How to Get Big Travel on Southwest With the Chase Sapphire Reserve 100,000-Point Bonus
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I shared news that the Chase Sapphire Reserve 100,000 point bonus will soon be cut in half, to 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after meeting the same minimum spending requirement.
Until January 11, 2017, with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you can earn a phenomenal sign-up bonus of 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after meeting the minimum spending requirement.
Then, transfer the Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest to book award flights with no blackout dates! Or you can get $1,500 worth of Southwest flights by booking through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal. But you’ll have to call to book this way!
And folks with the Companion Pass can get double the savings. This means up to ~$3,000 worth of Southwest flights!
We don’t earn a commission for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, but we’ll always tell you about the best deals!
I’ll give you some ideas on how to use the Chase Sapphire Reserve bonus on Southwest for Big Travel!
Perks of Using Southwest Points
I love to fly Southwest because there are no blackout dates on award flights. And you’ll never pay change or cancellation fees. Plus, everyone gets 2 free checked bags on every flight!
There are plenty of places to visit with Southwest too! Southwest flies to over 97 destinations in the US. And several international destinations like Aruba, Bahamas, Costa Rica, and Mexico.
And if you have the Southwest Companion Pass, you can fly with a partner, family member, or friend for nearly free (just pay taxes and fees)!
1. Check the Math, First!
Southwest award flight costs are based on the cash price of the ticket.
When you transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest, each point is worth between ~1.25 and ~1.43 cents, in Southwest airfare. This means 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points from the Chase Sapphire Reserve sign-up bonus can save you ~$1,250 to ~$1,430 on Southwest airfare!
But when you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you might get a better deal redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards points for Southwest flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal. Because you’ll get 1.5 cents per point or $1,500 worth of Southwest flights! You’ll have to call Chase at 866-951-6592 to book Southwest flights through the travel portal.
Here are some pros and cons to consider when booking Southwest flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal.
- Always get 1.5 cents per point
- Combine points with cash if you don’t have enough Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book a flight
- Earn Southwest points, which count toward the Companion Pass
- No need to transfer points to your Southwest account
- Taxes and fees will be included in cost of flight
- Cancelling a flight results in a travel credit instead of getting points redeposited in your account
- Depending on travel dates and route, you can sometimes get more than 1.5 cents per point with an award flight
- You’ll have to call Chase to book and make any changes to your Southwest flight
4. Save Double With Companion Pass
Folks with the Companion Pass can use the Chase Sapphire Reserve sign-up bonus to save up to ~$3,000 on Southwest travel!Chase’s stricter application rules. So if you’ve opened 5+ cards from any bank (except these business cards) in the past 24 months, it’s unlikely you’ll be approved.
If you’re in that situation, you might consider The Business Platinum® Card from American Express instead. Here’s how to use that card for Big Travel with Southwest.
4 Ways to Use Your Southwest Points
Here are some ideas how to use the 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for Big Travel on Southwest.
1. St. Patrick’s Day in Boston
Looking to raise a pint at the Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade?
I found round-trip flights leaving Dallas on March 17, 2017, and returning from Boston on March 20, 2017, for 13,615 Southwest points and ~$11.
One ticket costs ~$249 if you paid in cash.
Or you could book the flight through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal. You’d pay 16,600 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. But you’d earn 1,134 Southwest points on your flight, which count toward the Companion Pass. And there would be no out of pocket expense for the taxes and fees because it’s included in the flight cost.
2. Tropical Getaway to Cancun
How about escaping the chilly winter weather for Mexico?
I found a round-trip flights leaving Baltimore on February 7, 2017, and returning on February 14, 2017, for 15,984 Southwest points and ~$82.
The cash cost of this flight is ~$353. So you’d get ~1.7 cents per point using Southwest points ($353 cash cost of flight – $82 taxes and fees for award flight / 15,984 Southwest points).
If you don’t want to pay any taxes and fees out of pocket, you could book through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal for 23,533 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($353 cash cost of flight / 1.5 cents)
Either way you book, the Chase Sapphire Reserve bonus will give you enough points to bring a few friends or family along with you on the trip!
3. Mardi Gras in New Orleans
Planning a trip to New Orleans in February 2017?
Southwest is the only airline with non-stop flights from Austin to New Orleans. I found a flight departing Austin on February 22, 2017, and returning on March 1, 2017, for 24,822 Southwest points and ~$11.
Instead of transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest for this flight, I’d recommend calling Chase to book through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal.
Because the cash cost of the flight is ~$355. So you’d only get ~1.4 cents per point by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points. By booking through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal, you’ll get 1.5 cents per point.
You’d only need ~23,700 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book this flight using the travel portal. And you’d earn Southwest points because it would be a paid flight.
4. One-Way Flights
One-way flights can be expensive on airlines like American Airlines, Delta, and United Airlines. But that’s not always the case with Southwest.
For example, a one-way ticket from New York to Las Vegas on April 11, 2017, costs 6,640 Southwest points and ~$6. Or you could pay ~$122 cash for the flight. You’d use 8,134 Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal.
A one-way United Airlines or American Airlines flight on the same date would cost 12,500 miles and ~$6 in taxes, or ~$122 cash. You’d also use 8,134 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book through the travel portal and earn airline miles on the flight.
Delta flights cost slightly more on this date. The cash cost is ~$133 or you’d use 12,500 miles and ~$6 for an award flight. Or you could book through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal for 8,866 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
Bottom LineUntil January 11, 2017, you’ll earn 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you sign-up for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card online and meet the minimum spending requirements.
Emily and I don’t earn anything from the Chase Sapphire Reserve, but we’ll always share the best travel deals!
Depending on your travel dates and routes, you could transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest and get ~$1,250 to $1,430 of Southwest flights! And folks with the Companion Pass can get double the value!
Sometimes you’ll pay fewer points when you book Southwest flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal. Because you’ll always get 1.5 cents per point. And you can save money out of pocket because taxes and fees will be bundled in the airfare cost on the travel portal.
You’ll also earn Southwest points on your flight. But you’ll have to call Chase at 866-951-6592 to book this way.
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Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
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