Judging from what you are telling, you haven’t been flying Southwest for quite a while. Southwest’s policy is that your miles expire after 24 months of inactivity. “Inactivity” in Southwest’s terms is a little different from other airlines. While on United or American you can redeem miles once in a while and prolong your miles’ existence, Southwest renders only miles accrual as an activity. More specifically, that is flying Southwest, obviously (paid flights, not reward flights), buying Rapid Rewards points, using a Southwest credit card, earning points from hotel and car partners that offer promotions or using a Rapid Rewards shopping portal.
However, miles or points expiration is a real calamity when your family vacation is at stake. Essentially, this happens to most co-branded credit cards, including United, Delta and the likes of those.
There’s a simple way around it: don’t apply for co-branded credit cards. They are inconvenient in several different ways too. It’s actually better to apply for regular travel credit cards. There are plenty of them now and the constant competition makes them set bigger bonuses and even better rewards programs. And the best part – miles and points never expire! If you’ve earned a large collection of miles on one card and then shoved it away somewhere and forgot about it entirely, you can just take it any time and redeem the miles you have.
Our special highlight is the Discover it® Miles. This card is the perfection in the credit card jungle, as is successfully manages to eat the cake and have it.
It offers decent miles for all purchases, namely 1.5 miles per dollar, which lets you earn every time you make a purchases, even non-travel related. Figure out how much you spend annually on all sorts of stuff and then multiply it by 1.5 to see your potential savings.
But that’s not all the card has to offer. There’s also an interesting kind of a welcome bonus – you get your miles matched at the end of the first year (provided you are a new cardmember), therefore making it essentially 3 miles per dollar the first year. If you put a lot of purchases on a card, this can excel premium cards’ sign-up bonuses.
To top it off, the card has no annual fee. As you see, most travel cards, especially those with significant rewards and sign-up bonuses, have a big annual fee, which takes a bulk of your rewards. The Discover it® Miles charges no annual fee and therefore, you keep all your earnings intact.
And finally, since you’ve lost thousands worth of dollars, you might want to go on vacation anyway, you’ve been dreaming of it. The Discover it® Miles makes it possible. It has 14 months of 0% intro APR period on purchases (14.24% – 25.24% Variable after that), so you can put your tickets on a card, pay them off over time and even earn lots on rewards on that. Sounds like a great deal to me.