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There’s presently an increased bonus of 50,000 Rapid Rewards points after spending $2,000 within three months on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card. While we often see increased bonuses on the Premier Card, seeing an increased bonus on the Plus Card is rarer.
The card has a $69 annual fee, which is lower than the $99 annual fee on the Premier Card.
There are a few reasons to consider this sign-up bonus:
$500 worth of Amazon gift cards
On the most basic level, you can redeem your Southwest points for gift cards for a variety of retailers, the most generally useful of which is probably Amazon. So you can redeem 5,000 points for a $50 gift card, meaning that 50,000 points will get you a $500 gift card. This isn’t necessarily the most efficient use of Southwest points, but it’s something that should work for just about everyone, and shows the versatility of Southwest points.
How much Southwest travel will 50,000 points get you?
Southwest Rapid Rewards is a revenue based frequent flyer program, meaning that the number of points required for a redemption is directly correlated to how much a ticket would cost in cash.
While the exact value per point isn’t consistent, the best values will always be available on “Wanna Get Away” fares, which are Southwest’s cheapest fares. To give an example, below is a Tampa to Baltimore flight which costs 3,311 Rapid Rewards points plus $5.60 in taxes.
Meanwhile a cash ticket on that flight would cost $64.
That means you’re getting ~1.75 cents of value per Rapid Rewards points. The exact value will vary based on the redemption. Furthermore, when calculating the per point value, you’ll want to consider the points you’re forgoing by booking an award ticket.
On a “Wanna Get Away” fare you’d ordinarily earn six points per dollar spent, so if you value those at ~1.5 cents each, you’re forgoing roughly a 10% return by booking an award ticket. That means you’re getting a bit over 1.5 cents of value per point.
This sign-up bonus will help you earn Companion Pass
The Southwest Companion Pass lets you take a companion with you for free whenever you fly. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on an award ticket or revenue ticket, you can always have someone fly with you just for the cost of taxes. It’s an incredible, one-of-a-kind deal.
You can use it an unlimited number of times, though can only change your designated companion at most a couple of times per year (so you can’t have a different companion on every trip).
There are two ways to earn Companion Pass, and that’s either by taking 100 flights on Southwest in a calendar year, or by earning 110,000 Rapid Rewards points in a calendar year.
Points earned through the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card count towards that requirement, so get you almost halfway there. Keep in mind that while Southwest is changing the criteria for earning Companion Pass as of April 1, 2017, points earned through the Southwest credit card will continue to qualify, as they have before.
The increased sign-up bonus on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card is certainly worth considering. It can potentially get you $500 worth of Amazon gift cards, $750+ worth of travel on Southwest, and can help get you on your way to Companion Pass.