10 New Routes That Make Your Southwest Points More Valuable!

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10 New Routes That Make Your Southwest Points More Valuable!

Million Mile Secrets10 New Routes That Make Your Southwest Points More Valuable!Million Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

Southwest is adding 10 new domestic routes starting April 12, 2016.  This will give you more options when you’re looking for an award flight.  And folks with the Southwest Companion Pass will have even more places to visit!

Remember, you can earn Southwest points with their cards.  Or by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  I’ll explain!

10 New Routes That Make Your Southwest Points More Valuable
10 New Southwest Routes Make Your Southwest Points and Southwest Companion Pass Even More Valuable. And There Will Be 2 New Ways to Visit New York!

I’ll show you which routes will be available!

What Are the New Routes?

Link:   Southwest New Routes Announcement

Starting April 12, 2016, Southwest will add 10 new routes to its US network.  From that date, you’ll be able to fly non-stop between:

  • Dayton and Chicago
  • Grand Rapids and Chicago
  • Flint and Chicago
  • Greenville-Spartanburg and Atlanta
  • Las Vegas and New York (Newark)
  • New York (Newark) and Orlando
  • St. Louis and Des Moines
  • St. Louis and Pittsburgh
  • St. Louis and Wichita
  • Wichita and Phoenix

Note:   The new route between St. Louis and Pittsburgh starts earlier, on March 10, 2016.

Note:   Southwest will also offer year-round non-stop service between St. Louis and Seattle.  This used to be a seasonal route.

10 New Routes That Make Your Southwest Points More Valuable
Midwest Is Best! Many of the New Routes Are Short-Haul Flights Between Midwestern Cities

Many of these flights are short-haul flights, so this will give folks more options once British Airways changes their award chart in early February 2016.

Save ~50% on Your Next Award for Two!

Link:   Chase Southwest Plus

Link:   Chase Southwest Premier

Link:   Chase Southwest Premier Business

When you have the Southwest Companion Pass, a friend or family member flies with you for (almost) free every time you fly Southwest for up to 2 years!  That’s like getting 2 tickets for the price of one!

10 New Routes That Make Your Southwest Points More Valuable
With the Southwest Companion Pass You Can Travel Together for up to 2 Years and Only Pay for 1 Ticket on Paid OR Award Flights! Unless You’re a Bird – In That Case, You Can Always Fly Free!

You have to earn 110,000 Southwest points within a calendar year to get the Southwest Companion Pass.  It’s the best deal in domestic travel!  Be sure you understand exactly how it works so you can earn it!

You can currently earn 50,000 Southwest points when you complete the minimum spending on the Chase Southwest Premier and Premier small business card, and 40,000 Southwest points with the Chase Southwest Plus card for a limited time.

So it’s now easier to earn the Companion Pass by signing-up for 1 personal and 1 small business card!  Just be sure to watch out for these 3 mistakes that won’t get you a Companion Pass!

Why You Might Consider a Small Business Credit Card

Keep in mind, you don’t need millions in revenue to qualify for a small business card.  In fact, there are small businesses you may not realize are enough to get you approved.

10 New Routes That Make Your Southwest Points More Valuable
Do You Coach, Teach Yoga, Photograph for Clients, or Create Designs for Websites? You Might Have a Small Business and Not Even Know It!

And you do NOT need an Employer Identification Number to complete your application.  If you have a sole proprietorship you can use your social security number.

The Southwest Companion Pass is the 1 reason why Emily and I fly Southwest almost exclusively within the US.  Plus, you get 2 free checked bags on every flight and if your plans change, you can cancel for a full refund!

Need More Southwest Points?

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred

Link:   Chase Ink Plus

Remember, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio to Southwest.

So it’s very easy to top off your account if you’re very close to an award flight!  Folks with the Southwest Companion Pass can fly with a friend or partner on any ticket, including award flights!

You’ll also earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you use your Chase Freedom or Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card, but you can only transfer them to airlines and hotels like Southwest or Hyatt if you also have the Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Note:   Points transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Southwest do NOT count toward the Companion Pass!

Bottom Line

Southwest is adding 10 new domestic routes starting April 12, 2016

This is terrific news for folks who fly Southwest.  And especially if you have the Southwest Companion Pass.  This will give you more options when British Airways raises their prices on short-haul flights next year.

It’s easy to earn the Southwest Companion Pass because the Chase Southwest Premier and Premier small business cards are offering 50,000 Southwest points when you complete the minimum spending requirements.  And the Chase Southwest Plus card has a limited-time sign-up bonus of 40,000 Southwest points.

Having additional routes makes your Southwest Companion Pass even more valuable.  And if you need more Southwest points, you can easily top off your account with Chase Ultimate Rewards points!

Are you excited about any of the new routes?

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

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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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@Norm S. @Angela @Jennifer – Thanks for adding this information!

@Maddy @Wayne – I’d wait until January, because that’s what the terms and conditions say.

Chase will approve you for multiple cards in the same day, but whether or not you’re approved depends on how much credit Chase is willing to extend to you. Good luck with your applications!

@Travel Reward Credit Cards Fan – You’re welcome!

Anyone have an answer to Maddy’s questions above? I am in the same situation and would like to know also.

Thanks!

Woohoo! Thanks for the heads up on the new routes — very helpful for me!

Also, any trouble getting personal and business card the same day? I could spread out if necessary.

I applied for the business premier card in Oct 2013. I received the bonus in January 2014. The terms state that you can’t get the offer if you’ve received the bonus in the past 24 months, which technically I have. But I applied for the card more than 24 months ago. Does anyone have experience with this? Should I wait to apply til Jan? Or can I apply now and just wait to complete my minimum spend/get the bonus in Jan (which I would anyways for companion pass purposes)? Don’t want to shoot myself in the foot here!

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