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Three weeks ago I got an email from AirTran A+ Rewards with the subject “Get 750 Rapid Rewards Bonus Points.”

The email explains that Rapid Rewards and A+ Rewards, Southwest’s and AirTran’s loyalty programs will merge on November 2, 2014. (Southwest acquired AirTran in May 2011.)

If you verify your A+ and Rapid Rewards accounts to make that combination easier on the airline, you can get a quick 750 Rapid Rewards, worth about $11 in free flights. This took me about 20 seconds, so I thought it was a good return on investment.

  • How can you get the 750 points?
  • What amazing arbitrage opportunity will end November 2, 2014?

The email addressed to me had a big button that said Link Now that I clicked.

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My A+ account and Southwest account were listed on the page. I had to say that the Southwest account was mine.

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When I chose the “Mine” option, a new box appeared in which I had to type my zip code on file for the Southwest account.

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 1.19.14 AM

Once I did that and clicked Link Now, I got a message saying I had completed the linking.

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 1.25.44 AM

The points didn’t post instantly to my Southwest account, which isn’t surprising since the email said I’d get the points 4-6 weeks after linking.

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 1.28.09 AM

The email says that the linking bonus is targeted, so check your email for the subject line “Get 750 Rapid Rewards Bonus Points.”

Ending November 2, 2014

Southwest and AirTran have very different loyalty programs with totally different redemption methods. Southwest’s points are worth a fixed value of just over 1.4 cents toward any Wanna Get Away? fare. AirTran redemptions require 16 credits for a roundtrip redemption.

Until the programs merge, you can move points and credits between the two programs creating a huge arbitrage opportunity that caps the roundtrip award price at 19,200 Southwest points if Standard award space exists.

I wrote one of my best posts ever on the topic. Check it out!

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