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Southwest Ups Credit Card Bonus to 50,000 Points

Southwest Ups Credit Card Bonus to 50,000 Points

As it does periodically, Southwest this week bumped the sign-up bonus for its Rapid Rewards credit cards to a hefty 50,000 points. There’s no published end date to the 50,000-point offer, so it could be scaled back at any time.

For the Rapid Rewards Plus card (annual fee: $69), the 50,000-point bonus kicks in after a new cardholder charges $2,000 within three months. With the Rapid Rewards Premier card (annual fee: $99), the spend threshold is also $2,000 within three months, down from $3,000 the last time this promotion was in place.

Other card details:

  • Both cards award two points per $1 on purchases of Southwest tickets and Rapid Rewards hotel and rental car partners; one point per $1 for other charges.
  • Annual percentage rate (APR) is variable — the Prime Rate plus 11.99 percent — currently 15.24 percent.
  • Premier cardholders receive 6,000 bonus points on their anniversary, enough for $100 toward a Wanna Get Away award ticket.
  • Plus cardholders receive 3,000 bonus points on their anniversary.

Deal or No Deal

In Southwest’s program, 50,000 Rapid Rewards points translate into more than $800 toward Wanna Get Away award tickets — probably two free round-trip flights. But take note: There’s a devaluation set to take effect on March 31, 2014, that will reduce the value of those 50,000 Rapid Rewards points to just over $700.

Still. as credit card sign-up bonuses go, this is a solid one. And as Southwest offers go, it’s as good as it’s ever been, and probably as good as it’ll ever get.

Unless you’re a serial card acquirer — a flipper, who signs up solely for the bonus, and then moves on — the question posed by credit-card bonuses has less to do with the card itself than it does with the program it’s linked to. In this case, the question is: Is Southwest’s Rapid Rewards a program that meets your needs?

If so, this would be a good time to pull the trigger.

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