Update: The Chase Ink Plus 70,000 point offer is no longer available, but check Hot Deals for the latest offers!
You could get a lot of Big Travel with Small Money by transferring your Chase Ink 70,000 point sign-up bonus to Southwest, especially if you have the Companion Pass.
Note: The Chase Ink Plus 70,000 point bonus offer ends on October 19, 2014.
You could get at least $1,000 (or more) in Southwest tickets with 70,000 points. But with the Companion Pass, you’ll get almost double!
Let’s see how much travel you can get on Southwest with 70,000 points!
What Are Southwest Points Worth?
Link: Chase Ink Plus
Link: Southwest Rapid Rewards
Southwest’s frequent flyer program is revenue-based, which means the number of points needed for an award ticket depends on the cash price of the ticket.
For the cheapest “Wanna Get Away” fares, Southwest usually charges 70 points per $1 of base fare (taxes and fees aren’t included). So a Southwest point is worth ~1.43 cents ($1 / 70 points). If there’s a seat for sale, you can book it with points!
If you transferred 70,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest, you’d get ~$1,000 worth of Wanna Get Away tickets (70,000 points x ~1.43 cents).
And if there’s a seat sale, you’ll be able to stretch your points further. Because if a fare drops, the number of points for an award ticket also drops.
Note: Chase Ultimate Rewards points transferred to Southwest do NOT count towards the Companion Pass.
Where Could You Go?
1. Example: A Family of 4 From Chicago to Orlando
Southwest’s cheapest fare from Chicago to Orlando in November is ~$220 (base fare, not including taxes and fees). With taxes and fees, tickets for a family of 4 would cost ~$1,057 round-trip.
If you booked the same itinerary using points, it would cost 61,472 points plus ~$45 in fees (~$220 base fare x 70 points per $1 x 4 passengers). So you’d have points left over from the Chase Ink Plus sign-up bonus!
So you’re definitely getting more than $1,000 worth of flights from the 70,000 point Chase Ink Plus sign-up bonus!
And if both parents have the Companion Pass, this family could do this trip twice! That’s because with the Companion Pass, you can bring a companion along for almost free. That’s over $2,000 in travel.
2. Example: Short-Haul Business Travel From Baltimore to Pittsburgh
You could get a lot of cheap, short-haul tickets on Southwest with 70,000 points transferred from the Chase Ink Plus card. For example, a round-trip coach ticket from Baltimore to Pittsburgh costs ~$136 (base fare), or ~$174 including taxes and fees.
The same itinerary booked as an award ticket costs 9,508 points plus ~$11 in taxes and fees (~$136 base fare x 70 points per $1).
You could get 7 round-trip tickets with the sign-up bonus from the Chase Ink Plus card (7 tickets x 9,508 points per ticket = 66,556 points).
If you paid cash, you’d spend $1,218 for the same 7 tickets (7 tickets x ~$174 per ticket). And you’d have points left over!
3. Example: 3 Friends From Seattle to Cancun
Southwest has begun flying to destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean. A group of 3 could travel from Seattle to Cancun, Mexico, using the Chase Ink Plus sign-up bonus (and a few extra points from minimum spending).
A paid ticket from Seattle to Cancun in January costs $336 (base fare), or ~$456 including taxes and fees. So the total for 3 people is ~$1,369 (3 tickets x ~$456).
Booked as award tickets, this itinerary costs 23,520 points per person or 70,560 points total. Note that the taxes and fees are higher because Mexico charges departure and tourism taxes on both paid and award tickets.
So again, you’ll get over $1,000 worth of travel from the Chase Ink Plus sign-up bonus. And even more if 1 of the passengers has a Companion Pass!
The 70,000 point Chase Ink Plus sign-up bonus is worth over $1,000 in travel when transferred to Southwest. The number of points you need for an award ticket depends on the fare, so the cheaper the fare, the more award tickets you’ll get!
And if you have the Southwest Companion Pass, you’ll get over $2,000 in travel, because your companion travels with you for almost free.