Ok I know to most this may seem like a no brainer (Barclay, right?)
Well I'm interested mainly in travel. Mostly Flights (And flying southwest because it's my cheapest option) - And of course for hotels too, and the occasional rental car.
I will start by saying i have both cards in my possession. Both obtained recently. 40K Free points on Barclay and 50K free points on Southwest.
Southwest 99/yr fee
Barclay 89/yr fee (waived first year)
Southwest 2pts for every 1$ on flights/hotels/card booked thru rapid rewards site. & 1pt/$1 on everything else.
Barclay 2pts for every $1 on ALL items bought.
Southwest gives 6K free points per year. Barclay does not give anything, but they do have the 10% pts back on travel booked with pts.
Now here's the dilemma.....
Lets say i spend $25,000 in a year on random items (no travel related spending.)
Southwest would give me 25k Pts
Barclay would give me 50K pts.
Ok now i want to book a flight with southwest. I just selected a flight from New Orleans to nashville for me and wife roundtrip jan3 - jan 5. That is 23,522 points total. Which is also equal to $432.60.
Now when you look at it, if i used Barclay points, that would be 44K points. and I'd get 4400 pts back (10%) (total of 40K points used)
So when all is said and done, i've used almost all my points, and spent the same amount of money on items. ($25,000) BUT
........lets change one small thing and say i spend 10K of that total on travel. Now all of a sudden, The southwest points i would have is 35K.
Compared to Barclay 50K points still. Then you tack on the 6000 anniversary points southwest gives, and i have 41K pts.
That means after i purchased that roundtrip flight, i'd be left with 17K points. Enough for a $210 round trip flight from New orleans to Houston, and still be left with 5K pts left over.
I REALLY keep trying to justify the barclay is better, but this dilemma is racking my brain, that seems to make me think my southwest card will give me MORE overall.