Update: Southwest has brought back their excellent two roundtrip flights offer after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account. Specifically, the bonus is 50,000 Southwest points which are good for over $800 in airfare, or $500 in Amazon.com or Wal-mart gift certificates. Another opportunity to *save* money with credit cards as opposed to losing it paying interest.
The huge “2 roundtrip flights” banner on the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Card application page is based on the fact that one round-trip $416 Wanna Get Away fare would cost about 25,000 points. In reality, the value of the bonus is $833 in Southwest airfare broken up however you like. Any Wanna Get Away fare is eligible, so this bonus is very useful for Southwest fliers. If you take shorter flights or wait for a fare sale, this could easily be worth multiple free flights. This is a limited-time offer, and has gone to down to 25k in the recent past.
- Two free checked bags. Southwest always offers 2 free checked bags on every flight.
- No ticket change fees. If you can’t make your flight, you can move your flight later or earlier as needed and just pay any fare difference without any penalties. Wanna Get Away fares are the cheaper fares that the vast majority of non-business frugal travelers buy. Anytime fares add the option to be refunded for cash. Business Select adds Priority Boarding.
- September 11th Security Fee? Applies to award flights, and is $2.50 each segment, up to $10 roundtrip. For a nonstop roundtrip, it’s $5.
- More redemption options. You can also redeem points on hotel stays, car rentals, international flights, and gift cards. For gift cards in general, 5,000 points = $50 value. Specifically, you can redeem 50,000 points for $500 in gift certificates at Amazon.com, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Wal-mart. A good alternative if you don’t fly much or don’t live close to a Southwest city.
- $99 annual fee. However, you do get 6,000 bonus points each anniversary date which again is worth $100 towards a Wanna Get Away fare. The card also earns 1 points per dollar spent everywhere, which effectively means 1.67% back toward Wanna Get Away airfare, with double points given on Southwest airfare and affiliated hotel/car rental purchases.
- Companion pass eligibility. The 50,000 points earned through this card counts towards the 110,000 points you need in a calendar year to earn the Companion Pass, which allows a companion to fly free with you (paid and award flights) for the rest of that calendar year and also all of the next year.
- No foreign transaction fees.
If you have any issues with approval, call the Chase credit reconsideration line at 1-888-245-0625 and talk to a human. Ask them politely for the exact reason why you were denied, and offer to cancel, merge together, and/or lower your existing credit lines in order to get the new card you want. Many times you’ll just be rejected by a computer that says you have too many cards or something. You should be offered some way to get approved, I have heard many success stories. They want your business.
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Card application link