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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
In response to long TSA security checkpoint wait times, several airlines have been working to help passengers get through the lines quicker. Delta, American and United all offered their own resources to help the situation, and last week, JetBlue announced that it was targeting Mosaic members with free TSA PreCheck memberships. Now, as of today, Southwest is offering Rapid Rewards members the opportunity to purchase PreCheck in an unconventional way.
Southwest is now allowing Rapid Rewards members to sign up for TSA PreCheck with a payment of 9,000 Rapid Rewards points, rather than the $85 fee required for the membership. Rapids Rewards members who are interested in redeeming 9,000 points for TSA PreCheck should visit the carrier’s “More Rewards” portal and look for the TSA PreCheck option. From there, register to redeem your points for PreCheck and receive an authorization code, fill out a TSA PreCheck application online and schedule an interview appointment. You’ll then need to show your authorization code in order to have the $85 fee waived.
Note that by redeeming your Rapid Rewards points, you’re not guaranteed acceptance into the TSA PreCheck program. It’s also worth noting that the offer is valid until August 22, 2016, so you have more than a month to take advantage. In addition, you can choose to gift TSA PreCheck to someone else, but keep in mind that each Rapid Rewards account can only redeem points for up to eight codes.
Based on TPG’s most recent valuations, which peg Rapid Rewards points at 1.5 cents apiece, this isn’t the best possible use for your points. The 9,000 points required for this redemption are worth approximately $135 — about $50 more than it would cost you to purchase TSA PreCheck with cash. However, if you have a stash of Rapid Rewards points you’re looking to burn without flying, this could be a good redemption, especially because TSA PreCheck is valid for five years.
If you’re looking to increase your stash of Rapid Rewards points, don’t forget that the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card is offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months. You could also sign up for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card, which also comes with a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months. With the two sign-up bonuses, you’d be just shy of getting the Southwest Companion Pass, one of the most lucrative rewards in the industry.