Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
Today is the LAST day to book Southwest award tickets before it costs more points!
Today it costs 60 points per $1 to book a Wanna Get Away ticket. But starting tomorrow, it will cost 70 points per $1!
Even if you’re not sure of your travel plans, you can book award tickets today on Southwest at the lower rate. Then if you have to cancel, you’ll get the points back without paying a fee.
I’m not happy when it costs more points for flights, but I still rate Southwest’s frequent flyer program as the best for domestic travel. You can check 2 free bags, and if you have to change or cancel your flight, you won’t pay any change fees.
And the Southwest Companion Pass is still our favorite way to visit family and friends in the US!
Southwest’s schedule is open until October 31, 2014 so you can book travel well into the fall.
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.
You can earn 1 point per $1 you spend on regular purchases, and 2 points per $1 you spend on Southwest, AirTran, and certain hotel and car rental partners.
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 to have 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!
Today is the last day to book flights with Southwest points before you’ll need more points.
Starting tomorrow, it will cost ~17% more points to book flights on Southwest.
If you’re unsure of your travel plans, it doesn’t hurt to book tickets today. If your plans change, you’ll get your Southwest points back without paying a fee.