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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.

Use 9,000 Rapid Rewards points for free TSA PreCheck.
Redeem 9,000 Rapid Rewards points for free TSA PreCheck.

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 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 in the first three months. You could also sign up for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card, which comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. With the two sign-up bonuses, you’d be well on your way to getting the Southwest Companion Pass, one of the most lucrative rewards in the industry.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

With the Southwest Plus credit card you'll earn 3,000 points each year after your cardmember anniversary. Southwest also offers one of the most lucrative airline perks - the Companion Pass. Once you earn 110,000 points in a calendar year, you can add a companion to your flight for the cost of the taxes and fees for the remainder of the first year you earn the pass and the entire following year.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus earn 20,000 points after you spend $12,000 within your first year.
  • 3,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Earn unlimited points that don't expire as long as your card account is open
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions
  • Bags fly free® and no change fees
  • Redeem your points for flights, hotel stays, gift cards, access to events and more
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.99% - 24.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$69
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

 

 

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.