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Southwest and Marriott have partnered up and are offering up to 12,000 Southwest Rapid Reward points with the purchase of Marriott gift cards between August 1 and September 26, 2013. If you have upcoming stays at Marriott hotels, it might be worth it to purchase the gift cards in advance to pay for your stay. This is a promotion that has run in the summer over the past few years and can definitely be lucrative for some. You’ll earn the following:
- Get 1,200 points with a $100 Marriott Gift Card purchase
- Get 3,000 points with a $250 Marriott Gift Card purchase
- Get 6,000 points with a $500 Marriott Gift Card purchase
The maximum number of Rapid Reward points you can earn per account is 12,000. Therefore, $1,000 Marriott Gift Cards will get you $200 worth of Southwest travel when redeeming on their lowest “Wanna Getaway” fares (60 rapid reward points = $1). So really, your $1,000 purchase will only cost you $800 assuming you have a place to redeem the gift cards and you fly Southwest typically. Keep in mind though that you will not earn Rapid Reward points when redeeming free flights, so there is an opportunity cost there as well.
If you plan on purchasing more than $1,000, make sure to purchase the gift cards through multiple accounts to maximize the number of Southwest points you can earn. You can purchase these gift cards here by first entering your Southwest Rapid Rewards number.
While I haven’t personally purchased these gift cards, reports have shown on this thread of FlyerTalk that the points DO NOT count towards the companion pass status. If this was the case, the promotion would be amazing!
For those wondering how to get the points for even cheaper, you can purchase the gift cards and then re-sell them. At three different sites where you can buy/sell gift cards you can get $860 in exchange for your $1,000 purchased gift card. This means you’ll be paying $140 for 12,000 worth of points. And remember, these 12,000 points are worth $200 on a “Wanna Get Away” fare. With a little bit of effort you can ultimately get $60 of free points.
To really maximize on this, one of the gift card sites that you can resell to is Cardpool.com. If you access this online site through a cash back site you can earn cash back towards your sale or purchase. Topcashback.com is currently offering 4% back on selling your gift card and 2% cash back on purchasing gift cards. If you were to sell your $1,000 gift card (assuming you purchased the max), you’d get $40 back. This makes your profit really $100 now. However, you are limited to only one $1,000 sale as the terms state “Once a unique user has reached the threshold of $1,000 in purchases and sales, in total across ANY reward or cashback sites, they are not eligible for any more cashback from Cardpool and your transactions may stop tracking or go on to be declined.”
Enjoy your extra Southwest points!