When it comes to credit card bonuses, it is not unusual to receive targeted offers. For the most part, we do not really know why some are targeted for the big offers while other customers receive nothing special.
An Interesting Southwest Card Offer – For Employees
But, when it comes to a credit card that is targeted exclusively for employees, that is probably as targeted as it gets. In this case, the initial bonus offer is nothing great – in fact, it is 25,000 points less than the current public offer. But, there are some loyalty features built-in that help the cardholders stay with the card year after year and even use the card year after year.
The Card Offer
The Non-Employee Version
This card is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card. This is the card that only has a personal version and has an annual fee of $69 (that is not waived the first year on the regular offer). It is the card that is mostly available at the 25,000 point level except for the twice/thrice yearly increase to 50,000 or through referral offers (from other, targeted cardholders). It has an anniversary bonus of 3,000 points with the annual fee of $69.
The Employee Version
The employee version is only available at the 25,000 point level so most employees should not apply for it when you can get the better offer 50,000 points right now.
But, the card offers some interesting perks in the spending category and with the annual fee. For starters, it gives 2,500 Southwest points after spending $5,000 in a calendar year and 2,500 additional points after spending a total of $10,000 or more in the same calendar year. That is a nice spending boost, essentially turning all your regular 1 point per dollar spending into 1.5 points per dollar if you spend $10,000 in a year.
In addition to the spending bonus, it also gives the normal 3,000 point anniversary bonus, but there is no annual fee! That is a savings of $69 each year you hold the card!
Possible Strategy For Employees
So, if you are a Southwest employee, which card offer should you choose? The language on the employee offer is the same as the regular card – the bonus is only available to those cardmembers who have not received a bonus on that product in the previous 24 months. So, apply for the better, public offer of 50,000 points.
But, that language does not cover the earning bonus that employees receive! That means that there is nothing stopping you from closing the regular Plus card sometime in the first year and then applying for the employee version. You will not get the 25,000 point bonus, but you will get the spending bonus and annual fee waiver. Now, you can keep that card and put your $10,000 per year on it! Just spending the $10,000 in a year and holding the card, you will earn 18,000 Southwest points (5,000 bonus for spending $10,000 + 10,000 for spending $10,000 + 3,000 anniversary bonus).
To apply for this offer, you will need to call in – 800-724-7815. There is no online application that I could find since they will be verifying your current Southwest employee status.
For the rest of us, I sure hope they move that earning structure over to our cards! It would certainly be a little incentive to keep the card and spend on it!