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Last week Chase launched the deal of the year, an 80,000 point initial bonus offer for the brand new New! Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card (after $5000 spend within 3 months).
When I value points where I’m indifferent to holding them versus cash I place Rapid Rewards points at 1.3 cents apiece. That’s in some measure because you earn a rate of return on cash that you don’t holding miles; that miles are more likely to devalue; and cash is more flexible in what it can purchase.
However when we look at the travel that Southwest Airlines points will buy Southwest Airlines adjusted the Rapid Rewards program last year so that a point goes just as far regardless of the type of fare you’re redeeming for (previously the more expensive the ticket the less value points had).
Generally speaking the cost of an award ticket is the base airfare times 78. That makes a Southwest Airlines point worth 1.28 cents apiece. However Rapid Rewards redemptions aren’t subject to most taxes, including the 7.5% excise tax on domestic airfares and airport charges. When you factor in the tax savings each Rapid Rewards point buys you 1.5 cents apiece in travel.
Since 80,000 points buys you 1.5 cents apiece in travel, the initial bonus on the New! Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card is worth $1200.
But the bonus is worth so much more than that because it counts towards a Southwest Airlines Companion Pass.
- 110,000 points in a calendar year earns a companion pass. The initial bonus plus the points earned on the card from spending count towards that total.
- When you earn a companion pass (rather than receiving a promotional one) — and this offer gets you most of the way there — it’s valid for the rest of the calendar year and the entire next calendar year.
- So this offer can get you 2019 and 2020 and since you’re also earning a lot of points those points can cover a lot of air travel for you to take along a companion for the cost of taxes alone.
When you earn a companion pass you can get twice as much value out of each points, and 80,000 points becomes potentially worth $2400 in travel.
And that’s before you get to the travel benefits this card offers. Like the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card personal card, cardmembers receive 4 upgraded boardings per year, A1-15 boarding, which you purchase at the gate and get statement credit back for.
Southwest Performance Business Card cardmembers are eligible to receive a statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years. But a unique benefit is Southwest Airlines inflight wifi credits.
I regularly pay $8 per flight for internet on Southwest Airlines. This card will give you up to 365 wifi purchase credits per year. And employee cards come with no annual fee, so I believe getting extra cards should allow you to spread around the wifi credit benefit.