3 Southwest Updates: 50,000 Points Ends Wednesday, Mexico Flights & Book Up to October 31, 2014

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Here are 3 Southwest updates for today!

3 Southwest Updates 50,000 Points Ends Wednesday New Mexico Flights And Book Up To October 31, 2014

Southwest Now Flies to Mexico!

1.   Southwest Credit Cards 50,000 Point Bonus Ends Wednesday

The best way to earn the Southwest Companion Pass is by signing-up for the 50,000 point Southwest credit cards before Wednesday, March 5, 2014.  After Wednesday, the sign-up bonus will decrease and it won’t be that easy to get the Companion Pass!

That said, I’m sure that at least 1 out of the 4 versions will have the 50,000 point sign-up bonus after Wednesday.  But it could be harder to find all 4 versions with the 50,000 points offers.

If you have a Southwest Companion Pass, your companion will fly free with you on BOTH paid flights or flights booked with points (you just pay the $2.50 security fee).  You can book a seat for yourself and add your companion later if you don’t currently have a Companion Pass.

Read this post for all you need to know about the Southwest Companion PassYou get the Companion Pass after earning 110,000 Companion Pass points.  See this post for ways to get Companion Pass points after you get the credit card sign-up bonus.

3 Southwest Updates 50,000 Points Ends Wednesday New Mexico Flights And Book Up To October 31, 2014

Emily and I Use Our Companion Pass to Visit Friends and Family Often

And be sure you don’t make 3 common mistakes that won’t get you the Companion Pass!

That said, the 50,000 bonus usually comes back every 3 to 4 months, so if you don’t get the cards now, you should be able to get the bonus later on.

2.   Wanna Get Away…to Mexico?

From August 10, 2014, Southwest will fly to Cancun and Los Cabos, Mexico.  This is in addition to flights to Montego Bay, Aruba, and Nassau.

You can use Southwest’s interactive map to see when international flights will start from your city.  I couldn’t find Austin in the drop down box, but Kansas City was listed!

3 Southwest Updates 50,000 Points Ends Wednesday New Mexico Flights And Book Up To October 31, 2014

Find Out When Southwest Starts Flying Internationally From Your City!

Emily and I can’t wait to visit some of these new destinations!

3.   Southwest Schedule Now Open Until October 31, 2014

You can now book paid and award flights on Southwest and AirTran up to October 31, 2014 (instead of August 8, 2014).  So you can save some cash and start booking your fall travel now!

You can also use Southwest points to fly to Aruba, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Mexico.

Unlike other airlines which open their schedule ~11 to 12 months in advance, Southwest opens their schedule ~6 to 8 months in advance.

3 Southwest Updates 50,000 Points Ends Wednesday New Mexico Flights And Book Up To October 31, 2014

Southwest Schedule Is Open Until October 31, 2014

Save Points By Booking Now For Flights Up to October 31, 2014

You can cancel a Southwest flight without penalty!  If you redeemed points for your flight, the points go back to your account, so you can book your fall travel even if you’re not sure of your plans.

You’ll pay less points if you redeem your points before March 31, 2014 for flights on Southwest before and after March 31, 2014.

That’s because the cost of using points will increase for flights booked after March 31, 2014.  So your points will be worth ~15% less if you book a flight on, say, June 1, 2014 which is AFTER March 31, 2014.

But you will pay fewer points for the same flight booked BEFORE March 31, 2014.  If the number of points required for an award drops or if your plans change, you can cancel and rebook your ticket without a fee!

3 Southwest Updates 50,000 Points Ends Wednesday New Mexico Flights And Book Up To October 31, 2014

12,240 to fly From Austin to Seattle If Booked Before March 31, 2014, but ~14,000 Points After That!

If you cancel a paid flight at least 10 minutes prior to departure, you can get a credit for the entire ticket amount (no change fees on Southwest!) valid for up to one year from the date of issue.

You should be able to cancel an AirTran ticket for free as long as you booked it on the Southwest (and not on the AirTran) website.

Other Ways to Earn Southwest Points

If you’re running low on Southwest points, you can instantly transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points from the Chase Sapphire Preferred, (no longer available) Chase Ink Bold, or Chase Ink Plus to Southwest Airlines on a 1:1 ratio.

You can also earn points from the sign-up bonus on the Southwest credit card!

But transferring points directly from Ultimate Rewards to Southwest do NOT count towards the Companion Pass.  Instead transfer them to Hyatt or Marriott hotel points and from Hyatt or Marriott transfer to Southwest.

AirTran Schedule Open Through October 31, 2014

You can also book flights on AirTran up to October 31, 2014.

3 Southwest Updates 50,000 Points Ends Wednesday New Mexico Flights And Book Up To October 31, 2014

You Can Book AirTran Flights Through October 31, 2014

You can usually book AirTran flights (within the US and NOT to international destinations) on the Southwest website because Southwest and AirTran have connected their networks.

You won’t pay for 2 checked bags and you won’t pay a fee for cancellations, if you book AirTran flights on the Southwest website.

If you book on the AirTran website, you can pay to get an assigned seat, but you’ll also have to pay for your checked bags.  I’d prefer to save money on checked bags than getting an assigned seat.

