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Originally posted on 8/13:
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Limited time card signup bonuses:
For a limited time only, you can earn a higher signup bonus on Southwest consumer cards. Note that you can only have one Southwest consumer card open at a time.
- The Chase Southwest Consumer Priority card has a signup bonus of 65,000 Southwest points for spending $2,000 in 3 months.
- The card offers some amazing benefits for Southwest loyalists including:
- 4 annual A1-A15 boarding upgrade certificates
- $75 in annual Southwest travel credit
- 7.5K Southwest points upon every card anniversary
- 20% off in-flight drinks and WiFi
- 2 points per dollar on Southwest purchases
- The ability to earn tier points towards A-List status.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- $149 annual fee.
- The Chase Southwest Consumer Premier card has a signup bonus of 65,000 Southwest points for spending $2,000 in 3 months.
- The card offers:
- The Chase Southwest Consumer Plus card has a signup bonus of 65,000 Southwest points for spending $2,000 in 3 months.
- The card offers:
Welcome bonus terms:
You can only have one active Southwest consumer card. You can get the bonus as long as you don’t have an active Southwest consumer card and haven’t received a Southwest consumer card bonus in the past 24 months.
All Chase cards appear are subject to 5/24 restrictions, meaning that you are not likely to be approved if you have been approved for 5 or more consumer credit cards in the past 24 months. Note that the Chase system automatically counts cards like authorized user cards and store cards as cards that count towards 5/24, but if you explain to Chase that those cards are merely authorized user cards or store cards they can manually approve you for a new card.
You can check your credit report for free at the federally authorized annualcreditreport.com to check how many accounts are shows as being open in the past 24 months.
Value of Southwest points:
The value of Southwest points is variable based on the paid fare.
As explained in this post, points are normally worth 1.5-1.9 cents each. In 2020 they’re worth slightly less due to the temporary suspension of the 7.5% excise tax normally levied on airfare, but that should return to normal in 2021.
If you’ll redeem points for an average of 1.65 cents each, that makes a 65K signup bonus worth $1,072. If you qualify for a companion pass that number can double to a whopping $2,145 signup bonus.
Annual travel credit:
If you have the Southwest Consumer Priority card you’ll get reimbursed for $75 in annual spending on Southwest flights!
Upgraded boarding certificates:
If you have the Southwest Consumer Priority Card you’ll get reimbursed for 4 annual purchases of upgraded A1-A15 boarding positions so that you can get some of the best seats on the plane. Upgraded boardings may be purchased at the departure gate or ticket counter on the day of travel. These cost $30-$50, so this is a benefit worth up to $200 per year.
20% cash back on in-flight purchases:
If you have the Southwest Consumer Priority Card you’ll get 20% cash back on top of points for purchases of drinks and Wi-Fi on Southwest flights!
Normally, if you have the Southwest Consumer Priority Card you can earn 1,500 tier points towards A-List status for every $10,000 spent and you can earn a maximum of 15,000 tier points annually per card.
In 2020, Southwest gave all members a bonus 15K A-List points for free this year, which you can see in your Southwest account.
Free changes and cancellations. Lock in low fares with no penalty:
While other mileage currencies charge up to $200 to cancel an award ticket, Southwest continues to allow you to cancel an award flight and redeposit the points in your account for future use without any penalties.
Coupled with 2 free carry-ons and 2 free checked bags per person, that’s a lot of added value. A family of 4 needing to cancel award tickets on another airline would set you back $400-$800 versus it being a free change on Southwest. A family of 4 checking 2 bags each would run $560 round-trip on another airline versus paying nothing on Southwest.
Thinking of taking a trip but not 100% sure about it? With Southwest points you can lock in a good rate and just cancel the trip free of charge at any point before the flight if you can’t make it!
You can use the points for yourself or book award tickets for anyone else you want to give a ticket to.
Southwest allows you to redeem points for any seat on any flight. There are no blackout dates or capacity controls.
When Southwest has a fare sale the amount of points go on sale as well as it tracks to the price of the ticket. Best of all Southwest will refund your points if the price of your award ticket falls! Just rebook your trip online for the same dates or give them a call for the credit.
Southwest points never expire!
Don’t fly? Redeem for gift cards!
Cardholders can redeem points for gift cards at a value of 1 cent per point. You can also use 65,000 points to get $650 worth of gift cards to places like Alamo, Amazon, Avis, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Bloomingdales, Brooks Brothers, Budget, Carnival Cruises, Express, Fairmont, Gap, Hertz, Kohl’s, Lowe’s, Macy’s, National, Nike, Saks, Sea World, Shutterfly, Staples, Starbucks, Target, The Children’s Place, TJMaxx, Walmart, Zappos and more.
You can get a free companion pass if you earn 125,000 points in a calendar year from select sources, including earnings from credit card signups and credit card spending!
Plus, Southwest gave all members a bonus 25K Companion Pass points for free this year, which you can see in your Southwest account. That means you’ll need just 100K points to hit companion pass status this year.
You can earn the pass just by opening one consumer card and one business card and meeting the spend threshold!
If you earn 125,000 Southwest points in 2020 the pass will be good until 12/31/21. The pass allows you to bring a companion with you for free whenever you fly Southwest, including Hawaii, even if you are flying on a free ticket! That effectively doubles the value of your Southwest points. There is no limit to the number of free companion flights that you can take.
Earning the pass in the beginning of a calendar maximizes its validity as it’s good through the end of the following calendar year.
You can designate a companion and change that companion up to 3 times in a calendar year, so you can name up to 4 companions over the course of a year.
Transfer Chase Points To Southwest to maximize the value of your Companion Pass:
You can transfer points from Chase cards like Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio. You can redeem those Southwest points and bring a companion with you for free, doubling the value of your points!
Transfer Points At An Increased Ratio For A Limited Time
If you have a Sapphire Reserve card you can call Chase to book Southwest points at a value of 1.5 cents per point. A $300 flight would cost 20K points.
You can then cancel that flight for Southwest travel funds by 9/7 and then trade those funds into points by 12/15 for 1.282 cents per point. That would get you 23,401 Southwest points for your 20,000 Chase points, or 1.17 Southwest points per Chase points instead of the normal 1:1 ratio!
As always, Southwest benefits include:
- 2 free checked bags per passenger.
- Free in-flight messaging.
- Free in-flight streaming entertainment, including movies, live TV, on-demand TV, music, destination guides, and games.
- No change fees to switch your flight. Whether you are on a paid or an award flight you can change without penalty!
- No 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.
- A refund of 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 before your flight!
Will you signup for any Southwest cards?