Nassau, Bahamas: Cheap Airfare & Hotel With Southwest Companion Pass & Points

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Nassau, Bahamas: Cheap Airfare & Hotel With Southwest Companion Pass & Points

Million Mile SecretsNassau, Bahamas: Cheap Airfare & Hotel With Southwest Companion Pass & PointsMillion Mile Secrets Team

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The Bahamas is a favorite tropical getaway spot for many folks, with white sand beaches, family-friendly activities, and great shopping and nightlife.

It’s a relatively short flight (especially from the East Coast)!  And because Southwest now flies to Nassau, Bahamas, it’s easy to get there cheaply – especially if you have the Southwest Companion Pass!

Plus, there are a few terrific hotels where you can stay with points.  And options to use points to off-set the cost of paid stays.  Perfect for a quick getaway this winter!

Nassau Bahamas Cheap Airfare Hotel With Southwest Companion Pass Points
Escape the Cold! Get Big Travel to the Bahamas This Winter With the Southwest Companion Pass!

Let’s look at how folks can make the most of their Southwest flights and hotel stays for a trip to Nassau!

It’s Better in the Bahamas When Using Points!

Link:   Bahamas Official Website

Link:   Southwest

Link:   Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Link:   Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

Southwest flies non-stop to Nassau from Baltimore, but you can connect from many other Southwest cities!

Nassau Bahamas Cheap Airfare Hotel With Southwest Companion Pass Points
Lots of Options for Folks in Many Cities to Get to Nassau on Southwest!

It’s a great time to think about planning a winter trip to the Bahamas!  Because the sign-up bonuses on the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier (Personal), Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, and Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier (small business) have been increased to 50,000 Southwest points after meeting minimum spending requirements.

Book your award flights on the Southwest website.  Tickets to Nassau are reasonably priced.  From Baltimore to Nassau in January, 2016, you’ll pay 11,060 Southwest points plus ~$103 in taxes and fees round-trip.

Nassau Bahamas Cheap Airfare Hotel With Southwest Companion Pass Points
In Under 3 Hours, You Can Fly From Baltimore to Nassau – Round-Trip Flights Cost as Little as ~11,000 Southwest Points Plus ~$103 Taxes and Fees

Flights from other destinations generally cost more.  But they’re still a good deal.  For example, you’ll pay 16,380 Southwest points and ~$108 for round-trip award flights between Buffalo and Nassau.

Nassau Bahamas Cheap Airfare Hotel With Southwest Companion Pass Points
You’ll Pay More Points From Other Cities, but It’s Still a Good Deal

Note:  The taxes and fees are higher on round-trip award tickets to Nassau than on US itineraries.  That’s because there are departure taxes and airport, security, and processing fees for all passengers departing from Nassau.

Remember, everyone gets 2 checked bags free on Southwest!  And if you need to change or cancel your flight, there are no fees.

Fly 2-for-1 With the Southwest Companion Pass

Link:   Southwest Companion Pass

Link:   My Step-By-Step Guide to Earning the Southwest Companion Pass

Link:   10 Easy Ways to Get Extra Points Towards the Southwest Companion Pass

You’ll get double the travel from the sign-up bonuses on the Southwest cards when you earn the Southwest Companion Pass.

With the Southwest Companion Pass, a friend can fly with you for almost free on both paid and award tickets.  They’ll just have to pay taxes and fees.

Nassau Bahamas Cheap Airfare Hotel With Southwest Companion Pass Points
Hooray! Fly 2-for-1 to the Bahamas With Your Southwest Companion Pass

To qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass, you must earn 110,000 Southwest points in a calendar year.  So when you apply for 2 Southwest cards with a 50,000 point bonus, you’ll earn 104,000 Southwest points (2 x 50,000 points from sign-up bonus + 2 x 2,000 points from meeting minimum spending).

And it’s easy to earn the remaining 6,000 points required.  You don’t have to spend $6,000!

Having the Southwest Companion Pass makes a Bahamas escape a no-brainer!  Check out my step-by-step guide to earning the Southwest Companion Pass to learn more!

