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Southwest Card Offers Free Flight Bonus

Image of Southwest Credit Card with bonus logoThe Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card from Chase is currently offering a great sign-up bonus.

If you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases within three months of the date you’re approved for the card, you’ll earn 50,000 bonus points.

These points can be redeemed for $800 in Wanna Get Away? airfare.

The offer advertises the $800 as being worth two free round-trip flights. Depending on when and where you fly, you could get more or fewer flights out of this bonus.

For example, with Southwest’s current summer travel sale, short-hop flights cost as little as 5,760 points round trip.

If you’re flying between cities like Atlanta and Orlando, Baltimore and Boston, Las Vegas and San Diego or Milwaukee and Minneapolis (among other options), you could squeeze eight free flights out of this reward and still have points left.

If you’re flying longer distances or traveling during peak periods, you’ll need to cash in more points for a flight. You might use your entire sign-up bonus on a single round-trip flight.

Use’s Low Fare Calendar and its new Map Search to see how you can get the most out of your points no matter when and where you’re flying.

9 tips to earn your credit card bonus

9 Tips to Earn Your Credit Card Bonus: Often that great credit card sign-up bonus comes with a huge string attached: You can only earn the cash or points if you spend thousands of dollars within a few months. Follow these tips to ensure that you don’t miss out.

In addition to the sign-up bonus, cardholders earn two points per dollar on Southwest and AirTran purchases made directly with the airlines, two points per dollar spent with Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners and one point per dollar on all other purchases. There is no limit on how many points you can earn.

The card has a $99 annual fee, but each year after the first year, you’ll receive 6,000 bonus points. Since those points are worth about $100 in Southwest airfare, they make up for the annual fee as long as you use your points.

Southwest’s credit card also has an unusual balance transfer perk.

For any balance transfers you make within 90 days of opening your account, you’ll receive 1 point per $1 transferred, with a $15,000 limit (or your credit limit, whichever is lower).

However, there’s a $5 or 3% balance transfer fee (whichever is higher), so it doesn’t make sense to do a transfer just to earn points.

If you transferred $12,000, you’d earn 12,000 points. They’re worth about $200, but you’d pay $360 in balance transfer fees.

Also, making a balance transfer doesn’t count toward the $2,000 spending requirement to earn the sign-up bonus.

And you might be able to get a lower interest rate — even 0% — on a balance transfer with another card.

The card’s APR for both balance transfers and purchases is 15.24% variable, with a 29.99% variable penalty APR. We don’t recommend carrying a balance on this card.

Southwest doesn’t limit the number of reward seats that can be booked on a particular flight, nor does it have blackout dates.

Also, when you fly Southwest, you won’t get charged for checking up to two bags or for changing your flight.

If you aren’t approved for Southwest’s Visa Signature card, Chase will automatically consider you for a Visa Platinum card, which has different benefits, so read your card approval letter carefully.

In addition, if you already have the card or have held it in the past, you aren’t eligible for the sign-up bonus. It’s only valid for first-time Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards card members with new accounts.

You also might not be eligible if you already have another Chase credit card with promotional pricing.

Contact customer service before you apply if you’re not sure you qualify for the sign-up bonus.

Compare this deal with other airline miles credit cards in our database.

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