Guide to buying Southwest points

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Earning and redeeming Southwest points (or any points, for that matter!) is a favorite pastime of mine. There’s little more thrilling than saving tons of cash by redeeming miles & points for travel.

We’ll guide you, step-by-step, through the process of purchasing Southwest points. And also help you decide whether purchasing points is worth it.

How to buy Southwest points

Buying Southwest points is a simple process:

Step 1.

From Southwest’s home page, navigate to the “Rapid Rewards” tab.

Step 2.

From the drop-down, click “Buy or Transfer Points.” 

Step 3.

From here, click the yellow “Buy points” button. This is also where you’ll see the option to transfer or gift points, in case you decided to do so at some point in the future. 

Step 4.

On this page you’ll see your options for buying points. The minimum number of points you can purchase is 2,000. And you can buy points in 1,000-point increments up to 60,000 points total. 

Step 5.

After selecting the number of points you’d like to buy, you’ll be asked to enter your payment details. You’ll be able to review the total cost of your points purchase, along with any discounts Southwest may be offering (as seen below). Then click the yellow “Pay Now” button to complete your purchase.

How much do Southwest points cost?

The price of Southwest points depends on how many points you’re purchasing as well as whether or not there are any current promotions.

Normally, buying between 2,000 and 4,000 points will cost 3 cents a point. Purchases of 5,000 – 60,000 points cost 2.75 cents each.

That said, in the example shown above, Southwest is offering a discount that brings the price of points purchases between 5,000 and 60,000 points to just 1.5 cents a point. We value Southwest points at an average of 1.5 cents a piece, so this would be a solid deal if you needed to buy points for a particular award. 

Is purchasing Southwest points during a promotion a good deal?

If you must purchase points, it’s always best to do so during a promotion. Buying points should always be a last resort because earning them (through credit card spend or flights, etc.) is free. To determine whether a promotion is a good idea, do the math to see what you’re paying per point compared to the average 1.5 cents per point in value you’ll usually get from Southwest points. If the math makes sense for you, go for it. If not, focus on earning Southwest points another way.

Does buying Southwest point count towards getting the Companion Pass?

Unfortunately, no. Purchased Southwest points do not count toward earning the Companion Pass. But here’s a long list of things that do!

Do you get double points for buying points with a Southwest credit card?

Because Southwest points purchases are processed by Points.com (not Southwest), the purchase won’t code as “airfare” if you’re looking to use a card that earns a bonus for travel purchases.

But, you may be able to earn Southwest points by using a Southwest credit card. Doing so would give you a better price per point on your purchase. If you happen to test this process, let us know how the purchase codes! This has worked for United co-branded cards in the past.

Best ways to earn Southwest points 

The fastest way to earn Southwest points (and the coveted Companion Pass) is to earn a big welcome bonus (or two!) from a Southwest credit card.

Take the Southwest personal cards, for example:

All three Southwest personal cards are currently offering:

  • Up to 80,000 points. Earn 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months. Earn an additional 30,000 points after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first nine months.
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases. Earn between 12/1/2020 and 3/31/2021 on up to $2,000 spent per month. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on all other Southwest purchases.

Here are the Southwest business card offers:

Outside of using a credit card you can earn points through qualifying activities such as flying, staying partner hotels, car rentals and more.

Check out our guide to earning Southwest points here.

FAQ

Where can you buy Southwest points?

You can buy Southwest points by navigating from their homepage to their points purchasing portal or by going directly there with this link.

Can you give Southwest points as a gift?

Yes, you can give Southwest points as a gift. Gifting Southwest points is similar to buying Southwest points. Follow Steps 1-3, but at Step 3, click the “Gift points” button instead of the “Buy points” button.

From there you’ll be able to select the number of points you want to gift, enter the recipient’s details (including their Southwest frequent flyer number) and pay for your purchase.

Do Southwest points expire?

Southwest points never expire! This is yet another reason MMS readers and the entire MMS team love earning and using Southwest points.

Bottom line

Buying Southwest points is easy, but there are only a few scenarios in which it would likely make sense, including if you’re just short of the points you need for a particular award ticket and don’t have any Chase Ultimate Rewards points to transfer. If you find yourself in that predicament, buying the points you need could be worth it. As always, do the math to ensure you’re getting a good deal!

Featured image by Digital Media Pro/Shutterstock.

Deborah Atchison is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, she covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

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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