You can now earn 50,000 Southwest Airlines points (after your first purchase with the card) when you apply for the new Southwest Airlines Visa Credit Card. The card comes with $69 annual fee (no first year fee waiver) but the bonus points easily cover the annual fee and makes the deal attractive. Points will post to your Southwest Rapid Rewards account after the statement closes in which you have at least one qualifying purchase (Annual fee charged to your card does not qualify). Please note that most qualified applicants will be issued a Visa Signature card which comes with no pre-set spending limit. To learn more about cards with “no pre-set spending limit” please visit my earlier post.
Southwest has 3 types of fares available and bookable on its website, Business Select, Anytime, and Wanna Get Away. When you redeem the southwest points for Wanna Get Away fares, each point is worth 1.66 cents in value towards that airfare. Thus, if your base fare for paid revenue ticket is $60 under “Wanna Get Away” as listed on www.southwest.com, you would need 80,000 points to purchase that flight using points.
However, the value of points starts going down if you try to purchase Anytime or Business Select fare for your redemption. These same points will valued at 1 cent per point for Anytime fare and it drops even further to 0.83 cents per point for Business Select fare. Thus, your get best value when you redeem your points for Wanna Get Away fare. And Remember, Southwest does not charge a change fee or a penalty for changes, you only pay the actual fare difference, if applicable. And you are also allowed up to 2 free check-in bags.
Other interesting redemptions include redeeming 50,000 points for $500 worth of Amazon.com gift card or gift cards for select restaurants, retails stores and travel like cruises. Interestingly, these points can also used to purchase international flights on airlines other than Southwest as well as for hotels stays and rental cars.
One thing I have truly come to hate is Southwest’s new website design. It is somewhat user unfriendly, unintuitive, buggy and broken. Their previous website was so much better, very intuitive and a breeze to use. However, it is work in progress and chances are that Southwest already knows about the issues with their website while they work on fixing them in the background.
Back to the original topic on hand, Southwest Visa Signature Card by Chase. It is an excellent deal considering that you get up to $833.33 in Southwest Airfare. Even if you don’t fly Southwest or the Airline does not serve your preferred Airport, you can use these points for other stuff that may be of interest to you. And for a limited time, Southwest is having a sale when you redeem your points for gift cards. You can get 20% discount for most gift card redemptions. Thus, $500 worth of gift cards will cost you only 40,000 points.