***This is not a sponsored post. I am choosing to share my experience with using a reward credit card with you.***
Let me start off by being very honest and transparent with you… I am not rich by any means and am actually classified as ‘disabled’ (aka: I can not hold down a 8-5 job 5 days a week). Since I am on a very strict and limited budget, I have adapted to a lifestyle of being very frugal. This means I rarely buy clothes for myself, food or drinks that are not necessary, or any other non needed purchases. I am a Class A penny pincher and my mind is constantly spinning with ideas on how I can make extra cash. I have become addicted into turning $1 into $10 and then putting all of my profits into my travel jar (a blog post is in the works about my tips and tricks to make extra cash).
I am ALWAYS on the hunt for a good deal and opportunity to generate revenue even if it is a few dollars, because each dollar really adds up. Sadly extra money doesn’t just randomly appear in your bank account or free flights land in your inbox, no… you have to work for it! It takes planning, scheming and some hard work to get to your end goal, but it IS POSSIBLE!
At the end of 2015 I had the goal I wanted to never pay for another airline ticket for myself and Seth when we fly in the United States. At the time, I physically was not strong enough to fly on a long international flight so I wanted to utilize this period of my life to enjoy the many gorgeous places in the United States. I financial did not have the means to pay for expensive round trip tickets, but ached to travel so I calculated that if I cut out the cost of ‘flights’ from the equation then I could possible travel to more places!
How was I going to get to my goal of flying for free?? The only solution was to become a credit card holder with a company that had a great reward system!
So in November 2015, I looked into getting the Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card and ended up choosing them for several reasons:
1. They have some of the lowest fairs to travel in the United States.
2. At the time, they offered 50,000 bonus points for signing up (cha-ching! That is almost 2 round trip tickets.)
3. Long list of partners which meant a way to earn even more points.
4. They always have friendly staff.
Since I opened up a reward account with Southwest (end of 2015), Seth and I have not had to purchase any airline tickets which is pretty remarkable since we travel quite a bit! It took us 10 months of using their credit card before we earned a ‘Companion Pass’ which meant Seth got to fly for free any time I purchased an airline ticket (with money or points). Since I earned it in October, we had it for the rest of 2016 + ALL of 2017, so for 15 months!!
It took a lot of work to get the companion pass, but boy has it been worth it!!
Even if you are not a card holder, get a pen and piece of paper out or save this post because I am going to share with you all of my tips and tricks on how I earned so many points for myself + a companion pass! I want to help you MAXIMIZE every dollar you spend so you too can travel!
Keep in mind that the purpose of this credit card is to get the most out of the money you HAVE to spend. You do not want to carry a balance each month with a high interest rate because that defeats the purpose of accumulating points (aka money).
The GOAL is to earn as many points as possible while aiming to get the companion pass.
Here is how you do it (please keep in mind that Southwest offers constantly change):
- In the first month your card is open transfer ALL of your bills that you automatically pay each month onto this card: cell phone bill, auto insurance, mortgage, ect. (You don’t want to miss ANY points – that is free money)
- Currently – when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of your account being open you earn 40,000 points (3-4 one way tickets).
- The first year is truly the only time you can gain the companion pass (unless you are a big time spender) because you have to earn 110,000 points in 12 months. Starting off with 40,000 points is a great jump start and means you have to creatively gain 70,000 more points before your card anniversary.
2. Sign up for several Rapid Reward Programs so you don’t miss any promotions:
- Rapid Rewards account
- Click ‘N Save email – get weekly alerts on flights, hotels, rental cars, vacation packages, and more.
- Rapid Reward Shopping – gives you the current deals and promotions with thousands of partners – this section is your new bff.
- Rapid Rewards Dining – if you eat out at a restaurant on the partner list and use your SW credit card you will get 3 points/$1.
3. GET TO KNOW THE WEBSITE – every nook and cranny – there is always a promotional deal and that is how you can rack up points quickly!
- Live under the Rapid Reward Shopping section!
- Need to buy makeup from Sephora or bath towels from JcPenny’s? Look on SW Rapid Reward Shopping section first before you head to the store to buy your items. You could get 4 points/$1 from your Sephora purchase for example by placing your order online through the SW partner link rather than shopping in person where you would only get 1 point/$1.
- ANY TIME YOU NEED TO BUY SOMETHING look to see how many points SW is offering if you purchase it online through their partnered link.
- I do this ALL the time! It saves me time + energy & I get more points for the money I was going to spend.
- If there is a shipping charge – have your purchase be shipped to the store. This cuts back on wasted energy from walking around or possibly spending more money.
- Excellent option for those who have disabilities, struggle with fatigue, are busy mamas or hard workers.
- Book your hotels & car rentals through SW partners (choose the company that offers the most points per dollar)
- Try Rocketmiles for hotel bookings – earn 1,000 – 10,000 Rapid Rewards Points per night.
- Book a Super Shuttle when you need a ride from the airport – earn up to 150 points each way.
4. Enroll in E-Rewards:
- E-Rewards is a market research program where you log on and fill out surveys in exchange for points.
- You waste countless hours just scrolling away on Instagram right? Instead, log on to E-Rewards for 10 mins, fill out a few surveys and earn some airline points! Super easy to do!
- Your E-Rewards currency can be redeemed for Rapid Rewards Points.
- I try to cash in at least $25 of e-reward money each month in exchange for 600 points.
5. Book flights through Southwest – earn 2 points per $1 on your Airlines purchases.
6. Receive 3,000 or 6,000 bonus points after your card member anniversary (depending which card you apply for).
7. If a friend or family member is going to make a big purchase with cash ask them if you could buy it on your card and they give you the cash.
- For the first 10 months of having my card my mom and boyfriend teamed up with me and made purchases through my card. Without their help I would not have been able to earn the companion pass.
- EX: Seth wanted a new sound system for his car. That was a several hundred dollar purchase and he made it online through Crutchfield and got 4 points/$1 which earned me about 1,500 points!
*Your points will never expire as long as your credit card is open.
*You can spend your points as you earn them. It will not deduct from your total points for your complain pass.
*Allowed 2 checked bags for free.
*No blackout dates or seat restrictions.
Being able to have Seth and I fly for free takes a lot of work and scheming, but to me it is worth it. This is my way of being able to contribute financially, to the lifestyle we both desire. Having this credit card has given us more freedom to GO and I am extremely thankful for that.
Owning the Southwest Rapid Reward Credit Card may not be the perfect fit for you, but I hope this post showed you that there are opportunities out there to maximizes every dollar you spend and in exchange to earn free money.
What is your goal in life? Do you wish to travel across the United States like me or would you rather relax in a bungalow in Bali? Whatever it is, there is a reward credit card out there that will meet your needs and will help you accomplish your goal.
*Please leave your e-mail in the comment section if you would like me to send you a referral for the Southwest credit card*