Part 2 – The Credit Card Travel Game: Flights

For Flights – Southwest Rapid Rewards Cards

Southwest has hands-down, the best rewards program in the history of travel. That may be an exaggeration. But in the history of travel in which I’m aware, it’s a-ma-zing. On top of that, they’re actually an incredible airline. I would describe them as no-hassle, family friendly… just the type of airline that “gets it.” For example, we’ve flown American and made a mistake with our booking. It was cheaper for us to buy new tickets than to pay the fee to change the tickets. Southwest will change your flight, and refund you if your new flight is cheaper! With Southwest you get carry-ons for free. I’ll break it down:

Low Fares and Low Fare Calendar

  • With proper planning, a flight through Southwest can run between 2,100 – 15,000 points, one way.
  • Of course, YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary), but Southwest has a great tool called the “Low Fare Calendar.” Click here to view the Southwest Low Fare Calendar.
  • You’ll notice that most of the low fares are during low travel times. For me, this is perfect. I hate traveling when others are traveling, so it basically ensures that you’ll be traveling during non-peak times.

Rapid Rewards Credit Cards

  • A sign-on bonus can be as good as 40,000 – 50,000 points. In other words, a sign on bonus can be as many as 20+ flights.
  • Once you get to 110,000 points in your Southwest Rapid Rewards account, you qualify for a companion pass. Each time you fly, you can take a designated companion with you for “free” (the 9/11 tax still applies, which is $5.60/flight).

Companion Pass

  • You can easily get to 110,000 points by applying for multiple Southwest cards through different names, buy by tying them to the same Rapid Rewards account number.
    Note: At this time of publishing, there is nothing in Southwest’s terms and conditions which prohibits this. We did receive a letter saying we didn’t qualify on the second bonus, but after calling them they said the letter was an error, and they manually applied the points – that process took nearly 3 months.
  • The companion pass is good for the rest of the calendar year in which you qualified, as well as the next full calendar year. Therefore, it is best to earn all of your points as soon as possible after January 1. We qualified for companion pass in late May.

When all is said and done, if Salt Lake to San Diego was on average 3,000 points, and we wanted to take our family of four on round trips, we would have 6 round trips for our family alone. So far my wife and I have booked trips to San Diego, Texas, and Phoenix from Salt Lake City and we still have 40,000 points to use. If we wanted to ditch the kids we could go on three times as many trips (because my wife flies free with me, but the kids do not). Other than the signup fee for each card ($95 annually, times $2) and the $11.20 per person round trip, we’re flying super cheap.

Best Southwest Rapid Rewards Referral Links

The Southwest referral link is somewhat enticing right now, at 40,000 points a card. However, Southwest has historically offered 50,000 points for a referral, so you may want to wait. In addition, if you aren’t accumulating points at the beginning of the year, you may want to wait to start so that your points will go towards the longest possible Southwest Companion Pass.

View Sapphire Preferred Card Offer
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Continue To Part 3
2017-09-12T06:32:12+00:00

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