Rapid Rewards 2.0 begins March 1, 2011

Old Jan 6, 11, 7:30 am
  #46  
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Originally Posted by NeilGoBlue View Post
I'm trying to wrap my arms around this new program... Can someone explain "Tier Qualifying Points" and how to get them?
TQPs are based on points earned from spend on fares + excise tax. If you buy a $100 WGA fare you get 600 TQPs. If you buy a $400 BS fare you get 4800 TQPs.

If you only buy WGA fares you'll get A-List or A-List+ from trips way faster than spend. If you buy BS fares you'll get it from TQPs.
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Old Jan 6, 11, 7:32 am
  #47  
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Originally Posted by NeilGoBlue View Post
I'm trying to wrap my arms around this new program... Can someone explain "Tier Qualifying Points" and how to get them?

I fully understand that plusses and minuses of BS vs WGA and how the new program changes the dynamic..

Anybody care to opine how this affects people who primarily use the WN Visa but don't spend a lot of money on flights? I use my Southwest CC substantially (over 200K in spending a year) and rack up a companion pass and lots of award tickets.

Seems like my Companion Pass essentially is the same for me, and my award tickets will a function of price. What about the new status tiers? Can I earn those with large WN Visa purchases?
From what I see, Tier-Qualifying Points (TQFs) are analogous to EQMs on UA or MQMs on DL, except they are based on money paid vs. miles flown. You get them only by flying, or 1500 per $10K on the WN Visa preferred (new card).

35K gets you A-List, 70K gets you A-List Preferred.

I am in the same boat as you. It will be marginally easier to get CP with WN Visa spend ($110K vs $120K a year). As a MDW-based flyer, I often did not get max value out of redemptions, compared to coastal folk, who got to use their Award tickets for more expensive flights. The changes will even things out in that regard.

Last edited by toomanybooks; Jan 6, 11 at 7:37 am
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Old Jan 6, 11, 7:47 am
  #48  
 
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Looks fun. The only stink I have is getting 30 RR points before 3/1/11 so I'm not shanked on my CP.

I'm REALLY glad they listened about the wifi for elite elites.
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Old Jan 6, 11, 7:51 am
  #49  
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Originally Posted by mritty View Post
So now that we're not auto-issued an award, does that mean no more free drink coupons? And if so, what the heck was the point of eliminating the beige coupons in favor of the new multi-colored ones for such a short period of time?
We will still mail coupon books after a Member has completed 10 ow trips.
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Old Jan 6, 11, 7:54 am
  #50  
 
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Nice to see the details now. As I suspected, this is mostly a wash for me. My business travel is mostly BS fares and an even mix of short-haul (MHT<->BWI, mostly) and long-haul (MHT<->PHX when available, MHT<->MDW<->west coast frequently).

My award travel was also an even mix of long-haul and short-haul flights.

On the other hand, I can already hear the screaming of my coworker that pretty much only flights MHT<->PHL, but cashes in the rewards going to SoCal with the family.
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Old Jan 6, 11, 8:03 am
  #51  
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Using newrapidrewards.com web site

There is a new scrolling feature on the web site, and I think it may have caused some confusion. One of you said they only saw two hotel partners, but they didn't scroll through all the screens. There is a red navigation arrow on both the left and right sides of some pages, and you use these to click forward and back. It is also how you access the simulator feature.
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Old Jan 6, 11, 8:04 am
  #52  
 
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My current CP ends on 5/31/2011. However, I have already earned 100RR point which qualify me for a CP renewal under RR1.0 which would expire on 5/31/2012.

Do I understand that my renewed CP will have an expiration of 12/31/2012?

Thanks.
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Old Jan 6, 11, 8:14 am
  #53  
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Originally Posted by KelseyR View Post
Hotels=600 points
Rental cars=600 points
Originally Posted by expert7700 View Post
Rental car credit or hotel stay of 600 points per rental nets $10 worth of WGA fares, not bad at all.
My biggest concern was that they would really monkey up the partner earning, and it appears that is not the case, assuming we will see double-triple-quadruple earning opportunities in the future as we do now.
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Old Jan 6, 11, 8:16 am
  #54  
 
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
Southwest has announced its long anticipated (and feared here on FT) overhaul of Rapid Rewards. The new program will begin on March 1, 2011.

