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Southwest Airlines Credit Card
Old 01-15-2015, 07:02 PM   #1
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Southwest Airlines Credit Card

DW & I are pondering getting a SWA credit card, looks like it is issued from Chase and has some good incentives like 50K points (not miles or $) and no foreign transaction fee but it costs $99 a year. Anyone have one of these? How do the points work out relative to miles or dollars when booking flights? Any issues on booking foreign travel? There seen to be other incentives like occasional extra points for certain travel , car rental or hotel bookings, but theses don't seem compelling to me, am I missing something?
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:37 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by yakers View Post
DW & I are pondering getting a SWA credit card, looks like it is issued from Chase and has some good incentives like 50K points (not miles or $) and no foreign transaction fee but it costs $99 a year. Anyone have one of these? How do the points work out relative to miles or dollars when booking flights? Any issues on booking foreign travel? There seen to be other incentives like occasional extra points for certain travel , car rental or hotel bookings, but theses don't seem compelling to me, am I missing something?
I signed up for the SWA card about 2 years ago. Silly me, I didn't read the fine print about the companion pass. Don't know if it still applies, but just after I passed my 1 year anniversary (and missed it by about 1,500 miles), if you accumulate 100,000 miles in a year, you get a companion pass where your companion flies with you for either free or just $99/ticket (or $99 for the whole year). I assumed that the 50,000 free miles you get when joining didn't count towards the 100,000 miles, but found out after the fact that I had just missed it.

Regarding points - just log onto the swa.com website and you can pick any ticket, and click on the fare page to show the fares in either $ or points. The points on SWA when comparing them to a plane ticket are 'worth', I think, about maybe 1.3 cents per mile (or, about 1.3% of every dollar you spend on the credit card gets converted to miles for airfare).

The one good thing about SWA: there are no 'limited capacity' seats for FF miles. If there is a seat, you can redeem points. Only catch is, the point cost may be somewhat high, depending on how far in advance you are looking, or how many seats are left.

But, on the flip side, if they have their crazy sales with flights for $200 roundtrip, the corresponding point "cost" is also equally low. So you could get a roundtrip flight during one of their sales for very few points.

They also give you 4 flight coupons each year with your $99 card fee, PLUS (I think) something like 9,000 miles for your $99 annual card fee. And any flights you buy with your SWA visa get double miles (but most airlines often give you extra miles if you buy a ticket with their branded credit card).

I suppose the slight "benefit" of SWA compared to other airlines is that you can use the points equally on any flight. With many airlines, they have more FF seats available on the redeye or less desirable flights (or charge you double FF miles for flights the same day, but a more popular time). But with SWA, if they have a cheap seat available on a non-stop popular flight, you can use your points for it.
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:38 PM   #3
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Yakers, we have one and I love it! First of all Southwest doesn't fly any where foreign unless you count San Juan. But, I use it to fly in the US and their incentive is much more user friendly than Delta's CC. I use it to pay for everything and just pay it off at the end of the month. The points rack up pretty fast. We earned 5 round trip flights last year ($2500 worth). The way they price it out doesn't really correlate with any kind of dollars to points system. You can go on their website and search for a flight and ask for the price in points to get an idea of the amount of points it would take to fly where you are interested in going. Hope that helps.
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:30 PM   #4
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I have had this card and companion pass. The best way to do it is to get the card in December and make sure your points post as early as possible in the new year so you can have the companion pass for the longest possible time. I seem to remember one of the mileage blogs had a specific set of instructions that I followed to make sure we did it right.

We used the companion pass a few times, though not as much as we'd hoped, since much of our travel during the time we had it was overseas.

One nice feature is you can change the companion card to a second person if you want, then back. I used that to take a friend out to Seattle to meet my DH who went out early for our trip this past summer.

Read up on the mileage blogs to get more info on the particulars, but I thought it was a good deal and SW is definitely an easy carrier to use miles with, if they are flying where you want to go. And you can change tickets with no penalty. That's very nice.


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Old 01-15-2015, 09:05 PM   #5
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SWA is the BEST airline for most folks, assuming they fly to where you want to go. Still no 1st bag fees, and no change fees. The SWA card seems to be decent deal for an airline card. But personally I use cash back cards since I don't fly much.
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Old 01-15-2015, 11:28 PM   #6
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I have one and it seems like we get free trips quite often. In fact we have round trips free for my husband and I coming up in February.


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Old 01-16-2015, 03:47 AM   #7
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I have had one for the past 10 years or so, and really like the card. I fly with points about 30% of the time. Easy to book flights with points, reliable airline with decent fares. Take a look at their Rapid Rewards program on their website for details.


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Old 01-16-2015, 10:56 AM   #8
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Wanted to chime in and say that I charge vIrtually everything on this card. The free flights make the annual fee worthwhile since there are many SW flights from my hometown. It is so easy to arrange a flight with points and seats have always been available, as opposed to some frequent flyer programs that have one or two seats per flight. The Rapid Rewards program expanded a few years ago and now includes hotel rooms, etc. As others have stated, explore those offerings to see if they meet your needs.
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Old 01-16-2015, 11:02 AM   #9
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One other benefit with Southwest - for those who don't live in the few major hub cities like Denver, Washington, Philadelphia, NY, Miami, Atlanta, etc., you are stuck with a layover in one of the main hubs for the legacy airlines.

But with Southwest, their point-to-point model results in some non-stop flights from many smaller cities. And even with their layovers, sometimes the city you fly to in between isn't as 'far out of the way' from your destination city as with other airlines, so your total flight time could be less.
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:23 PM   #10
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I've had this card for about a year now. I live in NY and my son is attending the University of Tampa. As he is an athlete there, I love to travel to Tampa to watch his games. I pay his tuition with the card and all other large purchases that I make so long as there is no "extra charge" like at my daughters college. They charge 3% extra for CC purchases. I have accumulated many points and use them quite often with never a problem. In a couple of weeks the wife and I are going to visit him for a grand total of 22$. We are very happy with the card.
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Old 01-22-2015, 02:51 PM   #11
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I have had one for the past 10 years or so, and really like the card. I fly with points about 30% of the time. Easy to book flights with points, reliable airline with decent fares. Take a look at their Rapid Rewards program on their website for details.


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+1

We have had ours a long time and use it for anything and everything that will take a credit card. We have routinely gotten the companion pass (FWIW, seems to kick in about 100k flight points or about $30k spending or so) and that's a deal. For us, the companion flies for free anytime - EVEN on a FREE ticket (2 tix for 1 tix points).

If you regularly fly SWA, and we do for short haul and domestic trips, this is a good deal.
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:50 PM   #12
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SW companion pass activates at 110,000 miles. Get both a personnel and business card ( you'd be surprised that chase will consider your "hobby" as a business) at 50k miles each and within 2-3 months you'll hit your 110
Companion passes are good for 2 years, the year you hit the 110k and the following year. Best deal in the industry


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Old 01-22-2015, 09:03 PM   #13
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if you meet the spending limit before 90 days, you can get the points, transfer to SW account and then cancel the card. once the card is cancelled, the $99 is refunded back.
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