One Week Left to Book Southwest Award Flights Before It Costs More

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There’s only 1 week left to book Southwest award flights before it costs more Southwest points!

From March 31, 2014 (1 week away!), it will cost 10 more points per dollar to book award tickets.

One Week Left To Book Southwest Award Flights Before It Costs More

Southwest Awards Will Cost ~17% More Starting March 31, 2014

How Many More Points Will I Need?

Before March 31, 2014, a Wanna Get Away award ticket (Southwest’s cheapest fare) will cost 60 Southwest points per $1.  Each Southwest point is worth ~1.67 cents ($1 / 60 Southwest points).

On March 31, 2014, the price goes up to 70 Southwest points per $1, so each Southwest point will be worth ~1.42 cents ($1 / 70 Southwest points).

For example, a $157 ticket from Austin to Chicago on April 12, 2014 costs 8,149 Southwest points. (~$135 base fare x 60 points = ~8,149 points).

One Week Left To Book Southwest Award Flights Before It Costs More

A Ticket From Austin to Chicago Booked Before March 31 Costs 8,149 Points

If you book the same ticket after March 31, it will cost ~9,507 points! (~$135 base fare x 70 points = ~9,507).

How Do I Get Southwest Points?

1.   Paid Flights on Southwest

You’ll earn points when you fly Southwest on paid (NOT award) tickets.  Southwest calculates points on the base fare and excise taxes, but not the government taxes and fees.

  • Business Select Fares:  12 points per $1 you spend
  • Anytime Fares:  10 points per $1 you spend
  • Wanna Get Away Fares:  6 points per $1 you spend
One Week Left To Book Southwest Award Flights Before It Costs More

You’ll Earn Points Based on Fare Paid, *NOT* Distance Flown

2.   Southwest Credit Cards

I’ve written about the Chase Southwest credit cards and how you can use them to earn LOTS of Southwest points.

The current sign-up bonus on these cards is 25,000 points after spending $1,000 in the 1st 3 months.  But I’d wait to apply, because in the past Chase has increased the bonus to 50,000 points.

3.   Transfer Points From Chase Ultimate Rewards

You can instantly transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points from the Chase Sapphire PreferredChase Ink Bold, or Chase Ink Plus to Southwest Airlines at a 1:1 ratio, if you’re running low on Southwest points.

One Week Left To Book Southwest Award Flights Before It Costs More

You Can Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Southwest

You can also transfer points from the Chase Freedom to the Chase Sapphire PreferredChase Ink Bold, or Chase Ink Plus.

Note:  Transferring points directly from Ultimate Rewards to Southwest does NOT count towards the Companion Pass.

4.   Earn Bonus Points

There are lots of other ways to earn extra Southwest points.  You don’t need a Southwest credit card to earn bonus points from shopping, dining, participating in partner promotions, or by transferring hotel points.

For example, I earned 1,750 extra Southwest points on Valentine’s Day just by ordering flowers through 1-800-flowers.com.  I also earned bonus points from Emily! ;-)

One Week Left To Book Southwest Award Flights Before It Costs More

Flowers for Emily = 1,750 Southwest Points!

These are also great ways to earn the extra points needed for the Southwest Companion Pass!

Still a Good Deal

Even though it will cost more points, award tickets on Southwest are still a very good deal.  You can cancel or change your flight without paying fees, and check 2 free bags.

And if you have the Southwest Companion Pass, your points still go twice as far!

One Week Left To Book Southwest Award Flights Before It Costs More

Emily and I Still Think the Southwest Companion Pass Is the Best Deal for Domestic Travel!

Remember, the Southwest schedule is open until October 31, 2014, so you can book now for travel well into the fall.  And Southwest will fly to the Caribbean and Mexico starting this summer, so you can get Big International Travel for Small Money!

Bottom Line

You still have a week to book Southwest award flights before it costs more Southwest points!

Bookings made after March 31, 2014 will cost 70 points per $1 – an increase of ~17%.

But award travel on Southwest is still a great deal!

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7 Responses to One Week Left to Book Southwest Award Flights Before It Costs More

  1. If we book now using points, does this take away from the 110k needed for companion pass. Would we have to replace points?

  2. If I book now before the points go up can I change the dates later and still get the flights at the current rates?

  3. @John – It doesn’t. Your Companion Pass points remain the same.

    @ Tim – If you make changes, you will pay the higher rates. So book your award as 2 1-ways to give you more flexibility.

  4. Can’t quite find the answer to this… I will reach companion status next month, but I want to book flights for my family of 4 before the prices go up. Will I be able to book now, then get those points refunded once I reach companion pass status?

  5. Robert Hanson

    @Amber If you are SURE you will reach CP status by then, you only need to book a reservation for the paid with points members, since the companions go for free. If you are not 100 % certain, you can book each person individually, then cancel the reservation for the companion when you have reached CP status, and the miles go right back into your account with no cancel fee.

  6. If ii book now using my points and the fare drops will I get my points credited back to my rapid rewards account?

  7. @tammy – Only if you cancel and rebook.

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