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There are several things I really like about the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and about the Rapid Rewards program generally. It’s not my go-to for premium cabin international awards, obviously, you cannot spend your points on airline partners. But the points are really flexible and fill a real need.
Data suggests that some lower credit scores may be enough to get this card than many other rewards cards.
The credit card currently offers a signup bonus of 50,000 points after $2000 in spending on purchases within 3 months of account opening.
The biggest benefit to these points, of course, is that it puts you nearly halfway to a Companion Pass in one shot. A Southwest Companion Pass lets a companion fly with you free when you travel on Southwest — even when you are flying on a Rapid Rewards award ticket. You can use the Southwest companion pass as many times as you’d like, and you can change your designated companion three times during its validity.
But one thing I really love about Southwest points is that there’s no fee for award changes and redeposits. Southwest is the largest airline at my home airport in Austin, though I fly mostly on the second largest (American). Southwest gives me a great option to connect to an international award ticket I book starting out of another city.
- It lets me lock in transportation if American flights are expensive or American isn’t offering domestic award space on my international trip.
- Maybe prices drop on American, or they open up award space, I can change airlines later but I don’t risk losing a seat or prices going up.
Here’s one thing this means, that’s easy to forget. dieselz on reddit makes the obvious point that since Southwest Airlines award tickets are based on the price of paid travel, when a paid ticket gets less expensive the number of points for your award drops as well. And no fee changes mean you can get points back on an award you’ve already booked.
I just checked a reward for December that I initially paid ~8,200 points for. Now it’s listed as ~6,000. Did a change from the flight to the same flight and was credited the ~2,200 points, at a cost of nothing, took about 15 seconds – all online.
When you book a Southwest Airlines award, don’t consider yourself ‘done’. Track the price of your ticket, and if it falls rebook your award to get points back for free