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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: ZiziPB on November 07, 2016, 09:27:27 AM

Title: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: ZiziPB on November 07, 2016, 09:27:27 AM
Planning a trip from CT to Las Vegas in May for 3 people.  Southwest is the only airline that has direct flights.  It looks like I can sign up for a Rapid Rewards credit card with 40,000 point bonus if I spend $1K in the first 3 months.  $99 annual fee, not waived.  I have a specific expense coming up that would allow me to meet this requirement in December.  But what does 40,000 points get me on Southwest?  Would it be worth it?
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: dandarc on November 07, 2016, 09:56:27 AM
Right now, the calendar is only open for the first week of May, but Hartford to Vegas is kind of an expensive flight - 12-13K miles each way.  I do see some flights for 8800 points in February, so maybe that comes down, maybe it doesn't.

Best I'd plan for is 2X point tickets + 1 RT for cash.  The point tickets will cost you the $99 annual fee + $22.40 for the 9/11 security fee.  The cash fare is about $400 round trip.  So you're saving nearly $700 if you can 2 tickets for points.  You might want to get both credit cards - for 80K points you can surely get all 3 of you there and back for $169 credit card fees + the 9/11 fee, so about $200 total.

If you fly domestically often, you might want to look into the companion pass - there's a whole thread on that and you might be able to get 50K mile referrals for the cards required for that.
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: ZiziPB on November 07, 2016, 10:12:48 AM
Thank you, dandarc!  That's exactly the info I was looking for. 

What do you mean by both credit cards?  Just to clarify, only one of us (me) can get a CC in the US and I would cancel it within a year because I will be moving to Europe in spring of 2018 so will have no use for Southwest points. 

So it sounds like I would need about 50,000 points for 2 tickets from Hartford to Las Vegas?  Is there an easy way to earn the additional 10,000 points in a short period of time?
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: dandarc on November 07, 2016, 10:34:36 AM
There is a Plus card with annual fee of $69 in addition to the Premier card at $99.  You can apply for both.  My wife just recently got both.

Go to southwest.com to get an idea of the fares.  You can search by dollars or points anytime you want.

Google "Manufactured Spend" for ways to spend without spending, if you need to do that.  I'd just get both cards if at all possible though - reduces the amount of spend you might need to do to hit your number for this one-off trip.

12-13K miles each way means you're looking at around 25K per person round-trip - might take all of the 80K miles to make that happen for 3 people, and there isn't a cheaper way to get miles than the sign-up bonus for the credit card, unless you've legitimately got $40,000 of expenses coming up in the near future that you can put on the card.  So I'm strongly in the "get 2 cards" camp on this.
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: dandarc on November 07, 2016, 10:35:49 AM
Oh, and to get the bonus, you have to spend $2K per card within 3 months, and you do earn miles on that, so if you get 1 card, you'll have 42K points, both cards gets you 84k points just from the bonus + required spend.
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: Catbert on November 07, 2016, 10:58:49 AM
You can always easily see how much a Southwest flt will cost you in points.   When you are putting in the basic search info (to, from, date) check "show cost in points" rather than default of "show cost in $".
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: Roboturner on November 07, 2016, 11:05:14 AM
Planning a trip from CT to Las Vegas in May for 3 people.  Southwest is the only airline that has direct flights.  It looks like I can sign up for a Rapid Rewards credit card with 40,000 point bonus if I spend $1K in the first 3 months.  $99 annual fee, not waived.  I have a specific expense coming up that would allow me to meet this requirement in December.  But what does 40,000 points get me on Southwest?  Would it be worth it?

I believe they give you $99 worth of points every year, so its kind of like forcing you to buy a plane ticket once a year. That being said, we love our SW card, and its the only carrier we use. I'd say half the time we fly we use points.
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: bryan995 on November 07, 2016, 11:06:50 AM
Do some googling on the southwest companion pass.

I did this about 2 years ago.

You end up with 110,000 points and a pass which entitles you to have a companion of your choosing to fly FREE with you, every trip!

My wife and I ended up taking 5 round trip flights across the US, for no cost (well minus the ~$6.00 fee per ticket).
This stacked with a Marriott CC yields almost free vacations.

