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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!
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
Southwest flies non-stop to Nassau from Baltimore, but you can connect from many other Southwest cities!
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
Another good option is to book paid hotel stays through American Express Travel, Chase 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.
You can search for hotels through the Carlson Wagonlit website, then call the Citi Prestige Concierge at 877-288-2484. Pay with your Citi Prestige card to get the 4th night free (even if it’s the most expensive night in your reservation!)
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.
Let me know if you’ve been to Nassau and what you’d recommend there!