Southwest Visa pros and cons

I am considering getting a Southwest Visa since they are offering the 50,000 bonus points right now. (After 2000.00 of purchases in the first 3 months.) To me, it looks like that would more than cover roundtrip tickets to MCO for my family of three. The annual fee is 69.00. I never consider cards with annual fees, but I’m thinking of it as airfare for 69.00. Almost seems too good to pass up…or possibly too good to be true. I read the fine print and didn’t find anything beyond the annual fee. I’m just wondering if anyone here has any insight/experience with this card.

My husband and I each have one. I also do not usually get cards with an annual fee, but this has been worth it for us. The only con I could see is the interest rate is higher than my other cards so I just make sure I pay it off as I charge things.

I think my fee is 99.00 a year for the visa offer with 50,000 points. When I got it the 69.00 fee gave you 35,000 points. They charge ithe annual fee in the first year. Of course those 50,000 points offset that. You also get a deposit of 6,000 points on your anniversary date. I ran the numbers last year. it used to be that those 6,000 points were worth 100.00, if I remember right I thought I figured out they were worth something like 71 or 81 dollars. To me it is a better value than my no fee Disney, which I also keep.

I agree. We got the Disney Visa last year because of the $200 giftcard offer and we put all of our bills on it leading up to our trip and managed another $80 or so dollars in rewards but really the reward conversion isn’t very good and I think after we pay it off we probably won’t use it anymore. Once we get our house i’ll probably cancel it and move to either the Southwest card or another flight card or the Orbitz rewards card.

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DH and I both have the Southwest Visa and love it. I use mine exclusively (except for a few purchases with my Disney visa, like at I literally charge everything that can be charged including utility bills. This allows us to fly free several times a year, as the points quickly add up if you spend a lot. Well worth the annual fee, but make sure you get it when 50,000 points are offered.


We got the Disney Visa before our trip in December, and I charged our trip balance on it to meet the requirement for the 200.00 gift card. I had hoped to use it toward our food budget. Unfortunately, we didn’t have quite enough time for everything to process and get back to us. It was waiting in our mail when we got home from our trip. :confused: It’s kinda burning a whole in my pocket and is probably what’s fueling me to check into other deals and bonuses.

The regular SW visa seems to be 69.00 annual fee, 50,000 points after 2000.00 spend in first three months, and 3000 point bonus at anniversary date. The premier card and premier business card are 99.00 fee 50,000 points after 2000.00 spend, and 6000 point anniversary bonus. I’m thinking we’ll go for the regular personal card right now and maybe do the business card later. Have any of you earned the companion card? I think you would have to spend 60,000.00 on it in addition to the 50,000 point bonus to earn that. That’s a lot of groceries, but an awesome bonus.

Another one I’ve looked at a little is the Starwood card. It seems that getting a personal and business card and spending 5000.00 on each within 6 months would earn enough for 5 “free” nights at the Swan or Dolphin. Anyone have experience with that card?

Thanks for all your input/advice! It’s very helpful.

Are you sure that the 69.00 fee card is offering 50,000? When I got the card it offered significantly less points.

Can anyone give me an estimate or check on their account to see if the 50000 points would be enough for 4 tickets from denver to Orlando?

It depends on dates. SW flights vary based on time of day and time of year. We have flown through Denver (from Spokane) for most of our trips, but for 50,000 points to pay for 4 tickets you would need to fly off season and maybe a weird time of day. If you have some dates in mind I can look for you.

if you wouldn’t mind looking I would really appreciate it :slight_smile: How many points would it take to fly May 27th and return June 2nd?

@PrincipalTinker, here’s what I’ve been looking at. I hope I’m understanding it correctly.

@bijouneko, those are the same dates I’m looking at. I don’t have an account, but I’ve been able to search flights and points. On the search page, you can click to search with points instead of dollars. Then, you can switch to the low fare calendar to manipulate the dates for the best deals around that time if your dates are flexible.

@bijouneko the cheapest flights those days would require 9,963 miles to get there (leaves Denver at 4:35pm, gets in to MCO at 11:45pm and requires a plane change in Atlanta. There’s a few direct flights for 11,916 points). This is for 1 person. Returning the cheapest flight is 10,158 points (7pm-9:05pm) so you are looking at about 80,000 points to fly a family of 4. You can get 2 SW Visas- both adults get their own account. Then you both get 50,000 points. Can easily pay for your flights, plus there may be enough left for you to do a solo trip too.

Here’s an interesting link about earning a companion pass. Seems like it wouldn’t be too difficult to earn with two cards doubling the bonus points.

Yes to the Starwood (SPG) card. It is one of the best travel rewards cards out there and we did a ton of research before getting it. We got it in Nov. 2013 and used it for everything (gifts, bills, groceries, gas, etc) and by May 2014 I had enough points to book 5 nights at the Swan. I booked it for Nov. 2014 using up all my points and all we paid was $100 in resort fees for our entire stay. We are now back up to almost being able to do that again. If you don’t mind staying at Swan/Dolphin it is a great card and the Nights & Flights combines with airfare to be a good deal as well.
If you decide to get one feel free to message me and I can send you a referral link. :wink: Or just get one because it is worth it.

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Thank you so much Wahoohokie, I appreciate your help!

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I have been thinking about your post all day! Do the Starwood points expire? Can you save them up for a few years to get more nights?

@vanellope, thanks for your thoughts on the SPG card. A friend of mine who has this card suggested that we get a personal one and one for our small business. If we make the 5000.00 minimum spend on each card, we would have 50,000 bonus points plus 10,000 earned from the minimum spends. So, that would be enough for 6 nights. He said you also get one additional night free when you book at least a 4 night stay, so that would take us to 7 nights for free. Well, except for the resort free. Does that sound right to you based on your experiences?

The only resorts we’ve stayed at are ASmovies and sports. The Swan/Dolphin seem like they would be an awesome location. I know they’re not Disney owned, but you get most of the same benefits, right? Like FPP at 60 days and dining at 180. I assume you don’t get MBs, but can you use old ones for FPP and park entry if tickets are in MDE? I guess you would have to use the older style card for room key and wouldn’t be able to charge on your MB. I think I read that DME doesn’t run there. What are the other draw backs? Thank you so much! I really appreciate your help!!

Sorry @amyscherz I was out of town. Will answer your questions once I am not just on my phone. :slight_smile:

I am pretty sure they don’t expire, at least not in a short amount of time. I will see if I can find out for sure.

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