You will need to spend $10,000 in 3 months and open two credit cards.
Though there are ways to spend without actually spending... :)

Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: ZiziPB on November 07, 2016, 11:10:21 AM
Got it!  So now I need to figure out if I can spend $2K in a short amount of time :-) 

How far in advance do Southwest tickets sell out?  If I want tickets for the second half of May, when do you think I should actually buy the tickets?
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: ZiziPB on November 07, 2016, 12:08:18 PM
And another follow up question - when applying for the 2 Southwest cards, do I apply at the same time or sequentially?
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: dandarc on November 07, 2016, 12:36:29 PM
If you're buying with points, as soon as you have the points.  Keep an eye on things, and if the price goes down, you can get the points back.  Reward flights on SW are essentially fully refundable - if you make a change or cancel, you get the miles back, and the security fee can be refunded to you too.
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: Roboturner on November 07, 2016, 01:29:45 PM
yeah, and if you buy cash 'wanna get away' you get refunded the total in 'SW' bucks i guess, so you can only use them for future fares, but if you travel a bit it's no worries. The fact that SW lets you cancel without fees up to the take off time or so is a huge bonus, half the time the price drops at the last second and we just cancel and rebook for cheaper right before the flight. 
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: ZiziPB on November 07, 2016, 01:39:47 PM
That's great to know about the ability to get a refund.  Thanks!

So I'm going to apply for the 2 cards - should I apply for both of them on the same day or do I wait a certain period of time in between?
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: ZiziPB on November 08, 2016, 07:57:01 AM
Applied and got approved for both Southwest cards today!  The only snafu is that I didn't enter the Rapid Rewards account number on one of them so it will be linked to a different account.  Hopefully I will be able to straighten this out when I actually get the cards.
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: Catbert on November 08, 2016, 12:13:58 PM
If you're planning on getting the companion pass be sure that your  SW points aren't credited until January 2017 so you have the pass for the maximum time. 
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: ZiziPB on November 08, 2016, 12:39:47 PM
Thanks Mary W.  I don't think the companion pass is achievable for me - the two cards will give me 82,000 points (including the required spend).  And I believe 110,000 is needed for the companion pass?  That doesn't seem realistic but I would be very happy anyway if I can just get the 3 tickets I need for May out of this.
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: dandarc on November 08, 2016, 01:19:30 PM
84000 points - you need to run $2000 on each of the 2 cards to get the bonus.
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: ZiziPB on November 08, 2016, 03:18:58 PM
84000 points - you need to run $2000 on each of the 2 cards to get the bonus.

Hmm, I'm pretty sure it's $1,000 per card.  https://www.southwest.com/html/rapidrewards/partners/credit-cards/southwest-airlines-rapid-rewards-cards/index.html?clk=GSUBNAV-RR-VISA

I've read somewhere that there was a special offer for 50,000 points after $2K spend but that doesn't seem the case now.
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: dandarc on November 10, 2016, 10:53:48 AM
Huh.  Was always $2000 on the 50K offers.
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: dandarc on November 10, 2016, 10:55:43 AM
Ala here:

https://applynow.chase.com/FlexAppWeb/renderApp.do?SPID=FHTS (https://applynow.chase.com/FlexAppWeb/renderApp.do?SPID=FHTS)
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: ZiziPB on November 10, 2016, 11:36:07 AM
Very interesting.  I applied through the links I posted ($1k for 40,000) so I'll be curious to see what the cards will actually be when I get them.  I'll post here when they come in which should be in a few days.
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: kpd905 on November 10, 2016, 05:21:35 PM
The referral links still show 50,000 points for $2,000 spend.  PM me if you need one for the Premier card.
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: ZiziPB on November 16, 2016, 09:01:44 AM
Got both cards and activated them today.  Called Chase to confirm that I get 40,000 after spending $1,000 within 3 months.

