Update: This offer for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card has expired. Learn more about the current offers here.
Chase is offering a 50,000 point sign-up bonus on the Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, which they seem to offer every so often. You can receive the 50,000 point bonus after spending $2,000 within three months, and the offer is available to those who haven’t received the sign-up bonus in the past 24 months.
The bonus is available on the business version of the card as well. Just click on the application link, and at the bottom of the page you’ll see a link to the business version.
Each card has a $99 annual fee, which isn’t waived the first year.
Southwest Rapid Rewards is a revenue based program, meaning the cost of an award is directly correlated to how much a paid ticket would cost. Take the below flights between Tampa and Los Angeles, for example. The paid fare is $163 using a “Wanna Get Away” fare.
Meanwhile an award would cost 9,670 points, plus the $5.60 in taxes.
That means you’re getting ~1.6 cents per Rapid Rewards point, which is about in line with what you can usually get out of Rapid Rewards points.
That makes this a pretty huge sign-up bonus. 50,000 points is enough for ~$800 worth of travel on Southwest, assuming you’re booking “Wanna Get Away” fares. Also keep in mind that Southwest lets you change your award tickets for free, which makes these especially valuable, given how much change fees can otherwise be on other airlines.
Even when you factor in the $99 annual fee, the sign-up bonus nets you around $700 worth of travel, which is incredible for a card with a fairly low minimum spend requirement.
This is a card which is also more or less “breakeven” long term in terms of the annual fee, given that you get 6,000 points on your account anniversary each year. At a value of ~1.6 cents per point, that means the points you earn annually are comparable to the annual fee.
Personally I wouldn’t use this card for everyday spend, as there are much more rewarding cards out there, like the Amex EveryDay Preferred Card, Chase Freedom Unlimited Card, Citi® Double Cash Card, etc.
Also keep in mind the potential value you can get out of Southwest Companion Pass, which I’ve written about in the past. If you earn 110,000 points in a year you can take a companion with you whenever you’re traveling (just pay taxes), which is one of the best deals in domestic travel. It can be especially easy to achieve if you pick up both the personal and business credit card, as those points count towards the requirement.
In terms of the sign-up bonus, the Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is pretty tough to beat. 50,000 points will get you roughly $800 worth of travel. Subtract the $99 annual fee, and you’re still looking at around $700 worth of flights on Southwest, which is fantastic. This really is tough to beat for domestic travel, especially since there are no change fees on Southwest awards.