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Re: Points subscription service

jksobonya
Rising Star

@bwallet - yeah, the whole credit card thing isn't something I'm into, although I've considered getting a SWA credit card off and on. I rarely think the promos are worth what you have to spend to get the points. I just think it's funny that buying points or using the subscription program is a huge "rip off", but signing up for a credit card and paying thousands of dollars to get points that way is considered OK. In comparison, I'd rather just buy the points or heck, get the subscription! Even the 80,000 point subscription, once you pay for the whole year, costs less than $1,500. If you were to buy 80,000 points on the site right now, they're offering a 75% bonus on point purchases over 15,000 and 80,000 points costs about $1200. I don't get it. You're paying double or triple that with the credit card offers, at least. Oh well. That's a world I'm not getting sucked into - I just paid off all my credit card debt thankfully, so I don't need to take on any more 😅

 

--Jessica

Re: Points subscription service

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

Scratching my head at the "buy points" vs "credit card" argument.

 

I have 2 Chase RR credit cards. While I don't churn and get new ones every 2 years like some do, I do get significant value from them. I received over 100,000 points for the initial signups, and the spend requirement was money I was going to spend anyway. I put all purchases that I can through the cards, and pay them off each month. The annual fees are offset by the anniversary points. Last year I received just over 85k points from the cards -- and my spending was actually down from earlier years. (To be clear, I didn't spend $85k, there were multiple bonus offers and multipliers included. I believe I spent about $35k across the 2 cards.)

 

In addition, I received 4 Upgraded Boarding's, a $75 Southwest credit, and some other Southwest discounts.

 

The "cost" to me was only the annual fees, $99 and $125. This isn't even remotely comparable to purchasing points.

 

(Admittedly, I'm now -- in light of the latest point devaluation, and the fact that I'm sitting on a cache of points after a year of very limited travel -- reevaluating my spending habits and will likely move it all over to a cash-back card that returns greater value. Unfortunately, each points devaluation also devalues the Chase RR cards, and Chase has yet to make any sort of adjustment to that formula.)

 

These comparisons aside, buying points will always cost more than the point's actual value. The difference can be minimized through special offers, but it will always cost more.

 

In addition to "topping off," the only other reason I can see to ever buy points is if the "value" received from a points booking vs a cash one (refundability, for example) is worth that additional cost.

 

Re: Points subscription service

jksobonya
Rising Star

@chgoflyer wrote:

The "cost" to me was only the annual fees, $99 and $125. This isn't even remotely comparable to purchasing points.


See, I just don't agree with this line of reasoning. You say the cost to you is only the annual fees, but the reality is you are spending thousands of dollars in a relatively short amount of time to get those points with a RR credit card offer. Sure, you may not see it like that because it's money that you would "spend anyway" on a credit card, but that's my point. Not everyone has thousands of dollars to spend in a few months on CC purchases, and not everyone wants the burden of having an extra credit card just to get extra points that you could have gotten by spending much less by buying them outright on the SWA site or by using the new subscription service. Clearly I'm in the minority with this way of thinking, but that's how I see it.  

 

Granted: I looked up a few SW Chase offers and there are several that will give you 40,000 points if you "only" spend $1000 in 3 months. Seems like an OK deal. The annual fee is $149 and you get a few other things like boarding upgrades and a $75 credit. But if you look at the current Buy Points offerings, which right now has a 75% bonus on purchases if you buy 15,000 or more, you can purchase 23,000 points with a 75% bonus of 17,250 (a total of 40,250 points) for $632.50. That's nearly a 40% savings when compared to what you have to spend with the credit card offer. Maybe I'm missing the forest for the trees, but I'd rather spend $600 vs $1000 to get the exact same amount of points, and not deal with having to manage a credit card. 

 

And we've all read about the scenarios of those who sign up for these offers, don't read the terms & conditions and don't meet the minimum spend or other necessary requirements, and then they're stuck with a credit card and no points. Yeah, I'd rather just avoid this whole situation entirely 😉 

 

--Jessica

Re: Points subscription service

jksobonya
Rising Star

There is a new blog post about the subscription service - check it out here: 

 

https://community.southwest.com/t5/Blog/Now-Launching-Rapid-Rewards-Points-Subscription-Plan/ba-p/11...

 

Southwest Airlines has recently strengthened our existing partnership with Points.com to introduce the Rapid Rewards® Points Subscription Plan. Southwest is one of the first carriers to leverage the latest addition to Points.com’s product and services offering, Subscription, which enables Members to easily build towards their reward goals. The introduction of this new option is a first for our Rapid Rewards program.

