Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
Southwest’s schedule is now open up to April 11, 2016.
Many airlines open their schedule ~1 year in advance. But you can only book Southwest flights ~6 to 8 months ahead of time.
There are no blackout dates when you redeem points on Southwest. If seats are available, you can use your points!
And your plans don’t have to be set in stone for you to book now. You can always cancel later for a refund.
Those are 2 more reasons I love to fly Southwest.
Bring a Friend With You for Close to Free!
Southwest changed their award pricing earlier this year. So some award flights now cost more during popular travel times. But you can still get fantastic deals!
Especially if you have the Southwest Companion Pass, because a friend or family member can fly with you for (almost) free for up to 2 years on paid AND award tickets!
Currently, only 1 Southwest card is offering 50,000 Southwest points. But several times per year the sign-up bonus on all 3 cards increases to 50,000 Southwest points. So you may want to wait a few months before signing-up for the Southwest personal cards.
- Chase Southwest Plus Personal Card – 25,000 Southwest points when you spend $1,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account
- Chase Southwest Premier Personal Card – 25,000 Southwest points when you spend $1,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account
- Chase Southwest Premier Business Card – 50,000 Southwest points when you spend $2,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account
Don’t Have Enough Southwest Points to Book Your Next Adventure?
Here’s how you can earn more Southwest points:
1. Paid Flights on Southwest
On paid Southwest flights you’ll earn:
- 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
Points are earned on the base fare and excise taxes, but NOT the government taxes and fees.
2. Southwest Credit Cards
You can earn a lot of Southwest points quickly with the Chase Southwest cards. But again, currently only the Southwest Premier Business card will give you 50,000 Southwest points when you complete the minimum spending.
Other benefits that come with these cards include:
- 2 points per $1 you spend on Southwest flights and certain hotel and car rental partners
- 1 points per $1 you spend on everything else
- 6,000 Southwest bonus points (Premier cards) or 3,000 bonus points (Plus card) on your card anniversary each year
- No foreign transaction fees (Premier cards)
The $99 annual fee for the Premier cards ($69 for the Plus card) is NOT waived the 1st year.
3. Transfer Points From Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you need to top off your Southwest account, you can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio.
But keep in mind, Chase Ultimate Rewards points transferred to Southwest do NOT count towards the Companion Pass.
4. Earn Bonus Points
Or you can earn Southwest bonus points by:
A free Rewards Network account can get you Southwest points just for dining out!
You can now book flights on Southwest up to April 11, 2016.
So if you’re thinking of taking a trip this spring, now’s a great time to book! If your plans change, you can always get a refund later.
For paid flights as long as you cancel at least 10 minutes before your flight, you’ll receive a credit you can use towards future travel for up to 1 year.
And with award tickets the points will be deposited right back into your account!