Rapid Rewards 2.0 begins March 1, 2011

Old Jan 6, 11, 2:39 am
  #16  
 
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I'd been testing several domain names since I knew they'd have a new one. But I hadn't tried the obvious newrapidrewards.com

At first read, the CP and A list expiration/grandfathering seems fair, as does the point top-off for those who are partially on their way to their next RR.

We knew it was coming, so nothing is a huge shock. The earning/redemption tables are overwhelming once you factor in 3 fare types, and 3 levels regular, a list, a list preferred. The multiplier ends up being a wash if you earn and rebook in the same category of fare.

I ran the #s for an trip tomorrow that I booked a few months ago, and a friend decided to join me using an award ticket yesterday.

A $300 cross country round trip I booked months ago on sale to the West Coast will soon cost 18000 points to fly using points instead of cash ($300 x 60 WGA points spent per $1 in free travel). To earn those points, that's $3000 in prior WGA spending. For commuters lucky enough to only fly on $29 fares, that's 103* $29 flights.

The award ticket was booked when WGA fares were gone and the selling price was $449 each way. New cost 89,800 points, which worst case would cost $14,966 to earn having booked all WGA fares. or 516 of the above mentioned $29 commuter fares. We redeemed a single award today, or 16 credits.

Rental car credit or hotel stay of 600 points per rental nets $10 worth of WGA fares, not bad at all.

The most serious disadvantage is for last minute travel. WN slowed down last minute award redemption with capaciy controls a few years back, but I could still look at the RR availability calendar to find a trip if the weather was bad in my city in the next few days. It seems this will pretty much eliminate last minute travel opportunities for me. I am glad to have been saving up my award tickets....

Last edited by expert7700; Jan 6, 11 at 5:25 pm Reason: clarified points required for $300 worth of travel
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Old Jan 6, 11, 2:40 am
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
If you can manage to reach 100 credits before 3/1, your CP will indeed last until the end of 2012. That's a stretch worth making, IMHO.
I need 47.25 credits by 3/1 then. Shouldn't be too tough. Guess I'm going to start renting cars over the weekend.
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Old Jan 6, 11, 2:51 am
  #18  
 
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Transfer of hotel points

I do not see the transfer of hotel points as new earning option (though can still earn old credits) .
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Old Jan 6, 11, 2:54 am
  #19  
nsx
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Originally Posted by expert7700 View Post
I had been trying all kinds of domain names since I knew they'd have a new one. But I hadn't tried the obvious newrapidrewards.com
It wasn't live until less than an hour before the official release, so you would not have learned anything.

To highlight how terrible a real world example seems for me, including a very advanced booking and a last minute trip:
Would you consider changing your FT handle to microbe?
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Old Jan 6, 11, 3:12 am
  #20  
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
If you can manage to reach 100 credits before 3/1, your CP will indeed last until the end of 2012. That's a stretch worth making, IMHO.
Yeah, I'd say.

When calculating the return (up to 20%, as shown above), don't forget 2 points per dollar on tickets via WN Visa spend; that's another 3.33% and more progress toward a CP, right?

tusphotog's thought about extending unexpired Awards, right now, for $50 each is a good one. An "old" RR Award will be worth quite a bit possibly, if you can use it with no blackout days.
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Old Jan 6, 11, 3:14 am
  #21  
 
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Companion Pass and RR 2.0

Comment to NSX on the first post in the thread.

NSX said: ... no longer be possible to earn just the final 10% with a credit card.

This is from the FAQ on the SWA site concerning the new program:

How do I qualify for a Companion Pass in the All-New Rapid Rewards program?
Earn 110,000 points from any combination of Southwest Airlines flights and Rapid Rewards Partners per calendar year or fly 100 Southwest Airlines one-way qualifying flights per calendar year to qualify for a Companion Pass.

So you will be able to earn the Companion Pass with a mix of flights and credit card purchases.

NSX: can you change your 1st post -- I really like your all inclusive post

Thanks

Last edited by goghd; Jan 6, 11 at 3:30 am Reason: double word correction
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Old Jan 6, 11, 3:20 am
  #22  
 
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[QUOTE=nsx;15594207]It wasn't live until less than an hour before the official release, so you would not have learned anything.

Agreed, it would only have shown that WN owned it for future use since Sep 2009.

Name Server: NS-1.SOUTHWEST.COM
Name Server: NS-2.SOUTHWEST.COM
Status: ok
Updated Date: 03-jan-2011
Creation Date: 18-sep-2009
Expiration Date: 18-sep-2011
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Old Jan 6, 11, 3:24 am
  #23  
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I always buy full fare flights, so this should help me out more... interesting.
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Old Jan 6, 11, 4:02 am
  #24  
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I wonder if there's time yet to get one's WN Visa card drop date switched to the 27th of the month, for maximum earning until just before RR 2.0 goes live. Must call today.