What About Hotels?

There are a handful of chain hotels in Nassau where you can stay using points.  You can check out a complete list in my post on where to stay in Southwest’s Caribbean destinations to spark your imagination!

Nassau Bahamas Cheap Airfare Hotel With Southwest Companion Pass Points
Stay at the Grand and Historic British Colonial Hilton in Nassau for 40,000 Hilton Points per Night

I use Hotel Hustle and AwardMapper to find hotels that can be booked with points.  And before I book, I check TripAdvisor for hotel reviews.

That said, if you prefer travel off the beaten path (or a more local flavor), Airbnb can be an excellent deal, especially in the off-season.

Remember, you can buy Airbnb gift cards with American Express Membership Rewards points.  And sometimes they run bonus promotions.

Nassau Bahamas Cheap Airfare Hotel With Southwest Companion Pass Points
Find Unique Accommodations in the Tropics When You Book Through Airbnb

Another good option is to book paid hotel stays through American Express TravelChase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal, or Citi ThankYou Travel Center.  You can use points to pay for all or some of your hotel reservation!

And you can even reserve hotels which can’t normally be booked with points.

Plus, if you have certain cards, you can get a better deal.  For example, Chase Ink Bold, Ink Plus, or Sapphire Preferred cardholders get 1.25 cents per Chase Ultimate Rewards point when they book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

Nassau Bahamas Cheap Airfare Hotel With Southwest Companion Pass Points
Use Your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Pay for Some or All of Your Hotel Bookings in Nassau – Even at Hotels That Aren’t Part of an Award Program!

Here’s another money-saving alternative!  If you have the Citi Prestige card, you’ll get the 4th night free on your hotel booking when you book through the Citi Prestige Concierge.

You can search for hotels through the Carlson Wagonlit website, then call the Citi Prestige Concierge at 877-288-2484Pay with your Citi Prestige card to get the 4th night free (even if it’s the most expensive night in your reservation!)

Bottom Line

Nassau, Bahamas, is a terrific winter getaway destination, and it can be a super deal with Southwest points.  Right now, all 3 Southwest cards have a 50,000 point sign-up bonus after completing minimum spending.

You’ll do even better with the Southwest Companion Pass, which allows a companion for fly with you for only the cost of taxes and fees on paid and award tickets.

There are plenty of ways to save on your hotel stay in Nassau.  Book a room with points, redeem American Express Membership Rewards points for Airbnb gift cards, or use flexible points to pay for all or part of your stay.

Citi Prestige cardholders should consider using the 4th night free perk from the card!

Let me know if you’ve been to Nassau and what you’d recommend there!

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 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®
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  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
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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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I would check out the FounderCard travel hack as well if you’re looking to save money in Nassau. It’ll get you 4 free nights at the ATLANTIS resort:

seriously if you can’t afford the $100 in taxes… don’t fly to the Caribbean…..

I still can’t believe SW doesn’t fly to Nassau from FLL. I can practically see the Bahamas from FLL. At least I have enough Avios to do this trip easily enough.

@Wil–all airlines make you pay those charges when using miles for international trips. It costs the exact same amount when using Avios. That’s just the departure tax and there’s no way around it.

(at the risk of a double post — I did see you noted the taxes in your post…. “fare” ‘nuf. I’d like to learn more of strategies out there, if any, for reducing the bite of taxes and fees…. like paying them with gift cards, points from CC, etc.)

ps, and yes, you did mention the taxes on the BWI routing… “fare” enough, and its no longer “small money.”

Among workarounds I’ve contemplated:

a. paying the taxes with SW gift cards bought via Kroger (or elsewhere) — upwards of a 25% discount.

b. paying tickets with funds earned via spend on Barclay’s World Arrival. (snail’s pace)

c. give up and fly Frontier to same places, and often w/ more direct flights…. (where they often have fares a few “bucks” more than the underlying taxes…. I know, the luggage and air you breathe fees add on there too.)

*tic. Any discussions about taxes and fees on international travel awards out there?

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