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1. Southwest 50,000 Points Ends in 4 Days
The 50,000 signup bonus for all 4 of the Southwest credit cards ends on August 6, 2013, i.e. in 4 days!
50,000 Southwest points is worth ~$835 in Southwest flights. There are no blackout dates when you redeem points on Southwest, so you can book as many seats as Southwest is selling!
Points from the Southwest credit card currently count towards the Southwest Companion Pass – the best airline perk – because your companion can fly with you for free on both paid or award tickets.
See this post for everything you need to know about the Southwest companion pass. I suspect that these cards will return around Thanksgiving, but I can’t guarantee that they will be back.
If you already have, say, 50,000 Southwest points which you earned in 2013, you are better off getting the Companion Pass in 2013.
If you don’t have any Southwest cards, you could wait until later this year to get the cards and have your points count towards the Companion Pass in 2014. See this post on whether to get the Southwest card now or later in the year. Though the points from the sign-up bonus could stop counting towards the Companion Pass at anytime.
2. 50,000 Avios Points British Airways Card
The Chase British Airways Visa has a 50,000 Avios point bonus after spending $2,000 within 3 months and now waives the $95 fee for the FIRST year. This link doesn’t (currently) earn me a commission, but it could be useful for some.
Avios are good for short distance travel within the US, but they are quirky to use, so make sure the card is right for you before applying. You could also wait for an offer with a larger sign-up bonus, but those usually have much higher spending requirements.
3. Citi Thank You Preferred With 20,000 Points
You get 20,000 points after spending $1,500 within the first 3 months on the Citi Thank You Preferred card. The card has no annual fee, so it is a card which you can keep for a long time and build a relationship with Citi. You also get 2x points on dining and entertainment, but I’d prefer earning 2X points on my Chase Sapphire Preferred for dining.
Each Thank You point is worth at least 1 cent when you redeem for gift cards or travel from the Citi Thank You portal, so that’s $200 in gift cards or travel.
There is a 0% APR for Balance Transfers and Purchases for the 1st 12 months. However, there is a 3% balance transfer fee. Please read this post on why you should be VERY careful with 0% APR offers. You shouldn’t carry a balance on your credit cards unless you know what you’re doing!
You can use these points to buy flights up to any value, just as you would if you pay cash. This is great for those occasions where you can’t use miles and points (inter-island flights in French Polynesia) or where you have no flexibility with your travel plans.
To be clear, this isn’t a card for folks new to miles and points since there are better cards to get started with. But it could be interesting to some folks looking for something different.