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I mentioned the Southwest Airlines Partnerpalooza promotion briefly on Friday, but I wanted to dedicate a post to the promo as well. When I first heard of the Partnerpalooza I got excited that perhaps they were doing something similar to the US Airways Grand Slam, but I quickly learned that it isn’t near as fun…..or rewarding. The Partnerpalooza has two parts to it. There is a contest to win up to a million Rapid Reward points and a companion pass. That part is really cool if you are lucky enough to win (which I am absolutely not ever lucky in that regard), but it is only part of the promotion. There is also another part that allows you to earn up to 4,000 bonus Rapid Reward points by earning points with their partners. The promo runs from February 16th until May 15th.
Winning the Partnerpalooza Prizes:
The Partnerpalooza prizes go up in value as more people enter the contest. Once there are over 350,000 people registered for the contest, the Grand Prize will top out at 1,000,000 Rapid Reward points, but it is currently sitting at 250,000 Rapid Reward points. In order to have a shot at winning, just register for the promotion and then enter to win their daily instant win game up to once per day. The instant win prizes vary, but include free car rental days, free hotel nights, bonus Rapid Reward points, and Macaroni Grill gift certificates, among other things. Once you are registered, you have one entry in the drawing for the Grand Prize. You can get an additional entry by utilizing a Rapid Rewards partner.
The Rapid Reward partners are:
Rewards Credit Card from Chase, Best Western RewardsTM, Choice Privileges®, Hyatt Gold Passport®, La Quinta Returns®, Marriott Rewards®, Wyndham Rewards®, Hertz®, Alamo®, Avis®, Budget®, Dollar RentACar®, Thrifty Car Rental®, Starwood Preferred Guest®, The Venetian®/Palazzo®, Rapid Rewards Dining SM , Teleflora®, SuperShuttle/ExecuCar, Rapid Rewards Shopping SM, e-Rewards, Energy Plus, TXU.
You get 25 entries by getting approved for a Southwest credit card and then one entry for every ten purchases made with your Southwest credit card. You can also get entries by referring friends to enter the contest.
Earn up to 4,000 Bonus Rapid Reward Points from Partners:
This is the part that I was hoping would look more like the Grand Slam, but it just doesn’t. However, it is still a decent way to get bonus Rapid Reward points in some circumstances. Basically, you earn 500 bonus points for every 2,000 Rapid Reward points earned from the partners listed above, up to a total of 4,000 bonus points. You have to utilize at least two unique partners to get the bonus points. A unique Partner is determined by the points earned in your Rapid Rewards account from one of the above Partners during the Promotion Period. Earning points from different brands (i.e. Starwood – Sheraton, Westin, etc), or transferring/converting points from the Partner will only count as one unique Partner.
It is very unclear as to whether or not the Southwest credit card counts as a partner. It is listed as a partner, but then the terms and conditions state that the promotion “excludes points earned through the Rapid Rewards Credit Card, Diners Club® Club Rewards, Ultimate Rewards, and Partner sign-up bonus points.” In this thread on Flyertalk, it looks like this question has been presented to Southwest, and we are all awaiting a clear answer as to whether or not points earned using credit card count. If they do, that could be a pretty easy way to earn the maximum number of bonus points possible.
Update: According to that same Flyertalk thread, it looks like credit card points do not count. They were only listed as a partner as you can earn additional entries for the prizes by utilizing the credit card.
If you have been looking to transfer some hotel points to Southwest (perhaps to go toward a Companion Pass), then now is the time to do it since that looks like those transfers would count. Car rental bonuses can also add up quickly and would count. For example, a three-day or longer rental with Hertz will get you 1,800 Rapid Reward points. You can also earn 300 points on your first dine if you are new to Rapid Rewards dining. Looks like their dining program has now started participating in the Get Ahead Bonus as well.
So, while this promo is hardly earth shattering (unless perhaps you win the Grand Prize), it may help some people pick up a few thousand extra Southwest Rapid Reward points. I will post an update when a clear answer is given about whether or not credit card points from the Southwest credit card count toward this promo.