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How (and Why!) to Book Southwest Flights With Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

How (and Why!) to Book Southwest Flights With Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

Million Mile SecretsHow (and Why!) to Book Southwest Flights With Chase Ultimate Rewards PointsMillion Mile Secrets Team

I told you about 4 secret airlines you can book with Chase Ultimate Rewards points, including Southwest. 

Million Mile Secrets reader John asked how he could take advantage of this trick.  It’s a good one to know because Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card are worth 1.5 cents each toward travel booked through Chase!

Book Southwest With Chase Points
You Can Get Terrific Deals Booking Southwest Flights With Chase Ultimate Rewards Points. Cheers to That! 😉

I’ll show you how to book Southwest with Chase points, step-by-step!

Why Book a Southwest Flight With Chase Ultimate Rewards Points?

You can redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for flights on Southwest.  But remember, not all Chase points are created equal!

That’s because each Chase Ultimate Rewards card has a set rate of how much Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth:

Chase Ultimate Rewards CardHow Much Are Points Worth Toward Travel? Do Points Transfer to Travel Partners?
Chase Freedom1 centNo
Chase Freedom Unlimited1 centNo
Chase Sapphire (no longer available)1 centNo
Chase Sapphire Preferred1.25 centsYes
Chase Sapphire Reserve1.5 centsYes
Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card1 centNo
Chase Ink Bold (no longer available)1.25 centsYes
Chase Ink Plus (no longer available to new applicants)1.25 centsYes
Chase Ink Business Preferred Card1.25 centsYes

So folks with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card can book travel with their Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a rate of 1.5 cents each.  That’s a good deal, because Southwest points are generally worth between ~1.25 and ~1.43 cents each.  So depending on your flight, you could actually get more value for each point by purchasing your flight through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal.

Plus, you’ll earn Southwest points for your flight when you book through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal.  If you transferred your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest for an award flight, you would NOT earn Southwest points.

Note:   You can NOT book Southwest flights online though the portal.  You must call Chase Ultimate Rewards travel at 866-951-6592 to book.

Book Southwest With Chase Points
You’ll Earn Southwest Points for Flights Booked Through Chase, Which Count Toward Elite Status and the Southwest Companion Pass

Even better, the Southwest points you earn will count toward elite status AND the Southwest Companion Pass!

So when you factor in the points you’ll earn for flying, you can easily come out ahead.

It could even be worth it if you have a card whose Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.25 cents each toward travel, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Preferred.

As always, run the numbers to make sure you’re getting a good deal!

Note:   Points earned from the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited, Chase Sapphire (not available to new applicants), and Ink Business Cash cards can only be transferred to travel partners if you also have either a Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Business Preferred, Chase Ink Plus (no longer available), or Chase Ink Bold (no longer available).

How to Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to the Chase Sapphire Reserve

Because the Chase Sapphire Reserve increases the value of your Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you’ll want to transfer the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you’ve earned on other cards to the Chase Sapphire Reserve before you book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal.  I’ll show you how!

Step 1.   Go to the Chase Ultimate Rewards Website

Head to the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal and sign in to your account.  You should see a “Combine Points” option in the tab that shows how many points you have on your card.  Click it.

Book Southwest With Chase Points
Click “Combine Points” to Get Started

Step 2.   Select the Appropriate Cards

In the left column, select the card you want to transfer your points from.  In the right column, select the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Book Southwest With Chase Points
Choose the Card You’re Transferring Points From and the Card You’re Transferring Points To

Step 3.   Choose the Number of Points You Want to Transfer

Now tell the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal how many points you want to transfer to the Chase Sapphire Reserve (you should transfer all of them).

Book Southwest With Chase Points
Transfer All Your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to the Chase Sapphire Reserve

That’s it!  Your Chase Ultimate Rewards points will now be worth 1.5 cents each when you redeem from your Chase Sapphire Reserve through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal.

How to Book Southwest With Chase Points

If you decide you want to book Southwest flight with your Chase Ultimate Rewards points, here’s what to do.

Step 1.   Find Your Flights on Southwest

Navigate to Southwest.com.

Book Southwest With Chase Points
Wanna Get Away? Say Where to and When!

I searched for a trip from Houston to Chicago.

