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I heart Southwest Airlines. I don’t actually fly them much anymore as they do not fly out of the airport closest to my house (and that is almost a deal breaker with a wee one), but I still think they rock for many reasons. Admittedly they did mess with their “perfect” frequent flyer system recently, but overall what they have done to bring down the cost of flying on many routes is something to be commended. Another thing to be commended is their new credit card deal!
If you apply for and are approved for the current Southwest Airlines Credit Card by Chase deal you can get 50,000 Southwest points simply for making one purchase of any amount and for paying the $99 annual fee. I explained their points system in this post, but if you want to cut to the chase then 50,000 points = $833 in their Wanna Get Away fares. Wanna Get Away fares are their cheapest fares, but you do have to book them at least a week out. If you need to book less than a week out, or need a refundable fare, you can use 50,000 credits to get $500 in their Anytime fares. For most family vacations, Wanna Get Away fares are the route you would take anyway, so for most of us this deal means $833 in travel for only a $99 annual fee (plus putting at least one purchase on the card that you were going to make anyway).
Ignore the part of the ad that says you get “two free flights” – that is just there to try to explain what 50,000 points is to people who don’t understand points. You could easily get 3-4 round-trip flights for 50,000 points if you plan ahead. Like I mentioned earlier, read this post to get the lowdown on how Southwest points works. The deal is currently slated to run until early August, but if you fly Southwest and want to get in on this deal I would jump on it now. The only caveat would be if you just applied for another Chase card – such as the Chase Sapphire I have mentioned a few times. In that case, wait at a month or two before getting another Chase card. A great thing about Southwest points is as long as there are seats available on the flight, you can have them on points. That is a huge benefit to this program that you can’t find with most airlines!
There are a few more reasons that Southwest can be a good choice for traveling families. 1. No change fees. If you can’t make your originally scheduled flight for some reason, you can use that credit on a future flight. Huge win! You do have to pay the difference in fare between your old flight and your new flight (which can be substantial if you are trying to book a last minute fare), but it is still a way better change policy than most airlines. 2. Much less attitude. I have found Southwest flights to be much more laid back about traveling families than some other airlines. Honestly, that is kind of priceless. Many families use this airline, so you don’t usually catch as much flak for traveling with a baby or toddler. 3. Great sales! I mentioned in this post about a sale they recently had. It’s over now, but they do have FANTASTIC sales several times a year. If you book during those sales you can stretch your points (or dollars) even further! 4. No baggage fees. Since I am a big fan of checking some items when you are flying with kids (you already have your arms full with on-board essentials!), this is a great deal. Unless you have status or credit cards that waive bag fees with other airlines, the cost to check a few bags and easily add 100-200 dollars to your vacation. With Southwest, that is not an issue. Hurray!
So all in all, for those families who “are now free to move about the country”, this really is a deal not to be missed!
Make sure you are clicking on a link that gives you 50,000 points such as this one and not a link for a lesser deal. As always, I don’t get any sort of money if you apply. I just get the happiness of knowing you scored a great deal!