Looks like I am all set and can start using the cards.  Just to confirm, the points do roll over from year to year?   But if I want to try for the companion pass, the points have to be earned all in one year?
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: dandarc on November 16, 2016, 10:43:23 AM
Yeah - if you're going for companion pass, at this point, wait until after your December statement cuts.  If not, points expire in 2 years if you don't earn any more, but you're looking at next summer, so you're fine with whenever on the spend during the first 3 months.
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: arebelspy on November 20, 2016, 12:11:00 AM
Ask them if they can change your signup bonus, because the 50k/2k spend is available still (not like an expired offer or anything).  Well worth getting the CP, and much easier to do with that extra 20k miles (22k counting the extra 1k spending needed per card).
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: ZiziPB on November 20, 2016, 04:19:03 AM
Ask them if they can change your signup bonus, because the 50k/2k spend is available still (not like an expired offer or anything).  Well worth getting the CP, and much easier to do with that extra 20k miles (22k counting the extra 1k spending needed per card).

I was thinking about it and while the idea of the companion pass sounds interesting, I don't think I would use it.  The trip in May will be it for 2017 travel - I will have exhausted my travel budget by then.  And I'm moving to Poland in the spring of 2018, so no use for Southwest miles there...
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: arebelspy on November 20, 2016, 04:48:47 AM
Ask them if they can change your signup bonus, because the 50k/2k spend is available still (not like an expired offer or anything).  Well worth getting the CP, and much easier to do with that extra 20k miles (22k counting the extra 1k spending needed per card).

I was thinking about it and while the idea of the companion pass sounds interesting, I don't think I would use it.  The trip in May will be it for 2017 travel - I will have exhausted my travel budget by then.  And I'm moving to Poland in the spring of 2018, so no use for Southwest miles there...

Gotcha.  Yeah, if that will be your only US trip in 2017 and 2018, the CP doesn't matter much.
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: ZiziPB on November 20, 2016, 05:01:44 AM
Ask them if they can change your signup bonus, because the 50k/2k spend is available still (not like an expired offer or anything).  Well worth getting the CP, and much easier to do with that extra 20k miles (22k counting the extra 1k spending needed per card).

I was thinking about it and while the idea of the companion pass sounds interesting, I don't think I would use it.  The trip in May will be it for 2017 travel - I will have exhausted my travel budget by then.  And I'm moving to Poland in the spring of 2018, so no use for Southwest miles there...

Gotcha.  Yeah, if that will be your only US trip in 2017 and 2018, the CP doesn't matter much.

Unless that stuff is transferable?  Daughter might get some use out of it.
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: dandarc on November 21, 2016, 07:29:22 AM
Ask them if they can change your signup bonus, because the 50k/2k spend is available still (not like an expired offer or anything).  Well worth getting the CP, and much easier to do with that extra 20k miles (22k counting the extra 1k spending needed per card).

I was thinking about it and while the idea of the companion pass sounds interesting, I don't think I would use it.  The trip in May will be it for 2017 travel - I will have exhausted my travel budget by then.  And I'm moving to Poland in the spring of 2018, so no use for Southwest miles there...

Gotcha.  Yeah, if that will be your only US trip in 2017 and 2018, the CP doesn't matter much.

Unless that stuff is transferable?  Daughter might get some use out of it.
The person who earns it has to be flying for the CP to have any value.  You could book a ticket for your daughter with any remaining miles if she needed one, but only you can fly with a companion on a nearly free ticket.
Title: Re: Southwest Rewards Card - worth it for my specific needs?
Post by: ZiziPB on November 21, 2016, 11:38:17 AM
Ask them if they can change your signup bonus, because the 50k/2k spend is available still (not like an expired offer or anything).  Well worth getting the CP, and much easier to do with that extra 20k miles (22k counting the extra 1k spending needed per card).

I was thinking about it and while the idea of the companion pass sounds interesting, I don't think I would use it.  The trip in May will be it for 2017 travel - I will have exhausted my travel budget by then.  And I'm moving to Poland in the spring of 2018, so no use for Southwest miles there...

Gotcha.  Yeah, if that will be your only US trip in 2017 and 2018, the CP doesn't matter much.

Unless that stuff is transferable?  Daughter might get some use out of it.
The person who earns it has to be flying for the CP to have any value.  You could book a ticket for your daughter with any remaining miles if she needed one, but only you can fly with a companion on a nearly free ticket.
Thank you dandarc, you've been most helpful.  I'm just going to focus on accumulating the 80K points then as soon as possible so that I can book our tickets for May.