After you enter your destination and dates, click “Search” to show your results.

Step 2.   Choose Your Flights

On the next page, select your flights.  You do NOT have to book a round-trip flight.  But I chose departure and returning flights.

Book Southwest With Chase Points
Pick a Flight, Any Flight

Once you find a schedule you like, click “Continue.”

Step 3.   Call Chase

Next, you’ll need to call Chase to book.  The number for the Chase travel center is 866-951-6592.

Book Southwest With Chase Points
Make Note of the Flight Details and Price

Tell the agent you want to book a Southwest flight with your Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  Then, give the same dates and flight numbers you found earlier.

Ask to verify the price.  Because sometimes the fares can show up differently for travel agents as opposed to when you search directly on an airline’s website.

And if all sounds good, book it!  The points will be deducted from your Chase Ultimate Rewards account.  And Chase will email you a copy of your flight details.

You can also ask for the confirmation numbers.  Be sure to write them down so you can look up your flights later.

That’s it!  Enjoy your trip to Chicago.  Or wherever you decide to go! 🙂

Want More Chase Ultimate Rewards Points?

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred

Link:   Chase Sapphire Reserve

Link:   Ink Business Preferred

You can earn more Chase Ultimate Rewards points by signing-up for Chase cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or the Ink Business Preferred.

For example, the Ink Business Preferred currently comes with 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.  Because points are worth 1.25 cents each when you redeem them through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal, the sign-up bonus is worth $1,000 in travel (80,000 points X 1.25 cents each)!

But if you also have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, your points will be worth 1.5 cents each after transferring them from the Ink Business Preferred to the Chase Sapphire Reserve.  Making the sign-up bonus worth $1,200 (80,000 points X 1.5 cents each).

Note:   These cards are restricted by Chase’s strict approval rules.  So if you’ve opened 5+ cards from ANY bank (except Chase business cards and certain other small business cards) in the past 24 months, you will NOT be approved for these cards.

Bottom Line

It’s easy to book Southwest flights with your Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Find the flights you want on Southwest.com.  Then call the Chase travel center at 866-951-6592 to book them.  Verify the dates, flight numbers, and price are the same.  If so, go ahead and book it!

You can often get a better deal booking this way, especially if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

You’ll earn Southwest points when you fly.  And, your flights will count toward elite status and the Southwest Companion Pass!

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Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • Earn 50K bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Named a ‘Best Travel Credit Card for 2017’ by MONEY® Magazine
  • 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Plus, no foreign transaction fees
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Let me know if this would work.

I have a companion pass for southwest. If i use points to book through chase by calling, can i after log into my southwest account after its booked and add my companion to the ticket or the original ticket must be booked on southwest's website in order to add the companion?

Million Mile Secrets

You can add your companion online after the fact. Or you could call Southwest to after booking to add your companion.

I'm not sure this is the best advice. I recently booked a flight from BWI-MCO. Flight costs $278 round trip. Booking through Chase with the Reserve would cost 18,500 points (278*100/1.5). Booking on Southwest with points it costs 16,702 points for the same flight. Why would I not transfer the points to SW and book on their website? Yes I would earn 1392 SW points for booking direct on SW but that's still less than the savings of booking direct. Just not sure it's worth the hassle of calling Chase to book

@Andrew that’s correct. Your value of points to dollars is 1.5, but the discount of dollars to points is actually 66.7%. 66.7% x $278 is how you calculate your points. It’s a 33% discount off the cash cost.

I like getting a better value for my points and that the flight will earn points like a cash airfare purchase. But if I need to cancel do I have the same cash purchase time limit of 1 year from booking to use or lose the travel funds from the cancellation? And would the funds have to be used for the same passenger? It's a detail thing to keep track of travel fund confirmation numbers and expiration dates if you have several. I wish Southwest had a fund to keep these funds like Alaska My Wallet.

I recently had to go through this with my wife. She wanted to change her name after we were married, so we booked a future trip with her new name. We ended up cancelling the trip and had a year to use the funds, but we weren't able to use them until her name was legally changed. We have a trip booked for April, but had the timing not worked out, we would have been out of that money.

Awards on Southwest are infinitely better in this regard. The only reason we didn't use points was because we had $200 in SW gift cards to use.