Commentary by nsx


One of FlyerTalk's most popular topics is exploiting program earning opportunities in order to achieve a high effective rebate, the ratio of redemption value to purchased ticket price. People like me have been earning effective rebates approaching 40%: purchasing 16 tickets at $50 each and earning a standard award usable in lieu of a $300 round trip. There is no way that low-fare customers merit this level of incentive.

Elimination of extraordinary effective rebate ratios makes RR 2.0 much less interesting to FlyerTalkers than programs that still offer such opportunities. However given the ever-increasing difficulty of redeeming capacity-controlled awards on legacy carriers, even FlyerTalkers (the most complexity-tolerant of all customers) may decide that they prefer a program that delivers what it promises without any drama.

I believe that Southwest has very precisely identified and attacked the crucial weakness of legacy programs: the bait and switch nature of tightly capacity controlled awards. Rapid Rewards 2.0 is a perfect fit with Southwest's brand as a no-gimmicks airline. The program may not be the most generous, but it is simple and completely free of any hidden catches. Unlike mysterious capacity controls, price-based redemption provides us an excellent ability to predict ability to redeem for free travel.

In summary, although the new program is significantly less rewarding than Rapid Rewards 1.0 for short-haul discount fare customers, it is financially sustainable and it is customer-friendly enough that we will learn to love it.
This new program is horrific and I am very surprised at the positive spin from most posters.

I am scared to death that this will creep over to the legacies. A 40% return is nothing! An example with DL during a common promotion. There are no tricks.

BNA-ATL-SFO
$218 ai RT
5,150 RDM
5,150 Status Bonus RDM
10000 bonus RDM

Total 20,300 RDM

Amex gift cards 11,000/$100

Return in cash $185 or 85%
Return in Miles @ $0.02/mile $406 or 186%

These are the FTer returns that are now on the endangered species list.

PS. Even a no-status member would see a 139% return on mileage. Amex gift card redemption rates are higher for no-status/no credit card members.
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Old Jan 6, 11, 8:23 am
  #55  
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Originally Posted by SWABrian View Post
There is a new scrolling feature on the web site, and I think it may have caused some confusion. One of you said they only saw two hotel partners, but they didn't scroll through all the screens. There is a red navigation arrow on both the left and right sides of some pages, and you use these to click forward and back. It is also how you access the simulator feature.
Do you have credit card info partner info? Scrolling only shows the 2 WN Visa cards and Diners, which is not taking new members.

Starwood card?
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Old Jan 6, 11, 8:28 am
  #56  
 
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My quick opinion is that, as someone who books last-minute BS tickets (almost always $700 or more), this is going to work out pretty well.

I did the simulator and a STL-PHX RT is going to get me over 11K points. It appears 110K are needed for CP renewal. 10 RTs for CP is great. With the old system it would take 25 of those same RTs.

Also the redemption rates seem pretty good, but if we book a WGA "fare" for an award ticket, does that make that ticket nonrefundable (would the points get forfeited upon cancellation)?

I don't have a WN credit card and do get points on the side with Hilton, but otherwise it's all flights. The important thing for me is A-List and the CP. Those goals seem to have gotten a lot easier here, for me at least.

EDIT: Also, my CP was set to expire 2/29/12, and now it's 12/31/12. Not too shabby.

Last edited by kujay; Jan 6, 11 at 8:32 am Reason: Forgot to include something.
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Old Jan 6, 11, 8:30 am
  #57  
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A less frequent flier ponders his credit balance

Trying to understand the conversion process.

For the sake of argument, let's say I get to March 1 with 8 RR1 credits in my account, earned from 10/09 thru 2/11. Starting 3/1, I begin earning RR2 points. The points remain as points and do not auto-convert to credits. Once I earn enough points to top off my credit balance (9600, if I can get them before my credits start expiring), then I have the option to convert my points to credits (1200 => 1) to top off my final RR1 award.

