Hi Splurgists, Julie here, crunched some numbers and decided that Southwest’s Rapid Rewards is, indeed, rapid.* After purchasing two domestic round trip flights, the third is free. My redemption scheme is most applicable if you frequent one hub in particular (in my case, New York).
The Wanna Get Away reward fare for a flight that leaves Wednesday 10AM and for the return flight that leaves from LaGuardia the following Wednesday at 5PM is priced at 14118 points round trip.
If I decide instead to pay for the above itinerary in Business Select for the 12x points earn rate, I’d pay $1027 for the round trip (about 515 each way) and earn 11026 points. Charging that amount to a Southwest credit card would net 13080 points at the 2x card earn rate. I would almost have enough for the 14118 Wanna Get Away reward flight amount. I’m going to estimate the cost for two round trip flights, one in Business and one in Wanna Get Away, at $514 each.
If I adjust the above and instead fly Wanna Get Away up at $127 but still fly down in Business Select at $515, the trip would cost $642 and earn me 6118 points. Presumably, a second Business x WGA trip at $642 would earn another 6118 points. That’d be $1284 for 12236 points, or 14804 points with Southwest card earnings.
At $1284, I’d get 3 round trip visits or $428 per. I’d still get to fly Business twice as was the case in the first scenario, but I’d get four Wanna Get Away flights rather than two.
$428 per person to New York is still expensive considering I can fly JetBlue at <$250 (our upcoming JetBlue flights were a reasonable $217 per person). A Companion Pass would halve their fare to $214 per person if you frequently fly in pairs. Marc and I rarely find ourselves in the same plane at the same time, though.
And here’s my usual credit card riff: the Chase Southwest Premier and Plus cards seasonally offer 50k sign-up bonuses after $2000 spend within 3 months. A Chase representative confirmed that the Premier and Plus cards are two separate products, so you can own both. Sometimes the first year $99 annual fee on the Premier is covered by a $100 statement credit offer.
Worth about 1.7 cents per point, the 100k reimbursement after $4000 spend on the Premier and Plus cards amount to 42% savings for a solo traveler or 84% when used in conjunction with the Companion Pass.
The second passenger’s ticket costs just $5 each redemption flight. The pass is valid for the remainder of the year you obtain 110k points and for the duration of the entire year after. To achieve the points requirement for the pass, I’d sign up for both the Premier and Plus cards when the 50k offers are live. The cards come in Personal and Business variety.
Link for the 60,000 Chase Southwest Business Premier Card Application from Miles to Memories. The 888-245-0625 reconsideration line confirms the 60k offer.
The Companion Pass makes Southwest fares worthwhile, otherwise I’d personally go with JetBlue, Delta or Frontier. Though United has incredibly cheap fares and a diversified portfolio of non-stops to and from Orlando, their assistants can often be beastly rude and off-putting lol.
Stay safe, Splurgists.
*calculations do not include taxes and fees.