Why Decreased Offers on Southwest Cards Aren’t a Bad Deal

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Both the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card have reduced their welcome offers to 40,000 Rapid Rewards points each, but the minimum-spending requirements have also dropped from $2,000 to $1,000 in the first three months of opening each account.

Sure, the 40,000-point bonus isn’t as appealing as 50,000 points, but it’s still a decent bonus for those who missed out on the offer, and here’s why.

Lower Minimum-Spending Requirements

Travelers who do not think they can meet the higher minimum-spending requirements comfortably might feel better applying for a card with a lower threshold of $1,000. Although there are plenty of ways to meet those requirements organically, we all do not spend our money the same way, and higher spending can be intimidating to some. Some might justify missing out on 20 percent of the bonus points by cutting down the minimum-spending requirement in half.

Companion Pass

A Companion Pass is one of the most coveted perks in the world of points and miles because it lets you book a free flight for a travel buddy. To earn the Companion Pass, passengers must either fly 100 segments with Southwest or earn 110,000 points via spending on airfare or using one of the Chase-issued credit cards to accumulate points.

The good news is that the sign-up bonus counts toward earning the Companion Pass. If you travel on Southwest often and are under Chase’s 5/24 rule, you can sign up for one, or both, of the credit cards to help you earn the Pass sooner.

Chase’s 5/24 Rule

It is possible the reason you missed out on the higher offers was because you had opened five or more new accounts with any bank in the last two years. You knew that Chase wouldn’t approve you for these cards before. For some travelers, a Companion Pass is worth foregoing a couple of sign-up bonuses here and there, and maybe you waited to be under 5/24, but the offers have now decreased. Because the Companion Pass is valid through the remainder of this year plus the following calendar year, it could make sense to sign up for the lower offers now to earn the majority of the points sooner and earn the rest through either spending or flying.

Smart Redemptions

Southwest Airlines is known to sell flights at a deep discount from time to time — as low as $59 or 2,997 Rapid Rewards points each way — and that is when you want to strike. Southwest award chart is a revenue-based one, which means that the number of points to book a flight corresponds to its cost in dollars. The cheaper the flight, the fewer the number of points it requires. At those rates, 40,000 points can take you and a friend pretty far.

What are some instances you would consider a lower sign-up bonus?

Anya Kartashova

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Annual Fee: $95 fee waived for the first year
  • Foreign Fees: No
  • Card Type: Bank

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  • Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption – Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions – as long as there’s a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Breakdown

Earn (pt.)

Spend


First 3 months

50,000

$4,000


Travel Purchases

2.00

$1


Restaurants Purchases

2.00

$1


Coffee Shops Purchases

2.00

$1


Fast Food Purchases

2.00

$1


Alcohol & Bars Purchases

2.00

$1


All Purchases

1.00

$1


Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Annual Fee: $95 fee waived for the first year
  • Foreign Fees: No
  • Card Type: Bank
FTG Review Reward Breakdown Points Breakdown
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption – Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions – as long as there’s a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Breakdown

Earn (pt.)

Spend


First 3 months

50,000

$4,000


Travel Purchases

2.00

$1


Restaurants Purchases

2.00

$1


Coffee Shops Purchases

2.00

$1


Fast Food Purchases

2.00

$1


Alcohol & Bars Purchases

2.00

$1


All Purchases

1.00

$1


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