Last Day For Southwest 50,000 Point Offers Plus Flight Schedule Extension to October 31, 2014
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card
Offer expired March 9, 2014.
With the Southwest devaluation date looming on March 31, 2014, now's the time to take a few very important steps to make sure you maximize the program while you still can.
Back in January, Chase relaunched limited-time offers of 50,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points for the Southwest Premier and Plus Visas. The offer is available on both the personal and business version of the Premier and the personal and Business Plus card. To get the full bonus on any of these cards, you must spend $2,000 within 3 months of account opening. These bonus points count towards one of the best travel rewards out there – the Southwest Companion Pass – and now is an ideal time to accrue the 110,000 points you need to get it since it will be good through the rest of 2014 and 2015 meaning you could be flying for half price for nearly two years.
The difference between the two cards is that there is a $99 fee on the Premier card and $69 fee on the Plus card. The Premier comes with 6,000 points every anniversary (~$108 in Wanna Get Away fares) and the Plus gets 3,000 ($54 in Wanna Get Away fares).
Even if you don’t want the companion pass, 50,000 Rapid Rewards points are worth almost $900 in Wanna Get Away fares, so it is one of the most solid credit card offers on the market if you fly Southwest.
Schedule Extended Through October 31
In terms of maximizing the program, there's a bit of good news for Southwest flyers, which is that the Southwest and AirTran's schedule has been extended through October 31, 2014, so you can book flights for another 7 months at the current Rapid Rewards Wanna Get Away rates (60 points per $1 instead of the post-devaluation 70 points per $1). Just keep in mind that if you book your flights now, if you change them after March 31, you'll have to rebook at the post-devaluation rates.
However, there's really no risk to doing so - except that you have your points in play rather than sitting in your account - since you can always cancel your Southwest ticket at no cost (as long as you do so at least 10 minutes before the flight) and the points will just be redeposited in your account, so you won't be penalized. Remember, Southwest is also launching several new international routes.
Beginning July 1, 2014, the airline will start offering flights to Aruba, the Bahamas and Jamaica. The new routes will be:
- Atlanta to Aruba and Montego Bay
- Baltimore/Washington to Aruba, Nassau, and (twice daily) Montego Bay
- Orlando to Aruba (Saturday only), and Montego Bay
Beginning August 10, it will offer flights to Cancun from Atlanta, Baltimore and Milwaukee; to Cabo from SNA (Santa Ana); and from Atlanta to Nassau. Then beginning in October, flights will launch from Denver to Cancun and Cabo.
And these flights are already bookable, like this one from Baltimore to Aruba in September:
So if you have an idea of what trips you'll be taking through October and were interested in using your Southwest points, I would book, even speculatively, and lock in Wanna Get Away fares at the current rates.
For more information, check out these posts:
Maximize Monday: Southwest Companion Pass FAQ And Strategies
Top 11 Ways To Top Up Your Account For The Southwest Companion Pass
Southwest Points vs. Southwest Credits: When Transferring Makes Sense and How to Check Availability
Can I Get Two Southwest Cards In One Day To Qualify For A Companion Pass
Top 10 Southwest Destinations To Book Pre-Devaluation
Can You Book Southwest Tickets and Re-book Post March 31 Devaluation
Southwest Announces New Caribbean and Mexico Routes