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I just got this email from Southwest:
“From August 17, 2011 through October 31, 2011, you can earn Rapid Rewards Points (up to maximum of 12,000 points) when you purchase Marriott Gift Cards. (link to purchase page)
- Get 1,200 points with a $100 Marriott Gift Card purchase
- Get 3,000 points with a $250 Marriott Gift Card purchase
- Get 6,000 points with a $500 Marriott Gift Card purchase
Marriott Gift Cards can be redeemed for more than hotel stays! Use them for spa treatments, golf outings, as well as dining, and cocktails. Let Marriott help you get to your next vacation getaway faster!”
Southwest has a fixed value program, so you can redeem points at different ratios. Wanna Get Away fares are 60 points per dollar, so 12,000 points are $200 in flights, Anytime fares are 100 points per dollar so $120 in value and business select is 120 points per dollar, or $100 in value.
Up to $200 in Southwest flights for buying $1,000 in Marriott gift cards is a pretty good return! Plus you earn points if you pay for the giftcards with a point earning card and you also get points/elite status for any stay where you use the gift card as a form of payment. Plus, you can use these gift cards for incidentals, like dining at a Marriott or playing golf, so if you do any of these activities anyway, you might as well get the gift cards if you value Southwest flight credit.
These gift cards will get physically mailed to you and you need to pay shipping & handling: $1 for USPS First Class (5-9 business days) and $8.50 for Express (2-3 days).
Terms and Conditions: Rapid Rewards Members will receive 1,200 points per $100 Marriott Gift Card purchase; 3,000 points per $250 Marriott Gift Card purchase; and 6,000 points per $500 Marriott Gift Card purchase. Only preset $100, $250, and $500 Marriott Gift Cards are eligible for this promotion; Marriott Gift Cards purchased in other denominations are not eligible for this promotion. Maximum amount of Rapid Rewards Points eligible to earn for this promotion is 12,000 points. Member must purchase Marriott Gift Cards between August 17, 2011 and October 31, 2011. Valid on new purchases only. Shipping and handling fees apply. Gift Cards cannot be redeemed towards a vacation ownership purchase at Marriott Vacation Club International. Gift Cards can be redeemed towards rental stays at Marriott Vacation Club International properties. The Marriott Gift Card can be used for all purchases and services charged to a Marriott guest room folio. If you are not a registered hotel guest and are planning to use this card at a spa, restaurant, retail store, or other outlet, please confirm in advance that the Marriott Gift Card is accepted. The Marriott Gift Card cannot be used to guarantee a room reservation, but may be used as payment at check out. See full Marriott Gift Card Terms and Conditions. Please allow four to six weeks for points to post to your Rapid Rewards account. All Rapid Rewards rules and regulations apply.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after 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