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The BEST credit card signup bonuses are not always online

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I wrote yesterday about obtaining a Southwest Companion Pass by signing up for two Southwest Visa credit cards when the signup bonus was at 50,000 for a total of 100,000.  In the post, I mentioned that the current publicly available online signup bonus was 25,000 points which is mostly true in regards to online offers but in truth the BEST credit card signup offers are not always online. Sometimes you need to head to the source…..the airport!

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Southwest confusingly advertises the sign up bonus as “One Free Roundtrip Flight” when the signup bonus is 25,000 points and “Two Free Roundtrip Flights” when the signup bonus is 50,000 points.  Since the Southwest award program is based on the cost of the flight, the advertising is actually quite misleading but nonetheless this is in fact an advertisement for a 50,000 point signup bonus.

The airport offer is even more lucrative

As the sign suggests, head on over to Gate A2 at the Super Bowl contender Baltimore Raven’s BWI airport and you will find an application for a 50,000 point signup bonus AND a free t-shirt.  Devastatingly, no online applications for this card offer a T-shirt on top of the 50,000 point bonus so technically speaking, the best publicly available offer for this card is actually at the airport. Winking smile

The bottom line

In all seriousness, I would not ever hand jam my information onto an application at the airport and trust the agent to protect my personal information for a silly T-shirt, but if we want to get technical, the airport has the  better offer. Smile

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

About the Author

About the author: Alex loves to travel and does so a lot. Logging 100,000 flight miles each year over the past 4 years, Alex uses points and miles to power his passion. Alex is continuously striving to experience the far reaches of the globe. In his day job, Alex is a Management Consultant frequently on the road advising Technology organizations. I love thinking about, reading about, and talking about all things travel. Feel free to reach me at pmmalex@gmail.com

{ 10 comments… add one }

  • Huck February 1, 2013, 2:56 pm

    I don’t get it… MMS has a 50K link on his site, which appears to be working.

  • alex February 1, 2013, 3:01 pm

    @Huck – Does it include a free T-shirt? :)

  • Huck February 1, 2013, 3:13 pm

    No, just thought it was weird that for the second day you contend there aren’t any 50K SW cards floating around. MMS, Frequent Miler, and Gary all have them listed.

  • Gene February 1, 2013, 3:22 pm

    Chase saves the big fat blogger referral fee in exchange for a t-shirt. Good deal for Chase!

  • PatMike February 1, 2013, 3:56 pm

    I got a shirt once for a United Card in the 80s. There was NO sign-up bonus back then, so a shirt was pretty good, along with the opportunity to earn United miles for credit card purchases. Oh, how times have changed !

  • Dee Tee February 1, 2013, 5:01 pm

    This should not surprise anyone. US Bank has a Travel Perks Visa offer better than even the great promotion after the Olympics. The catch, you had to apply in person at a branch in Denver.

  • Sean February 1, 2013, 10:13 pm

    Shhhhhh. Don’t let the cat out of the bag. It’s blogs and posts like this that will put other bloggers out of business.

    On a serious note, I read that there are some pretty awesome CC sign up bonuses if you walk into a Chase bank.

  • harry February 2, 2013, 5:24 am

    if you are in the airport anyway and want a free t-shirt then just fill out the application with fake details.

  • harry February 2, 2013, 5:36 am

    I once did it for a united stuffed airplane toy (which makes noise)

    was a good gift.

  • Eva Christin March 9, 2013, 1:29 am

    Its not an new blast for the public which you write on the blog. Most of us know that the airport offer credit card. But the interesting news is that you find an application for a 50,000 point signup bonus and a free t-shirt.

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