AirTran charges for cancellations while Southwest doesn’t:

  • You have to call AirTran at 800-247-8726 and request a credit (less the cancellation fee) when you cancel a paid flight.
  • You have to call at least 1 hour prior to departure
  • AND you will pay a $150 fee per passenger

You will be issued a credit for the remaining balance valid for up to 1 year after the booking was made. If you don’t call at least 1 hour prior to departure, you forfeit your airfare.

Bottom Line

The 50,000 bonus point offer on all 4 versions of the Southwest credit cards ends this Wednesday, March 5, 2014.  But the bonus comes and goes every 3 to 4 months.

Southwest will soon be flying to Mexico, as they take over more international routes flown by AirTran (with whom they are merging).

Southwest and AirTran schedules are open through October 31, 2014.  So it doesn’t hurt to book your fall 2014 travel now, even if you’re not 100% sure of your plans.

That’s because Southwest does not charge change fees so there is no penalty for canceling the flights and re-booking.  And because your Southwest points are worth ~15% less if you use them to book award flights after March 31, 2014.

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21 responses to “3 Southwest Updates: 50,000 Points Ends Wednesday, Mexico Flights & Book Up to October 31, 2014

  1. Amol (@PointsToPointB)

    For a second there, I thought “New Mexico flights” was going to talk about Albuquerque.

  2. Which card doesn’t expire after this week? I want to sign up for one of the cards today and then the second a few weeks later. Thanks

  3. Thanks for the heads up about the new Amex cards (and for helping me achieve a dream lifestyle with travel to over 50 countries).

    Does Costco count as a “supermarket”? If so, I’m all over this, because they don’t let me rack up points when I’m dropping all my money there.

  4. When I try to search for flights from Dallas to Cancun in October I get this:

    “Southwest Airlines currently does not offer service between (Dallas – DAL) and (Cancun – CUN).”

  5. So can you use points to travel to Mexico? It seems to just take you to Air Trans site with no way to use rapid rewards points?

  6. Marriott Marty

    Seeking clarification: is Wednesday the 5th the last day to apply or is the offer being pulled Wednesday the 5th so today the 4th is the last day to apply? For me the 5th is 91 days from my last churn so I would apply if today is the last day but would rather apply tomorrow if it will still be available (for the business card, as I already have the personal)

    • @Amol (@PointsToPointB) – LOL! I removed the word “New” from the headline.

      @SJ @Marriott Marty – I’ve just been told that the offer is extended, but haven’t seen anything official yet. So ymmv. It should be around tomorrow.

      @Victor M – I don’t believe that Costco and the other large retailers such as Wal-Mart etc count towards the grocery category.

      @Jay H @Molly – I believe they are still updating their systems so try back in a few days. The same thing happened when they first announced international flights.

  7. Morgan Foster

    I’ve been trying to get the companion pass, but I can’t seem to get approved for the second card to save my life. Chase won’t give me the business card yet (they say they just need to see more credit history), and my wife was approved for the personal card back in January. Do you think it’s worth trying to get my wife approved for the Business card now (even though it’s been less than 90 days), or is it probably not worth the credit risk?

    I’ve sort of leaned towards the latter, but was curious what you thought.

    For the record, since I hadn’t seen anyone else post about this, if you are approved for a personal card, and your wife is also approved for a personal card, you will not be approved for the 50k bonus on both cards (if you specify the same RR account for both cards). You have to get two different cards, even if it’s across you and your spouse (have unfortunately learned this the hard way).

  8. Can I use SW Companion Pass to get my wife to fly with me for free if we fly to Aruba?

  9. I never comment but I had to say THANK YOU!!!! I literally just reached my companion status today thanks to your blog! That’s all.. just a great big thank you!

  10. My husband just applied for both the premier and plus personal Southwest cards on Sunday and got approved for both! We’ve heard conflicting reports from “Southwest personnel,” but fingers crossed those (2) $50,000 bonuses plus some transferred Marriott points will help us get the Companion Pass!

    For anyone looking to get approved for both in one day, it worked for us! We just went to Southwest.com, looked at their CC pages, and applied for the personal Premier and personal Plus separately over the phone. There were two separate phone numbers listed, so we called each individually.

    They weren’t really clear on whether the bonuses are Companion Pass eligible, even the SW people we talked to weren’t, but I feel like there’s enough anecdotal proof online that they are, so I’m choosing to believe it.

  11. Have just been approved for SW business card, got personal card last month. If I use mileage for an april flight, do I miss out on the 110,000 mile needed for companion pass?

  12. I applied for the business credit card through the 50,000 point link on Friday. It is still being reviewed, and I am planning to call the reconsideration line on Monday. If I applied for the card before the 3/9/14 deadline, but the approval was received afterwards, will I still receive the 50,000 bonus?


  13. If I book a flight to Aruba on Southwest on 3/30/14, for travel in October, 2014 and then change my travel date to December, 2014,
    can I still save the 15%, or do I then have to pay the higher points?
    Also, can I use Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards points to fly to Bermuda (currently served by AirTran, not Southwest)? Thanks!

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