It looks like Southwest now has 4 different offers running concurrently for their Visa Signature cards. I blogged about the old offer for their Premier Card from this past summer, which gave you 50,000 Rapid Rewards points after your first purchase (of any amount). 50,000 RR points translates to $833 in Wanna Get Away fares, which would more than pay for 2 round-trip flights. The old offer had a $99 annual fee which was not waived for the first year. In addition, it gave you 6,000 RR points every year on your cardmember anniversary. Apparently, this offer is now officially back, and Southwest has even provided a link to it on their new offer page.
The new offer for their Plus Card features a lower annual fee, at just $69 per year. However, the anniversary bonus has also been reduced to 3,000 RR points. Thus, if you plan on keeping this Southwest Visa Signature card for more than one year, this new offer is actually less lucrative since 3,000 RR points translates to only $50 in Wanna Get Away fares, which doesn't cover the annual fee. In the Premier Card offer, 6,000 RR points translated to $100, which basically means your annual fee is waived. In most cases though, I imagine people would probably cancel the card prior to their 1st year anniversary (which is what I intend to do)... so taking the Plus Card offer would make more sense as the annual fee is lower.
The only other minor differences I've noticed is that for the Premier Card offer, you can also receive 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points for every $10,000 in purchases, up to 15,000 Tier Qualifying Points annually. No such option exists for the Plus Card offer. In addition, if you choose to take advantage of the balance transfer bonuses, the Premier Card offer will allow you to earn up to 15,000 points (at 1 point per $1 in transfers) within the first 90 days, while the Plus Card will only net you up to 10,000 points.
For more details regarding the Rapid Rewards program, take a look at my previous blog post. Click on the links above to go directly to the offer pages. I don't see an expiration date on these promotions yet, but take advantage of them soon, as Southwest can always pull them at any time. And just to be complete, there are also business versions of both the Premier and the Plus cards. With both the personal and business versions, you may be able to get 100,000 RR points in one swoop! Apply soon, word is this promotion may end on November 11, 2011. Click on the link below for details on all 4 types of cards being offered right now: