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As you may or may not have noticed, American Airlines is not the only airline with an increased 60,000 mile sign-up bonus offer at the moment. Southwest actually has three temporarily increased bonuses available, and for many people these offers are even better than the American Airlines offer. Not only are Southwest Rapid Reward points simply easier to use since there are no complicated award charts or blackout dates, but the 60,000 points you get from each of these bonuses will get you over half of the way to earning a valuable Companion Pass so a designated companion can fly for you by just paying the taxes for their seat.
You need to earn 110,000 Companion Pass eligible Rapid Reward points in a calendar year to earn the pass for the rest of that year and all of the following calendar year, so 60k bonus points gets you about 54% of the way there. There are three different Southwest credit cards with increased bonuses, and while all of them fall under the Chase 5/24 rule, they are all unique products so you theoretically can get the bonus from each card at some point.
The details for the three increased Southwest credit card sign-up bonuses are:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card: Earn 60,000 bonus Rapid Reward points when you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, $69 annual fee.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card: Earn 60,000 bonus Rapid Reward points when you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, $99 annual fee.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card: Earn 60,000 bonus Rapid Reward points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, $99 annual fee.
The terms state that the product is available to you if you do not have the card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for the card in the past 24 months. This means you can’t currently hold the card you are applying for and can’t have received a sign-up bonus for that card in the last two years.
In terms of how much 60,000 Southwest Rapid Reward points are worth, it all depends on how you use them. If you book Wanna Get Away award fares in advance, it is pretty common to get 1.6 – 1.7 cents per point in value. At that rate, this would mean that the 60,000 point sign-up bonus is worth $960 – $1,020 in Southwest award travel. What is also handy is that with Southwest you can redeposit awards for no fee and you can rebook them if the price drops to get some of your points back.
Those are all reasons that the program and the sign-up bonuses are pretty great, but there is one big reason you may not want to apply quite yet. Since the Companion Pass is good in the year it is earned and all of the following year, you may want to wait a few more weeks to apply until you can push the three month window for finishing the minimum spending requirement into 2018. If you earned 110,000 Companion Pass eligible Rapid Reward points early in 2018 then you would have all of that year and all of 2019 to use the benefits. Of course, the flip side is true, and you should apply and get going on meeting the spending requirements ASAP if you need to be sure you earn these points in 2017, assuming you are already part of the way to earning the pass this year.
I do not know what the end date is for these increased offers, so there is risk in waiting to apply. If I spot an end date I promise to keep y’all updated, and please feel free to drop a note in the comments if you have seen a posted end date. Update: There are now rumors of an October 4, 2017, end date which would mean you should be able to get it then and hit the spending requirement at the very end of the three month period for the points to post in 2018!
Getting 60,000 bonus Rapid Reward points is a great deal regardless of when they are earned, but if you use some strategy with timing the bonus, you may find yourself over half-way to a valuable companion pass!
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.