I am sad to say this, but the 50,000 point offer with the Chase Southwest Airlines credit card ends tomorrow – November 11, 2011. This 50,000 points is worth $833 to use on Southwest flights. If you are interested in this card, do not delay! My assumption is that the bonus will drop down to 25,000 points. Based on offers this year though, my gut tells me we will see this offer again at some point. Application link.
50,000 points is a great offer for this card, and when applying for both the business and personal credit card you can get 100,000 bonus points, which means only 10K more to get the companion ticket! Read a prior post about getting the companion ticket. The companion ticket is by far the best feature of the Southwest Rapid Rewards program. While I have the credit card from the old Rapid Reward program, many have been able to confirm that the 50K points are included in the amount needed to get the companion pass, which is great! If you apply now and hold off on activating the card until January 1st, this will go towards the 110,000 needed for 2012. This will then allow you to have the companion pass all of 2012 and 2013!
I have copied many of the details from a prior blog post on the Rapid Rewards program, but for the full details, view my original blog post.
Earning and Redemption Value:
Unlike the other airline credit cards there is no strategy for redeeming points. It is plain and simple – when redeeming on a “Wanna Get Away Fare” (which is the best value), every dollar spent on the card get you $.0167 back to redeem on Southwest (1.67% back). Also, when using the credit card for Southwest travel and partner travel you will get double points, giving you $.033 value back per dollar on these purchases (3.3% back). While some other credit cards give you a better value when redeeming internationally, for the domestic traveler who is loyal to Southwest, this is a great credit card with no black out dates or limited availability. You can also redeem with their partners, but will not receive as great of a redemption value, more to the tune of 1% (still not a bad way to get $500 of free stuff!)
The companion pass is by far the best benefit of Southwest. I actually currently hold a companion pass, which will expire at the end of this year, and it has allowed many members of my family to fly with me for FREE quite often.
There are two options to earn the companion pass: 100 qualifying one-way flights or earning 110,000 Qualifying Points in one calendar year. You can earn Qualifying Points with credit card spend, Rapid Reward partners (i.e, Marriott, Avis, Hyatt), and flying Southwest.
With the companion pass there are again no black out days or seat restrictions – if there is a seat available for purchase, it is available for your companion. You can switch your companion up to three times during the validity of the pass. Companion passes are good for the remainder of the calendar year in which the pass was earned as well as the following calendar year. To change your pass, you can call Southwest Customer Service and ask for your pass to be changed. They will be able to do it for you immediately and send out a new card. I have gone this route every time I needed to change my own companion pass. Just make sure to call customer service and not their 1-800-IFLYSWA number (they will tell you to send in your companion pass and it will take up to 21 days). While this is the rule, it can easily be avoided.
Tier Qualifying Points
When Southwest revamped their Rapid Rewards program, they put in place a two-tier elite status program:
- A-List benefits (35,000 Tier Qualifying Points or 25 qualifying one-way flights): Priority Boarding, 25% Earning Bonus, Standby Priority, Priority Check-In and Security Access, Special Customer Service Line
- A-List Preferred benefits (70,000 Tier Qualifying Points or 50 qualifying one-way flights): All the benefits as regular A-List status plus 100% Earning Bonus and free in-flight WiFi.