New WN RR program (RR 2.0) coming: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/southwest-rapid-rewards/1168741-rapid-rewards-2-0-begins-march-1-2011-a.html You should definitely read the first post, which has all the essential details.
Current WN RR (1.0): http://www.southwest.com/rapid_rewards/rules_and_regs.html
RR 2.0 is based on new types of points, which will work almost like cash toward purchase of Wanna Get Away/Anytime/BS tickets. The aim in RR 2.0 is to reward with extra points people who fly the expensive fare buckets and also flyers with the new levels of WN elite status. There will also now be two different types of points, Tier-Qualifying Points and regular, in the same way that UA has EQMs and RDMs. You will be able to top off any “loose” credits you have left as of 3/1/11 with new points you acquire.
ENHANCEMENTS PER WN: http://www.southwest.com/newRR/programOverview.do: No capacity controls, no blackouts, points don’t expire, int’l travel Awards, better A-List
1. Less CC spend required for the Companion Pass (CP), and better Visa CC to come
2. Points pile up until you transfer for an Award purchase: better control on timing
3. Elite status & CP are now on calendar year; you get “rest of current year plus next year,” allowing much more lucrative early Jan. dump for CP from Starpoints, Diners, etc.
4. Probably opportunities for “points runs” and bonus offers will eventuate.
5. Only 25 flights for A-List; 50 for A-List Preferred with more perks & bonuses
6. Elite travelers will see their return go up a lot, perhaps several hundred percent
7. Previous system, with more valuable “old” Awards, will run in parallel a while
8. Less expensive Award flights will be easier to pay for; mid-continent US may benefit
9. Can buy points to top off & also can redeem for a one-way trip w/o earning a RT first
1. No more Award tickets for flying sixteen $39 flights
2. CP will be awarded based on points OR 100 flights, not the combination of the two
3. You don’t know what target you are shooting for; Awards based on cash ticket price
4. As fares rise over time, the number of points to redeem a given trip will increase.
THE TRANSITION PERIOD
WN is being quite generous with the transition. Essentially if you have A-List/CP expiring in 2011 or earn it under the old rules by the end of 2011 so as to expire in 2012, they will extend to the year-end, and will consider exceptions for special cases.
The more you spend and the higher your status and the cheaper the fare bucket you redeem in, the better off you are. Cheap, low-bucket tickets won’t yield much any.
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49