News You Can Use: Southwest Schedule Open Until Summer, 50% Bonus on Priority Club Points & on American Airlines Miles

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 1.   Southwest Summer Schedule.   Southwest extended their schedule and you can book flights up to next summer or  August 9, 2013.

There is no penalty for cancelling a Southwest flight made with points (the points go back to your account when you cancel), so it doesn’t hurt to book your summer or other holiday trips before you firm up your plans.  You can always cancel and rebook your ticket for no fee if the number of points required for the award drops since you booked the ticket or if your plans change.

If you cancel a paid flight on Southwest, the ticketed passenger gets a credit for the entire ticket amount (no change fees on Southwest!) which can be used for up to 1 year after the booking was made.

If you’ve got a Southwest Companion Pass, your companion will fly free with you, on BOTH paid flights or flights booked with points.  You can always book a seat for yourself, and then add your companion if you don’t currently have a Companion Pass, but plan on getting one later on.  As I wrote earlier, you may be able to get a Southwest Companion Pass for up to 2 years if you time it right!

2.   50% Bonus on Priority Club Points.    Via Loyalty Traveler, Priority Club is selling points with a 50% bonus.  This means that you can buy 1 Priority Club point for 0.77 cents per point directly from Priority Club when you buy between 26,000 to 50,000 points.

Priority Club is the loyalty program for hotels which includes Candlewood Suites, Crowne PlazaHoliday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Hotel Indigo, Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts, and Staybridge Suites brand hotels.

You can also use the “Cash & Points” trick any time of the year to buy points for 0.7 cents per point.  However, some folks aren’t comfortable using the “Cash & Points” trick, so this could be a better option.

Another benefit of buying points directly from Priority Club is that the points will count towards Priority Club status, so you could buy top-tier Platinum status for 60,000 points for $462.  However, you can also get top-tier Priority Club status (and an annual free night) just by having the Chase Priority Club card.

Priority Club also has PointsBreak hotels.  Hotels on the PointsBreak list usually cost only 5,000 points for a night (the regular rate is 10,000 to 50,000 points)!

 3.   50% Bonus on American Airlines Miles.    Via View from the Wing, American Airlines is selling miles for ~ 2 cents per mile.  This is the lowest I’ve seen American Airlines miles sell for.

You have to purchase at least 20,000 miles and the least amount of miles in each tier to get the miles for 2 cents per point.  I don’t need any more American Airlines miles, but at 2 cents per mile, it could be worth it to top up your account.

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14 responses to “News You Can Use: Southwest Schedule Open Until Summer, 50% Bonus on Priority Club Points & on American Airlines Miles

  1. I noticed my local OD carries Southwest gift cards, so 5x UR points on paid Southwest flights that also earn mileage is easy, right? Am I overlooking anything here?

  2. What is more precious? BA Avios or Southwest points. I have a trip to SLC from LAX and it takes 4500 Avios vs 6600 Rapid Rewards. Which should I use? Thanks.

    • @DaveS – You got it! That’s 5X points for a purchase which would usually be only 1X or 2X points.

      @Alex – It depends. I’d use the Avios points unless you wanted to check bags, in which case I’d use the Southwest points since you can check 2 bags for free on Southwest.

  3. Just double check on using SW GCs. I think its only 4 per reservation. Not positive but I recall it being a workaround/hassle for me once.

  4. Long time listener, first time caller. You rock.

    Taking the whole family (11 adults) to Walt Disney World in August.
    10 RT flights (+1 companion) PHL –> MCO… on RR points.
    7 nights @ Waldorf Astoria… on HHonors points.
    Disney tickets via gift cards from a drug store… 6X HHonors points.
    Thanks!

    Questions…
    1. Do I need to wait until January 1 to cross my minimum spend(s)? (I definitely do NOT want the 100K from my Chase SW RR Plus cards posting in December) Or does it take a cycle or two for points to post anyway?

    2. Darius, do you have any idea when SW will open the second half of August?

    3. If you have some scheme to get Disney tickets on points, please share 🙂 it’s the holy grail!

  5. @Josh- you can get disney or universal tickets with thank you points from citi….. in fact the disney tickets are better than 1c per point bec they include shuttle service and fast pass skipping the lines. When I researched it for anaheim it seemed like a pretty goold value (included vip tour in universal etc and shuttle saves you parking)

  6. @josh- you can also get sear world tampa, universal florida tickets with southwest points in gift card section though i dont see these as a great value seems less than 1c per point.

    • @MileageUpdate – There is a limit to the number of earlier credits you can use on a flight, but shouldn’t be much of an issue.

      @J0SH– Have a great trip. I don’t know when the entire August schedule will open up, but perhaps in a few months. To be completely safe, I’d complete the minimum spending in January 2013, so that the points post to your account in 2013 and not 2012. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about Disney, but mike has some good suggestions below.

  7. My local walgreen has vanilla reload and accepts credit card , but unfortunately I can not find a staples nor office depot that carries $500 gift card If I use $200 cost will be astronomical so I don’t think it is worth it.Do you guys have another strategy or any idea on how I can maximize my point using my Ink

  8. @Mike/D – Thank You!
    I already have 2 Citi cards (Hilton via 2-browser) but I’ll keep an eye out for a good sign-on bonus with City Thank You Premier between now and August.
    SW “more rewards” gets Disney tickets at a terrible 0.12 CENTS/point 🙁

  9. I think IHG’s Cash & Points trick has been at 0.8 for a while now, no longer 0.7. Have you been able to find a method to get it at 0.7 still?

  10. OK Nvm. I’m a doofus, found the 0.7 offers… just had to pull up some more expensive hotels.

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