000 bonus points (~$57 towards travel) every year while the premier cards have a $99 annual fee, have no foreign exchange fees, and offer 6,000 bonus points (~$114 towards travel) every year. You can access them all at the bottom of the application link above.
Don’t fly? You can also use 50,000 points to get $500 worth of gift cards to places like Amazon, Avis, Bed Bath & Beyond, Gap, Hyatt, Lowe’s, Macy’s, TJMaxx, Walmart and many others. A $500 gift card to Walmart can always be sold to a place like Plastic Jungle for $460 cash.
With Southwest’s Rapid Rewards “2.0″ program you can redeem points for any seat on any flight. For the regular “wanna get away” fare it costs 60 points for each dollar of airfare. In practical terms this means for example:
A one-way Cleveland-Baltimore flight on 03/12 is $68.90 with tax.
It can also be bought for 3,480 points plus $2.50 tax.
So 3,480 points gets you a value of $66.40 ($68.90 airfare less the $2.50 tax required on the points ticket)
So each point is worth 1.9 cents (66.40/3,480), valid for redemption on all flights.
The value per point will depend on your route, but points always seem to be worth more than 1.8 cents each.
The Southwest card comes with a 50,000 point signup bonus, which at 1.9 cents per point is worth $950 towards Southwest flights just for opening the card and spending $2K.
There is a $99 annual fee but with this card you earn 6,000 points every anniversary that you have the card, which is worth $114 towards Southwest flights!
You get 1 point per dollar on regular purchases, which is equal to a rebate of 1.9%.
You get 2 points per dollar on Southwest purchases, including hotel and car rentals via Southwest, which is equal to a rebate of 3.8%
Plus you get a free companion pass if you earn 110,000 points in a year from most sources, including earnings from credit card signups and credit card spending! If you earn 110,000 Southwest points for example by 04/01/13 the pass will be good until 12/31/14. The pass allows you to bring a companion with you for free when you fly Southwest, even if you are flying on a free ticket!
You can open 2 versions of the Southwest card to get to the 110,000 points in a year. If you open 2 cards and spend $5,000 on each you’ll have 110,000 points!
Points transferred from Ultimate Rewards to Southwest don’t qualify towards companion pass status, but points transferred from Ultimate Rewards into Hyatt and then into Southwest do qualify! So you can transfer 50K Ultimate Rewards points into 50K Hyatt and 50K Hyatt transfers into 30K Southwest.
In other words if you get 50K points from signing up for this credit card you can transfer 100K Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt and then into 60K Southwest points, worth about $1,140 towards Southwest travel. Plus then you’ll have a companion pass so that you can bring your companion for free whenever you fly Southwest, so that $1,140 toward Southwest is really doubled to $2,280 because of the free companion ticket. Not a bad value for a 100K Ultimate Rewards transfer.
See this post for more info on the Ultimate Rewards program and associated credit cards.
Transfers to Airtran and Rapid Rewards “1.0″:
You can transfer increments of 1,200 Southwest points into 1 Airtran credit. Here is Airtran’s award chart, which does not price awards according to the cost of the flight. Thus you can get an international round-trip award ticket for just 19,200 Southwest points. These awards are capacity controlled however. A business class upgrade on Airtran is just 4,800 Southwest points.
Once they are in Airtran you can also transfer them back into Southwest’s old Rapid Rewards 1.0 program. In this program awards are just 16 credits (19,200 points) round-trip, no matter how expensive the flight is. These are also capacity controlled, but for some flights you will come out far ahead with this old program.
And as always, Southwest:
-Gives 2 free checked bags per passenger.
-Does not charge change fees to switch your flight. Whether you are on a paid or an award flight you can change without penalty!
-Does not charge a cancellation fee to cancel your flight (you will get Southwest credit for the full amount paid, even on non-refundable wanna get away fares) or to cancel and redeposit your award flight.
-Refunds the fare or point difference if the price of your flight goes down after you buy it, just call to get the credit at any time!
Other awesome Chase consumer cards you can get on the same day as the Southwest card with just 1 credit pull include the Chase Sapphire Preferred (which gives 2.14 points per dollar on travel and dining with no Foreign Exchange fees and can be easily converted into a World Mastercard that gives free car rental insurance in Israel), Chase Freedom (which gives 5 points per dollar in rotating categories and 10% bonus points if you have a Chase checking account) and the Chase United Explorer (which gives free luggage, free primary car rental insurance in most countries worldwide besides Israel, expanded saver and standard award ticket availability, priority boarding, and more).
The Chase Ink Bold and Chase Ink Plus business cards are both giving 50,000 signup points and offer 5 points per dollar on telecom, cable, and office supply stores, 2 points per dollar for gas and lodging, no foreign exchange fees, free lounge visits, and a waived annual fee for the first year.