10 New Routes That Make Your Southwest Points More Valuable!

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Southwest is adding 10 new domestic routes starting April 12, 2016.  This will give you more options when you’re looking for an award flight.  And folks with the Southwest Companion Pass will have even more places to visit!

Remember, you can earn Southwest points with their cards.  Or by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  I’ll explain!

10 New Routes That Make Your Southwest Points More Valuable

10 New Southwest Routes Make Your Southwest Points and Southwest Companion Pass Even More Valuable. And There Will Be 2 New Ways to Visit New York!

I’ll show you which routes will be available!

What Are the New Routes?

Link:   Southwest New Routes Announcement

Starting April 12, 2016, Southwest will add 10 new routes to its US network.  From that date, you’ll be able to fly non-stop between:

  • Dayton and Chicago
  • Grand Rapids and Chicago
  • Flint and Chicago
  • Greenville-Spartanburg and Atlanta
  • Las Vegas and New York (Newark)
  • New York (Newark) and Orlando
  • St. Louis and Des Moines
  • St. Louis and Pittsburgh
  • St. Louis and Wichita
  • Wichita and Phoenix

Note:   The new route between St. Louis and Pittsburgh starts earlier, on March 10, 2016.

Note:   Southwest will also offer year-round non-stop service between St. Louis and Seattle.  This used to be a seasonal route.

10 New Routes That Make Your Southwest Points More Valuable

Midwest Is Best! Many of the New Routes Are Short-Haul Flights Between Midwestern Cities

Many of these flights are short-haul flights, so this will give folks more options once British Airways changes their award chart in early February 2016.

Save ~50% on Your Next Award for Two!

Link:   Chase Southwest Plus

Link:   Chase Southwest Premier

Link:   Chase Southwest Premier Business

When you have the Southwest Companion Pass, a friend or family member flies with you for (almost) free every time you fly Southwest for up to 2 years!  That’s like getting 2 tickets for the price of one!

10 New Routes That Make Your Southwest Points More Valuable

With the Southwest Companion Pass You Can Travel Together for up to 2 Years and Only Pay for 1 Ticket on Paid OR Award Flights! Unless You’re a Bird – In That Case, You Can Always Fly Free!

You have to earn 110,000 Southwest points within a calendar year to get the Southwest Companion Pass.  It’s the best deal in domestic travel!  Be sure you understand exactly how it works so you can earn it!

You can currently earn 50,000 Southwest points when you complete the minimum spending on the Chase Southwest Premier and Premier small business card, and 40,000 Southwest points with the Chase Southwest Plus card for a limited time.

So it’s now easier to earn the Companion Pass by signing-up for 1 personal and 1 small business card!  Just be sure to watch out for these 3 mistakes that won’t get you a Companion Pass!

Why You Might Consider a Small Business Credit Card

Keep in mind, you don’t need millions in revenue to qualify for a small business card.  In fact, there are small businesses you may not realize are enough to get you approved.

10 New Routes That Make Your Southwest Points More Valuable

Do You Coach, Teach Yoga, Photograph for Clients, or Create Designs for Websites? You Might Have a Small Business and Not Even Know It!

And you do NOT need an Employer Identification Number to complete your application.  If you have a sole proprietorship you can use your social security number.

The Southwest Companion Pass is the 1 reason why Emily and I fly Southwest almost exclusively within the US.  Plus, you get 2 free checked bags on every flight and if your plans change, you can cancel for a full refund!

Need More Southwest Points?

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred

Link:   Chase Ink Plus

Remember, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio to Southwest.

So it’s very easy to top off your account if you’re very close to an award flight!  Folks with the Southwest Companion Pass can fly with a friend or partner on any ticket, including award flights!

You’ll also earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you use your Chase Freedom or Chase Ink Cash, but you can only transfer them to airlines and hotels like Southwest or Hyatt if you also have the Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Note:   Points transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Southwest do NOT count toward the Companion Pass!

Bottom Line

Southwest is adding 10 new domestic routes starting April 12, 2016

This is terrific news for folks who fly Southwest.  And especially if you have the Southwest Companion Pass.  This will give you more options when British Airways raises their prices on short-haul flights next year.

It’s easy to earn the Southwest Companion Pass because the Chase Southwest Premier and Premier small business cards are offering 50,000 Southwest points when you complete the minimum spending requirements.  And the Chase Southwest Plus card has a limited-time sign-up bonus of 40,000 Southwest points.

Having additional routes makes your Southwest Companion Pass even more valuable.  And if you need more Southwest points, you can easily top off your account with Chase Ultimate Rewards points!

Are you excited about any of the new routes?

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10 responses to “10 New Routes That Make Your Southwest Points More Valuable!

  1. Just an FYI: At the expense of Flint, Michigan. Explanation: I have flown Southwest NONSTOP from Flint, Michigan to Las Vegas for the past several years. A week ago I started looking for flights from Flint to Las Vegas in April or May and I couldn’t find a NONSTOP flight from Flint to Vegas and wondered why. Today I read your blog about additional flights offered by Southwest beginning April 12th. Well, I checked April 11th from Flint to Vegas and there it was——-NONSTOP from Flint to Vegas. Not so on April 12th. Southwest discontinued their NONSTOP flights from Flint to Vegas beginning the same day they added flights at other locations across the country.

  2. Oh, here’s more. I checked RETURN flights from Vegas to Flint on April 11th and NONSTOP

  3. They also cancelled Tulsa to Chicago nonstop beginning in April. I can’t find that written anywhere but I was waiting for the calendar to open up to book and nonstop is not there.

  4. One more thing——-Southwest also offers NONSTOP flights BACK to Flint from Vegas on April 11th, but does not offer NONSTOP flights BACK to Flint from Vegas on April 12th. It will cost me more money for a connecting flight out of Flint—-and/or it will cost me more money for a NONSTOP flight if I have to drive to Detroit for a NONSTOP flight (which is an ADDITIONAL hour away from my home). Plus airport parking costs more in Detroit than it does in Flint. So, Southwest’s plan to add additional flights across the country isn’t more valuable to me.

  5. The DSM to STL is a new short haul but at the expense of Des Moines to Chicago Midway route. Unfortunately this makes Southwest very even more undesirable to me. The only other non-stop for DSM is Las Vegas.

  6. I applied for the business premier card in Oct 2013. I received the bonus in January 2014. The terms state that you can’t get the offer if you’ve received the bonus in the past 24 months, which technically I have. But I applied for the card more than 24 months ago. Does anyone have experience with this? Should I wait to apply til Jan? Or can I apply now and just wait to complete my minimum spend/get the bonus in Jan (which I would anyways for companion pass purposes)? Don’t want to shoot myself in the foot here!

  7. Also, any trouble getting personal and business card the same day? I could spread out if necessary.

  8. Woohoo! Thanks for the heads up on the new routes — very helpful for me!

  9. Anyone have an answer to Maddy’s questions above? I am in the same situation and would like to know also.
    Thanks!

  10. @Norm S. @Angela @Jennifer – Thanks for adding this information!

    @Maddy @Wayne – I’d wait until January, because that’s what the terms and conditions say.

    Chase will approve you for multiple cards in the same day, but whether or not you’re approved depends on how much credit Chase is willing to extend to you. Good luck with your applications!

    @Travel Reward Credit Cards Fan – You’re welcome!