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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.
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).
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
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 Preferred, Chase Ink Bold, or Chase Ink Plus to Southwest Airlines at a 1:1 ratio, if you’re running low on Southwest points.
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! 😉
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!
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!
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!