Update 11/13/12: This offer is lo longer available.
The Southwest Airlines credit card’s 2 free flights giveaway will end on Monday at midnight, so if you’ve been contemplating the card, now’s the time to grab it. The current offer is 50,000 Southwest Airlines miles upon signup, worth 2 domestic rountrip flights and change. It gives 2 SWA miles per $1 spent on Southwest, and 1 mile per $1 spent elsewhere. It also gives out 6,000 miles every year as an anniversary bonus, worth $100 in Wanna Get Away fare and in itself canceling out the $99 annual fee.
However, the best part about the card is its 50,000-mile signup bonus. So hop on it while it’s still available, because when the clock strikes midnight (Central, if you must know) it’ll be gone forever.
Recap of the Southwest Airlines credit card
The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier card has an about-average rewards rate for an airline credit card. The default is 1 mile per $1 and double when you spend on the carrier itself. Where it shines is, as we mentioned, the 50k-mile signup bonus, twice the industry standard. It’s also one of the few to give an anniversary bonus. Southwest miles don’t expire and aren’t subject to blackout dates.
However, it doesn’t give the perks of some other high-end cards like lounge access, elite status or automatic priority boarding (which would be killer on Southwest, which has open seating). It does give 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points per $10,000 spent, up to 15k points a year. You need 35,000 points (or 25 one-way flights) to qualify for the A-list. Southwest’s elite status gives priority boarding and check-in, a 25% points bump, and privileged standby status.
Southwest vs. other travel cards
We think that the Southwest Airlines credit card is just about the best airline card there is, based on the signup bonus. Compared to other, more generic travel cards, though, there’s some competition. Another Chase offering, the Chase Sapphire, gives 50,000 Ultimate Rewards Points as a signup bonus, 1% rewards thereafter, and waives the foreign transaction fee. What’s more, its $95 annual fee is waived the first year.
The Capital One Venture Rewards, to name another travel heavyweight, pays out 2% rewards on all purchases and allows you to redeem for a statement credit rather than restricting you to one airline. It, too, waives the F/X fee and first-year annual fee.
Check out our list of no foreign transaction fee credit cards, and stop paying unnecessary fees!
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