[Offers contained within this article may no longer be available]
Per Reddit, it seems that both Southwest cards (the Plus and the Premier) are offering 2X on dining from July 15, 2015 to September 30, 2016. It looks like the offers are arriving via email. This is an okay offer but there are definitely some things to consider first before jumping using your Southwest cards for dining.
A good reminder
This offer serves as a good reminder to always consider your alternatives before jumping on a promotional offer. For example, there are many cards that already offer 2X on dining, one of those being the Chase Sapphire Preferred which earns Ultimate Rewards that transfer to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio. Whenever I have a choice to earn the same amount of points with a single airline or a reward program that can transfer points to that airline in addition to many others, I always go with the program that offers flexible transferability just in case I have a different need later on down the line.
So why would you jump on this offer?
As others have pointed out on Reddit, it’s an easy way to earn Rapid Rewards that will count towards the Southwest Companion Pass. If you transfer points from Ultimate Rewards directly to Southwest, those points will not count towards qualifying you for the Companion Pass.
So if you just needed a couple of hundred points it might make sense to use this promotion to help you get to your goal a bit quicker. However, you can’t forget about using hotel points to earn the Companion Pass. As that article points out you could use Hyatt to transfer:
- 5,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points for 2,400 Rapid Rewards Points (retain 48%) or
- 50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points for 24,000 Rapid Rewards Points and receive a bonus of 6,000 additional Rapid Rewards Points for a total of 30,000 Rapid Rewards Points (retain 60%).
Hyatt, of course, is a partner of Ultimate Rewards, which means that if you have a Freedom card right now you could be earning 5X on dining, and then transfer those points to Hyatt. Whether you transferred 5,000 Hyatt points or 50,000 you would be netting more than 2 Rapid Rewards, which means that you’d be able to maximize your earning toward the Companion Pass.
However, the problem is that the minimum you can transfer is 5,000 Hyatt Points. That means you’d have to spend $1,000 on dining with the Freedom to meet the minimum transfer threshold for Hyatt to Southwest. If you don’t think you’ll be spending that much, you can always purchase up to 55,000 Hyatt points in a calendar year (in increments of 1,000).
So, in the end, if you needed 2,400 or more Rapid Rewards you could use a combination of purchased Hyatt points and transferred Ultimate Rewards earned via the Freedom to meet your needs for the Companion Pass.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.