But it won't auto-convert, if I choose to keep my points as points, I can, right? For example, if I don't earn the points before my credits start expiring, I might not get enough points to top off until 1/13, when I might need 15 credits or 18K points. Those same 18K points could be used instead for $300 worth of RR2 award tickets, which might well be a better deal, depending on my travel plans, especially considering they don't have an expiration date the way an RR1 award would.

For the more frequent fliers, is there any rule against redeeming a RR2 award from points while you still have RR1 credits in your account? If not, having even a single remaining credit on 3/1/11 could be pretty valuable. If it's new, it would let you amass and redeem RR2 point awards, while waiting as late as 2/13 to convert points to get a RR1 award expiring as late as 2/14, when you do have a need for a redemption for an expensive last minute ticket. (Aside, I wonder how long that process will take, from deciding to convert until the RR1 award is available for booking?)

The last thing I wonder about is RR1 capacity controls. The FAQ says RR1 expiration dates and inventory restrictions will remain. But as RR1 fades away, fewer and fewer people will have RR1 awards to redeem. If they keep capacity controls at the same level, redemptions would get a lot easier. But if they shrink standard award seat availability as the number of outstanding awards shrink, then at the end, it could be hard to find a flight.

Comments?
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Old Jan 6, 11, 8:30 am
  #58  
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Originally Posted by turkeyRIOO View Post
This new program is horrific and I am very surprised at the positive spin from most posters.

I am scared to death that this will creep over to the legacies. A 40% return is nothing! An example with DL during a common promotion. There are no tricks.

BNA-ATL-SFO
$218 ai RT
5,150 RDM
5,150 Status Bonus RDM
10000 bonus RDM

Total 20,300 RDM

Amex gift cards 11,000/$100

Return in cash $185 or 85%
Return in Miles @ $0.02/mile $406 or 186%

These are the FTer returns that are now on the endangered species list.

PS. Even a no-status member would see a 139% return on mileage. Amex gift card redemption rates are higher for no-status/no credit card members.
2 cents each valuation on Skymiles is optimistic. I know people who would sell you as many as you could afford at that price. Many folks value them at less than a penny.

And I assume WN will start having to play some of these highly specific mileage-run type games, too.
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Old Jan 6, 11, 8:33 am
  #59  
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Originally Posted by turkeyRIOO View Post
An example with DL during a common promotion. There are no tricks.

BNA-ATL-SFO
$218 ai RT
5,150 RDM
5,150 Status Bonus RDM
10000 bonus RDM

Total 20,300 RDM

Amex gift cards 11,000/$100

Return in cash $185 or 85%
Return in Miles @ $0.02/mile $406 or 186%

These are the FTer returns that are now on the endangered species list.

PS. Even a no-status member would see a 139% return on mileage. Amex gift card redemption rates are higher for no-status/no credit card members.
10,000 bonus RDM per domestic round-trip is hardly a 'common promotion' on Delta or any other carrier, so it seems there is quite a trick in your calculations.
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Old Jan 6, 11, 8:35 am
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So basically what Southwest is saying to all its customers that take short trips on the cheap fairs is "SCREW YOU, WE DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU".

A $39 dollar flight will equal about 300 points ($50*6). To then redeem a $200 "wanna get away" free flight you would need 12000 points. That is equivalent to FORTY $39 flights to get a $200 free flight! If you wanted to redeem a $200 "anytime" free flight you would need SIXTY SEVEN $39 flights ($50*6*67= 20100 points)! SURELY I am not doing this math correctly. This is a joke!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've been flying these short trips on Southwest for 10 years now but if I am looking at this correctly then I am done with Southwest.

I knew 2.0 would be bad, but this is ridiculous. This only helps the 2% of Southwest customers that waste money on the Business Select and high dollar fairs.

This is a slap in the face to loyal Southwest customers to take regular short hauls. I guess the only positive I got out of this was an extra 3 months of companion pass. But I will never be able to get companion pass again on this new program so I am done.

FU southwest.

Last edited by xadiohead; Jan 6, 11 at 8:45 am
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