The Southwest Card 60K Bonus Expires On October 4, 2017

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At the end of August, Chase brought back the biggest sign-up bonuses I ever recall seeing on their co-branded Southwest cards, which we also saw earlier this summer. Specifically, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card are offering bonuses of up to 60,000 Rapid Rewards points upon completing minimum spend.

At the time we knew that these were limited time offers, though Chase hadn’t published on what day the increased offer will end. Million Mile Secrets reports that the increased sign-up bonuses on Southwest’s co-branded credit cards will be ending on October 4, 2017, meaning they’re only around for a few more weeks. This is worth keeping in mind if you want to time your applications.

Here’s what you need to know about these bonuses:

Increased Southwest Card sign-up bonus details

The basic details of these increased offers are as follows:

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points after spending $2,000 within three months
  • $99 annual fee
  • Receive 6,000 bonus points on your cardmember anniversary every year

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points after spending $2,000 within three months
  • $69 annual fee
  • Receive 3,000 bonus points on your cardmember anniversary every year

Who is eligible for these increased Southwest offers?

You can potentially pick up both of these cards, though the bonuses aren’t available to those who currently have the card, or those who have received a new cardmember bonus on the card in the past 24 months.

Furthermore, do note that these cards are subjected to Chase’s 5/24 rule, meaning you generally wouldn’t be eligible for these cards if you’ve opened more than five new card accounts in the past 24 months.

If you’re looking for rewarding Chase cards that aren’t subjected to Chase’s 5/24 rule, consider products like IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card or British Airways Visa Signature® Card. These cards are extremely rewarding, and you can be approved even if you’ve opened more than five new card accounts in the past 24 months.

How much travel will 60,000 Southwest 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 Baltimore to Los Angeles flight that costs 10,367 Rapid Rewards points plus $5.60 in taxes.

Meanwhile a cash ticket on that flight would cost $169.

That means you’re getting ~1.6 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 roughly 1.5 cents of value per point.

If you’re looking for an even easier redemption, 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 60,000 points will get you a $600 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.


These sign-up bonuses 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 Premier Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card count towards that requirement. So if you picked up both cards, you’d earn Companion Pass after completing minimum spend, which is awesome.


Bottom line

I don’t think we’ve ever seen a bigger sign-up bonus than this on the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card. If you’re been considering getting these cards, you have until October 4, 2017, to apply, which gives you a few more weeks. This can be valuable regardless of whether you want to redeem directly for travel on Southwest, or prefer to redeem 60,000 points for $600 worth of Amazon gift cards. Getting these two cards could also get you all the way to Southwest Companion Pass.

If you’ve opened more than five new accounts in the past 24 months, though, I’d instead consider another lucrative Chase card, like the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card or British Airways Visa Signature® Card.

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

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  1. If we apply and get approved October 4th, the 60,000 technically could be received in 3 months (Jan 4th), leaving us the entirety of 2018 to try to get the companion pass for 2018 and 2019 correct?

  2. Should be possible to apply for both cards on October 4th, and then complete the spend requirement on Jan 1st, so that you’d get the Companion Pass for both 2018 and 2019?

  3. Yes, as long as the points are posted after Jan 1st. Keep in mind that your points won’t post until the end of your billing cycle. So that gives you even more wiggle room. After you get the card call them up and make sure the end of your cycle (not your payment due date) is the 5th of the month. Then you can complete the spend any time prior to the end cycle, but remember that transactions may take a couple of days to post.

    The companion pass works great, you can even book that online.

    Keep in mind that Southwest now flies to Cuba, Turks and Caicos, etc.

    Some remote destinations can’t be booked directly from the West Coast because they don’t have red eye, but you can book it as two separate itineraries.

  4. What strategy are you using when applying for both? 2 on the same day? 1 business on a specific day and personal a day or two later? ~S

  5. Larry is right. It’s almost malpractice for a travel blogger not to mention how critical the timing is for posting points to maximize the length of the companion pass.

  6. Chase gives you 115 days to meet your minimum spend, so if you applied on Oct 4th, you would have until Jan 27th.

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