Southwest now offering TSA Precheck for 9,000 Rapid Rewards Points

Southwest is now offering a certificate that covers TSA Precheck application fees for 9,000 Rapid Rewards points. I fully recommend TSA Pre to any traveller, namely because of these amazing benefits:

  • When screening, no need to remove:
    • Shoes
    • Laptops
    • 3-1-1 liquids
    • Belts
    • Light jackets
  • TSA Precheck lines are consistently shorter than standards security lines at most airports.

But even given the benefits, this offer begs the question on if it’s worth Southwest’s price. Keep in mind that the standard application fee for TSA Pre is $85.

Check out the link to this offer here

My analysis:

  • 9,000 Rapid Rewards points for an $85 application fee works out to just about under 1 cent per point. This is a terrible redemption when you compare it to what you could spend those 9,000 points on otherwise (namely Southwest flights where your points would be worth about 1.5 cents each, on average). So, don’t take the offer if you are limited on points and want to travel on Southwest anytime in the near future.
  • That being said, you could be in a situation where you have a boatload of Rapid Rewards points. For example, if you are in the process of getting your Companion Pass using the 2×50,000 Chase cards method, you will  be sitting on over 100k Southwest points by the end of the process. If you don’t travel on Southwest frequently, it might make sense for you to get your TSA Precheck this way. Money saved is money saved, at the end of the day. At least that’s my philosophy.
  • If you were willing to pay cash for TSA Pre, just $15 more would cover your costs for applying for Global Entry, which gets you past customs/immigration lines during international travel. SInce Global Entry actually comes with TSA Pre, I would recommend going this route if you travel abroad frequently. There also several credit cards that cover the TSA Pre and/or Global Entry application fees as a statement credit, such as the American Express Platinum card and the Citi Prestige card. Both are cards I recommend for frequent flyers.

 

So, this offer could make sense for you, but my general consensus is–don’t bite the bullet.

Happy travel hacking!

 

 

 

 

 

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