 

Members can choose between three different subscription plans enabling them to build a balance of either 30k, 40k or, 80k points over 12 months. Once Members choose a plan, their Rapid Rewards points will then automatically be deposited into their account monthly, with quarterly bonus points awarded along the way.

 

The Rapid Rewards program is designed around a simple concept—make earning reward flights faster and easier. That is why Southwest is excited to offer this added flexibility to our Rapid Rewards program as well as to add a new way for our Members to reach their travel goals with the Rapid Rewards Points Subscription Plan.

 

With Rapid Rewards, Members qualify for unlimited reward seats for every available seat, no blackout dates, and points do not expire. Members can access their account by going to My Account> Rapid Rewards> Rapid Rewards points and more.

 

To enroll in Rapid Rewards, visit Southwest.com/RapidRewards. For more information on how Points.com can help loyalty programs unlock their full potential, visit Points.com

 

------------

 

--Jessica

Re: Points subscription service

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

Yesterday's Click and Save email included a 75% bonus points offer. This is much cheaper than the best subscription price. Even with the bonus, you're still paying significantly more than the points value -- especially after the latest devaluation. 

 

As we've often repeated here, buying points is really dumb, unless you just need a few to "top off" your points total in order to purchase a particular fare (giving value to points you might otherwise not use).

 

A points subscription service -- priced as it is -- is particularly dumb. 

Re: Points subscription service

gsking
Active Member

You can buy the points on sale for this price, or maybe less.

 

But yeah,  what company wouldn't want you to buy stock monthly in their company,  if they could at will go in and take 6% of the stock back without so much as notifying you? 

 

The coincidence of these two events is quite unlike the customer- friendly image I'd had of SWA.  I suspect a new bean counter got hired,  and is busy reworking the finances for short term gain with no regard for long term effects. 

Re: Points subscription service

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

@jksobonya wrote:


@chgoflyer wrote:

The "cost" to me was only the annual fees, $99 and $125. This isn't even remotely comparable to purchasing points.



Maybe I'm missing the forest for the trees, but I'd rather spend $600 vs $1000 to get the exact same amount of points, and not deal with having to manage a credit card. 

 

In this comparison, with the $600 spend you have points.

With the $1,000 spend you have the same points PLUS $1,000 worth of other stuff.

 

I mean, I can explain why getting points from credit card use is absolutely significantly monetarily better than buying them, which is almost always a bad idea, but I can't understand it for you.

 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

(Another factor not yet mentioned here is that points earned from credit card use are Companion Pass Qualifying, while purchased points are not.)

 

If your point is that some people just can't responsibly use credit cards and need to avoid them at all cost, that's certainly valid, but is really adjacent to the financial comparison we're discussing here.

 

 


@gsking wrote:

The coincidence of these two events is quite unlike the customer- friendly image I'd had of SWA.  I suspect a new bean counter got hired,  and is busy reworking the finances for short term gain with no regard for long term effects. 


 

Possibly.

 

Since Southwest routinely devalues RR points, on schedule usually every 2-3 years, I suspect this is more likely part of a long term plan to reduce the overall burden of the loyalty program on their financials to as low as possible, before the point at which they lose too much revenue from point sales to Chase. Sadly, I fear they'll likely realize they've reached that point well after it happens, and the program has already lost much of it's value to customers.

 

It's a race to the bottom, and there's not much joy in celebrating that Southwest at least isn't in the lead.

Re: Points subscription service

jksobonya
Rising Star

@gsking wrote:

The coincidence of these two events is quite unlike the customer- friendly image I'd had of SWA.  I suspect a new bean counter got hired,  and is busy reworking the finances for short term gain with no regard for long term effects. 


It does seem odd that both of these things (devaluation of RR points and the introduction of a Points subscription program) happened at about the same time. I don't think it's a coincidence. 

 

--Jessica

Re: Points subscription service

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

Points(dot) com is a 3rd party company, contracted by Southwest to manage point sales. They are in business to make money. I would suspect that many Rapid Rewards members are now sitting on a larger than normal cache of points, as earnings likely continued over the past year+, but redemptions drastically declined. Resulting in a lot less point purchases being made. That's why we're seeing multiple point sales offers now, including the subscription service.

 

Southwest routinely devalues RR points every 2-3 years. This latest devaluation was actually overdue, likely held back until the pandemic showed signs of ending.