It should become a good strategy going forward to redeem WN on short-haul and to use other airlines, since they are flat-rate nationwide, for long-haul redemption. It should be easy to figure. WN points are worth about 1.67 cents to redeem WGA. If you can get better value than that with some other airline currency, the choice is clear. Gonna have to start leaning more about other airlines.

Few other things from the RR 2.0 website:

1. "MySouthwest® will have an updated look for the All-New Rapid Rewards program, but you will maintain your same login credentials. Further, you will have the ability to choose your own unique username in the new program, making it easier than ever to manage your Rapid Rewards Account."

So I can be toomanybooks there also!

2. "Following the launch of the new program the Companion Pass Member will be allowed to change their designated Companion 3 times during your qualification period by calling 1-800-IFLYSWA."

So no more of that "must send it in writing" nonsense.

3. You can now reach A-List and A-List Preferred (partially) through WN Visa spend. That's something.

4. 6000 points on annual renewal of WN Premier Visa CC. That's worth $100. Nice.

Last edited by toomanybooks; Jan 6, 11 at 5:23 am
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Old Jan 6, 11, 4:19 am
  #25  
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There's a point calculator on the newrapidrewards.com website that's worth playing around with to give you an idea of how quickly you can amass status and points. People who fly BS and mainly redeem WGA are, I think, going to like the way this new program works out for them.
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Old Jan 6, 11, 4:33 am
  #26  
 
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Great job, nsx, on the fantastic summary! It is an impressive piece of work -- very good analysis as well.

As someone who benefited by used WN for nearly all of my short haul travel (albeit mostly in Business Select), RR 2.0 is definitely a game changer for my travel strategy. Most of my redemption have been either long-haul domestic or last-minute purchases, so the new program is a bite there as well. It is a smart business move by Southwest IMHO. From their standpoint they were able to address the weaknesses that myself and countless others used to derive a high rate-of-return. Admittedly it is inherently more "fair", but I can still grumble a little about the end of a good thing.....

I do very much like the new tiered A-List program. I could never justify making A+ before as the benefits never justified the effort and cost associated with achieving it. With a lower threshold, it may change my mind. And perhaps with more detail about the T&Cs of the Preferred Visa and TQP earning, it may make sense to shoot for A-List Preferred next year. Awards not being subject to capacity controls and blackout dates is also a great benefit.

I'm not emotionally attached to airline loyalty programs. They are a part of the business proposition that airlines use to attract and retain your business. Its time to re-evaluate my travel patterns for 2011 and crunch the numbers to see if RR 2.0 has a place in my strategy for this year. I hope it does -- I very much enjoy the WN experience and service from STL (also part of the decision). Perhaps it will even entice me to give more business to Southwest! We shall see...

Is there any information available yet on the Preferred version of the Southwest Visa? A quick Google search turned up nothing.
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Old Jan 6, 11, 4:35 am
  #27  
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nsx, could you ask your contacts if Starwood will remain a CC partner after 3/1/11? I have some big spend coming up and it makes a difference to me. New website only mentions WN Visa and Diners as CC partners.

If I am reading right, existing RR 1.0 Award tickets in your account carry blackout days and may be capacity-controlled after 3/1/11. : "Standard Award and Freedom Award rules, regulations, and expiration dates remain unchanged."

A-List Preferred members buying Business Select tickets will have a LOT easier time getting a Companion Pass. In the example WN is giving, a $220 BS ticket for that person earns 5280 points (24 per dollar). Consider a RT like that, paid with the WN Visa (2 points per dollar). $440*24 = 10560 plus 880 for the CC spend = 11440.

It would only take 10 such RTs to get CP. I bet that will get dialed back.

WN will start getting featured in the Mileage Run forum finally.

Last edited by toomanybooks; Jan 6, 11 at 4:52 am
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Old Jan 6, 11, 4:39 am
  #28  
 
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My gut feeling is that preferred visa will be available to apply for starting 3/1. I'm curious what chase will use for the deciding factor on card conversion types (old signature cards=new prefered maybe?).

The TQM awarded are 1500 per 10k in spending, so sans any base flight points, it would take $466,000 in spending to "buy" A+ list, or $233,000 to buy A-list.
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Old Jan 6, 11, 4:55 am
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Beer Me! View Post

Is there any information available yet on the Preferred version of the Southwest Visa? A quick Google search turned up nothing.
A bit linked here:

http://www.southwest.com/newRR/partnersHome.do

Looks like the CC will work out well for me, the more I look at it.
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Old Jan 6, 11, 5:02 am
  #30  
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[QUOTE=tusphotog;15594134]Probably my biggest dislike so far is the calendar year qualification period.

From what I understand, this was one of the most requested changes in all the surveying we did, and I have read a lot of posts here where FTers have wondered when their requalification period for A-List or CP starts. We tried to make the transition from a rolling 12 months to calendar year as painless as possible, and in reality, most folks will have their status for longer than 12 months
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