Southwest Airlines has some of the most dedicated fans in the airline business. If you are one of them and you are sitting on a bunch of hard-earned Rapid Rewards points, you might be wondering how much those points are worth. It is easier to determine the exact value for Southwest points than with other airline carriers. Know-how much re southwest rapid rewards points worth. This is because the price of an award flight is more or less directly related to the cash price of the flight ticket that you purchase.
In this travel guide prepared by Treknova, we will show you what Southwest points are worth and how to calculate their value in your situation.
How much are Southwest Rapid Rewards Points Valued at?
Southwest Rapid Rewards points worth varies slightly depending on the route, time of year, and several other factors. However, in general, you can expect to get an average of 1.5 cents per point in value. At times, they can be worth even more. But when prices are low, like they are now, the value you get per point can be less.
Based on recent analysis, Southwest Rapid Rewards Points are valued at 1.6 cents each. This is a baseline value, drawn from real-world data on hundreds of economy routes, not a maximized value. In other words, you should aim for award redemptions that offer 1.6 cents or more in value from your Southwest points.
What This Value Means?
A value of 1.6 cents per Southwest point is an average, baseline value that can help determine whether a given redemption is worth it. The value is actually based on real-world data. It is effectively the value you can expect to get from your Southwest Rapids Rewards points, if you use these points for a random redemption.
In other words, it is not a maximized value, and you might be able to get more value from your Rapids Rewards points with some patience. Keep comparing flights paid with cash or points until you find a high-value redemption.
Southwest Airlines offers fewer sweet spots than its competitors, since Rapid Rewards points cannot be used to book with partner airlines. On the other side, this will mean there is less complexity and frustration when trying to decide how to use your points.
How to Calculate the Value of Southwest Points
The number of points needed to book a Southwest Airlines flight depends directly on the advertised fare. For example, Wanna Get Away (Southwest’s cheapest fare) award flight bookings cost approximately 76 points per dollar. This means each Southwest point is, in theory, worth 1.32 cents (i.e., $1 per 76 Southwest points) towards Southwest’s cheap Wanna Get Away flights. However, this is calculated against the base fare without the taxes and fees.
To calculate the value of each point for your specific flight, you may use the formula given as follows:
(Cash price of ticket – Taxes and fees you would pay on the award ticket) / Number of points required for an award ticket.
On international flights, you will typically get a lower value per points because the taxes and fees on an award ticket are usually higher. Also, when prices are low (like now) the value that you get per point will typically be less. It is easy to earn Southwest points by opening a Southwest credit card or transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points from rewards cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
On domestic award flights, you will pay a September 11th Security Fee of $5.60 per one-way trip. This fee has been imposed by the U.S. government and is mandatory. The fees for other awards will vary, but are clearly displayed when booking an award.
How are Southwest Points Compared to other Airline Loyalty Miles?
Taking into account the recent analysis, it can be seen that Southwest Rapid Rewards points are some of the most valuable airline awards available. Despite their relatively high value, if you are looking for a more adventurous, high-value flight redemption, such as booking international first-class suites, then you are better off looking to other programs that offer partner redemptions. Southwest points offer plenty of consistent value, but less razzle-dazzle.
How Flexible are Southwest Points?
To put it straightforward, Southwest Rapid Rewards points are not very flexible. This is due to several factors involved that determine its actual worth. Sure, you might be able to use them for non-flight options, such as through the “More Rewards” section on Southwest.com portal. However, these redemptions rarely match or exceed the value of using them to purchase Southwest flights.
How We Determine this Value?
After analysing over hundreds of data points, the cash value to award (mile) value for the same routes and dates have been compared. That is, comparison has been made to the cost of a given ticket in either cash or miles across many tickets.
This method differs from many others in that it looks at real-world redemptions rather than hypothetical, maximized redemptions. The advantage of this approach is that it provides an actual, real-world indication of how much these miles are worth on average. That said, it does not take into account the high-value redemptions that points enthusiasts usually seek.
How to Maximize your Southwest Rapid Rewards Points
In order to maximize your Southwest points effectively, you will want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are a few of the best travel credit cards, which also includes those that are suited to your travel needs:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: This card is best for airline miles and a large bonus.
- Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card: This card is best, if you are looking for no annual fee.
- Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card: This card is best, if you are looking for flat-rate rewards with no annual fee.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: This card is best for premium travel rewards.
- The Platinum Card from American Express: This card is best for luxury perks.
- Ink Business Preferred Credit Card: This card is best for business travellers.
Changes Made by Southwest Airlines due to COVID-19 Pandemic
Southwest Airlines has made a couple of significant changes in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. These are listed as follows:
- If you currently possess Southwest A-List or A-List Preferred elite status, Southwest is letting you keep it through December 31, 2021.
- If you’ve got a Southwest Companion Pass set to expire on December 31, 2020, you can now use it through June 30, 2021 — six months longer than normal.
- Southwest is making their elite status and the Southwest Companion Pass easier to earn this year by providing all Southwest Rapid Rewards members the following:
- 15,000 qualifying points/10 flight credits toward A-List and A-List Preferred status.
- 25,000 qualifying points/25 flight credits toward the Companion Pass.
- If you’ve got travel credit set to expire between March 1 and June 30, 2020, Southwest has pushed the expiration date back to September 7, 2022. This extends to any travel credit offered due to cancellations between March 1 and June 30, 2020.
- Southwest will soon allow members to convert travel funds into Southwest points. Any funds created between March 1 and September 7, 2020, can take advantage of this offer. The amount of points you’ll receive per dollar will be roundabout the same number of points it costs to book a dollar’s worth of Southwest flights (generally 78 points per dollar).
A beneficial thing about Southwest Rapid Rewards points is that they are easy to earn with Southwest credit cards, like the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card. And, they are also a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner. Thus, you can indirectly earn Southwest points with top Chase credit cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.