Good news Southwest cc, bad news Amex cc

First, the good news. Southwest is running a promotion on their Chase credit cards. On Friday, June 11th only, you can earn 50 RR points per dollar spent with Southwest. This includes flights, in flight purchases, gift cards and miles. So, if I buy a $100 gift card, I earn 5,000 RR points. I value RR points at 1.5 cents each. I’ve seen others value them at 1.2 cents each. Even at 1.2 cents a point, that is a $60 value on a $100 purchase.

Here is the URL with information: https://www.southwest.com/SWACardBonusOffer50X/

I looked at purchasing miles with this offer. You can get 3500 RR points for $105. That would earn you a 5000 RR point bonus, for a total of 8500 points for $100 or about 1.23 cents per mile. This is right about the lower estimate for RR points. If you need to top off to get a free flight, this is a great way to get it.

I don’t know if you can do this on multiple Chase SWA cards. The terms and conditions don’t really specify. Overall, this is a pretty good deal. I use the gift cards to pay for 9/11 fees and will use them once drink service starts up again.

Now, for the bad news. I recently applied for an Amex Gold card. Even with a $250 annual fee, the bonus was worth it. I applied on line and was told that due to my credit card history, I am not eligible for the sign up bonus ( 60,000 Amex points, which are valued at about 2 cents each). I called the reconsider line and after going through a couple of transfers, I ended up talking to someone in rewards redemptions. Justin, the Amex rep, said that the possible reason was that I opened 3 Delta Amex cards in 2016 – 2018, kept them for about a year and then cancelled. Amex considers that to be abusing the system. I even tried to tell them that I would consider getting an Amex Platinum card with its $550 annual fee to replace my Chase Sapphire Reserve card but that didn’t work either. I may call back and talk to someone directly in the reconsideration department and see if I can get any additional information.

The old Amex rule was ‘One bonus per card type lifetime’. It looks like that rule is still in place but now you must add that grabbing a bonus, keeping a card for 1 year and then cancelling will affect future offers and availability. Of course, there are no actual guidelines from Amex. They have also hired a new group that handles new card requests and I’m guessing they are tightening it down. I’ve had a Blue Cash Preferred Amex card for 5 years and that is my only current Amex card. I was figuring that actions from 3-5 years ago would not affect a current card request. That figuring is wrong.

I can’t give any hard and fast rules. Just a general statement that you need to carefully evaluate a card before you sign up for it. If I get through to the reconsider line and get any additional information, I’ll post an update.

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