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Re: Rapid Rewards Gift Cards Program - Unethical changes

New Arrival

This is without a doubt price-gouging and I believed it can be investigated as such  Due to the Corona virus, obviously less people are using their Rapid Reward to travel. Therefore, cashing in points to buy gift cards has become an option for many.  Now Southwest and their affiliate company (which I am pretty sure they have a major ownership in) decide to increase the price of gift cards 50%.  That is 100% the definition of price gouging as we are over 200 days into this pandemic.

 

For me personally, the gift cards were going to be used as Christmas gifts since finances are really tight and travel is not an option for our family in the near future.  I plan on posting this to websites like Slickdeals.com and other consumer websites to warn of this abuse by Southwest so others do not sign up for the Southwest gift card.

 

Just a few months ago, I purchased a $50 Foot Locker gift card for 5,000 points. Today, the same gift card would cost me 7,500 points.  I recommend that others join with me to fight this gouging during a pandemic.  Please post to as many websites, YouTube, etc.

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Re: Rapid Rewards Gift Cards Program - Unethical changes

Top Contributor

I guess that I disagree with you on two points

 

1) It is not price gouging. Businesses change prices on products all the time. If you don't like the price, then don't buy the product.

 

2) As said earlier in the thread, More Rewards is not Southwest. It is a different company.

More Rewards decides what it will sell and what it will charge for what it sells.

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Re: Rapid Rewards Gift Cards Program - Unethical changes

Top Contributor

I think you may be confused. You're not buying a gift card. What you're doing is redeeming your loyalty program points. The terms of which are completely up to the discretion of the loyalty program owner (and in this case the 3rd party licensed to provide additional redemption options).

 

The terms and conditions of every loyalty program in the world make it clear that the exchange value of those points (or miles, or stars, or whatever they want to call them) can change at any given time, including variable changes based on the redemption method (whether for flights or merchandise or hotel stays... or gift cards).

 

In fact, Southwest has reduced the value of their Rapid Rewards points multiple times over the years. And will very likely do so again.

 

Southwest and/or More Rewards owe you nothing when it comes to the fixed value of a point. Just because it was a certain exchange rate some time ago does not mean you're guaranteed that rate at any point in the future.

 

In fact, the terms and conditions state plainly that points have no cash value.

 

Sorry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Re: Rapid Rewards Gift Cards Program - Unethical changes

New Arrival

More Rewards is a program exclusively for Rapid Rewards® Credit Cardmembers to redeem Rapid Rewards Points for items other than Southwest travel. Cardmembers can use their points for merchandise, international flights on global carriers, hotel stays, rental cars, gift cards, and exclusive Cardmember experiences. 

 

Notice the word exclusively.  Just because a company can change their terms, doesn't mean it is right for them to do !!!  To de-value your points by 50% is ridiculous and not ethical for a company that tries to pride itself on values and the Southwest Way.  YES, these are without a doubt UNETHICAL CHANGES !!  This is not a timeshare company where you can expect behavior like this.

 

We
How We Treat Each Other

Teamwork

  • Practice civility
  • Embrace Team over self
  • Be inclusive

Honesty

  • Speak up
  • Be transparent
  • Tell the truth

Service with LUV

  • Practice Hospitality
  • Live by The Golden Rule
  • Don’t be rude

 

 

http://investors.southwest.com/our-company/purpose-vision-and-the-southwest-way

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Re: Rapid Rewards Gift Cards Program - Unethical changes

Top Contributor

@jschreiber69 wrote:

More Rewards is a program exclusively for Rapid Rewards® Credit Cardmembers to redeem Rapid Rewards Points for items other than Southwest travel. Cardmembers can use their points for merchandise, international flights on global carriers, hotel stays, rental cars, gift cards, and exclusive Cardmember experiences. 

 

Notice the word exclusively.  Just because a company can change their terms, doesn't mean it is right for them to do !!!  To de-value your points by 50% is ridiculous and not ethical for a company that tries to pride itself on values and the Southwest Way.  YES, these are without a doubt UNETHICAL CHANGES !!  This is not a timeshare company where you can expect behavior like this.

 

We
How We Treat Each Other

Teamwork

  • Practice civility
  • Embrace Team over self
  • Be inclusive

Honesty

  • Speak up
  • Be transparent
  • Tell the truth

Service with LUV

  • Practice Hospitality
  • Live by The Golden Rule
  • Don’t be rude

 

 

http://investors.southwest.com/our-company/purpose-vision-and-the-southwest-way


 

Would you prefer they stop allowing redemptions for anything other than flights? That's how it used to be for most of the life of the Rapid Rewards program. They could absolutely do that tomorrow if they choose. If so, I suspect Chase might be willing to refund your annual fee (or a prorated portion) but even that would be an accommodation, not a requirement. And Southwest would likely do nothing.

 

Again, I think your perception of what a loyalty program owes you is not aligned with reality. If you think this change is unethical, I can't imagine what you think of what American has done to their program over the past couple of years. You mention time-share companies as an example, maybe you're not aware but all major airlines are devaluing their loyalty programs year-over-year -- they're not increasing the value. In general, management would prefer these programs never existed in the first place. But because of their history and competitive market conditions, they continue to offer them, while decreasing their cost to the company (and usually the value to the traveler).

 

Remember, you're always welcome to vote with your wallet.

 

(Not sure why you think the word "exclusively" has any meaning here. As we've noted, More Rewards is offered by a 3rd party that also offers loyalty program redemptions to a huge number of different businesses. "Exclusively" just means that you have to be a RR member to redeem your RR points.)