Which Southwest Credit Card Offer Is Better?

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April 2020: Offers mentioned in this post are no longer available.

I was purchasing some Southwest airline tickets (with points, of course!) the other day, and when I was ready to complete my purchase, I had a credit card offer at checkout. The offer showed up right underneath the purchase price. This is a common practice to entice you to sign up for a particular airline’s credit card, so it wasn’t surprising.

What did surprise me was how different it was from the public offer. At first glance, this offer seems great because of the $200 credit, but looks can be deceiving. I’ll compare this offer with the current public offer to show you which Southwest credit card offer is better.

The Offer I Received At Checkout

As I was ready to complete my purchase I noticed this offer to sign up for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card.  It was located right underneath the total for my purchase.

Which Southwest Credit Card Offer Is Better? I'm comparing this offer I received at checkout to the standard offer for this card.

At first glance, most people would think this is a fantastic offer! A $200 statement credit for this purchase that I was going to make anyway and 10,000 Rapid Rewards Points?!?  Sign Me Up!!

For some people, maybe the $200 statement credit with no minimum spend is just what they need and to that I say, “go for it”! However, for most of us who are trying to maximize the points earned for every dollar spent, this offer is subpar to the current public offer.

Which Southwest Credit Card Offer is Better? I'll compare this offer to the public offer and show you my pick!

Southwest Rapid Rewards Card Public Offer

  • 50,000 bonus Rapid Rewards Points after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 monthsSouthwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card
  • 2x points on Southwest purchases
  • 1x point on all other purchases
  • $69 annual fee
  • 3,000 points after your cardmember anniversary

What Are The Differences?

The differences in these 2 offers are only in the sign-up bonus.  All other aspects of the card are the same so I won’t get into those.

Offer Available At Checkout:

  • $200 credit after 1st purchase
  • 10,000 bonus points after spending $500 in 3 months

Current Public Offer

  • 50,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 in 3 months

So really it comes down to would you rather have a $200 statement credit or an extra 40,000 points (after an additional $1,500 in spend)? The value of a Southwest Rapid Rewards point is about 1.6 cents per point. At this rate, 40,000 points are worth $640!

This is more than 3 times the value of the $200 rebate offered in the “time of checkout” offer. So, this is no brainer! DO NOT sign up for this card with the “time of checkout” offer. If you are going to get this card, go for the public offer of 50,000 points – it’s a much more lucrative deal!