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Million Mile Secrets reader DJ comments:
Can Chase book tickets on Southwest using the 25,000 points for up to $335 value ticket?
DJ is referring to the Chase Freedom airline ticket booking trick, which lets you use 25,000 Chase Freedom points to book a paid, round-trip ticket worth up to $335.
How Does It Work?
Link: Chase Freedom
Normally, Chase Freedom points are worth 1 cent each when used for travel. But according to the card’s terms and conditions:
In addition, credit card customers may redeem 25,000 points for one round-trip scheduled airline ticket valued at up to $335 through our toll-free number, where permitted by law. Redemptions for this specific item have the service fee waived.
If booked online, a $335 ticket would usually cost 33,500 Chase Freedom points ($335 cost of ticket x 1 cent per point). So this is a good deal! Remember, you have to call Chase at 866-951-6592 to redeem points this way.
And if the airline ticket is more than $335, you can pay the rest with points (at 1 cent per point) or with a Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card such as your Chase Freedom.
But DJ wants to know if you can use this trick to book flights on Southwest. That’s because you generally can NOT book Southwest flights through any 3rd party website (including the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal). And they don’t even show up on search engines like Google Flights.
I double checked the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal and indeed, Southwest is NOT included in search results.
I Called and Asked…and Guess What?
I called the number for booking travel using Chase Freedom points (866-951-6592). In fact, I called twice just to make sure. And both times, the agent confirmed that you CAN redeem 25,000 Chase Freedom points for an up to $335 round-trip ticket on Southwest.
One agent reminded me this could not be done online. But booking this way over the phone, they’re able to buy the tickets for you directly from Southwest, then apply a credit using your 25,000 Chase Freedom points.
I learned something new today!
Is This Worth It?
Well, that depends.
If the Chase Freedom is your (AND your partner’s) ONLY Chase Ultimate Rewards point-earning card, then yes. Because you’d normally only get a value of 1 cent per point for travel redemptions through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal.
With this deal, your points are worth at most ~1.34 cents each (assuming a $335 ticket / 25,000 points).
However, if you (or your partner) have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, (no longer offered) Chase Ink Bold, or Chase Ink Plus cards, you can transfer your Chase Freedom points to 1 of those accounts and then transfer them to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio. And because Southwest points are worth ~1.43 cents each (sometimes more), you’re getting a better value.
You CAN use the Chase Freedom 25,000 point booking trick for a ticket worth up to $335 on scheduled airlines, including Southwest!
Normally, Southwest flights are excluded from the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal, and other 3rd-party online booking sites. But you can book them if you call Chase at 866-951-6592.
Thanks for a great question, DJ!